DIET SODA SIDE EFFECTS: WHY YOU SHOULD AVOID IT
I’m going to start off by proving that digestion begins with the mere thought of food. To prove my point, imagine you have a giant lemon in your hand and you cut that lemon in half. Now, imagine you squeeze that lemon and drink all that juice at once. If you’re human, that should make you pucker up just a bit. That sensation is the result of your brain telling your body to start releasing digestive enzymes in preparation for eating the lemon.
By knowing that digestion is more complex than what happens in the intestines, you will soon appreciate why diet sodas are so bad for you. The number one reason being the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas.
When you drink diet soda, your body starts releasing enzymes in the saliva to breakdown the stuff in the drink for energy. The aspartame, sucralose and artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas and no-calorie drinks, trick your brain into thinking the body is about to get some nutrient dense food; when in fact, these artificial sweeteners have no nutritional value and your body has no way of breaking them down for energy. When your brain later discovers there is no way to breakdown the soda for energy, it gets depressed.
It is this reason that diet sodas have especially high levels of caffeine because the soda companies began raising the caffeine levels to stimulate the brain so you don’t get depressed while drinking their soda.
To make matters worse, the artificial sweeteners found in these sodas are not recognized by the body’s digestive system. Our bodies are pretty efficient machines and when they don’t recognize how to breakdown a particular food for energy, they start storing it as fat. And that is why studies now show people were 65 percent more likely to be overweight if they consumed one diet soda a day compared to if they drank none. In fact, two or more low or no calorie soft drinks raised the odds of becoming obese or overweight even higher (Source 2).
DIET SODA SIDE EFFECTS: NEUROTOXINS
The absolute worst thing about diet sodas is that the artificial sweeteners are toxic to your nervous system. Much research has labeled these sweeteners as neurotoxins and a potential cause for brain cancers. Check out this 60 Minutes segment on aspartame:
As a neurotoxin, here are some of the most common symptoms associated with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose:
- Changes in behavior or mood
- Fuzzy thinking
There are about 70 other known symptoms directly related to drinking sodas with these artificial sweeteners.
FUN WAY TO CHECK IF DIET SODA IS EFFECTING YOU
With all this said, if you want to know if aspartame, sucralose or any of these artificial sweeteners are a cause of your current headaches or other known symptoms associated with these sweeteners, then you need to try the following (Source 1):
- Avoid all artificial sweeteners. If the artificial beverage you currently drink contains caffeine, you need to slowly ween yourself off the caffeine
- Once you have been off the artificial sweeteners completely for two weeks, you completely switch back to your artificially sweetened beverage for 2-3 days.
- If you don’t notice a difference in your health/symptoms, you are probably able to handle the artificial sweetener in the short term. This doesn’t make your health safe in the long-term.
The purpose of doing this exercise is to determine if diet drinks are effecting your health in the short-term. If you notice a dramatic improvement in your symptoms and in your health after discontinuing drinking the diet sodas, then I would recommend avoiding diet sodas altogether. With that said, if your symptoms get worse with being back on diet sodas, then you will know that diet sodas do effect your health, and you might be encouraged to quit altogether.
SOURCE 1: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/aspartame-health-risks_b_668692.html
SOURCE 2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25780952