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The Truth About Diet Soda

nutrition Apr 09, 2024
The Truth About Diet Soda | Arangio

My general rule-of-thumb is to eat your calories versus drinking them.

In other words, you would choose to eat an actual orange versus drinking processed orange juice. An exception to the rule is a meal-replacement shake.

Speaking of sugar and water, check out how your body reacts to a 12-ounce can of traditional soda, cola, pop, or whatever name you use to describe this sweet-tasting drink.

⏱ First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system (100% of the RDA).

⏱ 20 minutes: Blood sugar spikes, causing your pancreas to release insulin. The presence of insulin encourages fat storage.

⏱ 45 minutes: Dopamine production increases which, in turn, stimulates pleasure centers in your brain. Opioids, like heroin and morphine, stimulate the brain in this way too.

⏱ 60 minutes: The sugar and artificial sweeteners increase urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium, and zinc . This is problematic because your bones and teeth need these critical micronutrients. Plus the extra calories in this can of "regular" pop can make you fatter, assuming you don't account for them in your nutrition plan.

But here's where it gets interesting.

Smart marketers figured out that not everybody wants to drink 100% of the USDA's recommended daily allowance of sugar in one sitting.

The Truth About Diet Soda

Enter "diet" soda.

"The commercial for Diet Dr. Pepper says it tastes just like regular Dr. Pepper. Well, then they screwed up."
~ Mitch Hedberg

According to market research, 29 percent of soda drinkers prefer diet soda over regular brands.

Perhaps you are suspicious of some sweet, bubbly liquid you can drink endlessly because it's zero calories, contains zero grams of sugar, and is fat free.

By the way, anything that contradicts the simple laws of physics is often too good to be true.

When it comes to nutrition, nothing is truly free.

You see, diet soda uses artificial sweeteners, which sweeten the beverage without adding calories or sugar.

So what's the issue with zero-calorie soda?

For starters, diet soda consumption has been linked to a number of different health problems.

Artificial sweeteners are 10 times as sweet as sugar and may trick your brain into releasing the fat-storage hormone called insulin, which increases your risk for diabetes.

Some research suggests that diet soda increases food cravings. 

One particular study presented at the American School of Cardiology, followed over 60,000 women for 9 years.

Scientists assessed dietary intake of diet soda consumption through a food-recall list.

They separated the women into four categories:

🥤 "High" diet soda intake (2 or more per day)

🥤 "Frequent" diet soda group (5 to 7 per week)

🥤 "Sometimes" diet soda group (1 to 4 per week)

🥤 "Rarely consumed" diet soda group (0 to 3 per month)

Over the course of nine years, they followed these women and took notes when anyone had any of the following: heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, surgery to reopen clogged arteries, or death from cardiovascular disease.

Here is where it gets scary.

Those women in the highest intake of diet soda category (2 or more per day), were 30 percent more likely to have a heart-related event occur in the 9 years.

Nearly one third.

For those who frequently drank soda, they only showed a 9 percent risk for developing heart-related problems.

And for those who rarely drank soda, the numbers dropped to 7 percent.

Bottom line is that regular soda or zero-calorie soda can cause obesity-related health issues.

So for your health, and the health of your closest family and friends, avoid drinking diet soda, keeping diet soda in your house, or recommending diet soda to those around you.

Same goes for traditional soda.

Instead, drink red wine. Just kidding.

If you want to lose unwanted pounds, make this one small change to your daily routine.

Disclaimer: Do not be fooled by the simplicity of this powerful fat-loss strategy.

For optimal fat loss, drink 1 ounce of filtered water per pound of bodyweight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, that's 150 ounces of water each day. 

If this feels like too much, start with 1/2 ounce of filtered water per pound of bodyweight.

This might sound boring, but take a moment to reflect on your hydration over the past few days.

Did you get close to the suggested minimum?

Of course this recommendation does not take into account your exercise level, environment, or other health conditions.

A simple way to know if you are hydrated is if your urine looks colorless or light yellow.

Why is plain water such a big deal?

1. Water aids fat metabolism in the liver

When it comes down to the technical process of losing fat, your liver is where the action is.

In fact, your liver acts like a filter for your body.

When you aren’t drinking enough water, your liver accumulates a build-up of waste products that slows down fat metabolism.

And the key to having a highly functioning liver, one that quickly removes metabolic waste and built-up toxins, is to be properly hydrated.

2. Water helps balance your hormones

Your hormones play an important role in your body’s ability to lose fat.

When you get dehydrated, your organs and digestive functions are compromised, which in turn messes up your hormones.

This stress, brought on by dehydration, impacts your adrenal glands, signaling the need for an increase in cortisol. As a result, this encourages your body to store fat, rather than burning fat.

3. Water reduces calorie intake

By filling your belly with the minimum recommendation of 1/2 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight daily, you have less room to pour in sweet-tasting drinks, like zero-calorie sodas or calorie-dense frozen margaritas.

In addition to fat loss, drinking water curbs hunger, helps prevent constipation, and even normalizes blood pressure.

While it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day, increase your water intake immediately before and after your workouts.

The more you sweat, the more water you lose, and it’s important to replace that lost water to avoid dehydration.

And please don't feel sorry for yourself because "water is boring" and "you don't have anything 'fun' to drink anymore."

Realize that these beverage companies spend millions engineering their drinks to be as deliciously addictive as possible, so they sell more product.

Celebrate filtered water as your main beverage.

Depending on where you live, clean water is not always available so be thankful if you have easy access to it.

To your success,

Coach Joe



Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online age-management personal trainer, or you want to visit the best longevity personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.

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