Carbonated drinks are extremely popular. There are the regular ones (full of sugar and consequently full of calories), but there’s also diet / zero sugar-free variety: sugar-free tonic, sugar-free colas, and all sorts of fruit flavor low calorie soft drinks…
But if you are looking to lose weight, however, low calorie fizzy drinks might not be something you want to drink. Research shows you should give up the carbonated drinks altogether!
Why carbonated drinks can derail your diet plan?
Carbonated drinks seem to affect the appetite-regulating hormonal balance.
Recently, a group of Palestinian scientists published the results of an interesting study that suggests that carbon dioxide dissolved in carbonated beverages may cause the secretion of ghrelin, an appetite stimulating hormone.
In the study, lasting more than a year, young rats were divided into four groups. The control group was drinking water, the first intervention group a regular but decarbonated drink, and the third group was drinking a regular carbonated drink, and the fourth group was drinking sugar-free version of carbonated drinks. They were weighed daily and amounts of the consumed chow was recorded.
And the results?
Rats, who drank carbonated beverages, gained weight faster than the control group, mainly because they were eating more. The researchers found out that the presence of the carbon stimulated the secretion of ghrelin, the hunger hormon. The content or lack of sugar played a little role: as long as there was carbon in the drink, the rats were hungrier and ate more.
Along with the rats, they performed a similar study in human males: after a standardized breakfast 20 young men were offered one of the four versions of the drinks (water, decarbonated regular drink, regular carbonated drink and sugar-free carbonated drink). The measurements of ghrelin levels depending on the type of drink totally correlated with those found in rats (Eweis et al., 2017).
So do soft drinks and dieting mix well? They do, but you should reconsider: we know that rats and men shouldn’t drink carbonated anything when trying to lose weight. For the ladies? We still can wait for the research to tell us “no, don’t drink soda”
EWEIS, D.S., ABED, F. and STIBAN, J. 2017. Carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages induces ghrelin release and increased food consumption in male rats: Implications on the onset of obesity. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 534-543, 10.1016/j.orcp.2017.02.001
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