Preface: I have spent most of my waking hours during the past two days writing this blog post. I probably spent more time on this than most of my papers that I wrote during college. It is quite lengthy, but I hope you’ll take the time to read it. I did put a lot of effort into it.
Last night I had trouble sleeping again and woke up around midnight. I laid awake for 3+ hours. So I did some pretty good thinking. I started out planning my relief society lesson in my head, since I had prepared it earlier in the day it was fresh on my mind.
During the course of my lesson preparation I started thinking about how Heavenly Father doesn’t give us specific Commandments for every detail of our lives. But gives us general Commandments and lets us use our judgment and agency as to how we will follow those Commandments.
For example: I don’t think it’s recorded anywhere where a prophet or general authority has specifically said that we shouldn’t trick-or-treat or have Halloween parties on Sunday. But, we have been taught that we should keep the Sabbath day holy and part of that is that we shouldn’t participate in recreational activities or “other amusements” on Sunday. I would consider trick-or-treating in that category. Therefore, trick-or-treating is breaking the Sabbath.
Then I thought of an example of our earthly parents. Most parents probably don’t tell their teenage children when they hand them the car keys that they shouldn’t drive the car off a cliff. But because the child has been taught certain principles, they can deduce that driving off a cliff would be harmful to their health.
Everything doesn’t have to be spelled out for us specifically. We can use deductive reasoning to make correct choices.
Then my thoughts turned to caffeinated beverages. I guess because I was talking to someone earlier in the day about caffeinated beverages. Most of you probably know of my disdain for caffeinated beverages. The person I was talking to mentioned that her children like to drink caffeinated beverages. Much to her dismay. Because of their father’s poor example of heavy use of caffeinated soft drinks.
So I began thinking about how the word of wisdom doesn’t specifically mention caffeinated soft drinks or energy drinks. Actually, I don’t think they even existed back then. But anyway I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to suggest that caffeinated soft drinks/energy drinks are against the word of wisdom. Even though they aren’t specifically mentioned.
I did a blog post back in 2008 about the word of wisdom. [if you want to read it you can type caffeine or word of wisdom in the search box on the upper left] But, it didn’t really affect anyone so I thought I would give a more specific blog post about the harmful effects of caffeine and specifically caffeinated soft drinks or beverages.
Caffeine is a drug. As you probably know, drugs are classified according to their effects on our bodies. For instance, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aleve (naproxen sodium) and Motrin (ibuprofen) are grouped together. Other drug classes include: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) used to treat depression, analgesics (painkillers), antipyretics which lower fever, cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta blockers for the heart, antihypertensives which lower blood pressure, etc.
The class of drug that caffeine belongs to is the central nervous system stimulants. This class includes or cocaine, amphetamines, and nicotine. Now, you might ask what the CNS stimulants do. Basically they increase the firing of neurons (electrical activity) in your brain. Conversely CNS depressants, such as alcohol do the opposite.
I did some research so that I can include some detailed information about caffeine. Here are the results:
“caffeine /caf·feine/ (kă-fēn´) (kaf´ēn) a xanthine found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and colas; it is a central nervous system stimulant, diuretic, striated muscle stimulant, and acts on the cardiovascular system. As the base or the citrate salt, it is used as a central nervous system stimulant and as an adjunct in treating neonatal apnea; as the base it is also used in the treatment of vascular headaches and as an adjunct to analgesics.” 
“Caffeine is a mild stimulant compound that is found naturally in coffee, tea, and to a lesser degree, in cocoa or chocolate. It is included in many soft drinks, as well as a larger amount in energy drinks. Caffeine is the world's most widely used psychoactive drug and by far the most common stimulant. The vast majority (over 85%) of people in the United States consume caffeine on a daily basis. Few jurisdictions restrict its sale and use. Caffeine is also included in some medications, usually for the purpose of enhancing the effect of the primary ingredient, or reducing one of its side effects (especially drowsiness). Pure caffeine tablets are also widely available.”
