For many Americans, cracking open a can of soda is about more than just being thirsty. The hiss of air escaping from the can as you pop the tab, the crackling of ice as you pour it into a glass, the tickling of carbonation at the back of your throat as you swallow, the sugary aftertaste that lingers on your lips...drinking soda is an entire sensory experience. Which makes it hard for many people to give up drinking them regularly, despite decades of health advice telling us that sodas are not a particularly healthy drink.

It's so tough that some cities are literally charging extra for soda, in an effort to lead to healthier beverage choices. But American culture has long been thirsty for soda and even as seltzers, sparkling sodas, and kombuchas crowd drugstores, supermarkets, and gas stations, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are still the most popular beverage brands in the U.S., with a combined net worth of $350 million. That's a lot of cans.

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