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If you’re craving something sweet, diet drinks can be a godsend. They won’t impede your progress, and the liquids will fill you up. They’ve gotten surprisingly good in the last few years, and variety is better than ever.
But I know you have some concerns.
Doesn’t diet soda make me fat?
It’s impossible for diet soda to make you fat. There are no calories in it, and studies have proven that artificial sweeteners do not affect your blood sugar or insulin levels.
Some people find diet drinks to be an appetite stimulant; they feel like eating more when they drink them. Test that out for yourself.
Remember, your net trend is most important for your weight loss. If you notice that artificial sweetness is a appetite stimulant or trigger, avoid it or abstain from it altogether.
Aren’t artificial sweeteners bad for you?
No. In particular, claim that the artificial sweetener aspartame breaks down into formaldehyde is a myth perpetuated by the alternative health community on the internet.
There is so little aspartame in a can of Diet Coke, for example, that even if it did convert to formaldehyde, it wouldn’t be an issue. We’re talking a few micrograms of this stuff per 2 liter bottle. It’s that sweet. Same goes with most other artificial sweeteners.
If I can’t convince you that artificial sweeteners are okay to eat, seek options with natural or naturally-derived sweeteners like stevia or sugar alcohols.
Artificial sweeteners taste awful!
Diet Coke tastes shitty, I won’t argue with that, but recently, drink companies have gotten better at making diet drinks extremely palatable. One technique is blending multiple artificial sweeteners together to make the drinks taste more natural.
The more you drink diet sodas, the better they will taste to you; your palette adjusts to beverages that you drink over time.
OK. But can anything go wrong?
Excess citric, phosphoric, and carbonic acids may negatively affect your digestion or cause acid reflux, so know your limits with how much you should drink in a day.
There is some evidence that the phosphoric acid (in colas) can weaken bones over time if they’re consumed frequently. If this bothers you, stick to fruit-flavored sodas.
So, onto the good stuff:
My Favorite Diet Sodas
- Coca-Cola Zero Sugar
- Diet Mountain Dew (10 calories per 16oz bottle, heads up)
- Cherry Sprite Zero
- Diet Barq’s Root Beer
- Diet Dr. Pepper
- Diet Sunkist
- Diet Hansen’s – Variety Pack (Tangerine Lime, Black Cherry, Cherry Vanilla, Root Beer)
- Bai Bubbles (all natural sweeteners, cherry is best)
- Zevia – Variety Pack (all natural sweeteners)
Don’t buy Tab. It’s the worst.
My Favorite Non-Carbonated Diet Drinks
- Bai Infused Waters (all natural sweeteners)
- Diet Brisk Green Peach Tea
- Gold Peak Diet Tea
- Diet Nestea
- Diet Lemonade (some brands have a few carbs)
Also look for the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. They let you create all types of sugar-free beverages with tons of different flavors on the fly.