Ah, diet soda.
It appears so harmless in its cheerful, brightly colored can, shining alluringly in the grocery store aisles. And for dieters everywhere, the back of the can is even more tempting than the front. There it is, almost like a mirage, a big zero next to the calorie count.
However, even though diet soda may not add to your daily calorie intake, it might subtract from your overall health. And if you’re relying heavily on these drinks during your weight loss journey, you may be doing yourself more harm than good. Here are three ways your daily diet soda could be having a negative effect on your health.
(1) Increasing Cravings for Sweets
Drinking diet soda may appear harmless because of the lack of calories, but it’s still stuffed to the brim with artificial sweeteners, like aspartame. While research connecting aspartame to tumors in animals (the source of the urban legend about Diet Coke causing cancer) is still inconclusive, the fact is that the more diet soda you drink, the more you will crave sweets and the more likely you are to find yourself digging into the candy drawer late at night.
(2) Adding to Dehydration
Although diet soda is a liquid and might quench your thirst temporarily, it could lead to dehydration the long run. Soda drinkers often drink less water because they are filling up on their fizzy drinks. Additionally, if your diet soda contains caffeine (and many of them do), then not only are you not drinking enough water but you are drinking a diuretic, which causes your body to flush out its water store.
(3) Leading to Sleeping Issues
Due to the lack of calories in each can, people typically consume more diet soda throughout the day because they don’t feel like they need to be conscious of that consumption since it “doesn’t count.” However, if your diet soda of choice is caffeinated, it definitely might count when you crawl into bed later. The caffeine you consume throughout the day may lead to trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep per night to keep your body functioning at optimal levels and the caffeine coursing through your body may make that number unattainable.
While diet soda may be the lesser of evils in the soda world, for your healthiest self, drop that can and pick up a tall glass of water. Or, at the very least, be moderate in your consumption and remember that the zero calorie drinks definitely do add up.