It is believed that every American also drinks soda, in some form, every day. But it is equally true that not just the Americans, but the global community as a whole is getting more health-conscious each passing day. That being said, talking about Coke zero, a product of PepsiCo has to be one of the most popular aerated drinks globally. But contrary to the belief that it is diet-friendlier than the regular Coca-Cola, it still can harm your body in various ways.
To begin with, let us first understand how Coke Zero is different from Diet Coke. This is because it might be generally assumed by people that both are similar products since both are labeled as ‘sugar-free’ as well as ‘calorie free’. However, the basic difference between both lies in a single ingredient: Citric Acid, which gives a mild taste to Diet Coke. While in Coke Zero two other chemicals are added, namely potassium citrate and acesulfame potassium, an additive very commonly used in beverages and a calorie-free sugar substitute respectively. However, the nutritional values in both are similar- 0 calories, 0 fat, 0 carbohydrates, and 0 protein.
Although Coke Zero is sugar and calorie-free there are a number of health impacts associated with it and can be proven hazardous if drunk every day. Some of the concerns are stated below:
Addition of artificial sweetener
This ‘sugar-free’ beverage adds artificial sweeteners like aspartame and acesulfame potassium. These do not generate any less harm to those who suffer from diabetes while those who do not have been pushed towards the risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. A report published by the Indian Journal of Pharmacology (June 2016) has stated that ‘aspartame’ can potentially increase glucose and insulin level the way sucrose does, thus increasing the risk of diabetes.
Artificial sweeteners are also associated with a hormone called Leptin. According to behavioral psychologists and nutritionists, ‘diet drinks’ like Coke zero, infuses the feeling of hunger inside the body which makes a person more hungry and less satisfied with normal amounts of food. So when the person finally drinks a lot of these chemicals the body simply fails to break them down and boosts the addition of more internal fats to the body to ‘wrap’ those chemicals within them so that they are away from the vital organs inside the body.
Issues related to weight balance
Such drinks can also act as a catalyst for obesity. It can add weight to the body like any other beverage with calories. However, some reports also suggest that such added sweeteners are either neutral or beneficial for weight management, which is indeed logical since it does not have calorie value per se
Nevertheless, studies have found that people who consume artificial sweeteners are in fact on the overweight side of the Body Mass Index (BMI) as compared to those who consume natural sugars.
- Tooth erosion
One crucial ingredient used in this drink is citric acid. The pH level associated with it can increase the risk of degrading the tooth enamel and lead to its erosion. However, it is also proven that its erosive effects are lesser than its counterparts like Mountain Dew, Sprite, Apple juice, etc.
- Risks of Heart Disease
Research also suggests a link between such soft drinks and an increased risk of cardiac diseases. This can be witnessed especially among women who do not have a prior history of heart diseases.
- Risks of Kidney Disease
Studies have also found out that a person who drinks more than seven glasses of soda drinks per week has an increased chance of doubling kidney diseases. The ingredient which is in play behind this threat is Phosphorus, in high content.
- Risk of Osteoporosis
According to another study, regular intake of coke zero, or any other aerated drink for that matter would also lead to a scenario of lowering of bone mineral density.
- Premature birth
It has been found that premature births have been linked with daily consumption of soft drinks, with added artificial sweeteners. According to a report published by a European Union (EU) based project (2010), it was found that those pregnant women who consumed aerated soda drinks, with artificial sweeteners as one of their crucial ingredients, appeared to have a greater risk of delivering a premature baby.
After an Hour of Coke Zero Consumption
A body usually goes through the following stages after an hour of consuming a can of diet coke.
- First 10 Minutes- Aspartame (artificial sweetener) deceives the taste buds and gradually, the teeth are attacked.
- 20 Minutes- these artificial sweeteners then can also trigger the same insulin that regular sugar does. During this phase, fats might also start to get stored.
- 40 Minutes- an adrenaline rush gets triggered due to the action of both aspartame and caffeine. You start to crave more and get addicted to its taste.
- 60 Minutes and beyond- cravings do not end with the emptied Can of Coke. It can deplete nutrients, make you hungry and thirsty for more.
Source: The Renegade Pharmacist
A Close Juxtaposition
Given all the health impacts associated with the consumption of Coke zero every day, one can conclude that it is surely not a healthy substitute for regular coke in particular or any other similar kinds of fizzy drinks for that matter. This is irrespective of the fact that it has no added sugar or calories per day. According to nutritionists and dieticians too, it has several other chemical additives that can lead to serious health impacts, if consumed daily.
Hence, it would be wiser to not go by the name of Coke ‘Zero’ or ‘Diet’ Coke since it does not mean that they are the perfect soda drinks and can be included in your healthy ‘diet’. Ask this question to yourself. “Is it really necessary to consume a chemical-infested liquid every day that would only harm your body inside out over some healthy juice squeezed out from the fruits from your orchard or even the market? Everything in moderation, once a while is harmless, but consuming it every day might pose a health hazard.
However, if at all one had to choose between the regular Cola and the Coke Zero (or Diet Coke), the latter would be a ‘healthier option, COMPARATIVELY.