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, caffeine is not a naturally occurring product in soft drinks. It is deliberately added. Presumably to increase sales by causing addiction. Originally, Coca-Cola was made using cocaine which, of course, is derived from the coca plant. And the cola part was derived from the kola nut which naturally contains caffeine. But now, everything is artificially made and caffeine is added. Here is some interesting history:
“Use of the kola nut, like the coffee berry and tea leaf, appears to have ancient origins. It is chewed in many West African cultures, individually or in a social setting, to restore vitality and ease hunger pangs. In 1911, kola became the focus of one of the earliest documented health scares, when the US government seized 40 barrels and 20 kegs of Coca-Cola syrup in Chattanooga, Tennessee, alleging the caffeine in its drink was "injurious to health". On March 13, 1911, the government initiated United States v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola, hoping to force Coca-Cola to remove caffeine from its formula by making claims the product was adulterated and misbranded. The allegation of adulteration was, in substance, that the product contained an added poisonous or added deleterious ingredient: caffeine, which might render the product injurious to health. It was alleged to be misbranded in that the name 'Coca Cola' was a representation of the presence of the substances coca and cola; that the product 'contained no coca and little if any cola' and thus was an 'imitation' of these substances and was offered for sale under their 'distinctive name.' Although the judge ruled in favor of Coca-Cola, two bills were introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1912 to amend the Pure Food and Drug Act, adding caffeine to the list of "habit-forming" and "deleterious" substances, which must be listed on a product's label.” 
Sounds like the judges today, ruling in favor of big-name companies with lots of money. Regardless of the harm caused to the citizens. As I mentioned in my previous post about the word of wisdom, I had an undergraduate human physiology professor, who is not LDS. He spent the better part of a lecture expressing his disdain for soft drink companies that deliberately add a drug, completely unnecessarily, to their product. For the sole purpose of causing addiction to increase sales. The caffeine adds nothing to the taste.
He mentioned the mountains of white powdered caffeine at the bottling plants that they dump into the syrup when making colas and other caffeinated soft drinks. I always imagined a tractor picking up a bucket full of caffeine powder and dumping it into a big vat of cola syrup.
What baffles me is that a drug such as caffeine, a CNS stimulant, be so accessible and abused. When other drugs such as cold and allergy medicines have tight regulations and must be purchased behind the pharmacy counter. After all, the reason they are tightly regulated is because they contain ingredients that can be used to cook methamphetamine. Which happens to be in the same drug class as caffeine.
What makes caffeinated soft drinks even worse is that the drug is deliberately added. Unlike coffee or tea which naturally contain caffeine. An 8 ounce cup of coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine. A cup of tea contains about 50 mg. Which is the same amount as caffeinated soft drinks, around 40 to 50 mg per 12 ounce can. Energy drinks contain more 70 - 500 mg. So, drinking a can of Coca-Cola is equal to a cup of tea or half a cup of coffee. Most people don’t drink only eight or 12 ounces. They get a 32 ounce big gulp or even larger, or the big tall cup of coffee at the coffee house. You can do the math and the large servings contain around 200 to 300 mg of caffeine in one serving.
The following is the recommended dosage of caffeine for medical purposes:
Adults and children age 12 years and over
100-200 mg no more than every 3-4 hours. In timed-release form, the dose is 200-250 mg once a day. Timed-release forms should not be taken less than six hours before bedtime.
Children under 12 years
Not recommended. 
I cringe every time I see a parent giving a child caffeinated soft drinks. I suppose I could chalk it up to ignorance. Surely if the parents knew they were giving their child an addictive, harmful drug, they wouldn’t do it.
Another interesting fact about caffeine:
Caffeine is found in many plant species, where it acts as a natural pesticide, with high caffeine levels being observed in seedlings still developing foliage but lacking mechanical protection; caffeine paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding upon the plant. High caffeine levels have also been found in the surrounding soil of coffee bean seedlings. Therefore, caffeine is understood to have a natural function as both a natural pesticide and an inhibitor of seed germination of other nearby coffee seedlings, thus giving it a better chance of survival.
Isn’t that a wonderful substance to be ingesting for no reason?
The following is some information about caffeine that I thought was interesting and explained things in easy to understand terms.
“Caffeine is known medically as trimethylxanthine, and the chemical formula is C8H10N4O2. When isolated in pure form, caffeine is a white crystalline powder that tastes very bitter. The chief source of pure caffeine is the end result of the process of decaffeinating coffee and tea.
