The Truth Behind Diet Soda

When my friends, my family, and my clients find out I drink diet soda, I often receive an awful facial expression from them.

“Why do you drink diet?!”

If you’re like me and a number of other fitness experts, you drink diet soda without worrying about these studies that allegedly claim that it causes cancer because ultimately, you know that you live a healthy lifestyle, you watch your intake and make sure you’re maintaining and/or burning more calories than you consume.

There’s a ton of controversy around soda and diet soda both within and out of the fitness and health industry. News sites report that diet soda cause cancer. Others report that it doesn’t. Well, I’m here to clear up all that misinformation out there.

Connection of Diet Soda and Obesity

Many studies link diet soda to obesity. The problem is that these studies use crappy sample sizes and pools. Most healthy and persons with a certain amount of fitness avoid soda altogether. The people who often partake in these studies live sedentary lifestyles.

We know that obesity is linked to coronary heart disease, diabetes, and a buttload of other health concerns. And because most fat/obese people are drinking diet soda, studies naturally say that drinkers of diet soda are more at risk for those health concerns.

The bottom line is that these people were already at risk because their weight. Diet soda is not the cause, it is not the cause!

The Real Association

Most people who begin to drink diet soda are doing so because they are getting fat. They’re usually in the overweight BMI category and closely, if not, already in the obesity category. They continue to eat more and more food and hope that diet soda will miraculously help them lose weight. This is, of course, not the case. Some even eat more food because they think they can eat more because their drinks have zero calories now.

Diet soda doesn’t help you lose weight. The only way to lose weight is to use more energy than you consume. So what in diet soda makes you eat more?

Precautions

I drink diet soda because I enjoy the taste and it helps me stave off hunger. Carbonation also helps my thirst feel quenched. However, I do agree that diet soda (due to the sweeteners), change your body’s interpretation of sugar. Because you’re drinking something that your body cannot process as sugar/energy, but it thinks it can, you will soon feel hungry/thirsty again. Also, because our bodies cannot differentiate hunger and thirst, you may feel “hungry.” Because most soda contain caffeine, and because caffeine is a diuretic, you will be dehydrating your body. Because you’re dehydrating your body, and because your body cannot differentiate thirst from hunger, you will think you’re hungry. Does that make sense?

My advice, for every can of diet soda I drink, I make sure I drink two glasses of water within an hour or two (after). This keeps my body hydrated even after caffeines diuretic effect.

Why not opt for regular soda?

I don’t have a problem with regular soda, but I don’t like high fructose corn syrup – it is too sweet and too caloric dense. It causes a huge influx of sugar in your body’s blood sugar levels. Also, I find it difficult to meet my macronutrient needs. Also, if you’re following my intermittent fasting program, diet soda contains no calories so it can be consumed during the fasting window to help stave off hunger. You cannot drink regular soda during that feeding window because your body will be processing calories.

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