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Is Mio really a good idea?

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schwich13
schwich13 Posts: 31 Member
edited November 2015 in Health and Weight Loss
****Disclaimer: this post is entirely my opinion, no claims to be backed by science whatsoever. Just throwing it out here as food-for-thought, if you will...****
I am a nurse. I have worked almost all of my career in hospitals, talking care of a largely sick, often diabetic, generally overweight population. Over and over again, I have patients who drink diet sodas, sugar free Gatorade, and flavored water ALL day long, and I cringe. While I do think that our bodies are frequently dehydrated and soooooo thirsty, and I do believe that drinking enough water is key to both general health and weight loss, I don't think these beverages are the answer. It seems to me, that perhaps those of us who want our mouths to be doing something (a.k.a. eating) all of the time are simply switching out to be drinking instead rather than breaking the habit. Sure, there aren't any calories, or at least few, but aren't we just perpetuating our habits?
Not just that, but sweet begets sweet, as our cravings for sweet call for us to want more and more sweet, ratcheting up our tolerance of and desire for more sweet (just "go off" sugars or sweeteners for a week, i promise you'll understand what I'm saying here). Science has shown that even the taste of sweet without any calories produces an insulin release, in anticipation of glucose. So if we flood our blood with insulin, guess what happens? Our blood sugar drops, which leads us where? To be hungry.
So even though we're well hydrated, are these water substitutes just causing us to eat more, either by physiology (insulin release), or through the habit of keeping our mouths and taste buds busy, or just because we like the sweet taste?
I'm certainly here as a member who needs to lose weight myself. I lost 130 lbs over five years, about ten years ago doing just this (spark people, I didn't know about mfp then), and from time to time twenty pounds creep back on over a year or so that I need to lose again. So I've been there, am there again, and probably will continue to struggle with my bad habits and less-than-stellar choices ;-) I make for the rest of my life.
Does anyone else just want to say to the world, "No! It's not the same! Just drink water, and stop paying someone else to keep us fat!"? Anyone else wish their friends and family members would stop falling for the seductive little while lie?
Or am I crazy? What are your thoughts????
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Replies

  • macgurlnet
    macgurlnet Posts: 1,946 Member
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    Well, me losing 25 pounds while drinking diet sodas/mio/similar calorie-free stuff shows that I'm not one that immediately wants more food afterwards.

    I get bored drinking plain water. Mio and diet soda are a nice change. And, for me, I don't get a sugar craving afterwards.

    Some people do, and they should stick to other beverages. But what is true for one person is not true for all people.

    My boyfriend has lost nearly 100 pounds and he pretty much only drinks Mio-flavored water. Occasionally a Diet Coke. Milk with some meals. Hasn't caused him to crave sugary stuff.

    So...there is some truth to what you've said, but it's not something that affects all people.

    ~Lyssa
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,564 Member
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    I've lost 40+ pounds while drinking diet soda (one can a day) and flavored water (can only drink plain if it's ice cold). I've never had an issue with artificial sweeteners causing cravings. It may happen to some people, but not everyone.
  • schwich13
    schwich13 Posts: 31 Member
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    Hmmmmm, that's good to know. I was going to add that I do drink them occasionally, for the flavor and a break from boring water, but my post was getting so long already... ;-) and of course, as usual on weight loss Your Mileage May Vary ;-)
    I do think if someone is now drinking them in place of sugary drinks, of course they'll lose weight.
    I'm kind of just wondering about those people who are constantly drinking them (like a chain smoker smokes), or maybe those people who just can't seem to lose weight no matter what they do? Or maybe people who are struggling with compulsive overeating? I don't know, it's just something that sits in the back of my brain that I noticed, and was trying to find a pattern, I guess.
    Thanks for your input, and good job with the weight loss!
  • schwich13
    schwich13 Posts: 31 Member
    edited November 2015
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    ... And honestly, this may not be the place to ask this question, since most people posting are losing weight or at least somewhat successful. But maybe wondering if there are people around you for which this may be the case? Like someone in my life who can never stick to a healthy woe for more than a day, but drinks flavored soda waters all day long and whom I have never seen drink a glass of plain water- like ever...
    (Curious, but no money to fund a double blind randomized trial, hehe)
  • dhimaan
    dhimaan Posts: 774 Member
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    Never used it. There's nothing magical in it so I will stick with plain water.
  • Pawsforme
    Pawsforme Posts: 645 Member
    edited November 2015
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    I've lost 22 pounds (and am now 1 pound away from a normal BMI) drinking diet Pepsi and Splenda sweetened coffee and tea. It's not a problem for me. I notice absolutely no difference in my appetite when I drink an artificially sweetened drink versus plain water. I definitely notice that when I'm trying to drink just plain water I don't drink enough to stay well hydrated. So there's a definite health issue there.
  • abatonfan
    abatonfan Posts: 1,120 Member
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    Doesn't even thinking about food cause an insulin release though? And if no food comes and BG falls below the hypothalmic set point, the pancreas is stimulated to release glucagon (which subsequently raises BG back to desired ranges and minimizes hypoglycemia risks)?

