I think the big problem with pop - even diet pop - is people drinking it instead of water. I have an occasional 6 oz glass of soda as a treat for myself - but it helps that I view it as a treat, not as something to drink when i am thirsty. I also have heard about diet sodas triggering sugar cravings, and I really think less of any sort of soda is better for you. Just read the labels on those things and see how much of the ingredients you can even pronounce!
Of course, the caffeine addiction is a totally different monster - and I agree cutting back slowly, and taking aleve or other pain relievers when headaches come on. I have cut back to a cup of tea a day from 4-6 cups of coffee a day - and I went through the headaches and everything else. At least in my case I didn't add cream or sugar to my coffee - I can't imagine how drinking that sugary stuff in those amounts effects your body!
I'll second the tea suggestion. I used to drink about a 2 liter of soda and 2-3 cups of coffee a day. I've cut out coffee and soda almost entirely since joining spark people by drinking 3-4 cups of hot tea per day.. green tea, black teas, herbal blends at night. When I go out to eat I'll get unsweetened iced tea. So far I'm really enjoying sampling different teas and haven't had any headaches. Best of luck to you!
How quickly are you reducing the amount you drink? If you're drinking 6+ sodas a day, you should maybe go down to five for a week or two, then four for another few weeks, etc. If on Monday you are drinking six and then you're down to two on Friday, that's probably too fast to cut back and your body won't react well.
Also, related to diet soda- my dentist mentioned at one point that diet soda is more corrosive to your teeth than regular soda.
I recently quit smoking. I went cold turkey. Let me tell you up to that point it was the hardest thing I've done in all my life. Having been quit for a month I found an incredible desire and the will power to continue improving my life and health so I looked at my soda habit.
I tried quitting sodas cold turkey. For me it was fountain Coke Classic or Diet Dr. Pepper. It lasted a day and a half. I got some headaches but could manage them with regular Tylenol. It was more a physical craving. I couldn't get them out of my head. There was a physical feeling throughout my body that I'd never felt before driving me to have a soda. Finally I caved and had a coke.
That experience showed me two things. First, Caffeine is a physical addiction. Second, it's harder to quit than nicotine.
I still haven't managed to kick the addiction fully. I've been addicted since I was in junior high. However, by forcing my self to drink the recommended amount of water I find that I've skipped some of the sodas I would have normally had.
I haven't given up on the idea of quitting caffeine. I'm fearful of making another attempt though that may fail. Our entire society seems to be unwittingly addicted to this substance. If I quit what will I drink when I'm in the mood for something other than water? Tea is caffeinated, as is coffee of course. Will I have to avoid chocolate which also contains caffeine?
Diet isnt always better. Doctors and nutritionists will tell you if you arent diabetic and have a health reason to be eating artificial sweeteners, its actually worse then regular sugar for you. While they are lower in calorie, artificial sugars actually make people crave sweets more. And some have been linked to health risks.
No soda is always the best alternative. Or seltzer.. all the fizz, but no sugar!
Are you atleast drinking DIET cola? I work for a beverage company... and i know its hard... i used to drink 2-3 bottles a day... which would add up to 750 cals a day!!!!! Thats more then half i should have eaten ALL day! And that was just for a snack... Talk to your doctor... he might have good suggestions.
I had the same problem. Mountain Dew! I still get cravings! What I did was wean myself off by lowering it by one can a day for a week and kept going until I was down to one can a day. I had it first thing in the morning and drank it slow. Then I would drink unsweetened ice tea. I think it has just enough caffeine to keep the headaches at bay and no calories! After about 2 more weeks only having 1 can, I switched entirely to ice tea and now I am trying to work in more water. I always hated water, it tastes like metal to me.
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I had this same addiction to caffeine because of drinking insane amounts of coffee. I used to drink at least 6 cups of coffee a day, but usually averaged around 7 or 8. Eventually I knew I had to cut back because it was giving me bad breath (ew) and discoloring my teeth a little.
Like your attempt, I cut back to 4 cups a day. I got headaches, but that's a withdrawl symptom. It took about 2 weeks of cutting down on my caffeine for the headaches to go away.
Now I drink 2 cups a day, at most. Sometimes I only have one.
So, from experience, you just have to tough through the headaches. If you're concerned, see your doctor as they may have more suggestions.
I think that weaning yourself off of caffeine is the best approach. You're just going to have to be strong and cut down slowly, and resist the urge to crack open a soda when the headaches come. Eventually it will get better.
Perhaps in the middle of your weaning period, you could purchase some excedrin. I wouldn't look at taking those pills as a long-term approach, but they contain caffeine and are for migraines, so they will probably help you get through the period when you are weaning yourself off of the soda.
EDIT: Haha... same idea as the person below me I see!
I did the same with diet pepsi and coffee! Its not fun, but its possible
I cut back a little every few days I started drinking tons of water When I started getting caffeine withdrawal headaches I used excedine migraine, it has caffeine in it... but only when absolutely needed After about 2 months I stopped all caffeine and only got occasional headaches.
But.... I've learned I cant have caffeine again... Because after a small cup of coffee or soda I get the headaches again and now it just doesnt seem worth it!
Also, cafient free soda is a good alternative if you dont want to stop soda all together!
I have been addicted to soda (Pepsi as a child, Mt Dew for the last 10 years or so) since I was a toddler. My babysitter would bribe me with Pepsi, to get me to behave. Talk about bad habits starting early! I have tried to quit many times, but end up with unbearable caffeine withdrawal migraines. I have tried 'cold turkey' and slowly reducing the amount I drink. When I reduce to 2 cans or less per day, the headaches come back and after a couple days, I can't take it and plunge right back in to my 6+ cans per day average. I have tried diet soda, but I can't stand the taste, and it gives me the same migraine effect. I know my soda habit is responsible for a lot of my weight gain over the last 20 years, but I don't know how to get off this addiction rollercoaster.
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