Its a commonly held notion, although unfounded, that zero-calorie drinks are actually a dieters friend. It turns out that consuming one-calorie carbonated beverages may be the reason why residual stomach fat is hard to shift. Health experts believe that the chemicals in the drink could actually be causing your body to lay down fat deposits around your middle - dubbed 'diet cola belly' - reports Get The Gloss. Some experts also believe that diet drinks' mix of carbonated water, coloring, and sweeteners-aspartame and acesulfame K could also speed up the aging process and have disastrous effect on health.
The fructose, artificial sweeteners, and sugar alcohols present in diet drinks can all interfere with natural gut bacteria, according to Amanda Payne of Switzerland’s Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health which published a paper in the journal Obesity Reviews.
This messes up your metabolism and disrupts the body’s way of signaling to you that you’re full and satisfied. As a consequence, the body pumps out insulin, the hormone that controls sugar levels and fat storage, so that you lay down what Toribio-Mateas calls 'diet cola belly in the form of more fat around the midriff' - just where you wanted to shed fat. In addition to this: 'The fake sugars in the drink are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and trick your brain into thinking real sugar is on the way,' says Toribio-Mateas. 'When the calories don’t arrive, it triggers a cascading effect that interferes with hunger signals, blood sugar levels and satiety.'
Amanda Griggs, director of health and nutrition at the Balance Clinic in London, says: 'phosphoric acid, the ingredient that gives diet cola its appealing tangy taste and the tingle you get when it is swallowed, can cause a host of problems'. According to one, study, published in a 2010 issue of the FASEB Journal, it can even accelerate the ageing process. It found that the excessive phosphate levels found in sodas caused lab rats to die a full five weeks earlier than the rats whose diets had more normal phosphate levels.
On top of the disastrous effects on the aging process and fat storage, the drinks also target tooth enamel even though they don't have the same amount of sugar, diet drinks are equally acidic. Diet drinks also raise the risk of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure as well as raising the risk of osteoporosis as the drinks can cause calcium to be leached from the bones. Researchers at Tufts University in Boston also proved that women who regularly drank three or more cans a day had 4% lower bone mineral density in their hips compared to those who preferred other soft drinks.
The effects of diet drinks are arguably greater than drinking regular soda and the effects of all the chemicals being drank certainly targets the body in unexpected ways. Try sticking to water but if you need something different try 100% juice instead of carbonated beverages.