Soda is no longer "beverage of choice for human beings," as the average United States person is drinking 38 percent more water than 15 years ago.
In 1998 the United States averaged 54 gallons of soda consumed per person, to only 42 gallons of water. That's according to AP reporter Candice Choi's numbers from Beverage Digest. That is disgusting, I add. Though, I was leading that pack in 1998.
Left to my ways, I would drink an entire six-pack of Coke in an evening. Obesity bypassed me, possibly because I also made the excellent decision of not eating much real food. But I am quick to blame the load of caffeine and sugar -- which I imagine to be still dissipating from reserves somewhere in my body -- for ongoing anxiety, insomnia, and difficulty making new friends.
Now I drink water almost exclusively, and new industry data says there's nothing special about that sort of sea change. Americans on average are down to 44 gallons of soda per year, and up to about 58 gallons of water.
That's 7,242 ounces of water annually -- 20 ounces daily, which is 2.5 cups. So in the setting of unfounded claims that we should be drinking eight to infinity glasses of water each day, it's redeeming to know that most people are alive and functioning despite falling far short of that.