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Oct 15

Breaking Diet Coke Addiction

Since the introduction in 1982, Diet Coke became the most popular sugar free drink worldwide. When all the sales are considered, then it is evident that Diet Coke is the third most popular soft drink, right after Coca-Cola and Pepsi, the sugary variants. The internet helped the Diet Coke remain a popular drink, but on the other hand, many negative claims have found their way to the broad public. One of the claims is that Diet Coke is addictive.
Is Diet Coke really addictive and is there any truth to this claim?
It is interesting that opponents and aficionados both claim the same, namely that Diet Coke is addictive. When you surf on the World Wide Web, checking several diet related forums and Diet Coke related topics, there are several main topics which handle Diet Coke addiction. Even the ones handling the aspartame controversy are full of the statements regarding addictive traits of Diet Coke.
The contents of Diet Coke which are available to the broad public give just a limited number of possible culprits responsible for a potential addiction. The Coca-Cola Company denies that any such addictive trait, a method which they employed with the aspartame controversy and which did not help much.
Possible culprits that are ingredients of Diet Coke and have the potential to create an addiction are caffeine and phenylalanine.
Caffeine is a stimulant drug and known beyond the soft drink market. Coffee and Tea have it, guarana has it, cocoa and chocolate have it and the kola nut, which delivers it to Coca-Cola and related products, has it as well. When taken in moderation, caffeine can be exhilarating, temporarily remove effects of fatigue, raise alertness and enhance body coordination.
Unfortunately, caffeine is almost everywhere, therefore it is not easy to keep the intake low. A tall Starbuck’s has already the recommended limit, any additional Coke raises the levels over the suggested edges. Overuse can happen if large amounts of caffeine are imbibed constantly over a certain amount of time. The effects include insomnia, irritability, headaches, hyperreflexia, nervousness and similar problems. Overuse can also lead to overproduction of stomach fluids, making a development of peptic ulcers highly probable. When overuse is discontinued, withdrawal effects set in within twelve hours and can last up to two weeks.
The other possibly addictive substance is phenylalanine. Every soft drink sweetened with aspartame and NutraSweet is labeled as containing it, but it breaks off when aspartame depletes after intake, as a byproduct. Phenylalanine is an amino acid which is also found naturally in the breast milk. It is a known analgesic and antidepressant, similar to adrenaline and dopamine.

Linus Orakles

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