The Dangers of Sugar-Free Carbonated Drinks

If you find yourself unable to function without your go-to sugar-free beverage, it might be time to adjust your drinking patterns. Diet sodas and sugar-free flavored sparkling water are examples of sugar-free carbonated beverages that may increase your risk of developing diabetes and give you headaches. These sugar-sweetened beverages have fewer calories than conventional drinks with sugar added, but drinking them can result in weight gain.,Artificial Sweetener Side Effects:,You should always check the ingredient list for aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium because not all sugar-free carbonated drinks contain these substitute sweeteners. If your beverage contains one of these artificial ingredients, there may be potential negative health effects. The Center for Science in the Public Interest claims that these artificial ingredients may encourage the development of certain cancers, thyroid issues, and preterm birth. Additionally, some claim that artificial sweeteners give them headaches and vertigo. Artificial sweeteners are still listed as “generally recognized as safe” by the US Food and Drug Administration.,Weight Gain:,Sugar-free carbonated beverages are popular because they contain fewer calories than sugar-sweetened alternatives. However, the artificial sweeteners in these drinks may cause weight gain. According to a June 2010 article published in the “Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine,” eating natural sweeteners activates food reward pathways in your brain, whereas artificial sweeteners do not. This can leave you feeling unsatisfied and increase your appetite, even if you’ve consumed enough calories for the day. Artificial sweeteners’ intensely sweet flavor may also trigger cravings for sugary foods, leading to excessive calorie intake.,Metabolic Syndrome:,Regular diet soda consumption may lead to metabolic issues. People who regularly drink diet soda have a 67 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a 36 percent higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, per a study that was published in the journal “Diabetes Care” in April 2009. If you have at least three of the risk factors for metabolic syndrome, such as high triglycerides, high blood pressure, high fasting blood sugar, or low levels of high-density lipoprotein, you are at risk for developing the condition.,Teeth and Bone Problems:,Your teeth and bones may be harmed by carbonated diet beverages. Phosphoric acid, a common ingredient in carbonated drinks, keeps your beverage carbonated. However, it turns the beverage acidic, which, according to North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension, may cause tooth enamel erosion and encourage tooth decay. Additionally, phosphoric acid causes the excretion of extra calcium in the urine. In order to replenish losses, calcium is released from your bones into your bloodstream, which over time could weaken your bones. To find out if your diet beverage contains phosphoric acid, look at the ingredient list.,References:,Diabetes Care: Diet Soda Intake and Risk of Incident Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)