When taken at face value, diet soda seems like a health-conscious choice, as soda fans who want to avoid the extra calories have been turning to diet soda for years.
But recent research suggests that diet soda may have its own host of negative side effects, ranging from weight gain to Type 2 diabetes.
This infographic below, breaks down what happens to your body after drinking a can of Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and other diet sodas with similar ingredients.
Here’s what you can expect:
In the first 10 minutes: The soda’s phosphoric acid attacks the enamel of your teeth, while artificial sweeteners like aspartame hit your system. The aspartame may trick your body into thinking it has just processed sugar.
In 20 minutes: The soda can trigger the production of insulin in your body, which sends your body into fat storage mode.
In 40 minutes: The combination of caffeine and aspartame creates a short, addictive high. Excitotoxins (a class of chemicals that overstimulate the brain’s neuron receptors) are released, which may exhaust your brain — especially if you drink diet soda on a regular basis.
In 60 minutes and beyond: Unlike the small amount of satisfaction you get from regular Coke, your body may still crave sweets. This makes you likely to reach for another soda or some other junk food, consuming extra calories in the process. The diet soda dehydrates your body, leading to brain fog, poor concentration, fatigue, and an irritable feeling.
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