If you are any bit into Heath, Exercise and the fitness scene, by now, you will probably have seen a lot of your favorite influences or fitness celebrities drinking, promoting and even endorsed by diet drink companies saying how great they are, and on the opposite side, some Holistic Health Guru, claiming they are rotting your insides and going to kill you.
This leads you to then getting a shit tonne of cognitive dissonance from conflicting opinions not knowing whos right, who to trust or believe, and finding it hard to make our own judgment in a sea of pseudoscience information on the world of Instagram or Social Media.
So whats the 411 on Diet drinks?
Is Aspartame really killing us all and contributing cancer?
Should you be living in fear from these Silent Killers?
Heres the Downlow on Diet drinks and Their Ingredients.(I must also reiterate, although I am an AVID lover of a diet drink myself 🙋♂️, This will be an unbiased opinion just writing facts as we know them from current research).
Artificial sweeteners or NNS (nonnutritive sweeteners) as they are known.
Artificial sweeteners are food additives used as a sugar substitute. 1g of NNS is roughly 200 times sweeter than sugar therefore calories are reduced by using a lot less sweetener in food and drinks. The most popular are Aspartame, acesulfame- potassium (acesulfame-K), Saccharin, Neotame & Suraclose. 🍭
The current acceptable daily allowance for Aspartame, the most widely used in diet drinks, is 50mg/KG (40 in Europe).
8oz’s of Diet Coke contains 58mg,
a 330ml can contain just under 200mg
which means... you would need to be consuming 18-19 cans a day in order to MEET that allowance.
Some research has shown an increase in lymphomas, leukemias, and renal cell tumors in rats and mice who received doses of Aspartame- However, Humans and Mice metabolize Aspartame very differently, therefore, it is not an accurate comparison in the context of the argument at all, like many other fields of nutritional and medical science, the crossover from studies in Rodents to humans, most of the time, lacks significance.
WHAT ABOUT FAT LOSS?
There is no conclusive evidence whatsoever to show Aspartame or NNS directly impacts fat loss or muscle gain for that matter as they offer no caloric contribution therefore they do not affect energy balance. 💪
WHO SHOULD BE MINDFUL OF INTAKE?
Individuals who suffer from a condition known as PKU (phenylketonuria) have high levels of phenylalanine due to a genetic disorder that inhibits them from breaking down the amino acid. This is important as aspartame is composed of the 2 amino acids phenylalanine and aspartic acid.
In saying all this, an interesting future area of investigation with research into NNS & artificial sweeteners lies with the gut microbiome and of prolonged consumption can alter microbiota (possibly leading to dysbiosis, increased risk of metabolic disease, intestinal permeability etc) in humans, as of now we lack the evidence to support such claims.
Too much can cause issues with dental health and may cause bloating due to the high carbonation nature of the liquids.
A diet should still be composed of foods for the nutritional value they do contain and not for the calories they don’t.
But these drinks are okay in moderation.