Are Diet drinks bad for you?
It’s a common concern that consuming any level of artificial sweeteners (often contained within diet soft drinks) has either negative effects on your health or on your ability to mange your weight.
Now although diet drinks do not benefit your body by providing any form of nutrition (i.e. vitamins and minerals) they have to be consumed in extremely large quantities to pose any serious risk to health.
If we use the artificial sweetener Aspartame as an example here. The Food Standards Agency, European Foods Safety Authority, Food and Drug administration, Joint Expert Committee on Food additives and World Health Organisation after carrying out extensive analysis of all research have concluded that in doses of less than 40mg per KG of body weight daily aspartame carries no real risk to the health of your body.
To give some context, that would mean that someone weighing around 90kg (14stone) would need to consume 18 cans of artificially sweetened soft drinks a day to put their health at risk. Thats 126 cans a week. Good luck drinking that much!
So how about its effects on weight management?
A recent study conducted with over 300 people over 1 year found that an eating plan that included these sorts of artificially sweetened drinks not only had a positive impact on weight management but were actually more effective than water alone(1)- this being the case if the individual was used to having some form of fizzy drinks in their diet before hand.
So the group having diet fizzy drinks actually lost more weight than the group not having any. Surprising right?
Important points to remember:
If you are someone that likes fizzy drinks and is used to having them in your diet on a regular basis then switching to artificially sweetened alternatives (diet/free) will probably make sticking to your other nutrition and exercise changes a lot easier, therefore increasing your chances of success long term. Being able to stick to your plan is key!
If you are someone that rarely has any form of fizzy drink then stick with what you’re doing. They are not healthy and there is no magical ingredient within the artificially sweetened drinks that aids weight loss, they just make a satisfying, low calorie substitute.
July 18, 2018