The bitter sweet truth!
"Stop taking everything away from us!" one of my clients said to me today in tongue and cheek of course. Don't get me wrong I used to love Coke Cola. It was refreshing, tasty and gave me a great buzz (it also goes well with JD!). I then became aware that the corn syrup and sugar content in full fat coke is better suited to cleaning the rust off your car than going into your body. I was also taken back by the huge energy slumps that followed a while later, which guess what?.... made you want another coke. Then came along the diet versions of these soft drinks which boasts reduced calories using miracle sweeteners. Win, Win right? There is a tonne of artificial sweeteners on the market in modern times. The one you're most likely to encounter is aspartame, which also tends to be one of the worst out there!
Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are often recommended to diabetics and those concerned about their weight despite the fact that artificial sweeteners have repeatedly been shown to produce the exact opposite effects.
Artificial Sweeteners cause metabolic confusion
One of the main reasons why artificial sweeteners do not help you lose weight is the fact that your body is not fooled by sweet taste without accompanying calories.
When you eat something sweet, your brain releases dopamine, which activates your brain's reward centre. The appetite regulating hormone leptin is also released, which eventually informs your brain that you are full once a certain amount of calories have been eaten.
However, when you consume something that tastes sweet but doesn't contain any calories, your brain's pleasure pathway still gets activated by the sweet taste, but there's nothing to deactivate it, since the calories never arrive.
Artificial sweeteners basically trick your body into thinking that it's going to receive sugar (calories), but when the sugar doesn't come, your body continues to signal that it needs more, which results in carb cravings and unstable hormone balance. Carb cravings lead to mood swings, low energy, and over eating.
What can I drink you may ask? well the simple fact of the matter is that if you wish to drink sugary or pretend sugary drinks then you will have to accept that your weight loss or performance goals are going to be much harder to achieve! Water, herbal tea, and if you feel the need for caffeine then, coffee (moderation) are going to be the options to replace your sugar drinks. A favourite of mine is mint tea. I would strongly suggest at least trying to have a period of time off these types of drinks. Artificial sweeteners will find their way into so many of your daily foods un noticed but cutting out the soft drinks is one thing you can control!
Thanks for reading and hope this helps in anyway to improve your knowledge and advancement with your health and fitness goals. If you have any further questions or are keen to have specific help with your individual goals then don't hesitate to contact me. Cheers Scotty