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807: Shrink Your Fat Cells & Fix Your Metabolism – With Dr. Benjamin Bikman

TMHS 284: The History of Soda: Medicine, Marketing & Moonshine

There’s hardly anywhere you can go in our modern society and not get your hands on a cold, fizzy soda pop. Whether you call it a soda, soda pop, pop, or just a plain old Coke, they’re as much a part of our world as reality tv, smartphones, and tiny dogs.

Fun fact, in certain parts of the U.S., millions of people refer to ALL types of soda as a Coke. In southern states like Alabama and Mississippi, when someone says, “Grab me a Coke”, the common reply would be, “What kind?”. And when you hear the Coke-wanting person reply with, “A Sprite”, don’t get confused and give them the side-eye.

Sodas seem to have been a part of our culture for a very long time. But, where did it all begin? Today we’ll be exploring the humble beginnings of the world of soda, and I guarantee it’s going to eye-opening (and maybe even a little trippy).

We’re also going to cover the impact that soda is having on the health of our world’s citizens today. We’ll look at how it all got to this point and, most importantly, we’ll talk about some solutions that we can apply to help get us all back in balance.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • When the first soft drinks in history made their appearance.
  • What a soft drink actually is.
  • How carbonated water became popularized.
  • Who created the first artificially carbonated mineral water.
  • Who the “Father of Soda” is and the crazy stuff he was making drinks out of.
  • Which soda-like beverages predated the arrival of the first massively popular soda.
  • Why pharmacists were huge initial advocates of drinking soda.
  • The surprising health benefits of the phytonutrients found in ginger.
  • What some of the original ingredients in root beer were (times have changed!).
  • The surprising secrecy behind Dr. Pepper’s original formula.
  • Whether or not Coca-Cola actually has cocaine in it.
  • Which soda originally used the mood-altering drug lithium.
  • How one of today’s most popular sodas has a historical connection to moonshine.
  • How soda distributors are driven to create heavy users.
  • The shocking impact rampant soda drinking can have on bone density.
  • The truth about whether you should be on an alkaline diet or not.
  • How most conventional pesticides affect our health.
  • Whether or not there’s a clear relationship between drinking soda and obesity.
  • The surprisingly small amount of soda consumption it takes to cause insulin resistance.
  • How sugary beverages can lead to cardiovascular disease.
  • How sodas can easily become addictive.
  • The connection between diet sodas and neurological disease.
  • Which sodas kept me alive (while killing me slowly).
  • Types of soda that failed miserably.
  • How soda companies deeply embed themselves into certain groups and cultures (be mindful of this!).
  • The top 5 alternatives to guzzling sodas.



Items mentioned in this episode include:

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. On this episode we're talking about something that is truly iconic in our culture, tied to a sense of happiness, a sense of adventure even, but it also has a dark side. Today we're going through the history of soda, alright? We're going to travel along this timeline and take a look at some of the fascinating aspects of this very, very popular beverage that's embedded itself into our society. Global sales of carbonated soft drinks are about $350 billion. That's with a B, alright? Billion per year, that's according to industry reports from Grand View Research. Now two of the top fifty companies in the world, in the world, are soda companies, alright? Coca Cola and PepisCo. Alright? They're up against huge tech companies like Google, and Apple, they're up against car companies, financial companies like Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, and they're right there in the mix with the giants, because they are giants. Alright? Would you believe that sodas actually started off as something that was seen as a medicine? Right? It started off with these kind of good intentions to help people to feel better, to heal from different ailments. So we're going to go through all of that today, it's going to be incredibly fascinating, but you're also going to get some huge insights, some actionable things to go along with it as well as we always do, alright? Because soda, again it's a big part of our culture, but some of the big potential issues that you're going to learn about today, we've got to have a way out. We've got to have other options, and so we're going to cover that as well. And also one of my options is keeping a lot of dough in the pocket is Thrive Market, alright? I put a big value placement into the food that I eat, into personal care products that aren't containing a bunch of crazy toxic chemicals. That matters a lot to me for what I get for myself and for my family. And so it's quite an investment, you know? I've been doing this for years, and going to the local health food stores, and Whole Foods, and that kind of thing, and that's awesome, I'm very grateful that they exist, right? But you know, when you're doing things the right way with the farming practices and things of that nature, it can cause the prices to be higher number one, but also there's going to be a big mark-up by these specialty grocers, right? That's what they really are, and that could put a hurting on your pocket, okay? Now so for me, I'm saving money by using Thrive Market, alright? This is an online, basically like a Costco version of Whole Foods, you know? You're getting all of these incredible organic, you can get- they've got everything categorized. Gluten-free, Paleo, vegan, whatever you're into, abiding by these very, very strict and intelligent standards as they're curating these different companies, you're getting these products at 25% to 50% off the price you would find at a place like Whole Foods. I've got a little beef with Whole Foods recently. Listen, I just shared this on my InstaStory. Hopefully you're following me on Instagram so you don't miss this stuff, but- and I'm @ShawnModel on Instagram. That's @ShawnModel. But I shared my frustration. Again, I've been to Whole Foods all over the country, like literally I can't even tell you how many locations, and so many of them are insane, alright? They've got restaurants in the Whole Foods, I didn't know that was a thing because I live in St. Louis. They have taco bars. They're going to make tacos for you. You want a burrito bowl? You've got it. Alright? I didn't know that was a thing. They've got kombucha on tap, juice bars, they've got beer. They're making beer. They're making beer in the Whole Foods. My Whole Foods? None of that. Alright? It looks nice inside, we've got like a sandwich station, they can make you a sub I guess, and then they've got the pizza. That's pretty much it. And the hot bar has been my issue. Like sometimes you want to grab something, you know? And so my wife, she had a long day, she went to the grocery store at the end of the day and I said to her like, "Babe, don't come home trying to cook. Don't worry about it, I'll make some veggies here, just grab something from the hot bar to go with it." And she fought me back a little bit but then she said okay. Five minutes later, sends me a picture of the hot bar at our local Whole Foods. Empty pans. Empty. She sends me a picture of empty hot bar. How? You would think, "Oh, maybe it's the end of the day." It was 6:00 PM. They're not changing over food, that's just how they roll at my local Whole Foods. Alright? So anyways, so I was just kind of done, right? I was voicing my frustration, but I was like, "I'm not really done with you, Whole Foods. I'm still going to show up, but come on, can we get a juice bar at least?" And so, even still I go there less and less as we're shopping at Thrive Market, and man it's just the way to go, seriously. So make sure you're taking care of your family and yourself, but also taking care of your pocket. Go to, you get 25% to 50% off the same products you'd find at Whole Foods, it's insane how much money you'll save. I've already saved about $800 in the last maybe six months. Six, eight months. Crazy stuff, right? And also in addition, by going to, you're going to get an additional 25% off your first purchase. Amazing, alright? It's where I get my almond butter, bars for my kids, they've got collagen protein powder, they've got spicy mayo, okay? Chipotle lime mayo, I just want you to keep your eyes open for that, I never run out. Alright? Coconut oil, all that cool stuff, and you're going to save your money. So head over there and check them out. And on that note, let's get to the iTunes review of the week. ITunes Review: Another five-star review titled, 'From One Shawn