Written through Elise Mandl, BSc, APD — median reviewed through Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D., Nutrition — to update on July 14, 2020

Diet sodas are popular beverages almost everywhere the world, especially amongst people who desire to reduce their street or calorie intake.

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Instead that sugar, synthetic sweeteners, such together aspartame, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame-k, or sucralose, are used to sweeten them.

Almost every popular sugar-sweetened beverage top top the market has actually a “light” or a “diet” variation — Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Pepsi Max, Sprite Zero, etc.

Diet sodas were first introduced in the 1950s for people with diabetes, though they were later marketed to civilization trying to control their load or mitigate their sugar intake.

Despite being complimentary of sugar and calories, the health results of diet drinks and artificial sweeteners room controversial.

Diet soda isn’t nutritious

Diet soda is basically a mixture of carbonated water, artificial or herbal sweetener, colors, flavors, and also other food additives.

It usually has actually very couple of to no calories and no far-reaching nutrition. Because that example, one 12-ounce (354-mL) deserve to of Diet Coke has no calories, sugar, fat, or protein and also 40 mg of salt (1).

However, not all sodas the use fabricated sweeteners room low in calorie or sugar-free. Some use sugar and also sweetener together. Because that example, one have the right to of Coca-Cola Life, which includes the herbal sweetener stevia, includes 90 calories and 24 grams of street (2).

While recipes different from brand to brand, some typical ingredients in diet soda include:


Diet soda is a mixture that carbonated water, fabricated or herbal sweeteners, colors, flavors, and also extra components like vitamin or caffeine. Many varieties save on computer zero or very few calories and also no far-ranging nutrition.

Effects on weight loss room conflicting

Because diet soda is usually calorie-free, it would be natural to i think it could help weight loss. However, research argues the association might not it is in so straightforward.

Several observational researches have uncovered that using fabricated sweeteners and also drinking high amounts of diet soda is connected with an raised risk of obesity and also metabolic syndrome (7, 8, 9, 10).

Scientists have argued that diet soda may rise appetite by stimulating hunger hormones, transforming sweet taste receptors, and also triggering dopamine responses in the mind (11, 12, 13, 14).

Given the diet soft drinks have no calories, these responses may cause a greater intake of sweet or calorie-dense foods, causing weight gain. However, proof of this is not continuous in human being studies (5, 11, 15).

Another theory argues that diet soda’s correlation come weight get may be described by civilization with poor dietary behavior drinking an ext of it. The weight obtain they experience may be caused by your existing dietary behavior — not diet soda (16, 17).

Experimental studies do not assistance the insurance claim that diet soda causes weight gain. In fact, these studies have found that replacing sugar-sweetened drinks with diet soda can an outcome in weight loss (18, 19).

One study had actually overweight attendees drink 24 ounces (710 mL) the diet soda or water every day because that 1 year. In ~ the end of the study, the diet soda team had skilled an average weight loss of 13.7 pounds (6.21 kg), contrasted with 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) in the water team (20).

However, to add to the confusion, there’s evidence of bias in the clinical literature. Research studies funded through the man-made sweetener industry have been found to have more favorable outcomes 보다 non-industry studies, which might undermine the validity of their results (21).

Overall, more high high quality research is needed to determine the true results of diet soda on load loss.


Observational studies link diet soda through obesity. However, it’s not clear whether diet soda is a cause of this. Experimental studies display positive impacts on weight loss, yet these could be affected by industry funding.

Although diet soda has no calories, sugar, or fat, it has actually been connected to the development of kind 2 diabetes and heart disease in number of studies.

Research has discovered that simply one offer of one artificially sweetened drink every day is linked with an 8–13% greater risk of form 2 diabetes (22, 23).

A study in 64,850 women listed artificially sweetened drink were connected with a 21% greater risk that developing type 2 diabetes. However, this to be still fifty percent the risk associated with consistent sugary drinks. Various other studies have actually observed comparable results (24, 25, 26, 27).

Conversely, a current review found that diet soda is not connected with an enhanced risk of diabetes. Also, another study finish that any kind of association can be described by the existing health status, load changes, and body mass index of entrants (28, 29).

Diet soda has likewise been linked to increased risks of high blood pressure and heart disease.

A evaluation of four studies including 227,254 civilization observed that for each serving the artificially sweetened beverage per day, there is a 9% enhanced risk of high blood pressure. Other studies have found similar results (30, 31, 32).

