If you are trying to lose weight, you must be looking for a drink that keeps you hydrated and helps you lose weight. That’s where we hear a lot of debate about crystal light Vs. Diet soda.
Crystal light is a powdered mixture with different fruits and berries flavors. All you have to do is to mix it in a glass of water, and it’s ready to drink. It contains no calories or sugar at all.
On the other hand, diet soda is any carbonated drink without calories or nutritional value. We all love carbonated drinks but are put off by the sugar they contain. Diet soda replaces the normal sugar with artificial sweeteners and does not contain too many calories.
Despite all claims of its safety and having no calories is crystal light and diet soda, they may not be a healthy choice.
Many people believe crystal light is a healthy alternative to soda. It seems plausible since crystal light is propagated as only a glass of water with some flavors, but is it true?
This article will discuss crystal light vs. diet soda. We will debunk some myths and try to understand both drinks’ benefits or possible risks. So before further ado, let’s hit straight to our topic.
If you are looking for healthy ways to lose weight, I encourage you to read an article discussing the Top 13 Fruits for a Healthy Weight Loss, based on Science.
Table of Contents
Is Diet Soda Safe?
Whenever the word diet, light, or zero are used, it means beverage does not contain unnecessary calories and may contain artificial sweeteners to replace the real sugar.
Diet soda is a popular drink around the world. We all are guilty of gulping down a can or two. Since it is called diet soda, one might consider it healthy and may help weight loss.
A 2017 study examined the diets of 15,368 people and discovered that the risk of developing diseases, such as end-stage kidney increased with the number of glasses of diet soda drunk per week.
Compared with individuals who drank less than one glass per week, people who consumed over seven glasses of diet soda per week had practically double the risk of developing kidney disease.
However, artificial sweeteners are used instead of sugar to make the diet soda sweet enough and free of sugar.
But despite the lack of sugar and calories, is diet soda healthy? Now that’s a big debate since even the health effects of diet drinks are the subject of much debate.
So What’s in Diet Soda?
Diet soda combines carbonated water with artificial sweeteners, flavors, and color to make it more appealing and tasteful for common taste buds. It usually has no calories, sugar, or protein, which makes them almost empty.
However, despite the claims that diet soda does not use sugar, some can still have some calories like Coca-Cola Life has natural sweetener Stevia. Not only does it have calories but sugar content as well.
Some common ingredients of diet soda are:
- Carbonated Water: Water is mixed with carbon dioxide to make a carbonated drink.
- Artificial Sweetener: Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, or an herbal sweetener like stevia.
- Acids: Some acids are added to diet soda to enhance the flavor. It gives soda its tartness.
- Artificial Colors: Some artificial colors like carotenoids, anthocyanins, and caramels are used.
- Flavors: Different artificial flavors of fruits or berries are used to enhance the drink’s flavor.
- Preservatives: Almost all commercial products use preservatives to enhance the shelf life of a drink.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Some diet soda manufacturers add vitamins and minerals to enhance
- Caffeine: Like regular soda, diet soda also contains caffeine.
Effect of Diet Soda on Weight Loss
Although diet soda does not contain sugar or extra calories, that does not necessarily mean it can help weight loss. Many studies confirm that artificial sweeteners and flavors promote obesity.
Here is how diet soda may not help you lose weight at all.
Many studies reveal that diet soda makes you eat more. Artificial sweeteners like sucralose stimulate hunger. They do so by altering the sugar receptors that trigger dopamine responses in the brain.
As these drinks have no calories, they make you eat more sweet and calorie-dense food. Diet soda lacks sugar, so it may trick your brain into thinking that you need sugar. That can make you crave high-calorie, unhealthy food.
So diet soda may not contribute to weight gain directly, but it may affect the diet. Diet soda in itself does not contain many calories.
Studies show how artificial sweeteners in diet soda can influence your metabolism and weight (Source: Healthline)
Is Crystal Light a Healthy Drink?