Medically, caffeine is useful as a cardiac stimulant and also as a mild diuretic - it increases urine production. Recreationally, it is used to provide a "boost of energy" or a feeling of heightened alertness. College students often use it to stay awake while cramming for finals and drivers use it to push through to their destination. Many people feel as though they "cannot function" in the morning without a cup of coffee to provide caffeine and the boost it gives them.
It's important to know that caffeine is an addictive drug. Among its many actions, it operates using the same mechanisms that amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin use to stimulate the brain. Relatively speaking, caffeine's effects are milder than amphetamines, cocaine and heroin, but it is manipulating the same channels in the brain, and that is one of the things that gives caffeine its addictive qualities. If you feel like you cannot function without it and must consume it every day, then you may be addicted to caffeine.
Caffeine occurs naturally in many plants, including coffee beans, tea leaves and cocoa beans, so it’s found in a wide range of food products. What most people don’t know is that caffeine is added artificially to many others, including a variety of beverages like colas. Coca-Cola was originally made with kola nut extract, which naturally contains caffeine and was mostly responsible for the flavor and buzz that early fans of the beverage craved (although the cocaine contained in early formulas of the drink certainly helped increase that craving). Now, colas are made with artificial flavors, and caffeine from another source is added in the production process. Energy drinks are a new trend in caffeinated beverages. They contain an abundance of sugar and other chemicals that help provide that sought-after boost. Caffeine can also be found in many weight loss pills and some over-the-counter pain medicines. 
Here are the most common sources of caffeine for Americans:
Typical drip-brewed coffee contains about 100 mg per 8-ounce cup [source: MayoClinic.com]. If you are buying your coffee at Starbucks or a convenience store or drinking it at home or the office out of a mug, you are consuming it in 12-, 14- or 20-ounce containers. You can calculate the number of milligrams based on your normal serving size.
Typical brewed black tea contains 50 mg per 8-ounce cup.
Typical caffeinated sodas (Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, etc.) contain 40-50 mg per 12-ounce can.
Super-caffeinated colas like Jolt contain 70 mg per 12-ounce can [source: Center for Science in the Public Interest].
Typical milk chocolate contains 6 mg per ounce [source: March of Dimes].
Maximum Strength Anacin contains 32 mg per tablet. NoDoz and Vivarin each contain 200 mg per tablet. Extra Strength Excedrin contains 65 mg per tablet [source: Center for Science in the Public Interest].
Energy drinks like Red Bull (8.3 oz-sized can) and Rock Star (8.4 oz-sized can) contain about 80 mg per can.
By looking at these numbers and by knowing how widespread coffee, chocolate, tea, cola and energy drinks are in our society, you can see why half of all American adults consume more than 300 mg of caffeine per day. Two mugs of coffee or a mug of coffee and a couple of Cokes during the day are all you need to get there. If you sit down and calculate your caffeine consumption during a typical day, you may be surprised. Many people consume a gram or more every single day and don't even realize it.
Caffeine and Adenosine
As adenosine is created in the brain, it binds to adenosine receptors. The binding of adenosine causes drowsiness by slowing down nerve cell activity. In the brain, adenosine binding also causes blood vessels to dilate, most likely to let more oxygen in during sleep.
To a nerve cell, caffeine looks like adenosine. Caffeine therefore binds to the adenosine receptor. However, it doesn't slow down the cell's activity like adenosine would. As a result, the cell can no longer identify adenosine because caffeine is taking up all the receptors that adenosine would normally bind to. Instead of slowing down because of the adenosine's effect, the nerve cells speed up. Caffeine also causes the brain's blood vessels to constrict, because it blocks adenosine's ability to open them up. This effect is why some headache medicines like Anacin contain caffeine -- if you have a vascular headache, the caffeine will close down the blood vessels and relieve it.
Some people can't function without help from caffeine.
So, now you have increased neuron firing in the brain. The pituitary gland sees all of this activity and thinks some sort of emergency must be occurring, so it releases hormones that tell the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline (epinephrine). Adrenaline is the "fight or flight" hormone, and it has a number of effects on your body:
Your pupils dilate.
