You probably know already that sodas are not good for your health. One can of soda gives you about 140 calories but has almost no nutritional value. That’s not a healthy option. But what’s the deal with diet sodas like Diet Coke? The news going around is that they are healthier options since they contain zero calories. Are diet sodas truly healthy for you just because they have no calories? What are the diet coke side effects? Looking at diet coke side effects, is it really worth the hype? Is it beneficial for your health, or it is just as bad as regular coke?
Perhaps, you are one of those who have abandoned regular coke for diet coke. You may want to review your decision and quit drinking coke altogether. Simply because diet coke contains no calories does not make it a better choice. Diet coke contains chemicals that can harm your health and cause chronic diseases. When you find out the side effects of diet coke, you will probably be convinced to kick it out of your diet menu.
The Short-Term Diet Coke Side Effects
You will be thrilled when you find out what diet coke does to your body in just an hour. Within an hour after you drink a can of diet coke, it affects your body in a number of ways.
What diet coke does in the first 10 minutes is that it attacks your teeth. There is so much phosphoric acid in diet coke. This acid attacks the enamel on your teeth.
Within the first 10 minutes, diet coke also deceives your taste buds. That’s quite easy to figure out. Diet coke contains aspartame, an artificial sweetener. Aspartame deceives your taste buds to think you are consuming sugar. This, in turn, triggers your body’s normal response to sugar consumption.
Your body’s normal response to sugar consumption is fat storage. About 20 minutes after drinking coke zero, it may send your body into its fat-storing mode. This is because it has the same effect as sugar on insulin responses. What then is the essence of the ‘no-sugar’ claims used to promote the sales of diet coke?
Usually, about 40 minutes after drinking diet coke, you somehow begin to crave more. What you may not know is that diet coke has an addictive effect. In fact, it works just the same way cocaine works.
I’ll explain how this happens. Diet coke contains a combination of caffeine and aspartame. This combination spikes up adrenaline in your body, just like cocaine. This adrenaline surge overstimulates your brain and neuron receptors, making you crave more.
Now, remember that diet coke has basically no nutritional value. So, it somewhat makes you hungry and thirsty for more after about 1 hour. In fact, it will increase your appetite for sweets. This makes you more likely to eat more of other sugary foods. This can cause eating disorders.
It is true that diet coke contains no calories. That seems to be its only benefit. However, its side effects even within an hour after consumption seem to outweigh its benefits.
Long-Term Diet Coke Side Effects
Here are the long-term effects of diet coke:
1. Dehydration and skin health
Sodas, including diet coke, can easily replace water on your dining table if care is not taken. This usually leaves you dehydrated and that can dry your skin out. Dry skin, in turn, makes you prone to acne, dandruff, etc. Evidently, diet coke is not good for your skin health.
Quite a number of researches have been done to show the correlation between soda consumption and depression. Those who drink sodas have about 30 percent higher risk of being depressed than those who don’t. Diet sodas increase the risk by another 22 percent.
3. Lower bone density
This problem is more particular to women. The mineral bone density of women who drink diet is significantly lower than those who don’t. This means that if you keep on drinking diet coke, you are more prone to osteoporosis (weak bones) later in life.
4. Metabolic syndrome and diabetes
If you drink as little at 1 diet soda drink daily, you have an increased risk of metabolic syndrome (about 36 percent). A metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors. Those who have it have a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even death.
Those who drink diet soda are more likely to have a high blood pressure than those who opt for healthier beverages. In fact, adolescents who frequently consume diet soda drinks have increased blood pressure. Cutting calories and avoiding salty foods may not count much if you keep drinking diet coke.
6. Heart Attack
Your risk of heart attack can escalate if you are not careful with diet coke. Research has proven that if you drink diet coke regularly, you are more prone to a heart attack. Funny enough, drinking regular soda does not have such a risk.
Other Downsides of Drinking Diet Coke
Apart from the short and long term side effects that we have mentioned already, diet coke has some other downsides. Here are they:
1. It affects your gut health
The artificial sweeteners found in diet coke can impact your gut health negatively. They interfere with the type and function of bacteria naturally present in your gut. Aspartame particularly alters the activity of some enzymes in your gut.
2. It gets you drunker
Some people prefer to use diet coke as a mixer instead of a sugary cocktail because they are concerned about the calories. However, this is not a wise decision.
Sugar usually slows down the rate at which your body absorbs alcohol. Artificial sweeteners do not have this effect. So when you mix diet coke with any alcohol, your body absorbs the alcohol rapidly, and that makes you feel drunker.
3. Premature delivery
Pregnant women who drink just one soda daily have a higher risk of having a preterm baby. With one can of diet soda a day, the risk increases by 38%. The risk increases to 78% when consumption is increased to 4 cans. You definitely should avoid diet coke if you are pregnant.
Really, diet coke is worse than you think it is. Diet coke side effects are more than enough reasons to avoid it completely. Without diet coke, you have a higher chance of having good health and a long life.