Health buffs and fitness fanatics may think that diet soda is a good alternative to regular soda. Some might even be misled into believing that it's the healthier choice. Contrary to what marketing and advertising has been dictating, just because the drink boasts of zero calories and zero sugar, it does not mean that it's the Holy Grail to achieving a healthy body. Below are the top five reasons why you should cut your diet soda intake.
1. Sugar Addiction
Diet sodas boast of having no sugar at all, and still having the same sweet taste. That's because diet sodas contain a chemical ingredient called Aspartame. This is the same chemical make-up of consumer sweeteners such as NutraSweet and Equal. Basically, Aspartame makes your brain think that what you're eating is sweet. This triggers your body to start craving for sweet things. So, aside from being unable to cut down on your soda intake, you might find yourself constantly reaching for that cupcake or frequently craving carbohydrates.
Diet soda does not cause dehydration, but studies show that those who reach for diet sodas tend to use that as replacement for water. Water is the best hydrator, especially for those who have a strict workout regimen. So even if you've taken on a fit and healthy lifestyle, but your diet is composed of a lot of diet soda, chances are your weight-loss might come to a standstill. Without proper hydration your fitness goal may remain unattainable.
3. Caffeine Effects
You may be free from fattening sugars, but you're not free from the negative effects of caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic, so you may think that you're quenching your thirst with the soda, when in fact you're actually losing more fluids. Caffeine is also a highly addictive substance that has been linked to insomnia, anxiety disorders and fatigue.
4. Aspartame Risks
Aspartame, the sweetener found in diet sodas, is considered by the US Food and Drug Administration to be safe for consumption. However, they do acknowledge that this artificial sweetener has been linked to a number of side effects, such as dizziness, migraines, memory loss, diarrhea and mood swings. Furthermore, studies have shown that rodents exposed to large amounts of aspartame have developed brain tumors and lymphoma. There is no hard medical evidence that aspartame causes cancer and illness, but it remains controversial because of the potential risks involved.
5. Weight Gain
Studies have shown that diet soda can actually cause weight gain. In laboratory tests, animals that consumed sweeteners steadily increased their daily calorie intake, thus gaining weight. In another study conducted among diet soda drinkers, 48% of them showed an increase in metabolic syndrome - leading to significant weight gain. Though there is no hard evidence to support the fact, the studies show a correlation between packing on more pounds and chugging down more diet soda and artificial sweeteners.