Mountain Dew Addiction
Is Mountain Dew Addictive?
For years I was a Mountain Dew Addict. I'm not sure how it happened, but I found myself easily drinking a six pack of 16 ounce bottles every single day. Most people crave coffee in the morning - for me it was good old Mountain Dew!
Many people do not think that Mountain Dew is addictive, and it certainly does not have any disclaimers on the bottle that addiction may occur after prolonged or excessive consumption of this soft drink manufacturered by Pepsi.
Before I learned about sugar addiction I didn't ever think that I had a problem with Mountain Dew. Oh sure, I knew I craved it, got headaches without it, was tired or lethargic a lot of the time - but I never thought it had anything to do with Mountain Dew!
But after learning that for some people sugar can be an addiction, and that a 12 ounce can of Mountain Dew has 46 grams of sugar...well, it made sense to me pretty quick!
Signs & Symptoms of Mountain Dew Addiction
The signs and symptoms of Mountain Dew Addiction may be difficult to recognize and many people may not realize just how much Mountain Dew they drink or that they are becoming dependent on it.
Here are some signs to help you recognize if you could be addicted to the soft drink:
1. Friends and family will automatically order it for you at restaurants, knowing it is your favorite thing and the only thing you drink.
2. You consume more than 24 ounces of the beverage each day
3. You wake up wanting a Mountain Dew.
4. You are VERY grumpy if you do not get it.
5. You seek other sweet foods if you do not get Mountain Dew, such as cookies, candy bars, doughnuts, etc.
6. You keep an emergency reserve stash in your car and in your home so you never run out of it.
7. People shake their heads and laugh when they see you with Mountain Dew because you always have it with you.
8.Despite the high caffeine content in Mountain Dew, you are often tired or groggy, which is a result from changes in your blood sugar.
The Effects of Mountain Dew Addiction
Drinking Mountain Dew for a prolonged time or excessively can lead to many potential health problems. Here are just a few to be concerned about:
1. Cavities: Nobody really enjoys going to the dentist, but the sugar content from the Mountain Dew can cause cavities and other teeth and gum problems, even with the best of dental hygeine practices.
2. Drowsiness: Drinking high sugar content beverages can cause a quick change in your blood sugar from your body releasing insulin to help stabalize it back to normal. Unfortunately, this can also cause you to become extremely drowsy or sluggish. Being drowsy can make it dangerous for you to operate a vehicle, as well as affect your ability to concentrate, focus, and perform.
3. Health Problems: Many people may develop health problems from drinking too much soda. Obesity and weight gain is one concern - another is the way the body deals with sugar and releasing insulin to control gluclose levels. Some of the other associated health problems: Urinary tract and kidney infections, acne, stomach cramping, irritable bowel syndrome, and others. Diabetes is also a major risk factor since the sugar content and can cause problems with insulin production and blood sugar levels.
4. Cost: It is very expensive to keep up a habit. A six pack of Mountain Dew retails for $4.49 and a 2 liter bottle is around $2.09 in some areas. If you are drinking this much every day, you could be spending $60-$140 a month on your favorite beverage. Meanwhile, water is free and much healthier for you.
5. Mood Swings: Going from lots of caffeine and sugar to no caffeine and sugar can cause crazy mood swings. You may find yourself being happy and excited one minute, screaming at someone the next. This is because your body is constantly at war with itself with too much sugar, not enough sugar.
6. Insomnia: While drowsiness is common, so is insomnia, since Mountain Dew does contain stimulant drugs. It is not unusual to find oneself awake at odd hours or have a hard time falling asleep.
Where to Get Help
If you believe you may have an addiction to Mountain Dew or other soft drink, the good news is that it is much easier to quit than marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, and heroin. There are no dangerous withdrawal symptoms that anyone is aware of (though you may be awfully irritable for a few days!)
Here are some things you can do to get help:
1. Stop Buying It: This is difficult, we know. Don't walk down the aisle that has it in the grocery store. Do Not Under Any Circumstance go into a convenience store. In fact, if possible for a week try not to go anywhere that has it.
2. If You Do Buy It: If you find yourself unable to control yourself and the craving, buy the diet version instead. Everybody knows diet Mountain Dew tastes terrible in comparison to the real thing, so this is a good compromise to help you not want to drink it as much but while still weaning yourself from the sugar. If you make the switch to diet, it's not really a whole lot healthier for you, but at least it will help you avoid all the extra sugar. If you buy one, do not buy a second one! Only buy in small quantities - do NOT be tempted to buy a 6 pack or 24 pack case because it's on sale.
3. Avoid Other Sweets: You may crave other sweets when you stop drinking Mountain Dew. Arm yourself with some other snacks and plenty of water to help avoid the sweets until you've overcome the addiction to the soft drink. If you are really craving sugar, you may wish to eat something small and sweet tasting but not full of sugar. For example, a piece of chocolate.
4. Speak to a Professional: You can always speak to your doctor or a therapist if you have severe concerns about your dependence on Mountain Dew. They may be able to give you medical advice or the resources and tools to better help and understand your situation. For example, you may have diabetes and if that is the case medication may help you.
5. Ask for Family and Friends Support: Your family and friends can help you stay on track. Ask them to make sure you never, ever drink it. Give them explicit instructions on what they can do to help you overcome your cravings and dependence. Request they do not serve it at parties or gatherings.
6. Get Some Exercise: Getting exercise while avoiding mountain dew and other soda products will help teach your body to burn fat instead of sugar for energy. It will also help relieve stress.
7. Understand Why You Are Addicted to It: Addiction is a physical condition and an emotional one, that can happen with just about any type of substance. Physically, Caffeine is an alkaloid, so it effects the body just as drugs such as nicotine and cocaine and heroin. Many people who are dependent on mountain dew have also addictions to other alkaloid substances - such as cigarettes, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and more. Alkaloids make people feel good, this is why they are used in excess or abused! In addiction to the effects of caffeine consumption, your body also craves it because it requires the high sugar content. Your body needs it to help regulate your blood sugar, because excessive use can cause your body dependence because it may stop producing insulin the way it should in a healthy body. Emotionally, you may use mountain dew as an escape for stress or to make you feel better after a long day.
8. Eat Healthier: Drinking excessive amounts of soda can often leave you malnourished, because you are getting your energy from sugar instead of protein and fats. You may not eat much because caffeine is usually an appetite suppressant. So, eat tons of vegetables. Get foods with healthy fats such as salmon, tuna, raspberries, eggs. Foods that contain protein can also be helpful because it will help regulate with your blood sugar. A nutritional expert can be very helpful in helping you learn which foods are best for you to eat, will help regulate blood sugar, and also determine whether you made need vitamins and supplements.
Remember: You do not have to face addiction alone! Help is always just a phone call away, no matter what your situation may be.