Did you know that soda is the single biggest source of calories for Americans? That’s right! It’s not the consumption of fast food or other foods that would first come to mind. On a percentage of consumption, soda ranks at the top. The average American drinks approximately two cans of soda drinks per day. Not only is this a lot of sugar, it’s also packed full of calories. So why not switch from regular soda to diet soda and enjoy the benefits? While you’ll benefit from a reduction of calories, there are other health concerns to worry about. So let’s take a closer look at some of the side effects of drinking diet soda. People in every age group are consuming more diet soda than in previous generations. Unfortunately, it’s the younger generation that is drinking the most. In fact, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, youth consumption has doubled over the last decade, while adult consumption has increased by over 25%. So let’s take a closer look at some of the side effects of diet drinks: Obesity: I have to admit, I have switched from regular soda to diet soda. While enjoying a dinner out at a restaurant or on the patio for a summer BBQ, I sometimes reach for a diet soda pop. My reasoning is I’ll be able to stick to my diet, while enjoying a relaxing drink. However, according to a University of Texas study, the more diet soda people drink the great chance they have of becoming overweight. In addition, the study suggested that drinking two or more cans of diet pop can increase the waistline by as much at 500%. The reason is the presence of the artificial sweeteners. Basically, because of the lack of sweetness, the body is tricked into thinking you’re not consuming calories, so you drink more. Metabolism: The University of Minnesota conducted a large study on 10,000 adult participants in 2008 with interesting results. The study revealed that drinking just one can of diet soda was linked to a 34% increased risk of metabolic syndrome. This is basically high cholesterol, increased belly fat and increase risk for heart disease. However, the study didn’t directly provide a link to the an ingredient in the drink or possibly the overall eating habits of the participants. Worse Hangovers: Did you know that alcohol drinks made with diet soda can create a terrible hangover? According to a study from the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia, it does. Diet mixers get you drunk faster and the reason is the lack of sugar. Drinking a diet soda with alcohol allows the alcohol to enter the bloodstream faster. Bad Teeth: Diet soda is very acidic. The presence of the acidity is capable of dissolving the enamel on your teeth. Adults drinking multiple diet sodas a day may lead to faster tooth decay, more cavities and evening tooth loss. Action Steps:
Switch from diet soda to water with a lemon slice
Drink 100% pure fruit juices. Make sure to look for 100% pure concentrates to make your juice. The reason is not additional sugar has been added and also look for juice concentrates with less than 15 to 18 grams of natural sugar per serving.
Look to get creative with your drinks. For example, try adding fresh fruits to a pitch of water and place it in your fridge and enjoy throughout the day.