Is Diet Soda Bad For You?

You know that soda is one of the six absolute worst foods you could ever consume - but what about diet soda? Is it really the “healthy” alternative that marketers would want you to believe?

Yes and no. Regular soda contains a whopping 10 spoonfuls of sugar and virtually no nutritional content. Diet soda, on the other hand, has no sugar and it’s caloric count dramatically reduced as a result. But diet soda still has its fair share of health concerns, including:

  1. Weight gain. What?! How could something with so few calories lead to weight gain? Many researchers have found that the sweet taste of diet soda stimulates cravings for other sugary foods like cake, cookies, candy, etc. Make no mistake - sugar is addictive… even fake sugar! Your taste buds won’t know the difference.
  2. Tooth decay. Diet soda is very acidic. The acids in the drink erode precious tooth enamel. Some studies suggest that the phosphoric acid in soda may even leech calcium from your bones, weakening your skeletal system.
  3. Insomnia, headaches, depression. Caffeine, which is present in diet soda, is also addictive. Caffeine abuse can lead to a whole slew of negative side effects.

Worst of all, when you drink soda, there is an opportunity loss. Soda is consumed at the expense of another and possibly healthier drink, like water or even tea. If you want a little flavor, try sparkling water with lemon, or add a dash of cranberry juice.

Bottom line: In terms of health an nutrition, regular soda gets an “F”. Diet soda gets a “D-“. Pick your poison.

Are you a soda or diet soda drinker? Would you consider a healthier alternative? Let me know in the comments below.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. Not only that, but the aspartame (the sweetener in diet soda) in diet soda, when it gets to be about 85 degrees, turns into methanol, which is used to make other chemicals, used to fuel some motor vehicles, and other things as well.

    • so… the trick is NOT to heat your soda to 85oF before you drink it. Thanks!

  2. I can’t stand soda’s they make me sick well not really but you know what I mean, the only thing I drink that is fizzy is Kombucha but like sometimes I might drink an energy drink like Rockstar or Monster they are fizzy but sometimes I need the energy drink especially if I didn’t sleep the night before or had a bad sleep

    I’m going but remember, sleep nude or don’t sleep at all

  3. I am quite in love with seltzer water, how does that rank, Mr. Davey?

    • It’s no better or worse than still water - just watch for elevated levels of sodium!

      • Oh thank goodness =] It’s doubtful I’d give it up without a fight regardless haha

      • Hi Davey Wavey,

        Seltzer water you find at your local grocery store is not natural effervescent mineral water which contains salt from a natural mineral spring. Most seltzer water you buy at your local grocery store is filtered tap water that has been carbonated and salt has not been added. Club soda is the same as seltzer water except salt has been added. If your making a special drink that you would like to sparkle and be a little salty , use seltzer water with a tiny bit of sea salt. The ions will dance with flavor.

        Seattle, WA

  4. Oh god u should see people at work drinking 3 and 4 cans of diet Pepsi thinking its healthier than reg soda

  5. It always amuses me when I see people at McDonald’s or somewhere similar getting a burger, fries, and a DIET coke. *facepalm* Oh well.

    Interesting read. =)

  6. I usually have a sugar free red bull in the morning to wake me up enough to not kill myself on the way to work. Then its water or the occasional smoothie for the rest of the day

  7. Gary Jacobson says:


  8. I drink diet soda nearly every day with my lunch. I drink water if I am thirsty, I drink soda, or diet soda as a compliment to a meal. I don’t do big dinners and never drink soda in the morning, so generally, I only have the diet soda at lunch time. I like that it comes in a can. If a beverage is available in a can or glass bottle, I’ll take that over plastic any day. I don’t know if it’s psychological or if there’s some actual science to support it, but it just tastes better that way. Also, I like the carbonation. It helps me feel full so I’m not tempted to eat more or add little dessert treats to my lunch. And if I did eat a bit too much, one good burp leaves me feeling like I’m back to “normal” as opposed to “stuffed.” I think some people can sympathize when I say that I enjoy that feeling of fullness, except I mean in my stomach 😛

    I am a bit concerned about the things they put in diet soda, and the acid level but I haven’t taken the time to really research whether it’s harmful enough to have any real impact. It’s hard to find reliable information on the internet these days.

