Posted by: Steph | April 3, 2012

Quitting Diet Coke – Week #2

I made it through the first week drinking no more than 5 cans a day. In fact, on most days I only drank four!

Steph Marshall loving Diet Coke

Nothing is better than a fresh, icy, Diet Coke.

Although five cans is still a lot of Diet Coke, decreasing my consumption by more than five cans definitely had an effect, most notably, random sudden exhaustion and I had trouble falling asleep. Did you know that caffeine withdrawal affects the ability to sleep? Irony is fun. I also had moments that I can only describe as feeling as though my internal organs were angry with me. On the plus side, I drank many litres of water and my skin was looking

Oddly I was not craving more than my allotted five, and for some reason I enjoyed them less – except for those I had with meals.

Confession: I may have had six on Sunday because I was a little bit reckless with my consumption on Sunday morning after a particularly fun Saturday night.

On Monday I posted the following of my Facebook wall:

I received 23 answers including the following:

I like the idea of having a signature sound (that of a can opening), and it’s true that when I was in India last fall I did have ongoing Diet Coke supply angst. But will Diet Coke kill me, or worse, kill my brain cells?

I did a little bit of research.
Health Canada, perhaps not known to be cutting edge, tells me that “moderation is key”, but by my calculations also tells me that I can safely consume up to 15 cans a day.

When it comes to the side effects Health Canada states:
“Some people have reported sensitivities to aspartame. However, researchers have been unable to confirm these reports through clinical studies. There is ongoing research investigating this issue.”

Furthermore:
The overwhelming body of scientific evidence continues to support the safety of this sweetener, when used according to the provisions of the Food and Drug Regulations.

I wish I had stopped my research then, but deeper research found that Aspartame has been associated with all of the following:
• Bone loss
• Headaches
• Neurological problems
• Irritability
• Gastrointestinal changes
• Weight gain
• Increased sugar cravings
• Cardiovascular disease
• Cancer
• Death

Basically, Diet Coke has been associated with pretty much every health issue you can name. I’m choosing to take this with a grain of salt, as we all know that science on the internet is often flawed, but here are two articles that do a nice job of covering the possible health issues.

1. The Effects Of Aspartame On Health
2. Diet Soda Addiction? How To Get Off The Can

I have to say, I am definitely more conscious with each cracking open of the can.
Next week I am only allowed three a day. As before, I would love to hear your stories and I am open to any suggestions, please comment below or tweet me / follow me at @stephmarshall – use the hashtag #QuittingDC.
Anyone else quitting?
-Steph

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