There's nothing better than an ice cold fizzy drink to get you through that afternoon slump. That sweet, refreshing treat as a reward for your hard work is well deserved, and the fact that you're having a diet version makes it completely guilt-free, right?
Erm, not so much. We hate to break it to you, but even if you're sticking to the zero-calorie option, fizzy drinks simply do your body no good.
For a start, the sugar content in normal (i.e. non-diet) fizzy drinks is super high. In a can of Coca-Cola there is 35 grams of sugar - that's SEVEN teaspoons - and in that yummy orange Fanta? It's only 96 calories but 23g of sugar. In one can.
Sugar is known to increase the fat deposits on your tummy and increases your risk of type 2 diabetes. A fizzy drink, despite feeling like it fills you up at the time, won't make you feel full for long; it's simply the fizziness that makes you feel temporarily full, and can actually make you crave more sugar after, meaning you might take on more calories than you need. Plus, the gas in these drinks can leave you feeling (and looking) bloated AF.
Fizzy drinks are simply empty calories; there's no nutrients in there; just sugar, flavourings and additives. There's literally NOTHING in there that your body needs. Many of the drinks contain caffeine too; great for a quick afternoon pick-me-up but it can dehydrate you (caffeine makes you produce more urine, so you'll pee more) and the caffeine along with the sugar? You can actually become addicted if you drink it often enough; you'll literally feel like you NEED a can to get through the day. And if this habit continues? You're not going to do your teeth any good; the combination of the sugar and acids in these fizzy drinks wears down your tooth enamel, leads to yellowing of the teeth and could leave you needing fillings.
So a lot of the problems are to do with sugar. But what about the diet versions of these drinks? They might be very low in calories, but there's still a few problems. To make up for the lack of sugar, they're full of artificial sweeteners; chemicals that aren't particularly good for you. They've still got the acid and fizziness, so will damage your teeth and cause bloating. However, they are a better choice than the sugar-filled regular varieties.
Ever thought about going cold turkey on your fizzy drink habit? You'll feel crap at first, we're not going to lie. You're probably going to suffer with headaches as your body craves the caffeine and sugar, but this won't last. Promise. Power through feeling rubbish for a couple of days and you'll soon feel the benefits. Your teeth will feel cleaner, look whiter and your tongue will feel less furry as it won't be coated with the sugar and chemicals. You'll be more hydrated as the chances are you'll replace the sodas with water (hopefully) or other unsweetened, more natural drinks.
After a few weeks, it's likely that you'll lose weight. One Coca-Cola contains 139 calories, so quit your two a day habit and you'll be saving nearly 300 calories a day. It doesn't seem like a huge amount, but over a week that's around 2000 calories! Not only will you lose the empty calories from the drink itself, but you're less likely to crave other sweet stuff too. As you start to see the benefits from quitting, you're going to have more energy too. It's going to be tough at first, but after a while you won't be relying on the caffeine or sugar to perk you up; your body will be working as it's supposed to and will keep you energised as it should do!
There's nothing wrong with enjoying the odd fizzy drink, they do taste amazing and if you enjoy them, then why the hell not every now and then?! Just try to limit the number you have; they definitely won't do your body any good if you're overdoing it - like everything else! Why not try a healthier fizzy treat, like sparkling water with some crushed berries or a big squeeze of fresh lime juice?
Written by Samantha Neades / Personal Trainer / Cheltenham Women's Fitness
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay