When you are hitting that afternoon slump and craving energy, next time reach for something other than a soda. These sugary carbonated drinks with caffeine will only weaken your health, and even slow down cognitive function and brain health. Soft drinks are also associated with Type 2 diabetes and obesity, as well as increased stroke risk and dementia. Plus, they aren’t hydrating, and any energy they provide won’t last long.
Here are some alternatives to retrain your brain away from soft drinks and toward health-promoting choices:
- Put it in writing. Write down your goals for cutting out soft drinks, and add sticky note reminders in convenient places where you can find them.
- Replace your soft drink break with a short walk, sparkling water, or just a little you-time. This might be what you are really craving.
- Cut down slowly week by week and reward yourself for doing a good job with a gift to yourself or a spa treatment. Start with caffeine-free sodas, and eventually go to no sodas.
- Train your brain with mindfulness and meditation. The brain can learn a new habit and forget the old one. Take your time and create space for yourself.
- Stock up on alternatives. Instead of sodas, have on hand flavor-infused water, infused sparkling water, green tea, water with lemon or cucumber and mint, or homemade kefir or kombucha. Read labels carefully and try to avoid drink with lots of sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
With time, you’ll be able to kick the habit, and kick your health into high gear!