Is Diet Soda Bad for You?

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Coke Zero

Coke Zero (Photo credit: Kevin Trotman)

Diet drinks are carbonated beverages that are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, or saccharin. These low calorie and low carb drinks are available so soda lovers feel that they are making a healthy choice when they choose a diet soda over a regular soda.

Recent research and studies show that diet drinks are not good for you, and should be avoided because of the artificial sweeteners that are used in the product’s creation. The main reason that diet soda is bad for you is because of the aspartame. There are an abundance of negative side effects associated with aspartame consumption.

Aspartame causes problems in the eyes and ears, including possible blindness in one or both eyes, decreased vision (blurring, bright flashes, tunnel vision), pain in the eyes, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears), and reduced tolerance of loud noises. In general, your eyes and ears will become more sensitive.

There have been a number of reports about drinkers of diet soda having neurological issues and episodes because of aspartame. Seizures, migraines, dizziness, confusion, and hyperactivity are just a few of the common reported side effects associated with the ingestion of this ingredient of diet soda.

Why is Diet Soda Bad for You?

diet coke

Diet coke – the best selling diet soda in the world (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aside from the side effects and long term risks of artificial sweeteners, there is a more important reason why diet drinks are bad for you. Oftentimes, soda and diet soda will be the main choice at every meal for those who drink them. Sodium and lack of hydrating effects can make you feel unsatisfied and bloated when you are finished with your meal.

Choosing water is a much better route if you are trying to make the right choices about what you are putting into your body.

By choosing diet soda over water, you will age quicker and notice more blemishes in your skin. Water helps maintain a young, healthy skin tone by keeping it hydrated and naturally plumping it up. Another benefit of choosing water over soda is that it makes your immune system work better.

Diet soda will cause you to feel dehydrated and lethargic if you drink too much of it, because that means you are not getting enough water. Those who are concerned with diet soda being unhealthy should definitely consider switching to water if they really want to make the right decision.

Water plays a big role in weight loss and improving your overall health. Mild dehydration (very common) is linked to feelings of sudden anger, depression, anxiety, and confusion. If you are having trouble focusing throughout the day, you are probably mildly dehydrated.

Major Negative Side Effects of Diet Soda
Americans consume 50 billion liters of soda-pop each year. While diet soda may be lower in calories, it’s not a healthy alternative, here are 5 reasons why:

1. Kidney Issues – Harvard did a research study on women for 11 years and found that kidney health declined as they consumed diet soda. This is true especially for those who drank more than two cans of diet soda each day. The research group figured that the high sodium content and artificial sweetener were the two ingredients associated with the increased rate of decline in proper kidney functioning.

2. Metabolism – Just one can of diet soda each day increases your risk of developing metabolic syndrome by up to 34 percent. The University of Minnesota group studied 10,000 adults and noticed unhealthy amounts of body fat in those who drank diet soda. Body fat plays a significant role in increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

3. Obesity – Researchers at Purdue University say that the body and mind get confused when the tongue tastes sweetness yet the body receives no calories and no sugar. This immediate reduction in calories may not make up for your increased thirst and hunger between meals. Diet soda doesn’t help you hydrate, so it is important to drink water to help suppress your thirst and hunger.

Soon after drinking a carbonated beverage like diet soda, you may feel bloated and uncomfortable especially if you drank it while eating food. Try drinking water with your next meal and notice the difference in how your body feels when it is full. Those who drink water with their meals tend to be more satisfied than soda drinkers, because they are full and hydrated as well.

4. Cell Damage – Diet sodas contain sodium benzoate and / or potassium benzoate which are mold inhibitors that aren’t found in sugary sodas. These chemicals can cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria over time, to the point where they completely disable it. Some ingredients in diet soda also have a significant negative impact on the cells of your immune system, making you more susceptible to hives, asthma, and other allergic reactions as well.

5. Depression – Diet drinks are linked to feelings of sadness. Doctors and psychologists both agree that you should replace any soda or diet soda drinking habit with the habit of drinking water. In the long run, your body will benefit greatly from you making the switch over to water. Just this simple trade off could result in you shedding pounds and slimming down a couple waist sizes.

Diet Soda History
Diet Rite was the first cola that consumers got the chance to taste in 1958. It was largely unpopular due to the bitter after taste.

Nowadays, it is still a battle to perfect the diet soda taste but there are loyal diet soda drinkers everywhere. Coca Cola brought Coke Zero to the market and announced that they had finally achieved the taste of a regular soda in a diet beverage. Coca Cola made it a point to not include the word ‘diet’ in the name of their new drink.

With the introduction of new types of sweeteners, and the opportunity to create different blends of artificial sweeteners, the diet soda industry has changed drastically over the past couple decades. However, one thing remains the same – cutting out both regular and diet soda is still important for long term health.


7 Comments

  1. Scott McLain

    May 8, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    In this and similar articles, the always say, “research shows….” without ever citing the study. I dont think Diet Soda is great for you, but based on all the negative articles about diet cola, half of America should be dying of brain tumors.

  2. Kevin Edgins

    May 26, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Fucking Finally I found an article that explains why for 20 f**king years I had these problems. Because my grandma made me drink diet sh*t for that long. Now I can shove this in her face and say *I f**king told you so.* Not to mention aspartame is apparently linked to cancer.

  3. Kevin Edgins

    May 26, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Oh yeah. Not to mention that I developed an allergy to aspertame to the point that whenever I drink it I projectile vomit.

  4. BARBARA HINSON

    July 9, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Under #3, in the first paragraph they say “…[d]iet soda doesn’t help you hydrate” which is nonsense. There are plenty of recent studies that point out that just about everything you drink and most if not all of what you EAT helps you hydrate: if it contains water, it’s hydrating, even if it also contains a diuretic like caffeine. Alcohol is the only exception noted. That glaring error makes me call into question the veracity of the entire article.
    And I’ll back my position up with scientific research you can check out for yourself: read the article at the following link and you can follow all the links to published, scientifically valid studies: http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/howmuchwater.htm

    • jason

      August 1, 2013 at 9:34 am

      barbara would you suggest drinking urine or seawater which are well over 95% water to rehydrate yourself thought not, you dont understand how the body has to work to filter out toxins and how much of the bodies own fluids are used for this process. also if i was dying of thirst i would drink beer regardless of your alchohol comment im assuming youre not military trained or have been in many survival situations, lets hope that stays like.

  5. Scoot_Meevo

    February 11, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Aspartame is an enormously studied substance and has been repeatedly found to be safe for consumption

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/aspartame-truth-vs-fiction/

  6. Gabriel

    July 10, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Why not just put a ban on these products just as we don’t let our children smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol before they turn 18?

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