Artificial sweeteners are products that are used to make food taste sweet but have little to no calories. Common examples include Aspartame, Sucralose (Splenda) and Stevia. While there has been a lot of buzz about the safety of artificial sweeteners in the media, particularly aspartame, all artificial sweeteners used and sold in Canada have been determined to be safe in normal doses.
Pros: -Reduces sugar/caloric content of soft drinks and other sugary products, thus preventing blood sugar spikes and potentially favouring weight loss.
Cons: -When you consume artificial sweeteners your body “expects” to be getting sugar and when it doesn’t, you tend to compensate later on for the calories/sugar we didn’t actually get - Just because the sugar has been replaced, for instance in soft drinks, doesn’t mean that other less healthy substances such as caramel colouring and phosphoric acid are also gone.
As athletes, when choosing options with artificial sweeteners such as sugar-free yogurt, you’re robbing your body of calories that could potentially be used for training and keep you satisfied for longer.
Bottom Line: From an athlete’s perspective, artificial sweeteners have their place if you want to consume food like soft drinks and are looking for a healthier option but whole food is always better! #GGNation - @gracienorthrop
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