Not long ago, when people talked about addiction, our minds immediately assumed that drugs or alcohol must be involved but, nowadays, things are a little different. Sugar has become such a huge part of the American diet that people are struggling to deal with their consumption. Indeed, we have learned that there are addictive properties to sugar and sweet drinks such as soda are all too common in our society.
If you follow golf, specifically the European Tour, you will be familiar with the name Peter Lawrie. The Irishman was a staple on the circuit but has dropped from 161st to 900th in the Official World Golf Ranking over the last two years and the explanation for this change may surprise you.
Lawrie says that he became addicted to drinking Coke and when he acknowledged the problem, he realized how difficult it was to stop. He told Golf Weekly: “I was drinking liters of the stuff. Even in the hottest countries, like Malaysia, I would have Coke on the golf course, because I was addicted to it.”
In 2013, he attempted to stop cold turkey but the 40-year-old says that it killed his career. “I went from such a high on sugar to a dramatic low,” he said. “And I never recovered from it. I really didn’t. That was the one thing. I know this might shock people, but I lost all confidence in myself. I wouldn’t say I went for a breakdown, but I got exceptionally emotional at the end of that year and some of last year, as well. It was just very difficult to deal with all of the situations that were coming at me. Whether that had anything to do with my mental state in any shape or form, I have no idea.”
In order to cope with his loss of confidence and dramatically worsened playing abilities, Lawrie decided to start drinking soda again in smaller quantities. He explained: “[Dropping Coke from my diet] just didn’t work. I don’t know whether it triggered something in my brain or whatever, but I wasn’t the same Peter Lawrie when I did it.”
Since resuming his consumption of soda, he has seen his best finish since the 2013 Irish Open. It’s unclear whether he will try to completely give up soda again.
Aside from the sugar high, is regular consumption of soda actually bad for you? Among other things, the American Diabetes Association has pointed to research that shows that people who drink or more sodas daily are almost twice as likely to develop type-2 diabetes over a four-year period. Of course, participants in the study who drank more soda also gained more weight.
While you may not need to go as extreme as banning soda entirely, it is recommended that you limit the sugary drink. If you need a motivator, just look at Peter Lawrie’s cautionary tale as inspiration.