to Another,' by ShawnM268. "Hey Shawn, it's Shawn. See what I did there? I've been listening to your podcast for awhile now after hearing you featured on The Secrets to Success by ET, Carl, and CJ. Your podcast puts my fifteen plus fitness journey into perspective. The gems you drop every week are phenomenal. I've been putting off writing a review for awhile now, but it's time. Episode 278 is golden. Trust me when I say I'll be listening to it over and over again. Your vulnerability and genuine passion for people rings loud and clear from each episode. Everyone everywhere should be listening to this podcast. Keep doing what you're doing, brother. Let's move the world." Shawn Stevenson: Wow, let's move the world indeed. Thank you so much for sharing that, and everybody thank you for heading over to iTunes and leaving me those reviews. It truly keeps me inspired and it's just- I just appreciate it so much. So please keep them coming, if you've yet to do so, pop over and leave me that review. And on that note, let's get to our topic of the day. Today we're going through the history of soda. This is a really fascinating topic, and I learned a lot in this process. I did know quite a bit about the industry, but more of the health side, or lack thereof, but it's really amazing just to understand where this whole entity actually originated. And so to start with this history, we need to go all the way back to the 1700's. And this was when non-carbonated water was combined with lemon juice and honey to make what was first the recognized 'soft drinks.' And so soft drinks, just even like what is a soft drink? It's simply- this can be a carbonated or non-carbonated beverage that is an alternative to hard liquor, or hard drinks. That's what a soft drink is. So as we know soda, that involves carbonated water, and so for centuries there was a belief that naturally carbonated water had healing properties, and people would come from all over to drink and even bathe in naturally kind of carbonated springs. Now again, there are naturally carbonated water sources, i.e. bubbly water, but then there's also this way that was invented to artificially carbonate the water. And this was invented in 1776 by Englishman Dr. Joseph Priestley. Alright? And he did this by infusing carbon dioxide with the water to create carbonic acid. Alright? So that was in 1776, and then in 1783, as we go along this timeline, Johann Jacob Schweppe perfected the process for carbonating water and created the world's first carbonated mineral water. Alright so we've got carbonated bubbly water, it's a thing, it's rolling around, people are digging it. Then we jump to John Matthews, alright? And he emigrated from England to NYC, and he can be considered more than any other the father of soda. This was in 1832 when he created an efficient machine for creating carbonated water, and he started to put stuff into the water, into that soda water, to give it flavor. Some of the things he experimented with were various nuts, eggs- yeah, he put eggs in there. Alright? It was a thing. Fruit, vegetables, you know, some of the kind of extracts that we are more familiar with today, and even chocolate, alright? He put these various things in to give it flavor. Now it was already well-noted that this carbonation would for some folks help to relieve them of indigestion or gas, and so that was one of the kind of helpful aspects of it, but then it got driven even further, and this is where it gets really interesting because sodas found their way into pharmacies, alright? And many of the early sodas were actually invented by pharmacists as a delivery method for medicines. Alright? Once they were- back in the day they were hand-crafted with freshly prepared ingredients right there on the spot, various herbs and things that we'll talk about. And then it was served to- there was a guy to get you the soda who was called the soda jerk, alright? I guess it was because he was jerking the handle or whatever. Usually they were young, so maybe it was like- I don't know, but they were called a soda jerk, alright? And eventually though, however this mutated into a heavily processed pre-packaged ingredients, along with an array of potentially toxic preservatives, artificial flavors, colors, all this stuff we'll get to as well. So just keep that in mind, it started off in pharmacies. So first up we'll talk about a couple of carbonated beverages that pre-dated the first official soda a few years later, alright? So the first one we'll talk about is ginger ale, alright? Ginger ale. Who likes ginger ale? I'm waiting for some hands to go up. We've got a finger that came up in the studio halfway. But you know, some people it's just like, "Meh," but other people love ginger ale. So the first incarnation really began in what was known as something called 'ginger beer' during the 1800's in England, and it was a simple recipe of ginger, sugar, water, lemon juice, and a type of bacteria for fermentation. Now because both water and alcohol are solvents, this was an excellent way to actually extract the beneficial compounds found in the ginger. Now today just looking at the research, one of the main compounds in ginger being something called gingerol, and chemically gingerol is a relative of capsaicin and piperine, those are the compounds that give chili peppers and black pepper their spiciness, you know, respectively. So check this out. A meta-analysis published in the 'International Journal of Preventative Medicine' in 2013 found that phytonutrients found in ginger have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Really, really interesting. There was even research documented that found that there was significant anti-cancer properties with ginger as well. Now, a particular type of sesquiterpene present in a type of Southeast Asian ginger was found to induce apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells. Alright? That's a program cell death. So it's causing cell death to cancer cells. It's nuts, right? Just compounds that are found in ginger. And again, this started off as a somewhat good idea. Now the first non-alcoholic version known as ginger ale was reportedly created by Thomas Cantrell, and he's an American pharmacist and surgeon, but this was during his time in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1851. It began as essentially carbonated water, natural ginger, and sugar. The dry style, and this is what you typically see now, is a more pale colored beverage, and a much milder ginger flavor, was created by Canadian John McLaughlin, and this was patented in 1907 as Canada Dry Ginger Ale, which quickly rose to fame and thanks to a ban on alcohol during the Prohibition in the 1920's and 1930's, its popularity rose even more because it was used as a staple to mix with alcoholic beverages. Because basically, you had to make that stuff stretch. But today there are many other incarnations of this dry ginger ale, and they're produced and sold internationally, and it's a staple in supermarkets, bars, and also on airlines. This was the first time I saw somebody drinking ginger ale was on an airplane. Because you know, I heard the name before, but sometimes you have tunnel vision, you just don't even see it. And I saw a couple people get it one time, and I just got fascinated like, 'What is ginger ale?' So I actually looked it up, and yeah so it's just one of those things that a lot of people enjoy it, some people don't have any idea what it is, and some folks just think it's disgusting. So wherever you lie on the spectrum, all good. Today however, most commercial ginger ales in the US are made with high fructose corn syrup, and also it's not ginger anymore, it's artificial ginger flavor. We've got food scientists who are great at replicating these flavors, and you don't have to spend money growing ginger, right? So it's not even real ginger anymore. And now, this is the thing, being created by a pharmacist - so this was again created by a pharmacist way back in the day, Thomas Cantrell, this started off with good intentions as far as the ginger ale- selling at a pharmacy basically. And there was a claim of course ginger ale can help to cure an upset stomach, that's still what people use it for a lot of times. Facts. Okay so studies have found that ginger and ginger extracts can be effective for alleviating some types of nausea and vomiting, especially related to pregnancy and also following surgeries. And this is attributed to those compounds of gingerols, again that we've talked about. Now there are some small supporting studies that say that this actually does do the trick, however ginger's effectiveness for other stomach woes is less supported by research. And here's the thing, even if ginger does have those benefits, this does not mean that ginger ale has those benefits, alright? It's not the same thing. We've got ginger and we've got the highly processed, artificial ginger