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I am a long-term, high-frequency consumer of soft drinks specifically Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

In 2015 I am resolved to kick the habit once and for all but it is proving challenging. My average daily consumption is between 2 and 2.5 litres (70-100 ounces).

A typical daily routine would be -

  1. Awake
  2. Strong coffee with 2 x sugar
  3. 8am can of cola on the drive to work
  4. 11am can of cola to prevent flagging/thirst
  5. 12.30 can of cola with lunch
  6. 3pm can of cola due to extreme drowsiness
  7. Possibly 1,2 or even 3 cans of cola in the evening

I don't want to substitute the drinks for diet or lite or max versions. I want to go as sugar-free as possible.

What effects, both positive and negative, will I see in the immediate short term once I stop consuming these drinks and how can I best control the cravings?

I feel like I concentrate better after consumption, my creativity and cognitive functions felt higher and more productive. However I also find myself becoming more animated and talkative within meetings/around senior members of staff.

Considerations

  1. I have been tested for diabetes; I am clear but wish to remain that way
  2. I am 32 years old with fairly sedentary job role (Agile ScrumMaster)
  3. I am quite active; daily running and regular long distance hiking
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    Not a dupe but very similar: fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/12901/… – user2861 Jan 2 '15 at 10:10
  • @LegoStormtroopr - thank you for that. Extremely useful answer. I absolutely hate this addiction. – Venture2099 Jan 2 '15 at 10:21
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    I don't think you should expect new users to immediately visit the help centre to judge the validity of their question. That's absurd; you should have raised this point properly as a comment instead the semi-arrogant way in which you did. – Venture2099 Jan 2 '15 at 18:24
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    I am happy for it to be closed as per the SE. I don't want to dilute the site with off-topics so please flag it accordingly. – Venture2099 Jan 2 '15 at 22:59
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    If not already mentioned, the headache can be significant when reducing caffeine. – BackInShapeBuddy Jan 4 '15 at 8:00
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What effects, both positive and negative, will I see in the immediate short term once I stop consuming these drinks...

Positive:

  • You will probably lose weight. Two litres of soda is about 800 Calories. For context, government agencies suggest the average person requires about 2000 Calories per day. So you are drinking nearly half of your require calorie intake in sugar beverages alone. If you only cut out soda, you would lose weight very quickly.

Negative:

and how can I best control the cravings?

Through focus and determination that is required when beating an addiction.

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I would pick one sugar or caffeine. It is much more likely that you will fail if you if try to quit both at the same time.

To address the question of reducing the craving.

  • Make a habit of drinking 1 cup of water first thing when you wake up in the morning (drink more water in general). Dehydration is a contributing factor to fatigue.

  • Calorie replacement. 70 to 100 oz. of soda has 800 to 1000 Calories in it. You will need to replace these calories. Put half and half in your coffee. With this number of calories you could drink 3 cups of half or half or a can and a half coconut milk every day.

  • Go caffeine free and get caught up on your sleep on the weekends.

  • Regular exercise.

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