On question we sometimes get asked – should I drink diet drink?
Other than the obvious answer of “does it bloat you and make you unable to function/train to your full ability?”. If the answer is yes, clearly don’t use it.
There are other aspect often brought up by those who listen to scare stories yet don’t understand the science behind it.
Is aspartame poison? People should realize the two compound that people complain are poison are also the same phenylalanine and aspartic acid, which is found in nearly all natural food already. Your chicken breast, you whey protein, your steak has much more of these two compounds in it than any can of diet coke.
People forget everything has a toxic dose (known as an LD50) and to hit this level, one would have to ingest 33 cans of diet drink PER DAY regularly to hit these levels and hit levels suggested in rats (no proof in humans exists).
Can aspartame raise insulin or blood glucose levels and thus stop fat burning? Absolutely not. There are dozens of studies showing this, it simply doesn’t happen.
Can aspartame raise dopamine levels like sugar does? In theory, yes. In practice, no – the amount of aspartame used as a sweetener will only work out to a few milligrams of phenylalanine.
You would need to choke down multiple grams of aspartame a day. Imagine the aftertaste that would leave you with.
Realistically, neither phenylalanine nor tyrosine supplementation are going to raise dopamine levels unless you’re deficient in them already.
The rate limiting step in dopamine biosynthesis is the conversion of tyrosine to L-DOPA – taking extra phenylalanine or tyrosine beyond a point will simply make your body destroy/excrete the excess.
So unless it disagrees with you, why not use it?