When I was 13 years old, I conducted an experiment on myself. The hypothesis was that soda was bad for my health and detrimental to my game performance. Prior to this “little experiment,” I had been an avid drinker of Dr. Pepper and Pepsi. They always hit the “sweet spot.” I knew what my hockey games were like and my coach was on my case to improve my game. So, I waged a challenge to myself. Drink absolutely no soda for two full weeks. That’s 14 days without soda. Instead drink tea and water. Water was better, but tea was the compromise to soda.

I found soda to be toxic for my body and it ruined my performance in any game I played. After I stopped drinking soda, my endurance in a game went from 5 minutes to 20 minutes! Not only did my endurance increase, but my strength and recovery significantly improved. I could skate faster and harder. I also noticed that I slept better at night and woke up more refreshed. So, that was all the proof I needed to stop drinking all sodas. I started drinking more tea and water from that point on.

Now, I don’t drink soda (pop nor carbonated drinks) at all. Plus, I rarely drink tea. I do an occasional alcoholic drink at times. But now, I am refusing to drink beer. Hard liquor is okay in my book, for now. A small amount of alcohol can be beneficial, but large, frequent amounts are too detrimental. I have found no evidence that small amounts or occasional alcohol consumption is harmful to my health. So, for now, it’s okay.