with high fructose corn syrup. Not the same thing. Alright, so that's one of the first incarnations of this movement towards the sodas that we know about today. Another one is root beer, alright? And this is pretty cool. So utilizing- early on this was utilizing roots to make beverages, right? This has been done for centuries and eventually root tea became a popular beverage. By the way, if you're wondering where the name root beer came from, many food historians think that it's likely that the first versions of root beer started off as something called 'small beer,' and this was a beverage brewed from herbs, barks, and berries, and the fermentation process of the beverage was used to help reduce the danger from the poor water quality of the time. So that's where the whole idea and the concept of these small beers / root beer came from. Now utilizing non-alcoholic carbonated water to make the root beer, which is what we know today, was done in 1876, and it took off as an industry for mass production, largely on the popularity of the formula created by - again another pharmacist - Charles Hires, and the original formula included things like sarsaparilla, ginger, sassafras, dandelion root, vanilla bean, all spice, and a few others. But yet again, today you won't find these potentially health-supporting roots and herbs in a can of root beer, alright? It's not the same thing. Instead, it's been replaced with artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, and lots of sugar. Now many incarnations of root beer are to come, but now we're going to shift our gears to more of the household names that many of us have come to know and their fascinating beginnings. First soda to hit the scene, Dr. Pepper. It was created in the 1880's by pharmacist Charles Alderton in Waco, Texas, and first served in 1885 preceding Coca Cola by one year. Right? Another pharmacist concoction to help patients. Now again, being invented by a pharmacist, its initial formula was using natural ingredients, likely a combination of various herbs, barks, and berries. Now I say 'likely' because no one actually knows the formula for Dr. Pepper. Alright? It's crazy, like the kind of secrecy behind it. It's like some Nicolas Cage National Treasure stuff. Alright? It's just crazy. It's like there's two halves of the original recipe are kept in like two different safes in safety deposit boxes in Dallas somewhere - in various Dallas banks. It's just crazy the allure behind it. And so it's high secrecy, so if you're drinking Dr. Pepper, you don't even know what's in it. And of course originally the soda was sweetened with sugar, but in the 1980's as with most things, there was a huge shift to using high fructose corn syrup which was cheaper and sweeter than sugar, and Dr. Pepper was on that train with no looking back. Now here's a little fun fact. There are still some countries that distribute Dr. Pepper with real sugar and not high fructose corn syrup. Not that it's that much better for you, but just a little fun fact. Alright, and Dr. Pepper really took off and catapulted its way to national claim thanks to the 1904 World's Fair right here in St. Louis where it was offered, people really dug it as they were going around and getting their x-rays done of their feet. Right? Crazy stuff people do. There were people who daily, especially kids, who like if they had an x-ray machine like by their local pharmacy or whatever, they would go get x-rays of their feet every day, right? Not understanding, of course now we know that exposure to x-ray radiation can hurt you. And so people were doing that, drinking their Dr. Pepper, and life was good. Or so we thought. So that's Dr. Pepper, a little bit of history on that one, but again I said predated Coca Cola by a year. Coca Cola was about to hit the scene. It was invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Pemberton. For the first seventeen years of Coca Cola's history, one of the main ingredients in the famous beverage was opium. Cocaine. Cocaine. Coca Cola. It's true. Alright? Cocaine. And the idea came from - this was really fascinating - cocaine is derived from the coca plant, and this is a shrub indigenous to places like Peru and Bolivia, and chewing on the leaf for centuries was popular for its effects of producing mild euphoria - yeah - but also suppressing hunger, allowing people to have increased physical stamina, so like climbing in the mountains and that kind of thing. And it was in 1863, chemist Angelo Mariani makes the coca leaves into Bordeaux wine, creating an immensely popular tonic in Europe called Vin Mariani, and this alcohol in Vin Mariani helped to actually extract the cocaine from the coca leaves and the advertising was that it was something that would restore energy, give you greater health, strength, and vitality. That was the marketing. Now after failing to create a successful pharmaceutical drug, Pemberton decided he was going to take his shot making his own fortified wine, alright? That was his initial approach because again, being a pharmacist, he was trying to make a drug that could help people but just couldn't find something that really would work out so he took his shot here. And basically he bit off the recipe for the Mariani and he added cola nut extract and caffeine to the wine, and with this coca mix - and he called it Pemberton's French Wine Coca. Alright? Pemberton's French Wine Coca. I know you're like, "Okay that's a terrible name." I agree, that's why it became Coca Cola eventually. The drink soon became super popular, but due to local prohibition laws, Pemberton was forced to replace not the cocaine, not the cocaine, the cocaine stayed put. He had to replace the alcohol in the drink with sugar syrup. The new drink was now called Coca Cola, and sold at soda fountains mixed with carbonated water. It was until 1903 that the cocaine was removed from the drink because of some problems associated with the drug. Just a few. Now Coca Cola was well on its way to being the household name that it is today. So let's talk about cola nuts for a moment. The cola nut is a fruit of the cola tree which are native to tropical rainforests of Africa. They're noted for being a significant source of caffeine, and cola nut has been used literally for decades now as a source of flavor and caffeine for these cola beverages. And a little side note, the use of cola nut in colas has actually become more uncommon today because of the use of artificial flavoring. So you're not actually a lot of times even interacting with the cola nut when you're getting certain colas. Alright? So be mindful of that. Alright Coca Cola, oftentimes you can't have the conversation like, "Where's the Pepsi?" You have the Coca Cola / Pepsi wars been going on for a long time, alright? Now Pepsi-Cola started out with a pharmaceutical root too, invented by pharmacist Caleb Bradham in 1893 and offered at the soda fountain in his pharmacy calling it Brad's Drink. Alright? Brad's Drink. Now this was particularly touted for the benefits of aiding digestion and boosting energy, that's the formula he came up with, and how he promoted it to patients and customers was that this would help to improve your digestion and give you energy. The name was later changed to Pepsi-Cola for its main ingredient of pepsin, which is a digestive enzyme, and of course the cola nut. So Pepsi-Cola. Now this was right, with pepsin you can potentially see some improvement in digestion, and also of course with the caffeine, yeah you see some energy. So Bradham enjoyed seventeen years of uninterrupted success, but in 1931 Pepsi-Cola had gone bankrupt for the second time due to sugar prices that had fluctuated, and this was due to World War I. The company was poetically sold to candy manufacturer Loft, Inc. and continued to be a serious rival for Coca Cola until today. Alright so we've got the ginger ale, we've covered root beer, we've covered the two big colas. Dr. Pepper beat them all to the race. What about 7-Up? 7-Up was created by Charles Leiper Grigg in 1929 and it originally contained the mood-stabilizing drug known as lithium citrate. It originally contained lithium, so this is a mood-altering drug. And the first of them was called - the first incarnation of 7-Up - was called Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda, but it was quickly shortened to 7-Up because obviously that name sucked. Alright? And it sucked lemon lime. And so Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda became 7-Up and advertised as 7-Up stated that its mood-boosting effects takes the ouch out grouch. Alright? That was advertising. It takes the ouch out of grouch. But if you take the ouch out of grouch, what are you left with? Gr? I don't know. Anyways, I guess it worked. Lithium citrate even remained the main ingredient until 1950 when research showed that the drug had potentially dangerous side effects. Alright? 