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Are Diet Drinks Better Than Regular Soda?

Summer is upon us with vengeance. The heat (and the humidity) is almost intolerable. That soft drink in the fridge by the checkout counter of any store is just the right thing to quench that miserable feeling. But do you choose the regular or diet soda? What’s the difference?

The following article by www.fooducate.com compares the contents of the Pepsi Next diet drink against its regular soda cousins. Warning – the truth may sting a little!

Summer is upon us with vengeance. The heat (and the humidity) is almost intolerable. That soft drink in the fridge by the checkout counter of any store is just the right thing to quench that miserable feeling. But do you choose the regular or diet soda? What’s the difference?

The following article by www.fooducate.com compares the contents of the Pepsi Next diet drink against its regular soda cousins. Warning – the truth may sting a little!

April 4th, 2012

Pepsi Next

 

When we joked about the big cola companies removing 30% of the sugar from their soft drinks as an April Fool’s prank, some people responded in all seriousness, having spotted such a cola from Pepsi out in the wild. And indeed, Pepsi Next boasts a 60% reduction in sugar!

Could it be that we are on the cusp of a soft drink revolution?

What you need to know:

Here is Pepsi Next’s ingredient list:

CARBONATED WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CARAMEL COLOR, NATURAL FLAVOR, PHOSPHORIC ACID, SODIUM CITRATE, CAFFEINE, POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), ASPARTAME, CITRIC ACID, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, SUCRALOSE.

Note that while sugar content has been reduced, it is still the second ingredient after water (in the form of high fructose corn syrup). There are still 4 teaspoons of sugar in a 12 ounce can!

True, about 6 teaspoons worth were removed. But unfortunately, Pepsi Next has simply replaced the missing sugar with artificial sweeteners, same as those used in its diet drink. And not just one or two, but a thoroughly sickening triumvirate including aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose.

Each of the three has its related health concerns, and artificial sweeteners in general mess with the body’s capability to deal with sweet. The dissociation between sweet taste and calorie intake may put the regulatory system that controls hunger and body weight out of sync, thus sabotaging weight loss plans. A study on rodents showed that those fed artificial sweeteners actually gained weight compared to rodents fed sucrose. For more, read Three Reasons to Rethink that Diet Coke You’re About to Drink.

Pepsi Next Ingredients

Here’s what the Fooducate grading and analysis for Pepsi Next looks like (web version):

Pepsi Next rated on Fooducate's web appPepsi Next rated on Fooducate’s web app

What to do at the supermarket:

Don’t look for health when it comes to soft drinks, whether fully loaded with sugar, artificially sweetened, or this hybrid Next product. Switch to soda water infused with some fruit juice, then work your way to regular water. If you can make it, you’ll save your family $500 a year by switching to tap water…

Pepsi Next claims to have 60 percent less sugar without sacrificing taste. The secret to keeping its sweet taste comes from the use of THREE artificial sweeteners: aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose.
Aspartame (Nutrasweet and Equal) is believed to be carcinogenic and accounts for more reports of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combined.
Acesulfame potassium (Acesulfame-K) has been linked to kidney problems, and sucralose (Splenda) has been found to reduce the amount of beneficial microflora in your gut by 50 percent—in addition to being associated with many of the same adverse reactions as aspartame.
Contrary to popular belief, research has shown that artificial sweeteners can stimulate your appetite; increase carbohydrate cravings; stimulate fat storage and weight gain.

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Bottled Water Video

Stop drinking from bottled water. Ask us how to use your tap water to generate world’s purest and healthiest water using state-of-the-art bio-ceramic mineral stones technology!

Before you purchase another plastic water bottle, please think twice for our environment perspective and your own health perspective.

Watch this entertaining and yet serious Story of Bottled Water, released on March 22, 2010 (World Water Day) by The Story of Stuff Project, employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over five minutes, the film explores the bottled water industry’s attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces.

Stop drinking from bottled water. Ask us how to use your tap water to generate world’s purest and healthiest alkaline and anti-oxidant water using state-of-the-art bio-ceramic mineral stones!

