If you asked the average person which is better for you, diet soda or regular soda, you might find that a lot of people opt for the diet soda. After all, it has no sugar and no calories, so it has to be the better of two evils, right? Not if your brain has anything to say about it.
Researchers link Diet Sodas to Significantly Increased Risk of Stroke and Dementia
Obviously, one study isn’t enough to determine a direct link. However, the researchers in this study took into consideration many other factors including smoking, exercise, overeating, and poor diet, and they still found that drinking diet sodas nearly tripled a person’s risk of ending up with dementia over age 60 or a stroke after age 45.
Is this worse than the effects of soda sweetened with sugar? While the researchers didn’t find the same link to dementia and stroke, they did find another list of issues that sugar-sweetened sodas caused. In fact, whether a person drinks an artificially sweetened soda or one sweetened with sugar, a couple of common effects include reduced memory function and smaller brain size. That’s right – averaging more than three sodas per day (no matter how it is sweetened) literally shrinks your brain! When it comes to diet sodas, it only takes one soda per day to decrease brains size and memory. By the way, those are two risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s.
Additional Problems Caused by Sodas with Artificial Sweeteners
As if the deadly conditions already linked to artificially sweetened soda wasn’t enough, researchers found other health problems that were linked to these popular beverages.
- Type 2 Diabetes – But isn’t sugar what causes diabetes? While artificial sweeteners don’t raise your blood sugar levels, it does have an effect on your pancreas and on insulin levels. Therefore, your risk of type 2 diabetes increases by 67% if you drink diet sodas (versus non-soda drinkers).
- Inhibited Kidney Function – When a person consumes diet soda over the course of a number of years, kidney function declines by as much as 30%. Since the kidneys filter out toxins from the blood, this can have widespread effects on a person’s health.
- Depression – Researchers have found that if a person averages four cans of diet soda per day or more (48+ ounces), there is a 30% greater risk of the person dealing with depression.
So now you know the risks, but what can you do if you are hooked on these popular beverages? It’s never too late to make a change. Here are some things that you can use to substitute regular or diet sodas that can immediately offer health benefits.
Better Beverages to Enjoy
If you are trying to kick the soda habit, here are a few things you may enjoy.
- Water – This is the best diet beverage. There are no calories, no artificial sweeteners, and it helps flush toxins from your body.
- Coffee or tea – If you miss the caffeine from colas or other sodas, these are healthier substitutes. Tea can actually reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, and coffee can lower a person’s chances of developing depression.
- Bone broth – People used to consume bone broth on a weekly basis. For a while it fell out of fashion, but now it is returning as we recognize the health benefits. If you don’t have 6-48 hours to extract the nutrients from the bones yourself, you can try a bone broth supplement. Since the key benefits come from the collagen in bone broth, a multi-collagen supplement may also help.
Brain Benefits of Bone Broth and Collagen
The amino acids found in bone broth and collagen can help everything from your skin, hair, and nails to your joints and your gut health. You even get immune system benefits, and it can improve metabolism. But there is one amino acid in particular that you want for brain health and that is glycine.
Glycine is a neurotransmitter. It is vital for memory, sleep, and general cognitive function. Therefore, substituting a soda a day for a cup of bone broth per day can take you from being at risk for dementia and stroke and bring you to having better cognitive function, memory, and focus.
Bone Broth and Collagen Supplementation
If you are going to use a bone broth or collagen supplement, you don’t have to drink a hot mug per day to get the benefits. You blend the powder into your favorite smoothies. You can even use it when making your favorite baked goods. This gives you a number of ways to get additional brain benefits without getting bored from just stirring it into water every day.
At Warrior Strong Wellness, we have two types of collagen you may be interested in.
- Collagen Peptides & Bone Broth – This bone broth supplement contains 2880 mg of glycine per serving along with many other beneficial amino acids that can boost your overall well-being.
- Multi-Collagen Protein Powder – This protein powder is sourced to give you a wide variety of amino acids. It includes 1920 mg of glycine per serving, along with all of the other benefits of collagen.
So if you are ready to kick carbonated sodas to the curb in exchange for a healthier option, Warrior Strong Wellness is here to help. We’re also here to help children, and that’s why we donate part of our proceeds to St. Baldrick’s Foundation for childhood cancer research.