A Sodium Experiment

Last week, I was reading George Simmon’s blog post “Cutting Out Some Sodium” and commented about using a SodaStream to still have fizz as he loves diet soda but wants to reduce the amount of sodium in his diet.  In my comment, I included a link to the SodaStream site and later browsed the site myself. On the USA site, they show that the amount of sodium in their drinks is about 2mg per serving.

Pepsi Max stackAs I was drinking my 3rd Pepsi Max for the day, I wondered how much sodium was in it, and was surprised to find that it was 32mg per serving. Ok, so 32mg isn’t a lot, but I can do without the extra sodium too. I’ve always avoided salt in my cooking (I season the food I cook well – it never needs salt), and I never add it to my food before eating.  It’s a practice I’ve followed for years out of preference rather than anything else, but it also helps with arthritis and other inflammation issues (which I have plenty enough of), so it’s a good preference for me to have.

So here I was telling George about a way to still have fizzy drinks without extra sodium, but had absolutely no clue how much extra, completely unnecessary sodium I was getting in my 3 or 4 cans of Pepsi Max a day. While we were out shopping yesterday, I picked up a bottle of diet cola concentrate to make my own cola at home. I used to use this all the time, but somewhere along the line, it was just easier to buy cases of the cans when it was on sale and then I went from having the occasional can to about 3 or 4 a day.

The diet cola concentrate tells me it has 1.7mg sodium per serve. That’s a pretty big difference from 32mg.  I don’t know if this change will make much difference for me, but I’m of the mind that every little bit helps – or in the case of stuff you don’t need – hurts. This also helps the pocket book as well. Each case of 24 cans of Pepsi Max costs me about $11 while the cola concentrate is about $5 (Australian dollars). Then there are the cans to crush, store and eventually take to the recycling centre plus the boxes for each case. All in all, that’s a lot of extra packaging I’m no longer going to have to deal with. That’s a big bonus as well.

My only complaints are that I have to make the soda myself – which can actually be quite fun, and my first batch wasn’t quite as fizzy as I’d like it to be, but my second turned out great. You use bottles specially designed to fit the machine that adds fizz to the water, then pour in a cap-full of the concentrate, put the lid on give it a gentle shake to mix it. Each bottle makes one litre which is enough for me for a day.

I also had to figure out a bottle or something to use for drinking because I don’t like having open glasses of liquid around my computers (which is where I am most of the time). Fortunately my favourite insulated drink bottle works great and seals in the carbonation. It’s shaped like a flask and has a neat cover with a clasp hook so I can attach it to my purse. I think this is going to work out great.

You can also make your own flavoured sparking water by adding a bit of fruit juice or other flavouring instead of using the concentrates.

Any reduction in sodium is going to be better for my arthritis and maybe even help with weight since it can cause fluid retention. So thanks, George!  I’m turning over a new leaf all because of something you pointed out that I hadn’t even considered.

The Diabetes community rocks!

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