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What Does Water Do After You Drink It?

We’re all told that water is the best thing we can drink – and it definitely is. But what does water do that’s so valuable? Why do we need our eight glasses a day? Water Being PouredWell, the truth is that water goes to work after we drink it, keeping our bodies in the best possible shape and helping us establish great, lasting health.

We talked about the importance of staying hydrated during summer and 5 key ways to avoid dehydration in our last blog. This blog let’s briefly answer the curious question of “What does water do after you drink it?”

We’re all told that water is the best thing we can drink – and it definitely is. But what does water do that’s so valuable? Why do we need our eight glasses a day? Water Being PouredWell, the truth is that water goes to work after we drink it, keeping our bodies in the best possible shape and helping us establish great, lasting health.

With that in mind, let’s look at what water’s benefits are and why you should be drinking more of it.

We’re Mostly Water

Our bodies are comprised of about 80% water – which means that drinking enough water is important. After drinking water, it goes to our brain, muscle mass, and blood cells. Without water, our brain, muscle and blood cells wouldn’t have the resources they need to replenish dead cells and strengthen existing ones.

Gets Rid of Fatigue

Did you know that a simple drop in the percentage of water in your body could be more responsible for your 2pm drowsiness than anything else? It’s true. Losing just that much water stresses your body. Adding water will relieve that stress and significantly boost your energy levels.

Gets to Work

Water helps carry nutrients from certain areas of your body to another, while also getting rid of waste. Water essentially forms the “highway” in your body that helps all organ systems accomplish their purpose.

Weight Loss

If you’re having a difficult time getting rid of that last twenty pounds or so, make sure that you’re hydrated. Without proper hydration it’s really hard to lose the weight.

Relieve Joint Pain

Proper hydration also helps relieve joint pain by making the cartilage in your joints softer and more pliable. It may not seem like much, but it’s the truth. Water in your joints really does “grease things up” to help you eliminate joint pain and feel your absolute best.

Water does a lot of things for our bodies once we drink it. It’s hands-down one of the most important substances in the world.

Source: Nature’s Sunshine Products Education Blogs

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5-Ways to Stay Hydrated This Summer

You’ll probably never hear anyone tell you to drink less water. The amount of water in your body directly and deeply affects how many of your body’s functions work. If you are dehydrated, you just won’t be able to function very well, even if you are sedentary. Staying hydrated while you exercise and as you go from activity to activity during the day is crucial to your wellbeing.

The Dangers of Dehydration

Woman DrinkingWater not only carries nutrients throughout the body via the circulatory system, but it also performs other critical functions like removing bacteria and waste from the digestive system, hydrating the skin so it can sweat (and, therefore, help to reduce core temperature during exertion), reduce joint pain, elevate mood, reduce some types of headaches, increase performance, and decrease hunger.

If you’re feeling thirsty or your mouth is dry, you’re already a little dehydrated. Most people spend the day in a state of mild dehydration, which can lead to headaches, tiredness and fatigue, dizziness, and dry skin. Severe dehydration brings on mental confusion, extreme weakness, and even death.

Working out while being dehydrated forces your heart to pump harder than it needs to. In addition, your limbs will probably feel heavy and weak, and you might suffer from dizzy spells. Time to take a water break!

Stay Hydrated All Day—Not Just Before or After Exercise

The best way to stay hydrated while engaging in any type of exercise program is to drink enough water throughout the day. This will keep you on a more even keel and prevent the bloating and cramping that downing a lot of water right before or right after a vigorous workout can produce. Highly active people should be glugging three liters of water a day, even on days they don’t work out.

