If you have followed me for any length of time you know I’m not a big fan of artificial sweeteners. The main flavoring in drink mixes. So, if you don’t mix-in a packet of Crystal Light, sugar-free Kool-Aide, or Powerade Zero what do you drink?
First off, what’s wrong with drink mixes?
Unfortunately, it’s the artificial sweeteners. Many programs, doctors and dietitians still recommend adding drink mixes in unlimited quantities to water. But of course, from a functional nutrition perspective I feel differently!
Food is information, so everything you put in your mouth is telling your cells & genes what to do. Turn on Diabetes, Turn off Cancer. Consequently, drink mixes are no different.
Secondly, what is wrong with artificial sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners have been considered a safe food additive for years. But, as research continues the evidence is showing areas of concern.
Studies of concern:
- Studies show artificial sweeteners alter microbial metabolic pathways making individuals more susceptible to metabolic disease.
- Artificial sweetener induced dysbiosis and glucose intolerance.
- Artificial sweeteners can potentially stimulate food intake.
- The San Antonio Heart Study found artificially sweetened beverages increased risk of weight gain.
- Intense sweetness can surpass cocaine reward, even in drug-sensitized and addicted individuals.
**If you want to learn more. I would encourage you to listen to these Podcasts: “Are you in a stall? Listen to this…” , “How to overcome hunger and still lose weight”, “How to crush cravings and avoid regain” for specific details on each study.
Now, let me clarify. I try to have a very “real” perspective. I believe our bodies can handle small amounts of harmful things & still flourish. Nonetheless, how much is too much?
If the majority of your fluids contain some type of drink mix… it is too much!!
Thirdly, what should you drink?
Ideally, we should all drink more plain water than any other fluid. This includes infused water or iced herbal teas. I want to share one of my favorite infused water recipes.
1/2 English Cucumber
64 ounces Filtered Water
Thinly slice the lemon, orange and cucumber and place in the bottom of a pitcher. Fill with filtered water. Add mint to each glass. Refill water for up to a week. Discard fruit at the end of the week.
In conclusion, drink more plain water than anything else. Artificial sweeteners in the drink mixes alter metabolic pathways, induce dysbiosis, glucose intolerance, and cravings. In other words, lead to diabetes, insulin resistance, and weight gain while keeping you addicted to sugar and carbs. If the majority of your fluids contain drink mixes, I challenge you to change it!