carbonated beverages esp. "diet"

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    Jun 14, 2007 7:03 PM GMT
    Anyone know if diet sodas are bad. Seems that I recall hearing or reading that even though they're minus the sugar, that the carbonation does something to the enzymes needed for digestion? Sound familiar anyone???
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    Jun 14, 2007 7:24 PM GMT
    The carbonic acid in a can of soda is insignificant compared to your own stomach acid.

    Soda also contains phosphate that will bind up calcium so that it can't be absorbed by your body. Whether it's "bad" for you depends on how much you drink compared to the rest of your diet. If you drink a lot of sodas, unless you take in an excess amount of calcium, you could end up with weakened bones.
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    Jun 14, 2007 7:38 PM GMT
    Great question. I just noticed my fav. diet sodas have 9% carbs. That can't be good, but one gets tired of only water all day, and fruit juices are high in calories etc too.
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    Jun 14, 2007 7:44 PM GMT
    The thing with diet soda, and soda in general, is that coupled with the caffeine, it will dehydrate you. Just drink in moderation.

    Also, you have to be aware of what sweetener they use, either Nutrasweet or Splenda. NutraSweet has aspartame which is a hunger stimulant. That's why some of us feel the need to snack when chugging a Diet Coke. Splenda is sucralose, which is a derivative of sucrose.

    Personally, I prefer the taste of sucralose over aspartame because it tastes more like sugar.
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    Jun 14, 2007 9:12 PM GMT
    This could just be urban myth, but when I was in track in high school we all were told that carbonation is bad for runners (the reason being because carbonation is CO2, and the added CO2 is not good for aerobic excercise---e.i. long distance running). Whether soda's really contribute enough to have an effect, I don't know...but back then it was enough to get me off soda...I still don't really drink the stuff except for a ginger ale every once in awhile...
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    Jun 14, 2007 9:15 PM GMT
    thanks for the info. I don't drink an inordinate amount of soda - so I'm not concerned. Mostly I drink water and iced tea - hafta stay hydrated when you live in the god-forsaken desert/"valley of the sun"

    NICK
  • OptimusMatt

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    Jun 14, 2007 11:53 PM GMT
    I'm pretty sure the real concern with most 'diet' drinks is the aspartame. Splenda's molecular structure is just 2 linked carbon rings with a couple of hydroxyl (alcohol) groups - it's definitely closer to the strucure of sucose than aspartame.

    Aspartame, on the other hand, consists of aspartic acid as well as phenylalanine (two amino acids) - in moderation, not a bad thing - we need amino acids, yadayada.

    There's been no actual hard evidence stating that aspartame is bad, but a lot of research is claiming there are significant negative side effects and it's a concern for people with phenylketonuria (can't break down phenylalanine) but for most of us, that's not necessarily a concern. Researchers are more concerned about the possibility of brain lesions/tumors, headaches, that sort of thing.

    Personally, all I used to drink was diet coke - I found I tended to have really bad breath, so I stopped. Now all I drink is water, and I even tried that crystal light stuff and while it tastes good, it still has that non-sugar aftertaste (and it contains sucralose, not aspartame) so...I just stay away from it all. I find after ingesting sugar/sugar-like substances my breath kinda does a funky turn so I stick to water.
  • OptimusMatt

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    Jun 15, 2007 12:00 AM GMT
    oh, and as an fyi, your blood has a buffer system in place that utilizes CO2 to negate any changes to it's pH...and as CO2 has a ready escape route out of your blood (it latches onto a heme group) there's no...real concern with having 'too much' CO2 in your blood..

    I think, anyways...lol, I'm just a student at this point, I'm pretty sure the doctors on realjock have a bit more cred than I do, lol
  • OptimusMatt

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    Jun 15, 2007 12:01 AM GMT
    wait, maybe I messed up the buffer thing. >< been a while since human phys
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    Jun 15, 2007 12:03 AM GMT
    I always heard the big problem in soft drinks is that it reduces calcium bioavailability dramatically...

    When I was a freshman in high school, I was fat. All my childhood, I ate absolutely everything I wanted - bacon, burgers, cheese, regular sodas, chocolate, ice cream, etc. - while staying very skinny. Then it caught up with me. Not knowing diddly squat about nutrition, I stupidly decided to go on a diet coke diet: I would limit myself to 900 calories a day, and anytime I was hungry beyond that, I would drink diet coke. I did this the entire summer.

    I have no idea how I managed to survive that, but since I took this ridiculous course during the time most guys my age had their growth spurts, I wonder if it's partly the reason I'm six inches shorter than my dad is, and why my wrists, etc., are sooooooo slender. Is it possible it affected my bone development? I was drinking liters of soda a day.

