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Diet Coke Is Not a Healthy Choice

How Bad Is That Diet Coke?

Confession: I have a handful of dirty little secrets when it comes to my health and fitness. One of them is that I harbor a serious Diet Coke addiction. I've been known to have a regular two cans on a weekday, partially for the caffeine jolt, and partially because I like the taste (I know, I know).

Recent studies have shown that even diet versions of popular sodas aren't good for you, and can lead to obesity. I've even heard them described as "chemical water with a little caffeine." I recently noticed that after drinking more than one Diet Coke during the day, I've started getting dull headaches. After one too many DC-induced headaches, I switched my second soda of the day to a caffeine-free Diet 7-Up hoping that would stop the problem, but it did just the opposite — the headaches got worse. To see what I think is causing them and what other problems my Diet Coke habit may be causing,


I remembered reading about the artificial sweetener aspartame and potential side effects in the past; turns out the sweetener — better known as Nutra-Sweet — is found in most diet sodas, including Diet 7-Up. While the FDA's acceptable intake of aspartame is the amount found in about four cans of soda (yikes!), a sensitivity to the sweetener can cause other side effects: headaches, dizziness, mood changes, and even skin reactions. In addition, soda consumption has been linked to lower bone density, since it can block your bones' absorption of calcium. Plus, if you're drinking a soda, you're choosing not to drink something else — a glass of water, juice, or anything with actual health benefits.


While the satisfying sound of a fresh can of Diet Coke popping open will probably always cause a reaction, I'm better off switching to an afternoon iced coffee. Besides being a great caffeine fix, it's full of benefits, from antioxidants that lower disease risk to helping to ease post-workout muscle pain.