Five Strategies for All-Day HydrationFull length red waterbottle

  1. Avoid coffee, tea, and soda. Each of these drinks has a diuretic effect. Not only will you have to take more bathroom breaks when drinking these liquids, but you’ll then have to replace the fluids you’ve lost. If you replace the fluids with more coffee, tea, or soda, you’ll be perpetuating a vicious cycle.
  2. Keep a water bottle with you at all times. You won’t always be near a drinking fountain, so having water handy parches thirst immediately. In addition, constantly sipping on water keeps your bladder saturated, which actually reduces the number of bathroom breaks you’ll need to take. Picture your bladder as a sponge and imagine how water runs off a completely dry sponge before it begins being able to absorb the liquid. A saturated bladder will be able to hold onto more fluid for longer than a dry bladder can.
  3. Flavor your water. Flavoring water usually encourages people to drink more water more often. Avoid sugary flavorings and instead go for naturally flavored H2O by tossing lemon slices, cucumber slices, mint or basil leaves, or chopped fruit into your bottle or water pitcher.
  4. Eat more fiber. Fiber (both soluble and insoluble) is important for digestive health. It moves food through the intestines and helps to scrub out bad bacteria and maintain a healthy gut. Lack of fiber can lead to constipation, and constipation can lead to more pressure on your bladder, which leads to more frequent urination and quicker dehydration.
  5. Replace lost electrolytes during times of intense exercise or prolonged heavy sweating. Electrolytes are responsible for maintaining the right balance of fluids in your body. You lose electrolytes during periods of heavy exertion and sweating, and it doesn’t hurt to give your body a little boost with a quality electrolyte replenishing product after a vigorous workout. Electrolyte-replenishing drinks also contain lots of water, so you’re still working to stay hydrated.

Don’t try to hydrate only when you are exercising. Staying hydrated all day long is the key to optimal bodily function. You’ll feel better, stronger, and more awake if you focus on keeping yourself hydrated 24 hours a day.

Source: Nature’s Sunshine Products Educational Blogs

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Detoxification Methodologies

Unfortunately, there are so many different detoxing methods out there, that picking the one that works best for your body can be difficult. Additionally, the type of detox that you select needs to be compatible with your health and fitness goals. To make the right decision, you first have to learn exactly what a detox is.

There is a lot out there regarding detoxing and cleansing. If you’re like a lot of people, you may have a general idea of what detoxing your body means, but you may not know how detoxing helps each of your body’s systems.

If done properly, detoxing your body can give you an extremely good foundation to start on as you start on any type of transformation journey. Whether you are wanting to lose weight, gain lean muscle mass, or put on healthy weight, detoxing can give your body a good jumpstart.

Unfortunately, there are so many different detoxing methods out there, picking the one that works best for your body can be difficult. Additionally, the type of detox that you select needs to be compatible with your health and fitness goals. To make the right decision, you first have to learn exactly what a detox is.

What is a detox?

Detoxing, also known as cleansing, is the process in which you rid the body of harmful toxins or any other unhealthy substances that might be causing your body’s anatomic systems to function improperly. A basic detox can remove these toxins by giving a specified nutritional boost to the liver, where most impurities in the blood are removed.

There are multiple reasons why people would choose to perform a detox. Increasing energy levels, weight loss, and the ability to control cravings are just a few of the primary reasons.

No two detoxing methods are the same and no two detoxing methods will produce the same results. It’s important to understand that different detoxing methods can produce different results for different anatomic systems. What works for your nervous system may not work for you digestive system.

How do you know if you should detox?

 

There are always extenuating circumstances in which cleansing generally isn’t recommended. You should definitely consult your doctor if you are pregnant, on prescription medication, or are diabetic before you consider detoxing.

Many dietitians and other health-care professionals recommend performing some type of detox or cleanse at least once per year. Specifically if you are experiencing symptoms like:

  • bloating
  • irritated skin
  • excessive drowsiness
  • frequent viral infections
  • allergies

To figure out what detoxing method works best for each system, we first have to gain an understanding of some different detoxing and cleansing methods:

  • Drinking Water

A water detox is one of the most basic forms of cleansing that you could perform. By simply increasing your intake of water throughout the day, you can flush out unwanted toxins and help your kidneys get rid of unwanted bacteria and impurity build ups. Many people find that they have increased energy and feel less bloated after doing a water detox. The most common form of water cleansing is drinking a gallon of water a day for 10 days.

