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What Really Happens To Your Body When You Drink A Diet Coke?

Mashed logo: MainLogoMashed 5 days ago Abby Tariq
Diet coke can on ice cubes © focal point/Shutterstock Diet coke can on ice cubes

"Don't drink soda" is the rallying appeal of health experts, but the acidic bite, sugar, and caffeine release the feel-good hormone dopamine to make us crave these fizzy drinks. That's why we can see the cultural, health, and economic impacts of internationally recognized brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi. However, consumers are becoming more health-conscious and making different choices at the grocery store.

While the demand for better options might be redefining the food culture, it's vital to understand the advertising tactics of brands to target such consumers. Take the example of Diet Coke. When shoppers notice the word "diet" in the name, it's possible they'll assume that the drink would help in weight loss. However, a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that it actually does the opposite. That explains why diet soda makers were sued over misleading ads in 2017 (per CBS).

Despite being sugar-free, drinking Diet Coke every day has more negatives than positives. Although a Diet Coke doesn't contain the calories like its sugary counterpart, it's bereft of any significant nutritional value and can have detrimental effects on your health if consumed daily. A skeptic might even say, "oh, drinking it once in a while won't do any harm," but the reality is that Diet Coke can be highly addictive. 

The Effects Of Diet Coke On Your Body

Opening a bottle of Diet Coke © Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock Opening a bottle of Diet Coke

There are health risks associated with long-term consumption of Diet Coke, such as liver issues, high blood pressure, heart conditions, metabolic problems, increased chances of dementia and stroke, and other chronic health issues (per Medical News Today). The worrying part is that the effects of Diet Coke start to appear within one hour after drinking the carbonated drink.

According to the Irish Mirror, the soda deceives your taste buds and starts attacking your tooth enamel within 10 minutes. The phosphorus-laden beverage also weakens your bones by interfering with calcium absorption. The body goes into fat-storing mode after 20 minutes because artificial sweetener triggers insulin responses similar to sugar used in regular Coca-Cola. After 40 minutes, your body starts to crave more sugar because of the burst of adrenaline (a short-term high) created due to caffeine and aspartame combo. The craving can quickly become an addiction and per a 1994 study, could be due to the brain releasing two neurotransmitters -- dopamine and glutamate. After 60 minutes, Diet Coke makes you feel more thirsty and hungry than before. The nutrient-less beverage depletes your body of essential minerals and increases your cravings for calories and sugar, making you turn to sugary junk foods and drinks. And the vicious cycle continues.

While it would be best to say goodbye to Diet Coke for good, if you cannot control the temptation, the maximum amount of Diet Coke in a day should not exceed one glass. 

Read this next: Here's What Happens When You Drink Coffee Creamer Every Day

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