One of the questions I get asked all the time is, “Are Zero Calorie Flavored Waters Good to Drink?”
Most people think that flavored waters with no calories must be healthy. But what’s really in those drinks? What are they flavored with? Why do they taste like pineapple or strawberry but contain no actual fruit?
Well, lots of these drinks contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose. It’s the same as drinking a diet soda! And here’s the worst part…if you’re drinking them to lose weight by avoiding sugar for example, these sweeteners trick the brain.
When getting a rush of sweetness from actual sugar, for example, the brain will send a signal that says “I feel satisfied” and the sweet craving will stop. But when you consume an artificial sweetener, the brain doesn’t send this shut off signal and causes you to crave more sweets. So if you find yourself craving pasta and crackers and bread after drinking a zero calorie drink that could be the reason.
Studies show that people who drink artificially-sweetened drinks actually gain weight over time. And, the “Natural Flavors” added to these drinks are a mystery. Food manufacturers are not required to disclose their “trade secret” flavorings. (Same as in the personal care industry when it comes to “fragrance.” But that’s for another blog.)
So the next time you want a healthy drink with no sugar try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime or orange to plain or fizzy water. You’ll be doing yourself a big flavor, I mean favor!