  • Sweating it out

Research is showing that when you sweat, you lose more than just salt and water through your pores. You are also pushing out unwanted impurities like toxins and heavy metals. Things like lead, mercury, and cadmium are often more efficiently excreted through sweat glands than they are through the urinary tract. If your gym has a dry or wet sauna, spend a few minutes in there after every workout. Even if you aren’t working out that day, hop in the sauna and let your body do its thing.

  • A green tea regimen

Green tea is naturally high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that remove potentially damaging oxidizing agents in the body. Because it’s so high in antioxidants, green tea also has the ability to boost your immune system and keep your digestive system operating smoothly. When people detox with green tea, they generally drink two cups a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, for an average of about 15 days to one month.

  • Fasting

This is generally the most recognizable form of detoxing and cleansing, and unfortunately it is the method that scares everyone away. First of all, fasting is NOT about starving yourself. Fasting, when it comes to detoxing, is about eliminating unhealthy  aspects of our diet to focus on other, more healthy options. Avoiding things like caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, or sugar for an extended period of time are the types of fasts that you need. While eliminating those substances, increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and water to help flush yourself out.

  • Probiotics

Probiotics are microorganisms (or bacteria) naturally found in the body that can help support your immune and digestive systems. There is good bacteria and then there is bad bacteria. The good bacteria in the body is designed to fight off the bad bacteria. Taking additional probiotic supplements can help boost the amount of good bacteria in the body, thus eliminating more bad bacteria that can cause digestion problems.

  • Exercise Change

As you have probably figured out, detoxing is all about making a change. Making changes doesn’t just mean changing your body, it means changing your mindset. Changing up your exercise routine can help you get into a better mental state that is more prepared for making positive changes. Doing the same exercise routine over and over again can become less and less effective because your body doesn’t consider it a challenge anymore. Drastic exercise change shocks your body, giving it more of a workout.

  • Cutting out Carbs

When we say carbs, we mean simple carbohydrates like white flour, white sugar, and fried foods. Most foods that contain these kinds of carbohydrates are usually over processed and packed full of preservatives that introduce more toxins to the body. They can spike your blood sugar, make you feel bloated, and put unnecessary strain on your excretory organs because they are now working overtime to get rid of them.

  • Skin Brushing

The skin performs so many different functions. It protects us from outside elements, insulates us, holds our organs and muscles together, and even has a role in filtering out toxins. Sometimes though, the skin needs help getting rid of those toxins that it excretes. Dry brushing is a way that we can help our skin out and its great for aiding our lymphatic system detox. Take a standard natural bristle brush and start brushing your skin from the feet on up. Be careful not to brush too hard so your skin doesn’t get irritated.

  • Acupuncture

Acupuncture is based on the principle of balancing Qi (more commonly pronounced as chi), the life force that harmonizes all functions of the body. An acupuncture treatment can help you eliminate cravings and can assist in getting rid of toxins through the urinary tract. The theory is that if the body is operating as normal as possible, then it will naturally get rid of waste material and toxins that it does not need. An acupuncture session can usually last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and generally people will be treated 2-3 times per month when they are trying to detox.

  • Juicing

This is another more common form of detoxing that seems to be taking the world by storm. There are a wide variety of methods that have been used, but they are all generally based on the same principle: replacing a meal or meals with juices that are packed full of essential nutrients and are designed to help rid the body of impurities and toxins. Juice cleanses can last for three days or 30 days and can replace one meal or all your meals. The choice is up to you. Just remember to consult a health-care professional before doing a juice cleanse to make sure your body is able to adjust properly to the change in diet.

  • Herbal Detox

There is a lot of benefits when choosing to use natural herbs to help your body to detox. Various different herbal combinations can be used to target different types of toxins and/or different body systems. However, please to always be mindful about the diuretic effects of some of the less-costly herbal teas that claim to have detox effects. The diuretics are not the preferred way to do a detox as it can pull out disproportional amount of good nutrients such as potassium and other vital minerals out of our body system. I would always consult someone qualified in herbology to help you choose wisely what’s the best herbal detox for you.

Source: Nature’s Sunshine Products Blog
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