If you’ve been quenching your thirst for the universal solvent with sodas, you probably have a little reason to worry. However, the larger contention ought to be raised against those sodas marketed with the label of ‘diet’, since, as you will see, they come with many side effects, some of which can be dangerous for you in the long run. While it is seldom right to advocate complete abstinence from any substance, you need to make sure that you aren’t addicted to diet soda. The following article is intended to do just that; the message is- enjoy your soda every once in a while, but don’t make it a daily necessity.
1. Though marketed as ‘diet’ soda, the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas act in the same way as regular sugar and trigger insulin, which promotes weight gain. To make matters worse, over the long run these sweeteners confuse the body into craving more sugars, since they dull the body’s ability to perceive the reception of sugar. Thus, if you turn to diet sodas to quench your thirst, be prepared for the weight gain that’s bound to follow.
2. Diet sodas are as acidic as regular sodas (with a pH as low as 3.2); what this means for you is that they both dissolve tooth enamel, and lead to dental problems like cavities, tooth decay, etc. in the long run.
3. Two common add-ons in diet soda, potassium benzoate and sodium benzoate, cause cell damage by inhibiting the function of a cell’s mitochondria and thus rendering it ineffective. These preservatives, which are added as mould inhibitors, are also skin, eye and membrane irritants, which may aggravate conditions such as asthma and allergies.
4. Those at risk of diabetes and/or heart diseases would be specially advised to not get addicted to diet soda since it increases one’s risk of metabolic syndrome, characterized by high blood pressure, increased blood glucose levels and higher cholesterol.
5. Two other pitfalls that seem to be a result of diet soda include headaches and depression. While headaches are speculated to be the result of two artificial sweeteners, aspartame and anecdotal, depression is a risk both diet and regular sodas carry when drank frequently.
6. Loss of bone density is another thing that is caused by both regular and diet sodas. Low bone density in practice translates to greater susceptibility to fractures and general loss of bone strength. This is especially significant for females over the age of forty, who are already at risk of osteoporosis and other bone related diseases.
7. A recent research has also speculated that diet sodas, or more specifically the sweeteners in diet sodas, may be linked with a higher risk of kidney damage. The risk of kidney damage, which was not observed in sugar-sweetened sodas, was shown to rise as much as two-fold when participants drank diet sodas regularly.
8. Another pitfall of diet sodas, or rather of cocktails consisting of diet sodas, is that these drinks will get you high faster since the artificial sweeteners in them get absorbed in the body faster than sugar, which would have acted as a slight buffer against the absorption of alcohol. Needless to say, the hangover you suffer the day after will be similarly worse.
9. Dehydration is another danger posed by all sodas, which causes many maladies in the body such as poor nutrient transportation, poor cell (and consequently tissue and organ) functioning, dizziness, fatigue, etc. While one time dehydration may not be a serious problem in the long run, it shouldn’t be allowed to occur frequently.
10. Perhaps the largest unspoken disincentive of sodas remains caffeine addiction that they sometimes bring about. Caffeine, which is found in almost all sodas, is the same as found in coffee, and withdrawal from it can lead to classic symptoms such as headaches, irritation, etc. However, sodas are still freely available to children without any regulation.