Is diet coke bad for you?
Drinking a can or two a day isn't likely to harm you. But taking it in massive quantities will hurt your health, and sabotage your weight loss efforts.
Diet coke is different from the conventional coke because it lacks calories. It doesn't have sugar or carbohydrates. A regular 12-ounce can of coke comes with 39g of sugar and 140 calories. Ideally, diet coke is designed to help people lose weight. However, some of its ingredients cause side effects, especially when you guzzle copious amounts of the drink.
For instance, the caffeine in diet coke is meant to give an energy boost. A can of 12 ounces has 47mg of caffeine. That's okay for most people. But if you're caffeine-sensitive or when you take many cans, you'll experience the short side effects listed. The caffeine also interferes with supplements and medication such as norfloxacin and theophylline. Since diet coke is high in phosphate, it also interferes with your calcium levels. Too much diet coke increases phosphate levels in your blood, which draws the calcium from the bones. Weaker bones increase your risk of fracture. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, daily diet coke intake increases your chances of getting fractured in a fall by 3-4 times.
When it comes to weight loss, the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (SALSA) research showed that occasional diet soda drinkers had a gain of 3 times more belly fat than non-drinkers. Daily drinkers gained an average 3.16 inches over the 10 year duration of the study. This visceral fat increases risk of diabetes and cardio vascular disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, claims that aspartame (the artificial sweetener in diet coke) can cause cancer are not valid. However, those with phenylketonuria should avoid it.
Note that diet coke is not ideal for quenching your thirst. It's diuretic (makes a person urinate more), has low nutrition value and this may lead to dehydration.
Short term side effects of Diet Coke
- Abnormal heart rhythms
Long term side effects of diet coke
- Type 2 diabetes
- Insulin resistance
Benefits of diet coke
- Moderate consumption helps those who are trying to switch from regular soda and reduce their calorie intake.
- Tastes better than plain water.
- Herbal tea
- Unsweetened coffee or tea
- Skim milk
- 100% Fruit juice (You can make your own at home with one of these)