As you plan summer vacations and backyard barbeques, you may already be conscious about what you’ll eat to keep yourself healthy and fit while enjoying the season, but do you know what it’s in your drink?
If you chronically reach for a Diet Coke right out of the cooler at the neighborhood barbeque, you might be undoing all of the progress you’re making at FitClub. Knowing what’s in that drink and the possible effects it may have on your body, will have you reaching for water instead.
- Artificial sweetners. Diet soda contains artificial sweetners instead of regular sugar, saving you up to 140 calories per 12 ounce can. Your body, though, may not know the difference and will process the artificial junk the same as sugar, triggering your body’s insulin processes and causing your body to store fat and gain weight. The effect of even one diet soda each day goes far beyond weight gain and also may increase your risk of certain cardiovascular conditions and diabetes.
- The American Cancer Society estimates that aspartame is 200 times sweeter than regular sugar. Once in the body, aspartame is broken down into phenylalanine, aspartic acid, and methanol. Health problems that may be caused by aspartame include headaches, nausea, weight gain, fatigue, irritability, and anxiety.
- What’s not there is important, too. Diet soda contains absolutely no nutritional substance. If plain water doesn’t suit your need for bubbly, fizzy taste, opt for sparkling water with no artificial sweetners or sugars.
If you have a habit of reaching for a diet soda when you’re thirsty, tired, or bored, switching to water or sparkling water may eliminate or reduce symptoms you’ve grown accustomed to overlooking.
- You may find that you have fewer headaches, less anxiety, and more focus throughout the day. The season’s fresh fruit may seem sweeter than it did before.
- Because aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar, your tastebuds may not recognize how sweet (and delicious) fresh fruit is this time of year.
- You may finally see the weight loss you’ve been trying to achieve.
- Making healthy food decisions may seem easier. It’s easy to believe that because our drink of choice doesn’t have any calories, we can indulge at dinner or with a sugary snack that is actually a calorie bomb.
- The afternoon slump that sometimes keeps you from hitting FitClub on your way home from work may become a distant memory. Adding a healthy snack and an ice water to your afternoon routine, instead of a nutritionally-void diet soda, better stabilizes your blood sugar levels and naturally gives you more energy to finish your day in a productive way.
Have you ever tried giving up Diet Coke or another favorite diet soda? It’s not easy, but if you’ve already done it, you know the positive results come about quickly. Share your tips, tricks, and experiences with other FitClub members and let us know what healthy drink you’re reaching for this summer!