7-Up. Let's move on, now we're going to talk about Mountain Dew. This was invented in 1948 by brothers Barney and Ally Hartman who had a beverage bottling company in Tennessee. Now the creation of their soda was actually due to their inability to get access to the soda that they liked to drink their alcohol with, alright? So they had a lot of time on their hands, they were like, "You know what we're going to do? We're going to come up with our own soda, bro. We're going to come up with our own soda so we can have a more fun way for us to get hammered." Alright? And so the name Mountain Dew - check this out, this is real stuff here - the name Mountain Dew was actually slang for moonshine. It's a slang term for moonshine. There's even an old Appalachian folk song first recorded back in 1928, before the soda was even an idea, talking about the original Mountain Dew, AKA moonshine. Take a listen to this. That's crazy, right? Amazing stuff, and this is just again looking at these super villain origin stories of some of these different companies, you know? So while after sales steadily rose, the company began to struggle and it was eventually bought by PepsiCo in 1964. Now here's the thing, and I'm just going to give you a preview of what's to come when I talk about super villain origin stories. This soda and other sodas are highly addictive, alright? You just take a look at the statistics. 20% of drinkers of Mountain Dew are responsible for about 70% of their sales. Alright? That's a buttload of Dew in you, right? That's a lot of Dew, and you have to think about this in context. Like how is that even possible for a person to consume that much Mountain Dew? It's just like people are literally going for Mountain Dew instead of water, and I can identify with that because I had my drink of choice as well, you know? And so we'll talk a little bit about that as well, but I just want you to be mindful of that. The industry itself with soda companies, their drive is to create what they refer to as heavy users, right? They're not all that interested in getting more people on board, as they are getting the people who are on board drinking a lot of their product. Alright? And that's just the way they roll. I wanted to start with the history of some of these very popular soda companies because a lot of the other sodas that you are probably familiar with sprang off of them, a lot of them are actually owned by these same companies. And so now I want to shift gears a little bit and talk about some of the resulting aspects that we're currently experiencing with our health and our society as a result of our heavy consumption of sodas. Again $350 billion a year in sales for sodas. That's absolutely mind-blowing. $350 billion. It's difficult to really wrap your mind around in worldwide sales each year, and it doesn't come without an additional cost, which is the cost for health. Now just thinking about this logically when we talk about sodas, it has exactly no nutritional value whatsoever. If you look at even the nutritional facts it's zero, zero, zero, there's nothing in it, right? No nutritional value whatsoever yet it's one of the most loved and sought-after substances in the human experience, right? That humans consume. Not only is there no nutritional value, it's actually negative nutritional value because it actually robs minerals from your body, takes nutrients. It takes a lot from your body to process the beverage, so you're left with a net loss - a significant net loss - every time you consume a soda. So here's some of the major health implications we're looking at here. Again started off with good intentions, to deliver medicines, that's how it started off, to deliver medicines. Now it's just a medium to deliver sugar. Lots of sugar. Now since we were just talking about Mountain Dew, a twenty-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew is seventy-seven grams of sugar. That's almost sixteen teaspoons of sugar just one, two, three, four, five. I'm not done yet, it's going to be a minute, alright? That's a lot of sugar. A twenty-ounce bottle of Coke, sixty-five grams of sugar. Alright? It's amazing how much sugar is actually in here. Now here's the problem, the most dangerous aspect of the soda, is that the sugar is delivered in liquid form, so it's hitting your cells really quickly, it's hitting your bloodstream really quickly. And so what are some of the implications as far as our health? First let's talk about something that doesn't come to mind first, which is bone density. There was a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that examined the bone mineral density of 1,413 women, and they found that daily cola intake was associated with significantly lower bone mineral density in the hips of the women in the study. Now some studies suggest it's related to the high amount of phosphorus that's in the soda, which can inhibit calcium absorption, but also it appears that phosphoric acid in cola can also cause a release of calcium out of your bones. And this is an important part for us to talk about this concept of acids and bases, or acids and alkalines. It's something we were all taught in school, but it really didn't have any visceral worldly connection to us. Like I just wanted to get the grade and get out of the class. Like I just didn't- it didn't resonate with me that it mattered. And today there's this whole platform or propaganda, an idea, a meme that's been generated that we need to be careful about the acidity of things, right? We don't want to eat an acidic diet, right? We want alkaline everything. Alkaline water, alkaline foods, and I think that that is barking up the wrong tree, alright? I think that we've kind of lost our way because there's this balance in nature, right? There's this balance and we have to understand that some things are meant to be more acidic, and that's okay. Right? Different organs in different places in our body, different cells, different tissues are acidic, some are more neutral, some are more in an alkaline environment depending on the various organ and the tissues in different places in your body. So to say that we just need things to be alkaline is dangerous. I want you to be aware of that. And also, we have this concept of like this is an acidic food or acidic compound, like soda. It's very acidic, like it burns, right? It's a very, very acidic substance, but it doesn't make your body necessarily more acidic because your body is very well-equipped and evolved to create balance again. So in order to buffer the acidity of the soda coming in, and those acidic compounds- because when we talk about acids and alkalines, what we're really referring to is the mineral constitution of them, right? We've got these acidic minerals, we've got these alkaline minerals, right? Calcium is an alkaline mineral, and that's one of the things that buffers so when you drink the soda you're not going to turn into an acid person, right? But calcium can be liberated or leeched from your bones in order to buffer that acid that you just brought in, alright? I hope that makes sense. We want to be mindful of that, that you don't want to go for this whole like alkaline diet, alkaline approach, your body knows how to manage that. Certain foods that we need, beverages, things like that- water, it doesn't have to be alkaline for it to be good. Okay? So don't get too caught up into the hype. We do however want to pay attention to having more balance. There are lots of great alkaline things that we should be having as well, but your body will take care and balance you out. But here's the problem, when you're bringing in too many of these things like soda, you could guzzle it, it's liquid sugar. It's liquid phosphoric acid, it hits you hard. When you do that on a continuous basis day-to-day, it's going to start to leech and pull those minerals right from places that you need in order to buffer all that acidity coming into your system. Alright so I hope that makes sense. Now also the high caffeine consumption doesn't appear to help either. The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research published data indicating that people who already have impaired calcium balance performance in their bodies could have increased risk for bone loss even more with high caffeine intake. Now let's be clear, the caffeine itself isn't a direct issue. Again, this is something humans have been consuming for centuries, right? It has a really interesting resonance with the human body. In fact, there's a compound called adenosine that we create as we're just living our life, day-to-day process, and as adenosine increases- and by the way, for years it was thought of just a throw-away product that just didn't really matter to researchers, but now they're aware that we have receptor sites for adenosine that as we build up adenosine, it starts to fit into those receptor sites and activate programs that put us on sleep mode. Alright? It