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Carbonation in diet sodas may erode your tooth enamel.
You might think drinking diet soda improves your health because it's calorie and sugar free, but you'd be better off drinking pure water with a little lemon to quench your thirst. Diet sodas contain carbonation, artificial sweeteners and food additives, which may pose health risks. Many diet sodas contain caffeine that can cause other negative side effects, especially if you drink them daily or throughout the day.
Side Effects of Carbonation
Carbonated beverages, such as diet soda, cause a host of problems in your body. Adding carbonation, meaning carbon dioxide bubbles, to a beverage makes it acidic. The "Journal of the American Dental Association" notes that acidic beverages attack and erode tooth enamel, leading to dental problems. Drinking diet soda daily may also lead to gas and bloating. According to MayoClinic.com, carbonated beverages, such as diet soda, may cause intestinal pain, discomfort and belching due to gas buildup.
Harmful Effects of Caffeine
If you drink caffeinated diet sodas daily, such as colas, you may experience side effects from the caffeine. Anxiety, depression, restlessness, frequent urination and insomnia can all be attributed to caffeine consumption. According to MedlinePlus, drinking large amounts of caffeine may lead to osteoporosis or a decrease in bone mineral density. The most likely cause is caffeine interfering with your body's ability to absorb calcium. If you're currently consuming a large amount of caffeine and would like to eliminate it from your diet, it's best to gradually decrease your intake over time to avoid withdrawal side effects such as headaches, drowsiness and irritability.
Diet colas contain almost no calories but still taste sweet because of artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes. These synthetic substances are engineered to taste sweet on your tongue but provide no calories or sugar. Aspartame, sucralose and saccharin are commonly used in diet beverages. According to the National Cancer Institute, a clear link between artificial sweeteners and cancer has yet to be established. However, the U.S. Food and Drug administration set up acceptable daily intake limits for these substances. People who are sensitive to these sweeteners may experience headaches, dizziness, digestive problems or other side effects after consuming them.
Anytime you consume a food that doesn't occur naturally, such as a diet soda, food additives, flavorings and coloring agents may be added. Diet sodas often contain coloring such as caramel color and additives such as phosphoric acid. Some of these compounds may have adverse effects on your health when consumed in large amounts. Caramel coloring, for example, is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a possibly carcinogenic compound for humans. Not all caramel coloring has the same potential health risk, depending on how it was produced, but the batches containing a compound called 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI, seem to pose the greatest risk.