Soda contains ingredients that can lead to addiction, such as caffeine and sugar. This makes it a unique drink and leads to cravings.

Mental and physical health problems can develop if soda cravings become a dependency. Soda dependence, or soda addiction, can cause unwanted weight gain, type-2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, dental problems, weak bones, heart disease, and depression.

This article discusses the symptoms and side-effects of soda addiction, as well as how to stop or prevent it.

What exactly is it?

Addiction is a psychological and physiological disorder that occurs when you continue to use a substance, even though the effects are negative. Addiction can occur to many substances and behaviors, including prescription drugs, sex, and smartphone use.

There is no official definition of soda addiction, and currently there are not enough studies to support it as a disorder. In this article, soda dependence or addiction is defined as excessive soda consumption without the ability to stop or reduce your intake, even if negative effects are experienced.

Food addictions, including soda addiction, can share many characteristics with drug addiction. It’s much easier than you think to become addicted to soda because it contains caffeine, sodium, sugar, or artificial sweeteners.


The symptoms of soda addiction are closely related to the brain and nervous system. Symptoms you might experience include:

  • Strong cravings
  • A thirst that is only satisfied by soda
  • Mental obsession with soda drinking
  • You can’t control your soda consumption.

When you are unable to drink soda, withdrawal symptoms can occur. These include headaches, irritability, or depression, as well as grogginess.

Side effects

There are many side effects of soda addiction. Acidic soda can cause teeth to discolor and wear down the enamel over time. This weakens your teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities and dental problems.

This problem is exacerbated if you choose to drink full-sugar soda rather than diet soda. Sugar feeds bacteria that cause plaque and speeds up the decay process. Dark sodas may contribute to osteoporosis. This condition is characterized by fragile bones.

Both regular and diet sodas can lead to unwanted weight gain. Sugar-based sodas contain about 100 calories per 8 ounces (240 mL). If you drink large quantities—say, 16 ounces of soda (480 mL)—with every meal, then you can easily consume 600 extra calories per day.

Diet soda consumption has also been linked to weight gain in studies. It may be due to the effect of artificial sweeteners and their effects on gut health, which can lead to a craving for sweet food and beverages.

Sugar can increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, no matter what the cause. Sugary sodas have also been associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases in adults and children.

What happens

Addiction to soda can begin slowly or rapidly. Your brain chemistry, as well as your family and personal history of addictions, can play a major role in determining how quickly you become addicted to soda.

Dopamine, or the happy hormone, is released in your brain when you drink soda, especially caffeinated soda.

The more you drink soda, the less you will enjoy the dopamine reaction, leaving you wanting more. Continued soda consumption to experience the dopamine reward can lead to dependency.

Some people’s brain chemistry may be different, and they may get a smaller dopamine reaction from soda than others. This may increase their susceptibility to soda addiction.

What to do to avoid it

It’s hard to give advice that fits everyone because addiction is an individual thing. Some helpful general guidelines are:

  • Do not use soda as a reward. This can cause a high dopamine reaction to the soda, which may lead to dependence.
  • Do not use soda to soothe your emotions when you are sad, angry, or disappointed. This can lead to the brain developing addiction pathways.
  • Drink lots of water. Water, which is calorie-free and contains no sugar or additives, will help you avoid soda.
  • Don’t drink soda every day. Limit your soda consumption to avoid becoming addicted. You may decide to drink soda only when you are in a restaurant or on weekends.

These steps may help reduce your risk of soda addiction.

Stopping it

Two ways exist to stop soda addiction:

  1. Stop drinking soda immediately. This method involves a complete stop. This method may cause withdrawal symptoms but may also allow your body to recover more quickly than if you were to taper down.
  2. Reduce your soda consumption until you are unable to drink any. You can do this by decreasing your soda consumption slowly and methodically until you are able to quit. This method takes longer but can help avoid withdrawal symptoms.

It’s up to each individual to decide which option is best for them. Cold turkey or tapering down is equally effective when people are trying to quit smoking.

If you are having trouble quitting soda, it’s important to seek professional help.

Manage withdrawal

There are several negative effects associated with soda addiction, which can manifest when you’re not able to drink any sodas or you have decided to stop drinking them, especially if you quit cold turkey.

The withdrawal symptoms can include fatigue, headaches, and depression. These symptoms usually occur when you stop drinking caffeine. They can last from 2 to 9 days.

You should consult a medical professional if you are unable to control these symptoms while trying to quit smoking.

Alternatives to soda

Keep a variety that you like and that doesn’t trigger the same dopamine reaction on hand to avoid becoming dependent on soda.

Here are some healthier drink options without or with less sugar, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners.

  • Water flavored with lemon, lime, or fresh fruit
  • Unsweetened Iced Tea
  • Hot green, black, or herbal tea
  • Fermented tea, or kombucha
  • Coffee, either hot or cold, but preferably decaf
  • Sparkling water is best if it’s unsweetened.

You can add some variety to your drink routine by using these alternatives instead of sugary or diet sodas.

The bottom line

Your physical health can be seriously affected by soda addiction or dependence. Drinking too much soda can cause weight gain, tooth decay, and heart disease, as well as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

You can either stop drinking soda immediately or gradually reduce your intake. Although each method has its pros and cons, they are all equally effective. Consider seeking out the help of a health professional if you believe you are dependent on soda.

Credit: The Web Health & Drugs Discussion

By Zubair Pateljiwala

I work at Data Service Solutions as a QuickBooks certified professional. If you are facing any errors or issues with QuickBooks, you can ask any queries about it. For asking your question, call +1-(855)-955-1942.

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