As readers of The Fast Diet know, the very best drink on a Fast Day is water – plenty of it, still or sparkling, with nothing added save an ice cube (if the weather ever improves enough to warrant it!). A lemon or lime slice can be nice. If you are looking for flavour, go for herbal tea, green tea, black tea and black coffee – if you add milk, the stealth calories soon add up.
Fruit juice and smoothies, though considered a ‘healthy’ option, in fact contain a lot of fruit sugars and are no replacement for eating the whole fruit, particularly on a Fast Day, when you are looking to avoid anything that will lead to an unwelcome spike in your blood sugars.
Lots of people have asked about The Fast Diet position on fizzy drinks. ‘Full-fat’ sodas are, of course, stacked with sugar – up to 10 teaspoons per can – so it’s no surprise that they should be avoided on a Fast Day. Diet sodas generally rely on aspartame or sucralose for their sweetness. There is some concern about the effects of these intense sweeteners on appetite and gut bacteria, and one study recently linked aspartame with certain blood cancers in men (though not in women).
The answer is that there is no clear answer on diet soda, at least not yet – so exercise caution. If a Diet Coke gets you through a Fast Day, fine. But limit your consumption over the course of a week. And if you’re reaching for the can time and again, reach for the tap too, whenever you can.