In an interview with People magazine, “True Blood” actor Stephen Moyer, who has been sober for more than a decade, called Diet Coke “the Patron Saint drink for alcoholics.”
He’s likely not the first (or the last) person to turn to diet soda during recovery. A can now and again won’t hurt you, but the habitual intake of diet soda does come with health consequences. Here are just a few:
- It could cause weight gain. Studies have linked diet soda consumption with increased fat, especially around the abdomen. One explanation: Artificial sweeteners confuse our bodies and weaken the link in our brains between sweetness and calories, which can cause cravings for even sweeter treats.
- It could ruin your teeth. A study published in the journal General Dentistry compared the mouths of a cocaine-user, a methamphetamine-user, and a habitual diet-soda drinker, and found the same level of tooth erosion in each of them. The culprit: the soda’s acidic content which overtime destroys tooth enamel.
- It could impact your mood. One study found that people who drank more than four cans of soda a day were 30 percent more likely to develop depression, though the correlation held true for both regular and diet soda drinkers.
- It could cause caffeine withdrawal. If you drink two cans of diet soda per day and then abruptly stop, you’ll likely experience withdrawal symptoms, including headache, fatigue, irritability, depressed mood, nausea and muscle pain, according to Murray Carpenter, freelance journalist and author of Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us.
- There’s no nutritional value. Sure, you’re not guzzling sugar and empty calories but you’re also not consuming anything that good for your body either. Your best bet: plain old H2O or sparkling water if you crave something fizzy.
Self-Care During Recovery
At AJ’s House, we provide clients with farm-fresh meals, nutritional counseling, and yoga and exercise programs. To learn more about our holistic addiction services, call today: 855-221-1717.