Your breathing tubes open up (this is why people suffering from severe asthma attacks are sometimes injected with epinephrine).
Your heart beats faster.
Blood vessels on the surface constrict to slow blood flow from cuts and also to increase blood flow to muscles.
Blood pressure rises.
Blood flow to the stomach slows.
The liver releases sugar into the bloodstream for extra energy.
Muscles tighten up, ready for action.
This explains why, after consuming a big cup of coffee, your hands get cold, your muscles tense up, you feel excited and you can feel your heart beat increasing.
Caffeine and Dopamine
Caffeine also increases dopamine levels in the same way that amphetamines do. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that activates pleasure centers in certain parts of the brain. Heroin and cocaine also manipulate dopamine levels by slowing down the rate of dopamine reabsorption. Obviously, caffeine's effect is much lower than heroin's, but it is the same mechanism. It is suspected that the dopamine connection contributes to caffeine addiction.
You can see why your body might like caffeine in the short term, especially if you are low on sleep and need to remain active. Caffeine blocks adenosine reception so you feel alert. It injects adrenaline into the system to give you a boost. And it manipulates dopamine production to make you feel good.
Cutting back on caffeine could ease stress and anxiety.
The problem with caffeine is the longer-term effects, which tend to spiral. For example, once the adrenaline wears off, you face fatigue and depression. So what are you going to do? You consume more caffeine to get the adrenaline going again. As you might imagine, having your body in a state of emergency all day long isn't very healthy, and it also makes you jumpy and irritable.
The most important long-term problem is the effect that caffeine has on sleep. Adenosine reception is important to sleep, and especially to deep sleep. The half-life of caffeine in your body is about six hours. That means that if you consume a big cup of coffee with 200 mg of caffeine in it at 3:00 p.m., by 9:00 p.m. about 100 mg of that caffeine is still in your system. You may be able to fall asleep, but your body will probably miss out on the benefits of deep sleep. That deficit adds up fast. The next day you feel worse, so you need caffeine as soon as you get out of bed. The cycle continues day after day.
This is why 90 percent of Americans consume caffeine every day. Once you get in the cycle, you have to keep consuming the drug. Even worse, if you try to stop consuming caffeine, you get very tired and depressed, and you get a terrible, splitting headache as blood vessels in the brain dilate. These negative effects force you to run back to caffeine even if you want to stop.” 
“In humans, caffeine acts as a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, temporarily warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance, but, unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all jurisdictions. Beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks, enjoy great popularity; in North America, 90% of adults consume caffeine daily.” 
The following are random snippets mostly from Wikipedia that focus on different aspects of caffeine’s effects on the body. These would be a little more difficult to understand if you‘re not familiar with medical terminology.
Researchers have found that long-term consumption of low dose caffeine slowed hippocampus-dependent learning and impaired long-term memory in mice. Caffeine consumption for 4 weeks also significantly reduced hippocampal neurogenesis compared to controls during the experiment. The conclusion was that long-term consumption of caffeine could inhibit hippocampus-dependent learning and memory partially through inhibition of hippocampal neurogenesis.
In another study, caffeine was added to rat neurons in vitro. The dendritic spines (a part of the brain cell used in forming connections between neurons) taken from the hippocampus (a part of the brain associated with memory) grew by 33% and new spines formed. After an hour or two, however, these cells returned to their original shape.
Another study showed that human subjects—after receiving 100 milligrams of caffeine—had increased activity in brain regions located in the frontal lobe, where a part of the working memory network is located, and the anterior cingulate cortex, a part of the brain that controls attention. The caffeinated subjects also performed better on the memory tasks.
However, a different study showed that caffeine could impair short-term memory and increase the likelihood of the tip of the tongue phenomenon. The study allowed the researchers to suggest that caffeine could aid short-term memory when the information to be recalled is related to the current train of thought, but also to hypothesize that caffeine hinders short-term memory when the train of thought is unrelated. In essence, caffeine consumption increases mental performance related to focused thought while it may decrease broad-range thinking abilities.
