Why would anyone knowingly put something in his/her body that could cause kidney problems, a bogged-down metabolism, obesity, more severe hangovers, cell damage, rotting teeth, and reproductive issues?

That’s essentially the question my brother asked me when he told me that my daily habit of sucking down a minimum of two liters of diet cola each morning was causing me more harm than good.

Considering that this particular brother is pretty darn smart, and that he’s been working on his own wellness program and therefore has done a lot of reading on the subject, I decided to take a good look for myself.

The seven-point list in the first paragraph comes from an article in Prevention Magazine. (http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/diet-soda-bad-you) Now even if half their claims are true, I figured it was worth a shot to seek out other beverage alternatives.

The first challenge I encountered was the crippling headache I got from caffeine withdrawal. So I researched caffeine, and the findings are all over the board. However, most everyone seems to agree it has good antioxidants, but it can elevate blood pressure.

Once again, it turns out moderation is the key, and the Mayo Clinic says two to four brewed cups is fine for most people, but after that one must watch out for insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, stomach upset, fast heartbeat and muscle tremors.

Uh-oh. I’m pretty sure that no matter how big the cup, drinking two pots a day isn’t going to turn out to be such a good thing. So we’re back to square one. I guess I’m going to have to learn to drink herbal tea just a little more often. Liking it will be another whole challenge.