My husband was (& he'll tell you himself) addicted to any & every carbonated drink with caffeine in it. He got debilitating migraines several times per week. They often got so bad that he got nauseated & lost his vision. He would turn to caffeinated drinks for the headaches, which would temporarily take the edge off, but then he would experience rebound headaches that were worse than before the caffeine. It was a continuous cycle. One day out of the blue, when he decided that he was DONE with them cold turkey... a "miraculous" (insert sarcasm) thing happened - - - All those years of horrible daily headaches - DISAPPEARED. Duh.
(It's call REBOUND EFFECTS, my friends...)
We don't buy soda / pop / carbonated drinks. We don't have them in our home. Our kids may cheat once or twice a year at a party or event, but it's extremely rare. As I said in "My Story" - we let them decide for themselves, because it's more personal & they become growing experiences when they're able to choose & learn on their own. They've become so used to drinking water that they just don't really have the desire for "poisonous pop"!
There are the normal health issues & warnings that have helped us make the continued decision to not drink/consume caffeine. However, I'm including a few other aspects that helped us to be confident in our decision to stay away from it also...
We hope that as we respect others' decisions to drink caffeine drinks - that others would in turn respect our decision to not drink it... (PS: Even the ones without caffeine are poisonous. Nasty nasty nasty chemicals & artificial ingredients. Bad stuff, guys.)
In the LDS faith, (my faith) - we have a health code called the Word of Wisdom. Does The Word of Wisdom specifically say 'no caffeine'? Nope. It doesn't. There are a lot of things it doesn't specifically state. Just like the law of obeying the Sabbath, the Lord has given us an outline, or a basic foundation for shaping and moulding a principle into an application for our individual lives. What we do with these principles, and how we implement them into our lives will determine the blessings & consequences (positive or negative) that we each have to face - here on earth and eternally.
There are those who feel that refraining from eating meat is in line with the will of the Lord.
There are those who feel that paying tithing from gross vs. net income (or vice versa) is in line with the will of the Lord.
There are those who feel that not watching TV on Sunday is in line with the will of the Lord.
These are personal decisions that when realized as truth should be taken to the Lord & followed from that point on in the way you feel is best.
For me, the following can't possibly get any clearer. The Word of Wisdom states: "showing forth the order and will of God"... Be it the Letter of the Law - or the Spirit of the Law - we feel very strongly that abstaining from caffeine (and ANY harmful & addictive substance) is in line with the will of the Lord, because our bodies are temples. With that, here are some of the reasons why our family chooses not to consume caffeinated drinks:
Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. by Edward Kimball, Bookcraft: Salt Lake City, Utah, 1982, p. 202): "I never drink any of the cola drinks and my personal hope would be that no one would. However, they are not included in the Word of Wisdom in its technical application. I quote from a letter from the secretary to the First Presidency, "But the spirit of the Word of Wisdom would be violated by the drinking or eating of anything that contained a habit-forming drug."
President George Albert Smith said, "Let me plead with you, search the Word of Wisdom prayerfully. Do not just read it' search it prayerfully. Discover what our Heavenly Father gave it for. He gave it to us with a promise of longer life and happiness, not if we fail to observe it, but if we observe it."
In John A. Widtsoe's book, 'The Word of Wisdom - A Modern Interpretation' - he states the following several entries: "Caffeine found in tea, coffee, cola drinks, chocolate, cocoa, mate' & other food and drinks, is a drug, an alkaloid, related to some of the most violent of poisons. When it enters the human body, it produces at first a feeling of stimulation, followed in due course by a period of depression, relief from which is sought by the use of more caffeine. It is, therefore, habit-forming, so that the power of the will is weakened. It deceives the user into the belief that he is better off, when in fact he is laying the foundation for an increasingly worse condition..... Drugs cannot build up the body; they merely mask the truth, temporarily..... The expectant mother who uses caffeine-containing beverages is laying a foundation for failure in life for the unborn child. The human misery due to the caffeine habit is beyond estimation..... There is an added danger from the association of the caffeine with the syrup of the drink [cola/soda], for then one is apt to take much more caffeine than one would do if taking tea or coffee. The cola habit has become a national evil."
In 1975 The New Era's Question/Answer section asked, "Is it against Church (LDS) standards to drink cola beverages or any other beverage containing caffeine?"
Bishop H. Burke Peterson, who was the First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric at the time answered:
"'And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man.' (D&C 89:10)
"We should notice the word wholesome and always consider the things that we take into our body as to whether they are wholesome or not. The scripture continues, 'All these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.' (D&C 89:11) Consider the word prudence. Would eating a whole apple pie or a cake or watermelon at one sitting be prudent? It is contrary to the principles embodied in the Word of Wisdom to take an excess of anything into our bodies.
"Two of the tests we can employ as we question the use of any food or beverage are: Is it wholesome? Is it prudent? As we know, some of us need more rest than others. These same principles imply that we should not tax our bodies beyond good judgment. Finally, remember that the Lord has counseled:
'For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.' (D&C 58:26)
"We know that cola drinks contain the drug caffeine. We know caffeine is not wholesome nor prudent for the use of our bodies. It is only sound judgment to conclude that cola drinks and any others that contain caffeine or other harmful ingredients should not be used." ("Q&A: Questions and Answers," New Era, Oct. 1975, 34 NOTE: Scroll down to Bishop Peterson's question/answer section about cola drinks.)
Here's what the Ensign printed about caffeine and cola drinks in 1988:
"Apparently, the potency of caffeine is related to body weight. To a 150-pound adult, 'a cup of instant coffee or a can of cola beverage could give about 1 mg caffeine per kilogram of body weight. In a very young child, a cup of chocolate or a candy bar would give the same proportion of stimulant to body weight. When this child drinks a can of cola, … caffeine intake is comparable to an adult drinking four cups of instant coffee. … Restlessness, irritability, sleeplessness, and nervousness are some of the symptoms.'
"According to a statement in the Priesthood Bulletin of February 1972 (volume 8, number 1), 'There has been no official interpretation of [the] Word of Wisdom except that which was given by the Brethren in the very early days of the Church when it was declared that ‘hot drinks’ meant tea and coffee.
'With reference to cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken a position on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided.'" (Clifford J. Stratton, "Caffeine—The Subtle Addiction," Ensign, June 1988, 60).
And last but certainly not least, a little 31 second interview segment on 60 Minutes between Mike Wallace & Gordon B. Hinckley a few years ago. (He also told Larry King the same exact thing in a separate interview. The official transcript can be found online, but I didn't bookmark it. If you'd like to read it, feel free to Google it)