Crystal Light is a low-calorie, gluten-free powder. Crystal Light brand of beverage that is hailed as a non-carbonated drink. The brand targets people looking for a low-calorie drink for weight loss.
Many consider it a healthy drink since it contains no calories or sugar. The drink lacks sugar and fat, but does that mean it is healthy, is it not like other processed food that is not healthy?
If your real concern is to control some calories, then crystal light seems suitable. Most of the flavors have 0-10 calories.
However, they are sweet and flavorful, all that goodness without calories. It sounds too good to be true. The truth is that Crystal Light comes loaded with too many artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors.
Crystal light comes in wide varieties and flavors. The main ingredients are citric acid, potassium citrate, magnesium, maltodextrin, calcium phosphate, and acesulfame potassium.
Some of its varieties may contain artificial flavors and colors as well. All of these seem like a lot of ingredients in what seems to be a healthy glass of water.
When we look at the ingredient list, most ingredients are either preservatives or artificial sweeteners. Though all of these ingredients are approved by FDA and are categorized as generally safe, is it nutritious?
Despite all the brand claims and the popular belief that Crystal Light is a healthy alternative to diet soda, the drink is not very healthy at all. It may not give you many calories, but it makes you drink loads of artificial ingredients, including sweeteners, color, flavors, and preservatives.
Yes, it does not contain many calories, but it can’t be promoted as healthy in the presence of all these artificial preservatives and sweeteners.
Potential Side Effects Of Crystal Light
Generally, half a packet of crystal light contains no more than 5-10 calories. And the story does not end here; when we look at the long list of ingredients, we notice most Crystal Light packages contain Aspartame, which is an artificial sweetener. Aspartame, though approved as safe, is considered the worst artificial sweetener.
The common side effects of Aspartame are headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, and irritability, to name a few.
There are four different varieties of crystal light, and only the Blackberry Lemonbabe flavor uses sucralose instead of aspartame as a sweetener.
Now sucralose, once considered a safe and healthy alternative to sugar, is just a chlorinated sugar. Some side effects are digestion issues, disruption of your body’s ability to absorb medication, headaches, and an increased risk of allergies.
Besides the artificial sweeteners, Crystal Light contains potassium citrate. It is mostly used as a flavor for citric fruits.
Although it can improve the mineral density and is used in drugs to prevent oxalate from forming stones in the body, potassium citrate is not without risks. It can cause stomach pain, nausea.
You might enjoy reading: Does Crystal Light Count as Water (Here’s the truth!)
Crystal Light For Weight Loss
Now we can say both Diet Soda and Crystal Light do not contain any calories or sugar. Diet soda may contain some calories despite their claim, and both drinks use artificial sweeteners and flavors. That makes both drinks very unhealthy.
Still, if we have to choose between the two evils, crystal light seems to be the lesser. It can help you if you are trying to cut your calories and may help you stay hydrated.
It’s ok to have it once in a while, but we cannot replace crystal light with water. It is like drinking a glass of water with some artificial sweeteners, color, and food preservatives, which seems appalling, but if you don’t like to drink too much water, it certainly helps you stay hydrated.
Taking in moderation may not affect your weight loss or health but getting addicted to these flavors and making them an alternative to water to stay hydrated is not good.
Artificial preservatives and sweeteners can cause some severe damaging effects. And as of now, we cannot say with certainty if any artificial sweetener is safe, posing no health risk.
Another thing to remember is that both drinks contain no nutritional value. These are just filling up your stomach with artificial stuff, and the fact that you might be replacing them with real nutritional drinks is disturbing.
You can switch to clean water that is best for staying hydrated—adding something as simple as lemon can give you additional nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, thiamin, vitamin B6, and folate.
The bottom line is that diet soda and crystal light are almost zero-calorie sugar-free drinks. Both are promoted as healthy; one might think drinking them is safe, but that is not true. Both contain artificial flavors and sweeteners that pose many health risks.
Mother nature provides plenty of healthy drink choices, and choosing diet soda or crystal light over them should be discouraged.