    Man, ever wish you could go back and redo your life?? Fortunately in college I got on the fitness track, took a nutrition class, and generally improved my life :)
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    Jun 15, 2007 12:31 AM GMT
    Yes, biomatty your body uses CO2 or rather the carbonic acid forms as a massive buffering system and CO2 does bind to the heme group to be released in the lungs as the CO2 you breath out, so probably wouldn't have much effect just based on that. Also the intestinal epithelial cells secrete HCO3, the product of the reaction between CO2 and H2O, and hydrogen ions in exchange for potassium and sodium ions. So no the gut wouldn't absorb the CO2 from the soda.
    Yes, Calcium can bind with phosphate forming an insoluble compound, but that doesn't mean all of it binds, and therefore dramatically reduces the bioavailability of Calcium. An example is in renal failure patients who often high blood levels of phosphate. You can give these patients Calcium to bind with the phosphate as a way of controlling it, but when given Calcium in high doses they run the risk of getting high blood levels of calcium. Can't say what exactly this would do to a growing teenager Satyricon, but my guess is there are other reasons why you are shorter than your father.
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    Jun 15, 2007 12:37 AM GMT
    I hope you're right, wrerick. I still occasionally beat myself up over that summer...
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    Jun 15, 2007 12:42 AM GMT
    It's anecdotal evidence, but if it makes you feel any better, I have a couple of friends (girls) who are both shorter than their mother and their maternal and paternal grandmothers. I also know for a fact that they did NOT drink carbonated drinks growing up. Why are they not taller when their gene pool has produced taller specimens in the past? No idea, but know it wasn't the soda.
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    Jun 15, 2007 1:05 AM GMT
    "Splenda's molecular structure is just 2 linked carbon rings with a couple of hydroxyl (alcohol) groups"

    Plus three chlorine atoms:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sucralose

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    Jun 15, 2007 3:28 AM GMT
    If you start drinking soda with sucralose, be sure to pay attention to your body. I get an allergic reaction after drinking Pepsi One (my throat starts to tingle). Although these types of reactions are rare, there are others that report feeling a drugged like state, difficulty breathing, etc.

    My dentist has also told me to avoid colas (diet or regular) because they can stain your teeth. But that isn't enough to stop me from drinking a few sodas with aspartame a day.
  • OptimusMatt

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    Jun 15, 2007 6:56 AM GMT
    *gasp* you can't reference from wikipedia! It's not a reputable source!

    hahahahaha
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    Jun 15, 2007 3:25 PM GMT
    wow - had no idea i opened such a can o' worms. GREAT information though! Thanks!

    NICK
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    Jun 15, 2007 3:42 PM GMT
    I had read somewhere that diet soda stripes the enamel on the teeth.

    Water is best.

    Some power drinks are not any better!
  • MikemikeMike

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    Jun 15, 2007 4:40 PM GMT
    Carbonated drinks in excess of 3 a day can reduce bone density- I very rarely drink any!! The stomach thing is a myth we have HCL in r stomach.
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    Jun 15, 2007 6:25 PM GMT
    "Carbonated drinks in excess of 3 a day can reduce bone density"

    Does that refer specifically to carbonated softdrinks that also contain phosphoric acid? Or, would that also apply to carbonated mineral water?
  • kew1

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    Jun 15, 2007 7:01 PM GMT
    "I had read somewhere that diet soda stripes the enamel on the teeth."
    Strips or stripes? Don't want my teeth to look like a Zebra!
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    Jun 15, 2007 7:47 PM GMT
    You need the phosphate, Paradox, to bind to the Calicium to precipitate out to not be available, so my guess is you would be fine if the phosphate is not present. The other question is would you get Calcium carbonate by mixing the carbonic acid in the drink with Calcium, and that is not a worry as stomach's contents pushes the equation the other direction -- antiacids are basically calcium carbonate and a good source of calcium because the stomach breaks it down to Ca and carbonic acid. Also not all the Ca will be bound to the phosphoric acid as there will still be unbound ions. You do know that phosphate is also important for proper bone maintenance, and like calcium is found in many foods.
    So, there you have it briefly why I would think it not likely with say carbonated water. There may be other factors, however, that I am not taking into account.

    I'm curious Mikex3, what is your reference and or source for the the 3 drinks can reduce bone density?
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    Jun 27, 2007 12:18 PM GMT
    I know diet soda is not good for me. But I have this craving for something sweet all the time. The artificial sweet taste of diet soda sorta kill that craving. So as bad as it is, I need to drink it or I will indulge for food more high calories like donut or cake.