Diet Soda Side Effects

Published 6/10/13

What Makes a Soda “Diet?”

A diet soda is essentially a regular soda but with artificial sweeteners instead of real sugar.  The target market for diet sodas includes athletes, diabetics, people looking to lose weight, people looking to reduce their sugar intake, or for people who are health-conscious in general. Even though the term “diet” is usually associated with being healthy, diet soda actually provides very little health benefit.

Is Diet Soda Good or Bad?

In one simple word, bad. Diet soda has been linked to a large increase in the risk for kidney decline. Researchers at Harvard found that diet soda can double the risk of kidney decline in women especially when a woman drinks more than two diet sodas a day. It is assumed that the artificial sweeteners are the culprits for the increased risk of kidney decline.

Although some people choose diet soda in hopes of losing weight, it may actually have the opposite effect on you. The University of Minnesota conducted a study with over 10,000 adults that found that an average of one diet soda per day or more increases your chances of getting metabolic syndrome by as much as 34%.  These symptoms include increased belly fat and higher cholesterol that increases your risk of heart disease. The study didn’t conclude whether or not the increased risk of metabolic syndrome was a direct result of the diet soda intake, but it does seem like there is some correlation between the two.

Diet Soda’s Main Myth

Diet soda helps you lose weight. FALSE. The artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas interrupt your body’s natural ability to regulate the calories you consume based on the sweetness of the foods you intake. This can result in people over-eating because the artificial sweetener is tricking your body into thinking you are consuming real sugar and your body naturally craves more.

Want a Terrible Hangover?

It is doubtful that anyone would want such a thing as a terrible hangover, but mixing alcohol with diet drinks can do such a thing. Real sugar actually slows the processing of alcohol into your bloodstream. When consuming alcohol mixed with sugar-free diet beverages, the alcohol enters your blood stream much quicker and results in you getting drunker faster and gives you a much more intense buzz. This quicker consumption of alcohol can overwhelm your body in such a way that results in a terrible hangover the next morning.

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