Want a Soda? The Truth About Diet Drinks and Artificial Sweeteners


Want a Soda? The Truth About Diet Drinks and Artificial Sweeteners.

I’ve said it before – and it appears I’m about to say it again:

No.  They don’t count in your hydration needs!

“They?” you ask?

“They,” I respond, “fluids sweetened with artificial sweeteners.”

If you’re a DS post-op past the 6 month post-op mark you need nearly a gallon of non-sweetened (no artificially sweetened and no regularly sweetened) fluids daily.


Because more than half of your GI system is now excluded from ingested fluids.  You have to work harder to be adequately hydrated.

Why does it matter?

Because chronic dehydration can seriously mess you up.

Because kidney stones suck.

Because you want to lose your weight and keep it off.

Because you want your labs to be optimal.

Because you want all of the vitamins and supplements you work so diligently to take to be used optimally.

Because you don’t want to pass out and take a little ride in the ambulance to the hospital for IV hydration.

Because you want to live your life and enjoy it and the new found health, activity, and vitality that your post-DS life affords.


So, repeat after me….  “Artificial sweeteners are NOT my friend….”

And you know me…  I’m gonna throw in – “…and neither is carbonation!”

Now go get a nice tall glass of iced tea!


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Maddie says:

    Admittedly, I’ve recently started drinking a little diet coke over crushed ice and seriously flattened as I can’t really handle the carbonation. I don’t drink a lot of it, I was looking for something different since I was tiring of water. I don’t use a lot of artificial sweetners, but I do use some. I know that I have seriously cut down using them since I used to drink coffee everyday, but now have a couple cups of coffee maybe once or twice a week. I have a hard time drinking a small bottle of water if it isn’t nearly frozen. Warm or room temp water makes me super neasueated. I’d use Splenda, but it makes me very gassy and gives me super watery poos. I wish I liked unsweetened tea or coffee, but I find it icky tasting. Now I’m not sure what to do. *pout*

    1. Dina says:

      Maddie – I know – it’s not like you can just jump in and say, “The water’s fine!” when it comes to transitioning to non-sweetened drinks. Some people can. I give them a nod of respect, I do! But real life is that you may need to give yourself a period of time to transition. Try different teas. Try different coffees. Try different strengths. Try different temperatures. They can all make a big difference.

      For me – if I hadn’t had Starbuck’s Venti Iced Green Tea, no classic, with extra ice please – well, I wouldn’t have been able to give up Coke successfully. I’m so thankful that I had something to help ease that change in my life!

  2. Jerri K says:

    You know Dina, this couldn’t have been more perfect timing. I have never been a big soda drinker, and when I do I want an ice cold regular Pepsi (only allowed when I go to the ball park maybe once or twice a year and a kid’s size!).

    But artificial sweeteners … I have banished them from my life. My migraines have gotten worse the last few years, and it finally dawned on me just how many artificial sweeteners I have consumed since I had my DS in 2006. It’s in EVERYTHING – protein drinks, protein bars, sugar free gum and candy sugar free pudding, light yogurt, my vitamins and even in my favorite low-carb tortilla and light bread! It’s targeted to kids in lower-sugar granola bars, cereals and snacks.

    I’m not afraid of a little sugar. I like water. A lot. And I like my iced tea unsweetened or with just a very little raw sugar or honey. I’ve even found a protein powder without any artificial sweeteners that I like just fine.

    But the best thing … in the 3 or so weeks I’ve not had any artificial sweeteners not only have I not had any migraines or pre-migraines or migraine warnings, my head is clearer. I can’t explain it … it’s just like I can think again.

    I’m working on eating a clean and healthy diet, and it feels great.

    Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    1. Dina says:

      Jerri – that’s awesome that you’ve found relief with your migraines! That was much my own experience, as well. Back in the day I thought I was doing my body a favor by choosing artificial sweeteners. Wow – amazing what a little research and trial and error will teach you, huh?!

      So do share! Which protein powder has no artificial sweetener?

      Great job on the determination! Blessings, friend!

      1. Jerri K says:

        Hi Dina,

        I always knew that aspartame was a migraine trigger for me and have avoided it for years. And prior to my DS, I never really ate sugar-free foods anyways, so my intake of other artificial sweeteners was at a minimum and I rarely had migraines. I don’t know why it took me so long to make the connection with the increase in consumption of artificial sweeteners and more frequent migraines.

        The last year had been particularly bad for me. Coincidentally it’s in the last year that I’ve concentrated on increasing my protein (I have chronically low albumin) by increasing the protein shakes and bars. (Didn’t make any difference to my albumin, by the way!)

        The protein powder I’m using is Optimum Nutrition Natural 100% Oats & Whey. It has 200 calories, 22 g carbs (4 g fiber/8 g sugar), 24 g protein per scoop. Ingredients are: whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, honey powder, evaporated cane juice powder, whole oat flour, oat fiber, natural flavor, salt, cellulose gum, lecithin, guar gum. It comes in two flavors, Milk Chocolate (my favorite) and Vanilla Bean.

        Even though it has 8g of sugar, I don’t find that unreasonable for a natural product, and I appreciate the extra fiber. There’s more sugar in a glass of milk! I like it with just water (very cold) or water and a splash of half & half. I have 2-3 shakes per day most days.

        Protein bars are a little tougher, but I’ve been using the Luna bars and Clif Mojo bars as a treat. I figure it’s better than a candy bar!

        I hope you’re still healing well and enjoying your summer!

        Take care,

      2. Dina says:


        So you know about eggs, right?

        The perfect delivery of protein – and albumin – there is.

        When I have folks who need to up their albumin and protein, we put them on LOTS of eggs… Like 9 a day.

        BUT – the egg has to be cooked through – can’t be runny at all, or the albumin doesn’t form.

        I’ve got lots of tricks on getting those levels up, if you need a hand, okay?


  3. Jerri K says:

    Hi Dina,

    I eat eggs almost every day – but wow, 9 of them a day? I usually have 2-3 scrambled for breakfast and occasionally a hard boiled egg or two in my salad or as egg salad. My total protein and pre-albumin are good, but my albumin has been in the low 3’s (3.2 in Dec 09 an again in July 10). It’s never been above 3.6 as a post-op. My pre-op albumin was 3.6. I just wonder if that’s going to be normal for me.

    I think I’ve tried every trick, but I’d be willing to hear about any I haven’t tried! I like eggs, but I’m not sure I like them enough to eat 9 a day. 🙂


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