Additionally, one examine has connected diet soda to a little increase in the threat of stroke, however this was only based upon observational data (33).

Because many of the research studies were observational, it might be the the association might be explained an additional way. It’s feasible that civilization who were already at risk of diabetes and also high blood pressure made decision to drink much more diet soda (24, 34, 35).

More direct experimental research study is needed to recognize whether there’s any true causal relationship in between diet soda and increased blood sugar or blood pressure.


Observational studies have connected diet soda to kind 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and an enhanced risk of stroke. However, there’s a absence of research study on the possible causes of this results. They might be as result of preexisting risk components like obesity.

Drinking diet soda has been attached to an increased risk that chronic kidney disease.

A recent study analyzed the diets of 15,368 people and also found that the risk of developing end-stage kidney an illness increased through the number of glasses the diet soda consumed every week.

Compared through those that consumed much less than one glass every week, civilization who drank more than 7 glasses that diet soda every week had nearly double the threat of occurring kidney disease (36).

A argued cause for the kidney damages is the high phosphorus contents of soda, i beg your pardon may increase the acid pack on the kidney (36, 37).

However, that has likewise been said that world consuming high amounts of diet soda may do so come compensate for other bad dietary and also lifestyle components that might independently contribute to the advancement of kidney disease (36, 38).

Interestingly, research studies investigating the impacts of diet soda ~ above the advancement of kidney stones have discovered mixed results.

One observational study noted that diet soda drinkers have actually a slightly enhanced risk the kidney rock development, but the risk was lot smaller than the risk associated with drinking continual soda. In addition, this study has actually not been supported by various other research (39).

Another study reported that the high citrate and also malate content of some diet sodas may assist treat kidney stones, specifically in human being with short urine pH and also uric mountain stones. However, much more research and human researches are required (40).


Observational studies have found an association in between drinking a lot of diet soda and the breakthrough of kidney disease. If diet soda does cause this, a potential reason can be increased acid fill on the kidneys because of its high phosphorus content.

Drinking diet soda when pregnant has actually been attached to some an unfavorable outcomes, including preterm delivery and also childhood obesity.

A Norwegian examine in 60,761 pregnant women discovered that input of artificially sweetened and sugar-containing drinks was connected with one 11% greater risk of preterm shipment (41).

Earlier Danish research supports these findings. A study in almost 60,000 women discovered that women that consumed one offer of diet soda every day were 1.4 times more likely to supply preterm 보다 those that did no (42).

However, current research in 8,914 women in England did not find any association in between diet cola and also preterm delivery. However, the writer admitted the the study might not have been huge enough and had been limited to diet cola (43).

It’s crucial to keep in mind that these studies were only observational and also offer no explanation of precisely how diet soda may add to preterm birth.

Furthermore, spend artificially sweetened drinks while pregnant is significantly associated with an boosted risk of childhood excessive weight (44).

One study uncovered that the daily consumption of diet drinks throughout pregnancy double the risk of a infant being overweight at 1 year of period (45).

Further research study is needed to analyze the potential organic causes and also long-term health risks for kids exposed to artificially sweetened sodas in the womb.


Large research studies have connected diet soda to preterm delivery. However, a causal attach has no been found. Additionally, infants of mothers who drank diet soda when pregnant room at an raised risk of being overweight.

There are number of other documented health effects of diet sodas, including:

While some of these outcomes are interesting, much more experimental research study is needed to identify whether diet soda causes these issues, or if the findings are due to chance or other factors.


Diet soda may improve fatty liver and does not show up to boost heartburn or the risk of cancer. However, it may reduce blood street control and also increase the dangers of depression, osteoporosis, and also tooth decay. However, more research is needed.

Research ~ above diet soda has created a most conflicting evidence.

One explanation because that this conflicting information is that most of the research is observational. This means it observes trends, however there’s a absence of information about whether diet soda intake is a reason or simply associated with the true cause.

Therefore, while several of the study sounds fairly alarming, an ext high quality speculative studies are needed before concrete conclusions deserve to be drawn around the health effects of diet soda.

Regardless, one thing is certain: Diet soda walk not include any nutritional worth to her diet.

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So, if she looking to replace regular soda in her diet, other choices may be better than diet soda. Following time, shot an alternate like milk, coffee, black color or natural tea, or fruit-infused water.