makes us to relax, calm down, set us up for recovery, right? So adenosine matters. Caffeine has an interesting ability to fit into those adenosine receptors. And so you can build up the adenosine that would normally make you shut down, be tired, and you just don't experience it. You can keep going. So it kind of tricks your body into not knowing that it's tired when it's tired, alright? So that's one aspect. And then we've got the other aspect of being a nervous system stimulant itself. That's what caffeine is, it's a nervous system stimulant. And so it's not a direct issue, it's more so the related issues that can come from it when you go too hard with it, which is issues with your nervous system, and also with your sleep for example, and if your sleep is messed up, it can really mess you up and this becomes a snowball effect that can damage your hormone function and reduce your bone density potentially because of levels of sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, all these things that are also related to your bone density, those things start to get messed up. So with that said, I want you to be aware that it's not caffeine necessarily that's a problem, I'm a fan of caffeine, but the source you get it from matters, right? Caffeine from hammering down colas every day, on top of the other issues with bone density, that can be a problem. Alright so most folks, the big caffeine source we think about is coffee, and I'm not saying to not drink coffee, but a lot of the coffee people are drinking is what I like to call affectionately 'garbage coffee.' It's garbage coffee. So you're getting a hot cup of coffee bean juice plus pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, things that were used in the growth of those coffee beans. And so your favorite coffee spot you're hitting up, what kind of coffee are you actually drinking? By the way pesticides, herbicides, most of them are either neurogenic or estrogenic. That means neurogenic, this screws up the brain and nervous system of the particular pests they're trying to get rid of. Things bioaccumulate in our tissues. We're done now thinking, 'Oh this stuff doesn't affect us.' We know it does. The other way is estrogenic, so it screws up the reproductive cycle of the different pests. And again it bioaccumulates in our tissues as well. Now we know that pesticides and fungicides, we have studies showing clearly that these can affect our sexual health as well. Alright so that's the big thing. What's your source? Vary your source. For me, I just got onto the coffee train. I was not a fan. I've shared this before, I had coffee one time, I was like five, I had a sip of my grandma's coffee, I swore it off. I was like, "I will never drink this again." And I lived the rest of my life until about a year and a half ago, never sipped it. Never. There was no interest, zero interest, and I would talk about Four Sigmatic and I was having the mushroom elixirs, the cordyceps, the lion's mane which I still do, I love those. And rishi, I love rishi. But my wife was doing the mushroom coffees, and she was just like overjoyed having these mushroom coffees. I'm just like, "What do they do? Okay, I'm going to try it." So I tried it one day, and wow there's no looking back. I get it now, alright? I get it. And here's the great thing about it, is that we have the organic coffee so you're not worrying about the pesticides, herbicides. But now we have the balance because this is acidic, coffee is acidic, we have the alkalinity of the medicinal mushrooms in there as well. It creates a much more balanced thing. And so one of the fundamental things you experience is a much more natural kind of experience of energy, right? It's not like this weird spike, and crash, and jitters, and none of that weird stuff. It just feels right, it feels good, it feels really good. And you don't know- like there's no associated crash. And on top of all that, why I really love it, when we're talking about these medicinal mushrooms, when we look at something like chaga which is in both of the coffee formulas with Four Sigmatic, we're talking about something that has stacks on stacks of clinical evidence being effective for fighting cancer cells. Alright? It's bananas. Like literally you can go to Dr. Google right now and type in 'chaga' and 'cancer studies.' It's nuts. Very, very powerful. It might be the greatest antioxidant substance that humans have ever found that we consume. Off the charts ORAC scale. And plus you see about a 300% increase in your body's NK cell activity. So these are your natural killer cells. So these are your immune system weapons that literally- these are the cells of your immune system that get trained to be skilled at taking out foreign invaders. Alright? Incredible stuff. Chaga, rishi; tons of studies showing the benefits of rishi related to cancer protection, improving sleep. Lion's mane, we've got University of Malaya finding that it can help to regenerate neuro tissue, right? Amazing. If you're not drinking it already, head over, check them out, You get 15% off everything, alright? Amazing, amazing stuff. I've got my cabinets stocked with Four Sigmatic. Absolutely love them. Alright now, to shift gears a little bit in talking about this consumption of soda, we've got the bone mineral issue, right? But the thing that really jumps to mind for a lot of us immediately would be what about the connection with obesity? We hear about it, but we don't really take a look at it, and that's what we're doing with The Model Health Show. So we're actually going to put our focus lens on what's happening, and is there an actual connection with obesity and soda consumption? So this was a meta-analysis published in the journal 'Obesity Facts,' found a direct correlation between the consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and obesity. Alright? This is like no surprise, right? This is a meta-analysis, so this is taking a compilation of many studies and verifying these facts that yes indeed there is a connection. What isn't a surprise though is the fact that studies funded by the soda industry found that there is no connection between drinking soda and obesity. That's interesting. So the meta-analysis looked at thirty studies not sponsored by the soda industry and found a clear connection. So we've got to be aware of this stuff, you know? Even when you're looking at studies, who funded the study? Right? Because it's their job to make money, why would they publish something that's going to take away from their profits? Why would they do that? Why would they put themselves out of business? Think about it. It's just logical. So with this said, a lot of the folks that are working for those organizations, they feel like this is something that needs to be consumed in moderation, it's not addictive, it doesn't have these different things. It's their belief system, and if it's not their belief system, they know they're hurting people, they're just a terrible human, alright? There are a couple of those. It makes me think of in The Dark Knight, he's trying to figure out the Joker like logical, "Why is he doing this stuff?" And his boy Alfred was like, "Some people just want to see the world burn." And so some of those soda guys want to see the world burn and your throat. Alright so diabetes, this is a natural transition segue when we're looking at the issue with obesity. An analysis published in November 2010 in the journal 'Diabetes Care,' researchers found that people who drink one or two sugary soft drinks a day were at a 26% higher risk of developing type II diabetes. Just one or two a day. That sounds like moderation to me. Research published in the 'Journal of the Endocrine Society'- there's actually an Endocrine Society. Hands up, who wants to be a part of the Endocrine Society? Alright so the 'Journal of the Endocrine Society' shows clear evidence that the frequent consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks, even one to two per day, contributes to the onset of metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, type II diabetes, and even cardiovascular disease. You might wonder like, 'How is that even possible? Cardiovascular disease from soda? How is that even possible?' Well here's the process, real simple. Consuming that amount of sugar, like we talked about with sixteen teaspoons in a bottle of Mountain Dew, you're getting a tremendous surge in your blood sugar, right? As you're consuming that it goes up very quickly so your body has to secrete a lot of insulin to get that out of your bloodstream. All that sugar in your bloodstream is dangerous, like it can kill you, so your body in its infinite wisdom is trying to push that into your cells as quickly as possible. So insulin gets released from the beta cells in your pancreas to help to open your cells up basically, unlock the door, so that the glucose can get in. Now over time insulin needing to