Small Change #5: Stop drinking soda

Natural Fertility and Soda

photo credit: mukluk

If you want to do only one thing that can change your fertility for the better, stop drinking soda!

The average American drinks about 56 gallons of soda each year. And quoting another statistic, most sodas contain about 10 teaspoons of sugar per can. If that somehow doesn’t seem like a lot to you, put 10 teaspoons of sugar in your hand and see what it really looks like.

Things soda does to your body:

  • It can cause blood sugar spikes and hormonal fluctuations. Hormonal fluctuations are not something you want. Whether or not you’re trying to get pregnant, unbalanced hormones can cause PMS to be worse, headaches, sickness, and even morning sickness if you’re already pregnant.
  • Soda contains phosphoric acid which can in turn pull calcium out of your bones. It also neutralizes the hydrochloric acid your stomach uses to digest food, making digestion and the absorption of nutrients difficult.
  • It contains sodium benzoate (a preservative) that reduces the availability of potassium in your body.
  • While this particular topic is debated in the medical field, soda is actually a very highly acidic beverage. And some say that consuming to many acidic foods can alter your own bodies pH. Having an acidic pH can actually harm the sperm and cause them to die due to lack of nutrients. Like I said, while completely controversial, I tend to side on the “why take chances” end of the table.
  • Diet soda contains aspartame. There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilepsy/seizures. (a bit of my own story here- diet sodas actually caused numbing sensations in my hands and feet! Whether it was a direct cause of the aspartame or the fact that it was robbing my body of nutrients, the fact remains. Just a couple days after I stopped drinking it, I had no issues what so ever!) Further, when aspartame is stored for long periods of time or kept in warm areas it changes to methanol, and alcohol that converts to formaldehyde and formic acid, which are known carcinogens. (stay away from fake sugars!)
  • And of course, things we’ve already discussed; it includes high fructose corn syrup and caffeine. Both detrimental to your body.

In our society, giving up soda is hard. Restaurants serve either soda or sweetened tea and we’ve become so used to drinking it with certain meals (pizza, burgers, etc.) that it becomes normal. Back in high school, it was pretty much the only thing I drank. Unfortunate but true. After experiencing major numbness in my hands and feet I decided it couldn’t be doing anything good to my body and I quit drinking it cold turkey. While difficult to deal with the withdrawal headaches and the caffeine and sugar cravings, I found myself feeling much better than I had in months. And I was no longer reliant on a substance to wake me up!

Now don’t get me wrong, through the years I have had my share of soda. But now, I treat it as something only to be ingested very occasionally, if at all. And while trying to conceive, I cut it out completely. Not only do I want to remain at my healthiest, I don’t want to pass any of those toxins on to my baby. At a time in our lives when we need to be absorbing all the nutrients we can, it doesn’t make sense to damage our chances just because we like the taste. And personally, if I find a craving for something sweet and bubbly to much to handle, I’ll splurge on an organic soda from the health food store. While still not healthy, at least it’s not full of toxins.

*Update – and better yet I make my own kefir soda! Just as bubbly but it’s actually good for you!

What about you, do you drink soda? How much per week? Anything else to add?
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About Donielle

Donielle is an amateur herbalist and natural momma to two littles (with another babe in heaven) after dealing with being less than fertile. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health.

Comments

  1. Thank you for the great reminder! I had quit after my freshman year in college when I realized I had gained so much weight from the soda at the cafeteria…then after I got married, I started drinking it very occasionally (at a restaurant, never my own drink, always just took a few sips from hubby). Now that I’m pregnant for some reason I am really craving Coke! I had been doing so well for so many years but can’t seem to get this Coke craving out of my system…I’ve had it very infrequently, and I only have a few sips of hubby’s drink when I do have it, so I guess it’s better than drinking a whole glass or can by myself…I wish I could snap out of it though – this post hopefully will help!

  2. I’m a major diet soda drinker and personally feel it had some affect on the growth of a fibroid I have. I’m trying to wean myself off the stuff. Any suggestions for yummy alternatives to water and milk?

  3. Thank you for your post today- I am sharing it with my husband in just a moment. I am not a soda drinker myself but he cannot live without it. He will try so hard but then the sugar and caffeine withdrawals get to him. It’s a tough thing but I am going to arm him with knowledge and see if we can get it out of the house for good this time!

  4. I do not drink soda! I do drink a diet 7up or sprite zero when my tummy is upset though.

  5. Maybe sparkling water as an alternative to pop to help get over the cravings? Or maybe organic sweet tea? (yea, sweet tea has sugar in it, but it’s to help get you off pop… then you have to give that up too!)

    Personally, I made myself just drink water and now I’m totally fine with that.

  6. Daniel & Emily says:

    I drink water almost exclusively, but when I’m craving something sweet to drink, I make my own iced tea sweetened with honey or stevia.

  7. Oh wow… seems like you read my mind! I’ve been trying to stop drinking sodas and after week and a half of doing great, I gave in!!! Thanks for posting this! I think I’ll print it and take it in my purse for whenever I get a craving!

  8. I actually stopped drinking sodas completely from I was 16-20, eh, and then I went to America and discovered root beer (which we don’t have in Norway…).
    So anyone knows what might taste kinda like root beer that ISN’T soda (or something worse) ??
    Or, I might just have to strengthen up that “don’t drink that, it’s garbage to your body”- muscle…