    I'm really confused on the "insulin is released, which causes us to go low" claims I've been seeing a lot on MFP lately. There's a few counter-regulatory hormones that bring BG levels back up if it drops below the desired level (primarily glucagon, though cortisol, epinephrine, and growth hormone also stimulate glycogen breakdown), but I don't see many people mentioning them.
  • debubbie
    debubbie Posts: 767 Member
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    I drink flavored water most of the time to avoid calorie laden soft drinks. I have lost almost 70 pounds this way. I am currently in a stall because I have not been eating at my calorie goal or exercising like I should to burn off the excess calories that I have been eating. I am getting back on track now and I will start losing weight again.

    Those people that you have observed that can't seem to lose weight may be overeating on calorie heavy foods and not moving very much and that is why they are not moving weight. Or, they set an unrealistic calorie goal to lose weight and get hungry and decide that dieting is too hard before the day is over.
  • schwich13
    schwich13 Posts: 31 Member
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    abatonfan wrote: »
    Doesn't even thinking about food cause an insulin release though? And if no food comes and BG falls below the hypothalmic set point, the pancreas is stimulated to release glucagon (which subsequently raises BG back to desired ranges and minimizes hypoglycemia risks)?

    I'm really confused on the "insulin is released, which causes us to go low" claims I've been seeing a lot on MFP lately. There's a few counter-regulatory hormones that bring BG levels back up if it drops below the desired level (primarily glucagon, though cortisol, epinephrine, and growth hormone also stimulate glycogen breakdown), but I don't see many people mentioning them.

    When your blood sugar drops, you get hungry. Then you eat.
    If you are starving, and no food is available, those regulatory hormones would kick in so you don't die. Or if you are hungry for hours and hours, they would be released as well.
    In our developed industrialized nations where many of us are sedentary, I think a lot more of us simply eat as soon as we are hungry.
    As far as the claims you see here on mfp, I don't think there is any question as to the basis of the insulin-release claims (see the glycemic index research, for example). Now, could we be barking up the wrong tree, just like the fat-is-evil premise in the 90's? Could be. But so not my question here.
  • schwich13
    schwich13 Posts: 31 Member
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    Pawsforme wrote: »
    I've lost 22 pounds (and am now 1 pound away from a normal BMI) drinking diet Pepsi and Splenda sweetened coffee and tea. It's not a problem for me. I notice absolutely no difference in my appetite when I drink an artificially sweetened drink versus plain water. I definitely notice that when I'm trying to drink just plain water I don't drink enough to stay well hydrated. So there's a definite health issue there.

    But are you drinking it all-day long? I'm not talking about three or four a day here. If so, then maybe my premise is wrong....
  • taypop5
    taypop5 Posts: 41 Member
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    I would just like to comment...that in terms of your teeth...water is WAAAAAAAYYYY better. I'm a hygienist and people who are sipping even sugar free bevvies all day are certainly more prone to decay and acid erosin due to the actual acidity of their beverages (which most diet drinks are). Just my two cents. I LOVE coffee. And I mix it up between sugar and splenda depending on how I'm feeling. I do find that when I eat real sugar I am less likely to binge eat.
  • schwich13
    schwich13 Posts: 31 Member
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    And maybe I should have said "is non-stop Mio really a good idea?" Geez... You people are so literal... ;-)
  • debubbie
    debubbie Posts: 767 Member
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    schwich13 wrote: »
    And maybe I should have said "is non-stop Mio really a good idea?" Geez... You people are so literal... ;-)