Source: Flickr User Svadilfari

VeronicaDaze VeronicaDaze 6 years
I drink Coke Zero instead of Diet. Calories are energy units, nothing more. You need them. It is food mixing that puts on the weight. Surgery things make us crave eating. It isn't actually which kind but the fact it is sweet and this includes fruits and juices. Juices, especially apple can wear away at your teeth. I hate plain water but I do drink it. Since I was a kid I disliked it. Don't blame things on the drinks. Get exercise and eat mostly proteins and greens. I took care of elderly for awhile and some were taking salt tablets because they thought they had to keep it down and developed a deficiency. Most of the time the complaint with soda is the distilled water rather than sweetener. You aren't suppose to drink that. I prefer to have my soda. Many of my friends on the so-called healthy diets have passed away but rather than be so picky with food and drink, I instead never smoked, or rarely drink alcohol. I have few wrinkles and no gray hair yet and I'm in my sixties. Eat foods with probiotics. I always have. The sodas don't put weight on because I have lost weight while drinking them.
jayga jayga 7 years
A lot of people don't realize how bad sodas - both diet and regular - are for your teeth. For many years I had a Diet Coke habit that I couldn't kick. It was only after my dentist told me how many cavities I had and that I needed a root canal because all the enamel on my teeth had been dissolved away from the chemicals in soda that I kicked my habit. Diet Coke may seem like a harmless thing because it has no calories but for some people it is a very, very expensive habit to have when you are maxing out your dental insurance because of the damage that has been done to your teeth.
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
Scary! haha. I gave up soda when I started to work out, and I don't miss it for a second! I hate how it makes my teeth feel gritty, and how bloated I felt. I now drink huge water bottles, and it's just as fulfilling for me. I only get soda when I go out to eat which isn't that often.
northen123 northen123 7 years
It's amazing how the public can block out any information in regards to why fizzy drinks are bad for them. It has been known for decades that aspartame is seriously bad for you. Plus the phosphorus in these drinks can cause osteoporosis in women. I admit, I'm guilty of the occassional vodka and coke, but I do my best to stay away :)
Quindalina Quindalina 7 years
I used to be a HUGE diet coke drinker, as well as Splenda in my coffee every morning...Ive tried to cut back a lot and actually realized I think you loose more weight with just a little bit of natural sweetener (such as honey or maple syrup) than a whole packet of fake stuff! Also, as a replacement for soda, I love to make as the Germans call it: Apfel Shorle, or just sparkling water with apple gives the bubbly taste and a bit sweet but is much healthier!! :)
akay akay 7 years
Artificial sweetener is my #1 biggest migraine trigger. After cutting out aspartame, Splenda, and all the rest, I went from several migraines a week to one every month or two. I second the suggestion for LaCroix. I always thought of it as Old Lady Soda when I was little since my mom loved it in spite of it's lack of sweetness. Now that I'm an "old lady" I can't get enough. I don't get how adults can down super sweet drink after super sweet drink.
taylorab taylorab 7 years
LaCroix doesn't have aspartame or any other sweeteners in it, either.
taylorab taylorab 7 years
I suggest substituting diet soda with "LaCroix" drinks (just pure carbonated water with natural flavors added). It come in lemon, orange, lime, berry and plain. All of the drinks have zero calories, zero sodium and zero sugar. My favorites are the lemon and lime flavors; delicious! They're extra refreshing poured over ice. Here's their website if you want more information:
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
Thanks lilkimbo! I will look into that asap! I tried to find one to put on my wedding registry, but no one had them.. i'll look this place up.. really appreciate it, thanks again.
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
I love Diet Pepsi and Fresca and I'm not going to give it up until I either HAVE to for some reason (like a doctor explicitly tells me it's killing me) or it just naturally becomes repellent to me. I know it's not good for me but I need to have some vice, basically, and that's the one. Better than smoking, right?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Ella, I have one of those carbonators! It's great and so much cheaper/more environmentally conscious than buying bottled fizzy water all of the time. It was a gift, but I think it was from Sur La Table.
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
Ohh.. Chloe bella, that sounds fab.. where do you find them? That sounds like a cool option too. I love nothing better than fresh lime squeezed into fizzy water though.. yum.
darc5204 darc5204 7 years
Just wanted to add that stevia doesn't have a shining health record either, and we know less about it. Even though it's sold as "natural", the stevia extract sold in stores is often highly processed. If you're worried about synthetic chemicals, don't use any of these sweeteners.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
Ella1978 - you should try the Zenergize drink tablets. They come in different flavors, and you just drop them into water. You feel like you're drinking soda, since it's bubbly and flavored. But it's sweetened with stevia, so it's much healthier than aspartame.
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
I would love to get a "soda maker".. one of those pumps that turns water into carbonated water... add some flavor and that would be good for me.. it's the bubbles that I love.. anyone know where to pick one up?
Geminispoppy Geminispoppy 7 years
I used to drink soda all the time, especially Pepsi, but i gave it up a few years ago. I still crave it, but whenever i give in to that craving I'm reminded of how gross it really is
MsChoo MsChoo 7 years
Not to mention those other stores about how a can of coke can take the rust off your car, leave a tooth in a cup of coke and it'll be dissolved. Its all because of phosphoric acid. ;o at least you can be sure that your body will be rust free~
SaraJeanQueen SaraJeanQueen 7 years
Thank you for this post!! I am a Diet Pepsi girl all the way. I have gone through phases of my life not drinking any soda for a long time (college) and now that I live on my own, I totally buy it and when I say CRAVE it, my mouth literally waters. I don't like cans though, I prefer a big fountain drink with ice. I want one now! Things I hate about it: 1) It always makes me feel bloated. 2) I can't run after drinking more than a can. 3) It makes me eat worse/more. 4) It keeps me from sleeping right away (a bit of insomnia from caffeine) Things I LOVE: 5) The energy I feel drinking it. 6) It makes all food taste better. 7) That first taste through the straw... MMM! 8) It's like a treat when you go to a restaurant and order one.
only-so-cute only-so-cute 7 years
I have never liked dark sodas. Occasionally I'll drink sprite, 7up or serria mist and I'll drink ginger ale when my stomach is upset. Caffeine and I are not friends. In general overly sweet things make me feel gross.
girlgreen girlgreen 7 years
it kinda makes me feel better to see all of you health nuts addicted (somewhat) to diet soda. i don't drink coffee, tea, or diet sodas, but i loove izze and other "premium" sodas which claim to be not quite as bad for you. beverages aside though, i have a crazy sugar addiction that i know in the future will bring health problems if i don't get it under control. sugar, in all its forms, is an extremely addictive substance.
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