respond in that fashion begins to become resistant. It's like pushing the gas pedal down habitually over and over again, it's just going to start to tear your car down, right? Just to the floor. Wheels are going to go out, stuff's just going to start to not work as efficiently, and so you start to develop insulin resistance. And so now you have more sugar hanging out in your bloodstream. That's what diabetes essentially is, alright? It's having this high blood sugar. But first what your body is going to do in relationship to cardiovascular disease, before it gets to the high blood sugar issue, after the cells are filled then you're going to fill up your muscle glycogen as well. Then that glucose is going to be converted over in your liver to liver glycogen where it can store it there because your body is trying to protect you and get that sugar out of your bloodstream. But as your liver glycogen gets filled, this is where the real problem starts with cardiovascular disease. So now we've got excess sugar potentially that your liver cannot put back into circulation because it's trying to protect you, so it's going to actually convert the glucose over into this process called lipogenesis, right? Creation of fat, it's going to turn into something else. And also it can create VLDL particles. So that's very low dense lipoprotein particles, and the conversion is kind of transmutation- biological transmutation of the glucose. Now we've got something that we hear is 'bad cholesterol.' Right? Like LDL, this is VLDL. Like very low dense lipoprotein that gets packaged with cholesterol and then sent various places in your body. Alright so now you've created the most potentially dangerous particle as far as cholesterol is concerned from consuming soda. Alright? So I hope that makes sense in following me along that track of how the cardiovascular issue can be a potential. But this is something to be aware of because we were not designed to be able to have access to that much sugar at one time. Our body like breaks down really quickly from that, but our bodies are also very resilient. It'll just start storing fat like crazy, it's one of the first protective mechanisms that you have. Right? But over time, pancreas is going to stop working adequately, liver, and so on. So this isn't just a small thing when we're talking about is it okay for people to drink a soda a day, or give our kids soda at school? It's just not really worth it. Alright so let's talk really quickly about addiction when we're talking about the health implications. In the brain, sugar specifically stimulates the feel-good chemical dopamine. It's kind of a feel-good neurotransmitter, also has some hormone function as well, and dopamine really drives us to seek. Like your body really enjoys it so you're going to continue to look for more opportunities to release dopamine, alright? So this tells you immediately sugar stimulates dopamine, chances are you're going to want more of it, and you're going to want to keep getting it over and over and over again. Sugar can according to the experts induce feelings of euphoria. Many of us have probably experienced this, something called a sugar high, alright? This sugar high. But with the high there's also associated depression and withdrawal symptoms when you don't have it. So in the episode I did awhile back, which I'll put in the show notes, we did the history of sugar, and it's fascinating stuff. So in that episode I shared, research compiled by scientists at the University of Bordeaux in France that concluded that 'Overall research has revealed that sugar and sweet reward can not only be a substitute for addictive drugs like cocaine, but can even be more rewarding and attractive.' So what do we do? You know, understanding that as we see the soda industry evolve, and some potential problems showing up. Diet soda has come along, sugar-free. We don't have sugar, you're okay now. Give me the Diet Coke, I'm on a diet. And then get two triple cheeseburgers, supersize fries, but give me the Diet Coke. I'm watching my figure. And so this was what we were marketed towards, and we don't understand- this was a really fascinating study as well. This was the Public Library of Science which had rats in the study with no prior experience with artificial sweetener, like we're talking about that's used in soda, were allowed to choose eight times per day between two mutually exclusive levers. So the rats got to choose between two mutually exclusive levers. One of the levers gave them a dose of cocaine. The other lever gave them a dose of sugar water that was used with an artificial sweetener. The results were shocking. These little critters 94% of the time became hooked on the artificial sweetener, not the cocaine. I hope you heard me. They got hooked on the artificial sweetener, not the cocaine. But then again you might think, 'Well that's not bad for you, right? It doesn't have any calories.' It's not just about calories, it's what is it doing to your hormones? What is it doing to your metabolism? And so there was a recent study in 2017 conducted by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine, and this was published in the journal 'Stroke,' shows a direct association between diet soda, and both stroke and dementia. The study found that people who drank diet soda daily are almost three times more likely to have a stroke and develop dementia. What? How? That's what, that artificial sweetener is messing with your brain. We know artificial sweeteners like aspartame strongly affect the neurons in the brain, putting them in this category of something called excitatory neurotoxins. Research published in the 'American Journal of Industrial Medicine' found a link between aspartame and cancer as well, just like its artificially sweetened cousin saccharine, that literally has cancer warnings right on the package. It's just you're sitting at dinner, you pull out those little packages, and you look at the back and you see the cancer warning. Alright? So there's a connection there as well, but research funded by the soda industry did not find these links. So let me be clear, of course they don't find links. It's just something I want you to be aware of. There needs to be more studies done on this for sure, and it's a shame that we're at this point in our society's evolution that we're still talking about this stuff. We don't know the long-term ramifications. We've got some clues, I'm not saying that this is a causation, it's a correlation. But the correlation should really make you open your eyes and pay attention. Alright now let's talk a little bit about the experience, because I began this episode talking about this is iconic. It's about adventures, so there's a feeling associated. Like holding that can of soda in your hand, I know what it's like, like this is how I grew up. When you pop that cap open, and the can is a little cold in your hand, and that sound, and it starts to fizz out, it's just a tantalizing experience for all of your senses, right? The sights, the touch, the sound it makes when you open that tab, the bubbles, and of course drinking it. It tastes good. Well my question also is how did this become so pervasive and connected in our society? Yeah soda is good, it tastes good, the experience is pretty cool, but what really made a difference? And so I want you to think back in your life, and how the advertising for soda has really impacted you. I know you've probably got a favorite soda commercial for yourself. For me, one jumps out, Cindy Crawford. Alright? Cindy Crawford commercial for Pepsi. What? My little young brain could not handle that. 