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Why Diet Soda Is Bad For You

4 Side Effects of Drinking Diet Soda

We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Prevention here on FitSugar!

Why you need a diet drink detox — stat!

By Mandy Oaklander, Prevention

Pop quiz! What’s the single biggest source of calories for Americans? White bread? Big Macs? Actually, try soda. The average American drinks about two cans of the stuff every day. "But I drink diet soda," you say. "With no calories or sugar, it’s the perfect alternative for weight watchers . . . Right?"

Not so fast. Before you pop the top off the caramel-colored bubbly, know this: guzzling diet soda comes with its own set of side effects that may harm your health — from kick-starting kidney problems to adding inches to your waistline.

Unfortunately, diet soda is more in vogue than ever. Kids consume the stuff at more than double the rate of last decade, according to research in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Among adults, consumption has grown almost 25 percent.


But knowing these seven side effects of drinking diet soda may help you kick the can for good.

Can Diet Soda Make You Fat?

Kidney Problems

Here’s something you didn’t know about your diet soda: it might be bad for your kidneys. In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a twofold increased risk for kidney decline. Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day. Even more interesting: since kidney decline was not associated with sugar-sweetened sodas, researchers suspect that the diet sweeteners are responsible.

See how diet soda can actually cause weight gain after the break!

Messed-Up Metabolism

According to a 2008 University of Minnesota study of almost 10,000 adults, even just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome, the group of symptoms including belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease. Whether that link is attributed to an ingredient in diet soda or the drinkers’ eating habits is unclear. But is that one can really worth it?

Other Health Myths That Are Holding You Back


You read that right: diet soda doesn’t help you lose weight after all. A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500 percent. Why? Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods, suggested an animal study from Purdue University. That means people who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because your body is being tricked into thinking it’s eating sugar, and you crave more.

A Better Belly-Flattening Alternative to Diet Soda

A Terrible Hangover

Your first bad decision was ordering that Vodka Diet — and you may make the next one sooner than you thought. Cocktails made with diet soda get you drunker, faster, according to a study out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. That’s because sugar-free mixers allow liquor to enter your bloodstream much quicker than those with sugar, leaving you with a bigger buzz.

Still Not Convinced? Find Out Three More Reasons Why a Diet Drink Detox Is a Good Idea.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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