Side Effects of Drinking Diet Soda


Although weight-loss articles often suggest drinking diet soda in place of full-calorie counterparts, health experts warn that the beverage’s long-term side effects may not be worth the short-term benefit of consuming fewer calories.

Loss of Calcium

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), high level of phosphates from diet soda leeches calcium out of the bones. Daily consumption of diet soda makes you three to four times more likely to suffer from a stress fracture and at an increased risk for osteoporosis.




Caffeine from diet soda triggers the kidneys to increase urine production, which results in an increased loss of water in the body. Dehydration can lead to dizziness, headaches, racing heartbeats and even death.


The low-calorie sweetener, aspartame, is found in most diet sodas. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims the ingredient is safe to consume; however, several side effects involving the ears, eyes, chest, skin, neurological system, gastrointestinal system and metabolic system, as well as psychological conditions, have been linked to its use. Hugo Rodier, M.D., author of “Sweet Death,” suggests that drinking beverages containing aspartame leads to weight gain.


In 2005, the FDA received reports that the carcinogen benzene was present in soft drinks containing benzoate salts and ascorbic acid. An FDA study found that the level of benzene in most drinks was below the U.S. standard for drinking water. The World Health Organization confirms that benzene causes cancer and that no safe level of exposure to benzene can be recommended.

Bottom Line

Drinking diet soda to lose weight may reduce your calorie intake, but it offers no nutritional benefits and could lead to negative health consequences over time. The ACSM recommends drinking water or mixing juice and water at a 1:1 ratio.


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