'Just one look,' you know it. We'll put it in the show notes if you don't know it, I was like, "I want whatever she's drinking. I want that. I want to have that drink with Cindy Crawford," alright? Never going to happen, but that's the marketing. Very seductive, attractive, right? So for you, like was there a commercial that was just like- my wife would share the stories as well, like she would watch these different- her being from Kenya, she would watch these various commercials, and like that determined all her dietary choices is what she saw on TV. She's like, "I want to try that." Right? And her mom obliging would hook her up. But you would never know if you knew her mom today. And so you know, it starts very young for us, and also really appealing to our senses the marketing- it's a marketing machine. And you know, we talk about a lot of health affirming things on the show, but a lot of this stuff is a part of our history. I know the majority of people listening, you grew up drinking sodas, you know? So let's think about it for yourself. Top five sodas ever for you, what would they be? Alright? What are your top five? My top five, Cherry Coke. I was on that ship, I liked that a lot. Vess Strawberry, which is illegal in I think thirty states, but it's like legal crack. That strawberry, that was my jam, and it was cheaper. Like the Vess sodas for whatever reason, they were super cheap, so we bought those in bulk, knocked those down. All the various flavors we got to experience, sometimes in a day, might drink five to ten. I know it sounds crazy, but it happens, and it happens a lot. Another one, Sunkist Orange. You're seeing a trend of the fruit style for your boy. Alright? Now this one isn't carbonated, but it's still a soft drink considered Hawaiian Punch. All-time favorite. That little Punchy, whatever that guy- that was my water. Whatever small trace amount of actual H2O that was in there kept me alive. Alright? Thank you, Hawaiian Punch, for keeping me alive but killing me softly, alright? Same time. And then another all-time favorite, Lipton Brisk. When that came out, I mean you can actually feel the sugar going down your tongue and going into your cells. You could feel it. That was mine. So below the video, I want you to share, what was your favorite all-time soda? Let me know. And also of course if you're not watching the video, if you're listening to the audio, you can tag me on social when you share the episode with your friends and family, and just be like, "Hey I was hooked on-" fill in the blank. I want to know, what was your favorite soda? Oh by the way, I want to talk about this really quickly too. There have been a lot of failures with soda too, I don't know if you guys ever thought about these. Vanilla Coke. I actually liked it a little bit, but then I realized it actually tasted like vanilla toothpaste with Coke. It really wasn't that good. Listen to this one, Crystal Pepsi. Crystal Pepsi. Listen, this is like you're a black belt if you know about Crystal Pepsi. My mom was all over that. Alright? Like Crystal on Crystal. She was on it. So- and this was like some- it was a great marketing platform but eventually of course that fizzled out. Orbitz. Do you remember Orbitz? It was only around for a short time, like a year. It had the little balls in it, so you had a soda with little balls of mystery floating around. It looked like a lava lamp that you drink. How attractive is that, right? For weird people. These little balls of mystery, so there's an Orbitz soda. Last one, Sprite Remix. Sprite Remix. Why would you remix it? Every remix isn't good, alright? You're not Puff Daddy in the family. You're not Puffy. Every remix is not going to be good. So lots of sodas have come and gone, but the titans that we started the show with are still around today, and if you were a kid growing up in the last few decades, you're pretty oblivious to the fact that knocking back all of these sodas have some serious health consequences. And I just wanted to shed some light on that with this episode, and also I want you to think about just how much this is a part of our culture, and just starting to have your eyes open as you see it in the marketing and the product placement and things of that nature, because again the industry is focused deeply on creating heavy users. Alright? A lot of folks don't drink that much soda, but then we've got this huge part of the population that drinks a lot of soda, alright? We're talking about somewhere around sixty gallons per person a year, but that's largely skewed. There are people who are drinking well over a hundred, hundreds of gallons a year, and there are some folks- now lots of folks as this information is getting out don't drink any soda at all and they've found some other alternatives. So I want to share with you five specific alternatives for you to look at, but also lastly I also want to point your attention again. We mentioned the commercials, what about the tied to sporting events, alright? There's concession stands, that's the majority of things you're going to find is sodas, right? It's tied into culture. The commercials, right? Extreme sports, for example, Mountain Dew is like embedded in the culture. And the individuals at the organizations, they're great at targeting a market and absolutely overwhelming the audience with me too marketing. Right? Me too marketing. They want to be associated with anything to do with that sport, or that category of sports, right? So if everybody- if you see Mountain Dew associated with snowboarding, "I want the Dew," right? Me too. So think about that, alright? With extreme sports. That's just one example. Video games. 2007 for example, coinciding with the video game Halo 3 special edition Mountain Dew Game Fuel came out. So these are cans of Mountain Dew, it's called Mountain Dew Game Fuel with Halo pictures on it. Right? Gamers. Big audience that the manufacturers strategically are going after very intentionally. Also special launches with World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and more. That's just with Mountain Dew. There's been so many others. Movies, right? Actors drinking the sodas in the movie. Let's think back, Fuller McCallister. You know who Fuller McCallister is? Home Alone, alright? Fuller, the little cousin, this iconic scene with him guzzling the Pepsi at the table and looking at Kevin who's played by Macaulay Culkin because he pees in the bed, he's getting his guzzle on, it's late at night, he's just getting ready to create an ocean. He's going to be swimming in the waterbed not intentionally, alright? And so this little iconic thing, the product placement, that's made them so much money. Billboards. You know, outside of course in our everyday life, but also in movies. There was one as I was doing research, and I just saw it, it was just so epic when I saw the image of in the movie Total Recall. There was this huge Coca Cola billboard at this one random scene that just came up while I was researching. And it's just like- it's a flash but it's like a subliminal hit to your senses, right? As Arnold's walking around like- I think that's one of the lines he said in the movie, but this Coca Cola image just like flashing and hitting your senses from all these different places really starts to play havoc on your psyche. And of course last one I'll share, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. They take it over the top with the product placement, alright? There's an epic scene at the table that if you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about, I'm not going to get into it too much. But and so basically that movie is a parody of the culture of racing that has become largely driven by corporate sponsorships also soda, for example, and these different food companies. And so athletes, entertainers. Grant Hill drinks Sprite, Grant Hill drinks Sprite. Beyoncé and Pepsi, and even Michael Jackson and Pepsi. We had Michael Jackson, arguably the most iconic entertainer of our time aligning himself with Pepsi. Michael Jackson makes grown men cry. Like they're in the audience like, "I love you, Michael." Tears coming down just because he's singing and dancing, right? He's doing his thing, but do you remember in the Pepsi commercial, his curl because he had the really juicy with the product in his curl, in his hair, a spark hit it, some flames hit it, hair caught on fire. Hair caught on fire. Iconic moment. But I'm sure Pepsi made good, and everything was all good, but just that alignment with an iconic person like that, how powerful is that? So be mindful of this stuff as you're seeing media coming into your senses like, "Oh I know what you're doing, I know what you're doing," so you're not just like a victim of it. And also the people that you share this with, your family and friends who've come to know more about the soda industry and the history of soda. It came from somewhat good intentions to where it is today where it's just a delivery method for a lot of sugar. Five alternatives to soda. Number one, guess what? Captain Obvious here, water. Alright? For the first time in decades, it's official, Americans are now drinking more bottled water than soda. Alright? I mean it's been a long time, and it wasn't even close in comparison to how much soda we were drinking versus water. After a decades-long streak of strong growth, the United States- and this was just last year, according to research from the consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corporation, the shift has now taken place where Americans are now for the first time in decades drinking more bottled water than soda. Pretty cool, so that's number one. When you're out at a restaurant, you're getting your fancy whatever meal, just get water, you know? They always come to the table, they bring the water or they give complimentary water, just go with that. You know? Enjoy the meal. But that might not be your thing, okay? So you can also liven up the water. You could do fruit infusions with the water, right? It's kind of just a common thing we've been doing for a long time, adding lemon or lime to the water, but man when I was on the cruise recently, we were out, it was hot, and they had