Some people drink diet soda as a way to avoid the calories that most sodas and juices contain. While diet drinks are considered fine in moderation, those who drink them may experience negative health effects. For example, despite the fact that diet drinks are assumed to be helpful when dieting, there is evidence that they may instead contribute to the obesity problem. In addition, while diet soda switches out traditional sugar for artificial sweeteners, it still contains acids that can erode tooth enamel. Some effects of diet soda are felt throughout the body, and this type of drink can lead to kidney damage, bone loss and stroke.
Many people who drink diet soda assume this beverage, because it does not contain calories, will help their weight loss efforts. Contrary to what many think, however, some studies have shown that one of the various effects of drinking diet soda is weight gain. This may be because some people assume they can eat more when drinking this beverage because they are not getting calories from it. The problem could also be that the typical diet soda is sweet, which may make the taste buds prepare for sweets foods with a lot of calories. The result could be a sudden craving for high-calorie foods, which leads to weight gain when people give in to their sudden hunger for fatty foods.
The effects of diet soda often extend to the teeth, too. While diet soda does not have standard sugar, it does contain phosphoric acid and citric acid, both of which can erode the enamel on the teeth. Tooth enamel is the main method of protection against decay, so the result is often an increase in cavities. Dark diet sodas, in particular, tend to contain phosphoric acid, so it is wise to either stick to lighter sodas or drink dark colas through a straw to avoid most contact with the teeth. An additional benefit of using a straw is that it reduces the chances of the teeth becoming stained from dark sodas, which can occur with either diet or regular colas.
Teeth are not the only parts of the body affected by diet soda. Another negative aspect of phosphoric acid is that it promotes the body to get rid of calcium in the bloodstream through urination. The result is that some of the calcium in the bones gets transferred to the bloodstream, causing the bones to become brittle over time unless extra calcium is added to the diet. Another of the health effects of diet soda is kidney damage; artificial sweeteners have been found to cause scarring in the kidney, leaving this organ unable to filter as effectively as it should. Some studies on the effects of diet soda also show that drinking several of these beverages a day can increase a person's risk of having a stroke.