Diet drinks will kill your diet in a stealthy fashion that is so sneaky that, legally, big food companies get away with it.
Every piece of food and every beverage you drink in your life possesses a quality of acidity or alkalinity. As you may have learned in a biology class, acidity and alkalinity are measured using a “pH scale”, which translates to “potential of hydrogen”. The pH scale ranges from 0, which are foods high and acid, to 14, which are alkaline.
Here are a few examples of pH levels:
- stomach acid has a pH balance of 1
- diet soda has a pH balance of 2.5
- coffee has a pH balance of 3
- water has a pH balance of 7
- blood has a pH balance of 7.35 to 7.45
- sea-water has a pH balance of 8.5
- baking soda has a pH balance of 12
The human body likes to keep our pH range in the bloodstream between 7.35 to 7.45; if the blood gets too acidic – too heavy in alkalines – we die.
Coffee, soda, alcohol, fried foods, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and sugars are all highly acidic-forming. As a rule of thumb, the more processed a food is, the more chemicals it has, the more acidic it is.
To compensate for the introduction of highly acidic foods, respiration increases to release carbonic acids, urine gets highly acidic as the kidney releases minerals to balance the pH of the blood, and we are more likely to sweat is more likely during low-intensity activities. This fits very well with the image of the “typical out of shape fat guy”: has to fight to breathe and breaks a sweat as he walks up small steps.
Diet soda contains phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid is close to battery acid in on the pH scale. To balance our blood once the body detects phosphoric acid, we waste basic elements of the body:calcium, magnesium, potassium sodium and, most relevant to us: iodine.
Iodine is very important to the processes of the thyroid, which regulates how hungry we perceive ourselves to be. As we release iodine to fight the introduction of the phosphoric acid, the body dictates that we must eat to introduce iodine and the other lost elements back into the bloodstream. However, the regular American does not have a diet that supplies enough of these basics, and so we overeat as our body continues to seek to compensate for the stuff we lost after we had that artificial sweetener in that diet drink hours back.
As you resolve to improve your life and journey through the perils of society, help yourself out: cut out the chemicals of diet drinks and non-diet drinks. Get more water, and get a little more active. Small steps start big changes in life.