In some individuals, large amounts of caffeine can induce anxiety severe enough to necessitate clinical attention. This caffeine-induced anxiety disorder can take many forms, from generalized anxiety to panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, or even phobic symptoms. Because this condition can mimic organic mental disorders, such as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, akathisia, or even schizophrenia, a number of medical professionals believe caffeine-intoxicated people are routinely misdiagnosed and unnecessarily medicated when the treatment for caffeine-induced psychosis would simply be to stop further caffeine intake. A study in the British Journal of Addiction concluded that caffeinism, although infrequently diagnosed, may afflict as many as one person in ten of the population.
In large amounts, and especially over extended periods of time, caffeine can lead to a condition known as caffeinism. Caffeinism usually combines caffeine dependency with a wide range of unpleasant physical and mental conditions including nervousness, irritability, anxiety, tremulousness, muscle twitching (hyperreflexia), insomnia, headaches, respiratory alkalosis, and heart palpitations.
Furthermore, because caffeine increases the production of stomach acid, high usage over time can lead to peptic ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Caffeine may also increase the toxicity of certain other drugs. 
Tolerance and withdrawal
Caffeine tolerance develops very quickly. Because adenosine, in part, serves to regulate blood pressure by causing vasodilation, the increased effects of adenosine due to caffeine withdrawal cause the blood vessels of the head to dilate, leading to an excess of blood in the head and causing a headache and nausea. This means caffeine has vasoconstrictive properties. Reduced catecholamine activity may cause feelings of fatigue and drowsiness. A reduction in serotonin levels when caffeine use is stopped can cause anxiety, irritability, inability to concentrate, and diminished motivation to initiate or to complete daily tasks; in extreme cases it may cause mild depression. Together, these effects have come to be known as a "crash".
Withdrawal symptoms—possibly including headache, irritability, an inability to concentrate, drowsiness, insomnia and pain in the stomach, upper body, and joints—may appear within 12 to 24 hours after discontinuation of caffeine intake, peak at roughly 48 hours, and usually last from one to five days, representing the time required for the number of adenosine receptors in the brain to revert to "normal" levels, uninfluenced by caffeine consumption.
The precise amount of caffeine necessary to produce effects varies from person to person depending on body size and degree of tolerance to caffeine. It takes less than an hour for caffeine to begin affecting the body. An oral dose of 200 mg caffeine appears to decrease reaction time by approximately 4 percent within 30 minutes, approximately 15 percent in 30 to 60 minutes and 18 percent in 60-90 minutes. A mild dose wears off in three to four hours. Consumption of caffeine does not eliminate the need for sleep; it only temporarily reduces the sensation of being tired. Caffeine leads to fewer mistakes caused by tiredness in shift workers.
The following information is from a medical dictionary:
Caffeine is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system.
Caffeine makes people more alert, less drowsy, and improves coordination. Combined with certain pain relievers or medicines for treating migraine headache, caffeine makes those drugs work more quickly and effectively. Caffeine alone can also help relieve headaches. Antihistamines are sometimes combined with caffeine to counteract the drowsiness that those drugs cause. Caffeine is also sometimes used to treat other conditions, including breathing problems in newborns and in young babies after surgery.
Caffeine cannot replace sleep and should not be used regularly to stay awake as the drug can lead to more serious sleep disorders, such as insomnia.
People who use large amounts of caffeine over long periods build up a tolerance to it. When this happens, they have to use more and more caffeine to get the same effects. Heavy caffeine use can also lead to dependence. If the person then stops using caffeine abruptly, withdrawal symptoms may occur.
These can include throbbing headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, yawning, irritability, restlessness, vomiting, or runny nose. These symptoms can go on for as long as a week if caffeine is avoided. Then the symptoms usually disappear. As of 2004, caffeine withdrawal has been officially recognized as a disorder classification manual.
If taken too close to bedtime, caffeine can interfere with sleep. Even if it does not prevent a person from falling asleep, it may disturb sleep during the night.
The notion that caffeine helps people sober up after drinking too much alcohol is a myth. In fact, using caffeine and alcohol together is not a good idea. The combination can lead to an upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting.
Older people may be more sensitive to caffeine and thus more likely to have certain side effects, such as irritability, nervousness, anxiety, and sleep problems.
Caffeine may cause problems for people with certain medical conditions or who are taking certain medicines.
PREGNANCY. Caffeine can pass from a pregnant woman's body into the developing fetus. Although there is no evidence that caffeine causes birth defects in people, it does cause such effects in laboratory animals given very large doses (equal to human doses of 12-24 cups of coffee a day). In humans, evidence exists that doses of more than 300 mg of caffeine a day (about the amount of caffeine in 2-3 cups of coffee) may cause miscarriage or problems with the baby's heart rhythm.
Women who take more than 300 mg of caffeine a day during pregnancy are also more likely to have babies with low birth weights. Any woman who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant should check with her physician before using caffeine.
BREASTFEEDING. Caffeine passes into breast milk and can affect the nursing baby. Nursing babies whose mothers use 600 mg or more of caffeine a day may be irritable and have trouble sleeping. Women who are breastfeeding should check with their physicians before using caffeine.
OTHER MEDICAL CONDITIONS. Caffeine may cause problems for people with these medical conditions:
heart arrhythmias or palpitations
heart disease or recent heart attack (within a few weeks)
high blood pressure
insomnia (trouble sleeping)
anxiety or panic attacks
agoraphobia (fear of being in open places)
premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
USE OF CERTAIN MEDICINES. Using caffeine with certain other drugs may interfere with the effects of the drugs or cause unwanted—and possibly serious—side effects.
At recommended doses, caffeine can cause rest-lessness, irritability, nervousness, shakiness, headache, lightheadedness, sleeplessness, nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach. At higher than recommended doses, caffeine can cause excitement, agitation, anxiety, confusion, a sensation of light flashing before the eyes, unusual sensitivity to touch, unusual sensitivity of other senses, ringing in the ears, frequent urination, muscle twitches or tremors, heart arrhythmias, rapid heartbeat, flushing, and convulsions. High caffeine consumption can lead to benign breast disease, which also can increase risk of breast cancer.
Certain drugs interfere with the breakdown of caffeine in the body. These include oral contraceptives that contain estrogen, the antiarrhythmia drug mexiletine (Mexitil), the ulcer drug cimetidine (Tagamet), and the drug disulfiram (Antabuse), used to treat alcoholism.
Caffeine interferes with drugs that regulate heart rhythm, such as quinidine and propranolol (Inderal).
Caffeine may also interfere with the body's absorption of iron. Anyone who takes iron supplements should take them at least an hour before or two hours after using caffeine.
Because caffeine stimulates the nervous system, anyone taking other central nervous system (CNS) stimulants should be careful about using caffeine. Those trying to withdraw from caffeine are advised to do reduce their consumption slowly over time by substituting decaffeinated 
Caffeine Intoxication and Overdose
Anyone who’s ever had too much coffee can tell you that caffeine intoxication is no fun. Medical experts agree that ingesting more than 250 mg of caffeine in a short period of time can cause restlessness, insomnia, muscle twitching, gastrointestinal disturbance, cardiac arrhythmia and a host of other problems. These symptoms can cause significant social and occupational disturbances [source: Johns Hopkins University -- Bayview Medical Center]. Caffeine intoxication is rarely fatal, although 5,000-10,000 mg of caffeine can actually kill you [source: Dance]. Fortunately, most people won’t ever ingest this much caffeine accidentally - it would take between 30 and 60 cups of coffee in one morning.
1-medical dictionary the free dictionary.com -caffeine
3.science-how stuff works.com -caffeine
So, if you actually took the time to read this entire blog post, which I hope you did, I hope you learned to appreciate caffeine as the addictive CNS stimulant that is. And I hope that you won’t disrespect your body by ingesting this drug in beverages.
There is a purpose for all drugs. They can be extremely helpful and useful when used correctly. But to ingest a drug just because it’s in a soft drink and you like the taste of that particular soft drink is ridiculous.
If you're drinking it because you want or need the Drug effects, then you really are no different than hard-core drug addicts. The only difference is you get your drug in the soft drink aisle of the grocery store, instead of on street corner from a shady character.
If I can get one person to stop drinking caffeinated soft drinks, then my efforts over the past couple of days have not been in vain.
That’s my two cents.