So you've decided to give up diet soda. Good for you! It doesn't matter the reason why, you've made it. You've made choice that will improve our health head to toe.
Here's a few things you can look forward to by dropping that fizzy soda for a fruit infused water or unsweetened iced tea.
Migraines disappear and focus sharpens.
The chemicals that make up the artificial sweetener aspartame, may alter brain chemistry, nerve signals, and the brain's reward system, which leads to headaches, anxiety, and insomnia, says a review in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
. A 2013 animal study showed that rats who drank diet soda had damaged brain cells and nerve endings in the cerebellum -- the part of the brain responsible for motor control.
Taste buds are more sensitive.
No, not your imagination. The artificial sweeteners flood your taste buds with intense sweetness. Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than table sugar! Brain scans have shown that these sweeteners can alter the receptors in the brain and can prolong sugar cravings rather than satisfy them. "We often see patients change snack choices when they give up diet soda," says Heather Bainbridge, R.D., from Columbia University Medical Center Weight Control Center. "Rather than needing sugary treats or something really salty like pretzels and chips, they reach for an apple and a piece of cheese. And when they try diet soda again, they find it intolerably sweet."
The scale finally goes the right direction.
You may have been drinking diet soda as a way to start losing weight but kicking it completely may actually get you there.
A recent 9 year study found that adults who drank diet soda continued to gain weight. The study followed research that found each daily diet soda increases your chance of becoming obese in the next decade by 65 percent. A different study published in Diabetes Care
that found drinking diet soft drinks daily was associated with an increase in metabolic syndrome meaning obesity, high blood-pressure, high triglycerides—which leads to heart disease and diabetes.
A 2014 study found that each daily soda increased the risk of a hip fracture by 14% for postmenopausal women. Another study found that older women who drank diet soda had lower bone mineral density in their hips. At the moment, it is unclear why this happens but it is clear that it does.
Your attitude toward food changes.
Because diet sodas have no calories, you may have allowed yourself to indulge elsewhere. You may think you can afford it. Furthermore, diet soda often comes with poor food choices. Who eats fast food and orders a water? "Sometimes, those poor choices are built-up habits," says Bainbridge. "You're conditioned to have soda with chips, fries, or something sweet. When you eliminate the soft drink, you also break the junk food habit."
You handle your booze better.
Like this isn't just a good thing all around. The fact is, diet soda gets you drunk faster. According to an Australian study in the American Journal of Medicine,
when you mix diet soda with alcohol, your stomach empties faster than it would with regular soda and which causes a dramatic increase in blood-alcohol concentrations. So what do you use for a mix? Club soda is your best bet. It is naturally sugar and calorie free.
Your fat storage and diabetes risks decrease.
Hormones. It may be hormones that cause you to gain weight when you switch to diet soda. A study in Diabetes Care
found that drinking two-thirds of a diet soda before eating primed the pancreas to release a lot of the fat-storing hormone insulin. When the pancreas is over worked from creating insulin, diabetes appears. A Japanese study found that men who drank one or more diet sodas a day were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes over a seven year period.
Kidney function improves.
Now that your body doesn't have to figure out exactly what it is supposed to do with all those unpronounceable, chemical ingredients, your kidneys can get back to doing what it does best -- clearing toxins, stabilizing blood pressure and absorbing minerals. One study, using 11 years worth of data, found that women who drank 2 or more servings of diet soda a day doubled their chances of declining kidney function.
Well, time to crush the can! Is this enough to make you give up your favourite diet soda?
h/t: Women's Health