Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Diet Mtn Dew: addicted

I have a confession to make.
I'm a Diet Mountain Dew junkie.  An addict.  Passionate guzzler.  
I love it.  
If I could drink it every day I could.

The only real reason I don't is because it can be quite expensive and if I drink it at night it keeps me awake too late.
My real love is Diet Mountain Dew, but if I'm out a restaurant and they only have Coke products I'll go with Coke Zero or Diet Coke.  I just want the pop (or soda or whatever else you call it, but everyone smart calls it pop).  
I like the caffeine boost I get, the bubbles and fizz, the sweetness, and the coldness. 
Except I know it's bad for you.  Very bad.  

They put fake crap in their that is not sugar to make it taste sweet.  It ain't real.

In my younger years, my brother and I would split a can of Sprite occasionally on Saturday family movie night.
A half a can.  And that's probably about all the pop I drank for the first 10 or so years of my life.  
Then I decided I really liked Pepsi and Mountain Dew and I would drink a can sometimes.  Still not very often.
Sometime during high school, I thought that I had to start drinking diet pop because regular pop was going to make me fat. So I made the switch and started drinking Diet Pepsi.  I couldn't drink Diet Mountain Dew yet because I was still to used to the regular stuff and so the diet crap tasted bad.
I still had quite the control over my pop consumption during high school, but during my sophomore year of college things took a turn for the worse.
I managed to stay away from the fountain pop in the cafeteria for the most part during my  freshman year but during my sophomore year, I had pop all.the.time.  Sometimes with lunch and dinner.  And the occasional glass of pop with breakfast.  This is when I really started to drink Diet Mountain Dew a lot.  Going to school full-time with a full-load of classes, being a member of the softball team, and working 15+ hours a week at a job 30 minutes away really took a toll on my sleeping habits.  I stayed up too late, lived the college lifestyle, and tried to get up too early.  Caffeine was my crutch.  I drank coffee in the mornings and pop in the afternoon.  It kept me awake at work and in class...sometimes.  Admittedly I still fell asleep in my boring classes.  Oops.
Looking back, this is also when I gained weight and was at my poorest health.  Lack of sleep + caffeine consumption = bad. 'Nough said.
I've been able to quell that addiction since then but still drank way to much pop when I was in school at Iowa.  36 oz, or 42 oz. of pop at the Den or the gas station at 9 p.m. at night isn't good either.

Since being done with school I've tried to cut back.  Then I read some articles and blog posts about diet pop and the bad effects it may have.  Like this article.  

Diet pop effects in a nutshell
  • aspartame may raise blood sugar levels
  • those who drank diet soda generally have larger waists than those who do not
  • it can confuse you're hunger alerts in your brain, and may even cause you to crave more sweets
  • can wear away the enamel on your teeth,  protect those pearly whites!
There are probably a million more reasons (some undiscovered) as to why you shouldn't drink diet pop.  So if these reasons aren't enough keep searching.  (Has anyone heard that Coke can take the rust of a nail?  What is that doing to your insides?)

As a personal challenge, I'm giving up pop.  It probably won't be permanently but I need to make it not a habit anymore.  I'm pretty sure it also gives me side cramps when I'm running so this will help me during my training and racing.  So far, I've gone two weeks! I might not be perfect in this goal, but if I can just cut my consumption down to one a week, I will be happy.  

Do you drink pop?  And what do you think about the side effects?
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