    Mine pretty much is! I have already drank 12 glasses of flavor enhanced water for the day and I will probably drink 2-3 more before I go to bed. Sometimes I will have plain water, but a lot of times I want something with flavor to curb cravings for something sweet. :)
  • DeguelloTex
    DeguelloTex Posts: 6,652 Member
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    I drink a gallon a day or so of it. More in the summer. I've lost 125 pounds.
  • vingogly
    vingogly Posts: 1,785 Member
    edited November 2015
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    Apparently just thinking about food can cause a release of insulin in some individuals:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3894001

    Note that the abstract says: "these studies show that "overeating" is caused by a complex feedback system of environmental, behavioral, and biological factors."

    I use Mio or similar flavorings because it's the only way I can get enough water in to stay hydrated. And I have no plan to give it up. My typical intake of sweeteners is: stevia with my morning coffee or pot of tea, a bit of stevia in a smoothie when I have one, Mio or the like with the 2-3 20 oz bottles of water I drink during the day.

    If it causes problems for you, don't use it. But I don't think there's any Magic Solution for any of this that fits everyone 100%. If on the other hand someone is using "non-stop" Mio all day long, that's a behavioral problem he/she might want to get some help with -- replacing one addiction with another.
  • schwich13
    schwich13 Posts: 31 Member
    edited November 2015
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    I guess I should have included the fact that I DO use it at times as well, and I use artificial sweeteners without apology. Sorry if I came across wrong.
    vingogly wrote: »

    If it causes problems for you, don't use it. But I don't think there's any Magic Solution for any of this that fits everyone 100%. If on the other hand someone is using "non-stop" Mio all day long, that's a behavioral problem he/she might want to get some help with -- replacing one addiction with another.
    I think THIS is truly what I was trying to say. Thanks for saying it better than I could!
  • ereck44
    ereck44 Posts: 1,170 Member
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    I am also a nurse and noticed that there are a lot of people who wouldn't dream of drinking a glass of "flavorless" water and it drives me crazy. This is America, where water is actually safe to drink.

    My own story is that I actually started consciously drinking 8 glasses of water per day, and my weight loss (stall) or plateau broke through and I lost weight again. I drink a fair amount of coffee (black) and since I started drinking more water, there wasn't as much room for coffee. I actually have a food sensitivity to the artificial sweeteners--so that was never an option.

    Water is not supposed to have a "big" flavor--it's water.
  • earth_echo
    earth_echo Posts: 133 Member
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    I used to drink a ton of water enhancer. I stopped because the skin on my hands, feet, knees and elbows turned orange. And not slightly orange, VERY orange! I also had constant muscle cramps and heart frequent palpitations. It took me MONTHS to figure out what the problem was. It turns out I was consuming way too much citric acid, which all water enhancers have as the 2nd ingredient. Yeah........I stopped drinking it.
  • Pawsforme
    Pawsforme Posts: 645 Member
    edited November 2015
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    schwich13 wrote: »
    Pawsforme wrote: »
    I've lost 22 pounds (and am now 1 pound away from a normal BMI) drinking diet Pepsi and Splenda sweetened coffee and tea. It's not a problem for me. I notice absolutely no difference in my appetite when I drink an artificially sweetened drink versus plain water. I definitely notice that when I'm trying to drink just plain water I don't drink enough to stay well hydrated. So there's a definite health issue there.

    But are you drinking it all-day long? I'm not talking about three or four a day here. If so, then maybe my premise is wrong....

    Four cups of coffee (three in the a.m. and one early/mid afternoon) each with two packs of Splenda. So eight packs of Splenda total per day in coffee.

    Diet Pepsi for lunch. Anywhere from 8 to 16 oz. It's a 16 oz. bottle, and if I don't drink it all at lunch I'll usually finish it at some point later in the day.

    Splenda sweetened iced tea with dinner.

    So . . . yeah. Pretty much all day.
  • sunfastrose
    sunfastrose Posts: 543 Member
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    I am a Diet Mt Dew addict - drink it all day long. I lost 50 pounds 15 years ago and have maintained that loss. It actually suppresses my appetite a lot of the time.