Written by Kaydn J., HydroSwell Founder, 3 min read.
To start, let me get this out of the way. I love the taste of an ice-cold Coke and I'm not alone. You can find Coke in some of the most remote places in the world. I used to think that as long as I drank the "zero sugar" diet version I didn't have anything to worry about health-wise but I was wrong.
The reason is the artificial sweeteners found in 99% of the "zero sugar" drinks out there! The three most common are Aspartame, Acesulfame Potassium, and Sucralose.
To start, there have been studies that have linked aspartame to cancer but they weren't conclusive. Since then the sweetener has since been approved by the FDA so it should be safe right? Not necessarily. Aspartame metabolizes into formaldehyde in your body which is a well-known carcinogen (something that promotes the formation of cancer) so it's probably safe to assume that it's not doing you any good to put it in your body.
Sucralose is more similar to a pesticide chemically than sugar. About 15% of it is stored in the body and nobody knows where it goes or what happens after that. The main problem with sucralose is that it can kill up to 50% of the healthy bacteria in the gut. According to the University of Harvard, healthy gut bacteria helps prevent cancer, heart disease, and boost immunity so it's in your best interest not to consume anything that kills it.
Acesulfame Potassium (or Ace-k)
There have been very few scientific studies done on this sweetener and that's one of the reasons it's a cause for concern. It wasn't even used widely until the 90's, so the lack of studies on it, paired with the lack of time it's been used means that we just don't know enough about it yet. For that reason, it's probably in your best interest to avoid it until it is officially shown to be safe.
Do They Really Help You Avoid Sugar?
Nope! One other nasty side-effect that all these artificial sweeteners have in common is that they make you crave more sugar and empty calories. For that reason, they probably do more harm than good in terms of helping you avoid sugar anyways.
If you've read this far you're probably asking yourself what you should do? The good news is, there are safe, all-natural, low and zero-calorie sweeteners that don't spike your blood sugar or insulin. Sugar Alcohols like Xylitol and Erythritol are good options as well as Stevia Extract and Thaumatin. We will dive into those in another article and discuss their respective pros and cons but the moral of this story is to tread carefully with artificial sweeteners. While the scientific evidence doesn't show that they'll kill you, they also don't have any known health benefits and there's a lot we don't yet know about them so if your goal is optimum health and to live life abundantly, our suggestion is to treat them like sugar, and use them sparingly if at all!
You deserve better than the "junk" filled diet drinks! That's why we created the world's first protein-infused hydration drink mix, called ProLoco! If you're ready to ditch sugary beverages or diet drinks and energy drinks filled with sketchy artificial sweeteners click HERE!