Are Diet Drinks Bad for You?

Diet drink

Think that diet soda you drank at lunch was good for you because it didn’t contain sugar and calories? While you aren’t consuming empty calories and tons of sugar, odds are you don’t even know what you’re drinking. Do you know the ingredients in diet soda? We’ll go over some of the ingredients and health risks to determine if diet drinks are bad for you.

Diet drink ingredients

Commercials and ads for diet soda and zero calorie drinks are so enticing; the actor is usually parched and reaches for an ice cold diet cola and after one sip is instantly satisfied due to the bubbly beverage. Most of the time the ad highlights the zero calorie part and makes it seem as though it’s a healthy alternative to regular cola drinks. To first determine if these diet drinks are healthy, let’s look at some common ingredients:

  • Aspartame – A chemically generated artificial sweetener, aspartame is believed to be linked to an increased risk of cancer. According to the FDA, there are also many adverse health effects associated with aspartame including neurological and psychological adverse reactions.
  • Citric acid – Giving diet soda its sour taste, citric acid is a preservative that is added to diet sodas. Although citric acid is also found in fruits, the kind they use in diet sodas is usually man made and is produced by using sugar. Large amounts of citric acid have been linked to tooth enamel erosion.
  • Phosphoric acid – This mineral acid is what gives soda its tart flavor. Studies have proven that phosphoric acid increases the risk of dental erosion due to the corrosive acid it contains.

Now that you’re aware of the ingredients in diet soda, we’ll go over some common health risks.

Health risks associated with diet soda

While research is still being done to determine the effects of the ingredients listed above, current and past research studies have show significantly higher risks of diseases and complications.

For one, diet soda has been linked to weight gain. You’re probably wondering how that can be since they’re calorie-free. The answer? Artificial sweeteners trick your body into believing you’re consuming sugar which forces your body to produce insulin which results in your body storing fat and ultimately resulting in weight gain/obesity.

Due to phosphoric acid and citric acid found in diet drinks, if you consume large amounts then you’re more likely to develop dental and enamel erosion. You work hard to keep your pearly whites in great condition, so why ruin them by simply drinking something?

In addition to dental complications and weight gain, diet drinks that contain aspartame can increase your risk of developing neurological, psychological, cardiovascular, and even gastrointestinal issues.  

Based on research, it’s a relatively safe assumption that diet drinks aren’t good for your health. While water is the purest and safest beverage for you to consume, we understand you want some variety in your choice of beverages. Try swapping diet drinks for sparkling water, green tea or fruit infused water. By trying these healthier alternatives to diet drinks, you’ll notice increased energy levels and may even see an increase in weight loss!

If you have any questions about diet soda, contact our team here at Plunkett Fitness. If you’re having a hard time giving up regular or diet drinks, we can help! When you sign up for one-on-one personal training, your personal trainer will customize a nutrition plan to meet your individual needs and can help kick your diet soda craving to the curb with healthier alternatives! Once you stop drinking diet soda and start working out with your personal trainer, you’ll notice your percentage of body fat drop. For a limited time, take advantage of our FREE week of one-on-one personal training – sign up here to get started!