I used to be a big soda drinker, but over the last couple of years I’ve been focusing more and more on my health and fitness—and that means dialing in my nutrition.
In general, I try to avoid sweets, fried foods, and other obvious junk that doesn’t serve a real nutritional purpose. Of course, that includes the sugary, empty calories found in soda.
I don’t mind drinking water—I actually drink a lot of water—but sometimes I want something a little more interesting.
At some point over the last few months I started drinking Coke Zero Sugar (formerly just “Coke Zero,” a far better name and what I continue to call it). I consider it about 80 percent as enjoyable as regular Coca-Cola, which is a solid trade-off for the hundreds of calories and endless grams of sugar it saves me.
With that said, I sometimes wonder if drinking this stuff is actually going to kill me.
There’s a lot of drama surrounding zero-calorie sodas, and some people will have you believe they’re somehow worse than their sugary counterparts.
The ingredient at the heart of the debate is aspartame, the artificial sweetener found in Coke Zero, Diet Coke, and nearly every other diet soda you can name.
But here’s the thing: when you cut away all the hysteria and Internet hoaxes, the current body of evidence suggests that aspartame is perfectly safe.
Still, I can’t say I blame the alarmists completely. Drinking soda, diet or not, certainly feels unhealthy. And at the end of the day, anything you drink is just a substitute for water, isn’t it?
I enjoy my Coke Zero, but I think we’d all do well to drink more water.