Researchers reporting in the International Journal of Clinical Practice noted that heavy cola drinkers (two to four liters of cola every day) are at risk of hypokalaemia, or low potassium levels.

This is a serious condition which leads to muscle weakness, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea and even heart problems.

The review included two pregnant women who drank three and seven liters of cola per day. It also included a 51-year-old man who drank four liters per day, however he refused to give up even when he discovered the cola was causing his symptoms.

There's no doubt about it, kicking a soda habit can be pretty difficult for some people. For most of us though we don't drink liter upon liter of soda every day. But, giant Big Gulps and super-sized fast food sodas mean we're drinking more than ever.

The standard vending machine soda is 24 ounces, so consuming two of these per day amounts to almost a liter and a half. Sugary sodas have been linked to obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. However diet sodas, with their artificial sweeteners, don't get a free pass either.

While an occasional soda here and there isn't likely to hurt, if you have a daily habit it's best to try kicking it for good right now.

How to Kick Your Soda Habit Today:

  * Take baby steps. If you drink four sodas per day, replace two with an alternative today.
  * Make alternatives slowly. Start with diet soda, then switch to flavored water.
  * Once you've gotten comfortable with this routine, replace your other sodas with an alternative.
  * Still alive? Great! Now switch those diet sodas or flavored water to plain water. Don't like plain water? Try adding fresh fruit to them.
  * Experiment with other beverages like teas, milk, soy milk, and seltzer - the goal here is to hydrate mostly with plain water.
  * Don't keep soda in the house. Make it a treat to be enjoyed now and then.

I gave up soda over six years ago, and now I can't even drink it. Have you broken your soda habit? Share your tips with us!

Photo courtesy of Aameerule on Flickr.