Diet soda the healthy choice?

Healthy choice, Diet soda?

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I was looking over various diet articles on the internet when I came across this one: New study is a wake up call for soda drinkers. The first study has many holes in it, such as their point that a person who drinks two cans of soda gains more weight than a person who doesn’t.  Our bodies, with age, will increase body fat automatically, especially if we’re not health-conscious.  To compare a soda drinker to someone who doesn’t drink soda takes nothing into consideration regarding lifestyle.

The second part of this article talks about artificial sweeteners/aspartame.  I have beenLose weight, lose body fat, increase lean muscle telling my clients to stay away from these products for a very long time!  There are controversial studies on both sides for these products, but staying away from them is common knowledge. Commonly known reasons include the effects of caffeine, the fact that soda cleans pavements, and the effects of aspartame. Let’s go a little deeper into the issue of soda. Let’s break down some basic ingredients in soda.

Personal trainer analysis #1

Increased phosphorus levels– too much phosphorus in your body leads to a reduction in calcium and magnesium, which are vital for a normal heart rate, nerve and muscle function, blood clotting, good bones and teeth.  It can lead to tooth loss, damage your gums, cause osteoarthritis in adults and bone fractures in adolescents.  Additionally, caffeine may also aid in loss of calcium.

Personal trainer analysis #2

Sodium benzoat – this is used in many brands of soda pop as a preservative. Although it is not considered to be harmful, it causes hyperactivity in children. The main concern with sodium benzoate is when it combines with citric or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to form benzene. Benzene is a known carcinogen which increases the risk of leukemia and other cancers. The reaction to form benzene is increased in the presence of heat or light.

Personal trainer analysis #3

Artificial coloring – there have been connections with cancer-causing chemicals. I realize this statement could be made for almost any product, so let’s look at it from a different view. Why add extra chemicals into the system which are unneeded?

There are many studies which will send you on a wild goose chase trying to figure out what is true and what is not with certain chemicals.  The jury may still be out on the effects of Aspartame but keep in mind that besides weight gain, soda has certain ingredients which will affect your body on the smallest level.  You are only as strong as your weakest link.
 Limit the amount of soda you drink in a week and increase the amount of water and teas you consume. Add fresh pieces of fruit into your water, and make your tea the night before and put it in the refrigerator. Create the habit and feel the difference.

By: Kirill Vaks
Fitness and exercise specialist
BA, CSCS, ACSM-cpt, NFPT-sns 

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