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I have a question about pop drinking. My 17 year-old daughter told me that the kids on the track team in her school usually give up pop drinking because it slows them down. I don't drink a ton of pop, usually one or two diet pepsis a day. Does anyone know whether this will affect my running? What do you think?
Bunches of flavoring chemicals and high fructose corn syrup in carbonated water. How is that possibly going to help?
As to whether it's been shown to be actively detrimental I'm not sure there's any research. Basic rule is if it's not good, then it's replacing something that is good in your diet and should be used sparingly, if at all.
It's never bothered me any, but I drink diet soda so no HFCS for me. Of course, there are a lot of rumors floating around about aspartame, too. If they were true, I'd be a blithering idiot by now. (I don't think I am.) I once went off soda (diet or sugared) for 6 months to see if it made any difference - none that I noticed.
That said, all these substances affect different bodies in different ways (look at peanuts). Individuals may find (or perceive) deleterious effects. The comment about replacing valuable nutrition with sugar is probably most pertinent.
As for those flavoring chemicals - who knows? Consider some of the chemicals that have been found to be performance enhancers. It's common to pick on ingredients that are added to "processed" foods. But there is rarely any research to support either side of the story.
I am 38 and began running in May starting with C25K and am now doing 10Ks and training for my first half marathon. My 15 year old daughter runs track and Cross country, and her team has also stopped drinking soda. The concerns are calcium depletion, sugars and caffeine. Diet sodas also tend to make you gain belly weight as the artiicial sweeteners can make you feel more hungry. I kicked my go to Diet Coke habit (EVERY day at noon had to have it) over 6 months ago now and don"t miss it a bit. Tea is a way better option if you are a slave to caffeine as many of us are. Here is a link to an article my daughter's coach posted: http://http://health.yahoo.com/experts/drmao/20270/what-soft-drinks-are-doing-to-your-body/ Good luck! Hope this helps...
I'll second anything you do needs to be done in motivation. I used to drink a lot of diet soda until my husband was convinced the sugar subsitute was the culprit behind my auto immune disease. I cut back tremendously on my consumption (1 serving a day now usually) and increased my water to compensate...don't see a difference really but feel see better skin condition with the increased water. Don't know about the running but I'm sure the water hydration is the best for that too.
TRUST THE TRAINING!
I don't think a soft drink or two makes a difference. In fact I run at 4:30 am and if I forget to set the coffee maker I will down a classic coke or two.... I heard some old time runners (Frank Shorter??) would drink FLAT coke before a marathon... I think for me the issue is that water is just better for me and drinking too many sodas gets in the way of getting in the daily RDA of H2O.
I wouldn't worry about it. They are empty calories if not diet, though...
BTW I quit drinking all sodas, diet or otherwise for about 6 months. I recently (last 3 months) started having one or 2 a day again. I see no affect whatsoever on my times. Like Len says there is a lot of bad press and scary stuff you can read about aspartame and phenalynine. If you want a soda I would just go for it in moderation.
Thanks Gatorman. I guess I'll still have a diet pop sometimes. I just have to make sure I drink enough water. There have been days when I've realized that I haven't really had any water to drink. I have to remember not to quench my thirst with pop so much that I forget to drink water. I've been a lot better about that since I have been running. I drink more water now.
I'll second that one - get in the habit of drinking water. Keep a water bottle on your desk, on the table next to your chair at home, on the kitchen counter while you're cooking. This is something I learned the hard way when I first started running. I wasn't getting enough fluids and ended up with kidney stones. Started keeping a water bottle handy and drinking from it and haven't had a recurrence in over 20 years.
BTW, caffeine has been documented to be a performance enhancer, in moderation.
I'm pretty skeptical of any new reports of scary new risks (I still own an old Nalgene bottle with BPA, and haven't dropped dead yet!) and I believe NutraSweet and other sweeteners have been studied enough to ensure they're not harmful in the small quantities a typical person would consume. I also used to be a regular Diet Pepsi drinker (2 or 3 cans a day), and about 3 years ago I just got tired of buying it, storing it, finding room in the fridge for it, and recycling the cans afterward. I just quit, and I didn't miss it at all. I still drink coffee with Splenda, though, because I love coffee and enjoy a little caffeine.
However -- and this is why I'm chiming in -- I experienced two very real benefits shortly after quitting the diet soda. First, my chronic tooth sensitivity went away. I had dealt with it for years, even using a special prescription toothpaste. Second, although I had started working out steadily about 6 months before quitting, I had 4 or 5 stubborn pounds that just seemed to hang on. After quitting the soda (and again, I only drank diet), that extra weight came right off, even though nothing else about my routine or diet had changed. I thought it must be my imagination but since then I've read about a study that showed a link between diet soda and weight loss, as though the artificial sweetness or carbonation tricks your body into storing more fat, or something. Who knows why. I can't prove it, but it seemed to match my experience. Now, on the very rare occasion that I have a diet soda at a social event, I feel bloated and uncomfortable afterward.
I can't say whether quitting will help your running performance (I was exercising but not really running back then), but I bet you'll feel better and you'll save a little money too.