  9. Oh, no.

    *looks down at Fresca*


  10. I’m trying to quit drinking all soda diet & reg. I’m now drinking SoBe lifewater, vitamin enhanced.Davey what do you think about SoBe.

  11. I have never been much of a soda/pop drinker, mainly because my parents discouraged it so much growing up, which just goes to show you the influence one’s environment has on their habits!

    I usually only use it as mixer for alcohol, so then it’s mostly peed out that same night anyway ;P But even that is just on occasion.

  12. I would love to detox from diet soda but what is a good alternative for a coffee hater’s caffeine jolt in the mornings? Tea? Ugghh. Should I choose to diet soda detox, may God have mercy on my partner and pets around day 4!

    • Some research shows that coffee doesn’t even give you a boost: because of our busy lives, we’re not at our usual energy level to begin with and coffee can put us there, but it actually just puts you back at your ‘normal’ level. Kinda tough to explain this properly, since I’m translating from Dutch, but I think you get the idea 😉

  13. Thanks for the advice Davey. It puts things into perspective.


  14. Perrier. I’m absolutely addicted to Lime-flavored Perrier. I’ll restrict myself to 2 diet cokes a day, but I keep a sport thermos and I’ll go through 4 liters of Perrier. Love things that are fizzy!

    • You sir have an addiction to perrier water, but I’m not sure if the flavor you are drinking has sugar in it or if its naturally flavored but still 4 liters it a lot and by a lot I mean I drink 4 liters of different tea’s , you need help, would you like me to help everytime you drink a liter of perrier you have to have sex for an hour

  15. Pop is my addiction. Not regular pop but diet pop. I really enjoy the ‘zero’ kind which is made with a different sugar substitute. My thinking is “quality versus quantity” I’d rather live 40 yrs drinking my diet pop versus 100 years drinking water with a lemon or a splash of cranberry. Just my thought.

  16. I’m trying to cut down on sugary snacks altogether. No more (diet) coke, cookies or things like that. I can just feel the addictiveness when I eat those things and I only drink tea, water or juice any more. It feels good!

  17. Caffeine free diet soda drunk with a straw. Takes care of two problems 😀

  18. Aspertame/Nutrasweet present in diet sodas is a neurotoxin, main ingredient in rat poison. storing above 90degrees F changes it to formaldehyde. Aspertame serves no nutritional value and should be avoided. Studies now indicate that Aspertame leads to decreased brain function i.e. lowered IQ. Its’s in your food to make you stupid.

  19. David Goetz says:

    What about diet ice tea? I hate sugar but do like tea.

  20. Rafael Barboza says:

    I am finally giving up soda and beer. I tell you it hasn’t been that easy mainly when I am clubbing or at a barbecue but I know that the benefits of NOT having them are greater than drinking a glass of coke on a hot day.

  21. christopher says:

    diet soda i drink-but only in moderation.a two-liter bottle-last one weeks time-then it goes watch out for Sundrop-reg-and has more caffeine than Mountain Dew.its being marketed nationwide very soon.

  22. Jesse Yarbrough says:

    Though I gave up soda when I was 15 and have lost about 30 lbs over the year thats passed, Water really isn’t bad at all, I got sick last march and lost about 20 lbs in a week, after that I only drank water and I don’t mind it at all, now provided once every few months I’ll go ahead and sneak a soda in there (Dr. Pepper is still my saviour!) I’ve only had like four in the last year ;D It’s not bad at all, once you get used to it.

  23. I drink at least 10 glasses of water a day, but I usually consume 3 sugar free energy drinks as well. How bad is that?

  24. Marielle Nyland says:

    You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect.


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