It makes sense, right?
Opting for the zero calorie beverage keeps your intake in check and allows you to eat your calories instead of drink them. I wholeheartedly bought into this ideology because I LOVE food.
It was my go-to when I was out for lunch. And my afternoon treat at the home or office.
But the more I got educated in the world of nutrition, the less appealing that diet soda became.
Are you really healthier drinking diet soda?
It appears that diet soda would be a healthier choice - calorie for calorie - if you were attempting to shed a few pounds or keep things in check. But studies on the subject consistently state the opposite.
Sip on this:
1. Artificial sweeteners like those found in diet soda are being blamed for nearly as many negative health problems as their evil twin, sugar.
2. Diet soda has been linked to an increased risk of depression, metabolic disease and type 2 diabetes.
3. Drinking diet soda can erode teeth (some say as much as crystal meth or crack cocaine).
4. Preterm delivery risks increase (one study showed an average increase of 38% with just one per day) when consuming diet soft drinks during pregnancy.
5. Consuming diet soft drinks has been shown to inspire cravings and can lead to weight gain.
What's that you say? Weight gain via Diet Coke?
You gulp down a bottle of your favorite diet soda. Your brain senses something sweet, so it starts the process of releasing hormones to eliminate the sugar from your bloodstream.
But with artificial sweeteners, that correlation between tasting something sweet and the lack of calories that come with consuming sugar creates significant confusion in your system. There are no calories for it to utilize. And without meeting expectations set by your brain and your incredibly intuitive inner workings, this evil trick on the body can lead to a punishment of cravings for the quick energy it was expecting.
But it gets worse. Continued consumption of artificial sweeteners can deregulate the brain's process of reacting to sweets. Now our bodies may no longer respond the same when we consume real sugar. Now the release of hormones needed to process sugar may no longer be released, or may be greatly reduced.
These changes in hormone levels can contribute to increases in how much we eat (hunger, cravings, overeating) and an inability to moderate blood sugar spikes, making you a prime candidate for a host of metabolic diseases and obesity.
The ugly truth about diet soda is that you aren't doing yourself any favors. But this doesn't mean you should make the switch to regular soda either. Nutritionally speaking, neither are going to promote or support a healthy lifestyle.
Begin the process of eliminating soda in general by cutting down on the amount you consume on a daily basis. Replace it with iced coffee or tea, club soda with fruit, or your body's favorite method of hydration: water.
Don't be fooled by 'healthier' options. There is no substitute for proper nutrition. Click here to check out our 14-Day Nutrition Guide & get the most out of your workouts!