some cucumber water, and I've never had it before, outside of this huge boat that we were on as we got back on. And I drank it, it was the best thing ever. It was so good, I couldn't believe how good it was. And so fruit infused or vegetables, cucumbers, things like that. Mint. There's like even cool infusion bottles where you can put that stuff in there. So liven up your water, do stuff like that. Also you can add Stevia to the water. So Stevia is in this category, so this is more- it's not an artificial sweetener, it's from a natural Stevia leaf, which ideally the Stevia leaf is the best thing, then we have some intelligently done extracts, okay? So it's still going to be a processed sweetener, if you're getting the Stevia powder, it looks the same. Alright? So I want you to be mindful of that. It doesn't mean go ham on Stevia. I think the Stevia drops are pretty cool because you can just have one little- that little drop of concentrate and you can get that little flavor note, and so that's something to consider as well. Number two, sparkling water, kind of going back to where this whole thing started, especially with that fizzy experience. There are these cans of sparkling water sold at Whole Foods that people are going nuts for. Like they are going ham sandwich to get these sparkling waters. Like they're done with the soda thing, but they still want that sparkly experience, that fizzy experience, and so they're going for the sparkling water. But you know, of course you can get this at restaurants as well. I like adding lime, it really does taste good when you add lime to sparkling water, and then maybe if you even add a little Stevia to that too, there you go. So Stevia drops in sparkling water can be really, really cool. They've got- there's vanilla cream Stevia, there's chocolate Stevia, there's watermelon Stevia, all these different flavors. But again, just a little bit goes a long way. And of course another option instead of drinking the soda, fresh-made juices are hot right now. They're hot out in the streets, alright? But careful here, some bottled juices marketed as healthy actually contain even more sugar than most sodas, okay? So be aware. Emphasis on vegetable juices. So there are a lot of companies now that are making cold-processed juices. Back in the day, getting close to be fifteen years ago when I was like at my little college apartment making juice, it was not as easy as it is today to get your juice on. But if you buy one, just make sure to check the label, and I'd advise that it's less than ten grams of sugar per serving ideally. So heavy on the veggie low on the fruit side when you're having the juices. Another option, again for the fizzy kind of experience that are really cool and really made a nice spot in the market are kefirs and kombuchas. Alright? Kombuchas just exploded over the past couple of years, but again I want you to be mindful of the sugar content, specifically with the kombuchas. So the kefirs, the liquid kefir drinks, are going to have a tendency to be less sugar, but the kombucha you've got to keep your eye on that, alright? It can get you a little bit spiked out, and also the alcohol content because it is fermented. There's even a warning label on some of them that says like, 'It contains some alcohol that can get you tipsy.' And so with the kefir and kombucha, just be mindful of those two aspects, and also the caffeine. Alright? I remember taking kombucha, like having some just later in the evening, maybe it was like 7:00, but it gave me problems sleeping that night, and I wasn't aware that they're actually using some strong caffeinated teas in making the products. Alright? So just be mindful of those little things, especially if you're more sensitive to caffeine, that those can be delivery systems for things that want to possibly give you some problems. But at the end of the day, these probiotic beverages, incredible benefits. Right? Helping to replenish and support our gut microbiome, and there are so many great health aspects that come along with that improved digestion. This can also potentially improve several other health factors as well, getting those healthy friendly flora into our bodies. So that's a big difference than what you get with Coca Cola, alright? Coca Cola will kill your gut microbiome right off the bat. Like it doesn't care what jersey the bacteria is wearing, it's taking out everybody, alright? Whereas we've got kefirs and kombuchas that are more supportive to it. And finally another option here to think about is going with the classic, right? Before the whole soda phenomenon, it was tea. They were making tea out of all this different cool stuff. There's so much variety here that you can go after. You can also get your nice caffeine kick as well from various teas. You can have it hot or iced teas as well, and you're more in control of what's going into it, especially if you're getting fresh brewed stuff versus the Lipton Brisk that I was hooked on, alright? Don't be like me. Don't be like teenage Shawn, alright? I was strung out on Brisk. And so it's official, we're really taking back control of our health, we're really waking up to the hazardous effects of some of the things that we just came to accept as normal that are just not normal. The percent of eight-year-olds that drink at least one can of soda daily right now is 56%. We cannot allow this any longer, alright? Things are changing, but they have to change now, alright? Change more now, and it starts by getting this information out there. The average number of cans of sodas drank by males in the twelve to nineteen year age group, 868 cans a year. No more, that's done. We're done with that, and it's because you are a part of this mission with me to make a difference. It starts with us, it starts with how we're caring for our own bodies and minds, but also in our immediate atmosphere, in our own household. What are we bringing into our homes? Right? We have to start to have standards and understand like this isn't a game, these things are hurting people. But it's also to understand keep everything in perspective. You learned a lot today, there's still value here, you know? It's like there's cultural icons and a part of our culture. It's not like we need to run away and pour all the sodas out, down into the toilet or whatever, probably corrode the mess out of the pipes. But anyways, but it's not that. These are still a part of our environment. I'll tell you if there's a zombie apocalypse and there's no bottles of water around, no running water, and I see Hawaiian Punch, guess what? Guess what? I'm hitting it hard. Alright? So everything has its value, but from our day-to-day lives should we first jump to those things? Probably not. Probably not, it's just not worth it. And again it starts with you waking up to this and taking control of your own health, and beginning to have these standards, and also trickling that down into our families, to our communities, to our society as a whole, because this is about something much bigger than this history of soda, alright? And so today moving forward, I want you to really be mindful of this, mindful of the marketing, mindful of the people in your environment. We don't want to make anybody wrong, we just want to make people aware, right? In a way that's compassionate and understanding that soda's really good, but also has some really potentially harmful health effects attached to it. And that's what it's all about, awareness is key, alright? And also having some strategies to address it. Alright? We've got five different options that you can play around with, experiment with, but the bottom line is take action, alright? And that's what it's all about. We've got some incredible shows coming up. We've got some guests that are just going to knock your socks off, and some show topics that are much needed, long awaited coming up for you. So make sure to stay tuned. I appreciate you immensely. Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon. And for more after the show, make sure to head over to That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you've got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

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  1. This episode was very informative. I learnt a lot of new information all at once and heard of some names I didn’t hear before. I am not a regular soda drinker and haven’t been hooked on any soda. I’m a regular water drinker and am hooked on that. This episode was of great educational value. Keep it up!

  2. Thanks Shawn! Great episode
    I’m giving up my diet sodas starting today!

  3. Wow! Another great episode! Man growing up I was so hooked on soda , and there was this one brand called Jolt Cola, that was the one. It had so much caffeine and sugar its crazy that stuff is even legal! Thanks for everything that you do Shawn!


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