There isn’t anybody left who thinks diet soda is good for you, is there? Just in case you haven’t heard, be warned: the “diet” in the label definitely doesn’t mean “health.” The chemicals present in diet soft drinks – especially the most common artificial sweetener, aspartame – make these beverages, in many ways, worse for you than regular soda. We could go over all the ways diet sodas hurt your body, but why don’t we take a more positive spin instead and look at all the ways Prevention tells us your body benefits when you give them up?
- Your brain will feel and work better.
One of the scariest things about aspartame and the other chemicals in diet soda is that some studies show that they literally rewire our brains, damaging nerve endings and altering chemicals. Luckily, as soon as you stop ingesting them, those effects start diminishing. You’ll think more clearly, sleep better, have fewer headaches and experience less anxiety. The sweet receptors in your brain will also go back to normal, meaning . . .
- Food will taste better, and you’ll crave foods that are better for you.
Sugar will finally satisfy your cravings again, rather than prolonging them the way diet sodas do. It doesn’t just happen in your brain, either. Your taste buds get so used to the extremely high sweetness of artificial sweeteners – aspartame is 200 times sweeter than regular sugar and Stevia is 600 times sweeter – that you can become numb to more subtle, natural tastes. Getting rid of that overstimulation not only means you’ll be able to satisfy your cravings with healthier foods, you’ll actually want them more and prefer them to too-sweet soft drinks.
- Your risk for diabetes goes down.
When you stop drinking diet soda, your pancreas can finally go back to the work load it’s supposed to have, rather than the one artificial sweeteners force it into performing. The overload of insulin your pancreas has to produce to compensate for even 2/3 of a diet soda increases your risk for type-II diabetes. Stop the soda, and your hormones and your pancreas go back to normal!
- Your kidneys function better.
Your pancreas isn’t the only organ that’ll be happy when you stop drinking soda. As the waste-filtering centers of your body, your kidneys have to work overtime to take care of all the unnatural ingredients in diet sodas. When you stop drinking them, they get to go back to absorbing minerals, stabilizing your blood pressure and cleaning natural toxins. It’ll feel so much better— and so will you!
Not enough reasons to convince you to give up diet soda? Then be sure to check out the rest of Prevention’s list. Tell us in the comments about your own journey to give up the sweet stuff and drink healthier!