This is the maximum amount of Diet Coke you should drink each day

Much like with coffee, many people have a Diet Coke habit. This can run from the relatively harmless "one Diet Coke a day" up to the reported 12 cans a day consumed by President Donald Trump (via The Washington Post). While that is obviously on the high end, it is definitely beneficial to your health to know how many Diet Cokes you can safely drink each day.

It is widely accepted that regular soda is not good for you, as it is made of processed sugar and has no nutritional benefits. However, diet soda could be a different story — but then again, it could have its own issues, too. According to a recent study, though, consuming more than one glass of Diet Coke daily raises the risk of negative health effects (via The New York Times). 

The study found that copious drinkers of artificially sweetened drinks, which would include Diet Coke, are 26 percent more likely to die prematurely compared to those who rarely drink artificially sweetened beverages. The study followed 450,000 Europeans for a period of 16 years, where they tracked the mortality among all levels of soft drink consumption, including those who rarely drink sugared beverages.

What is the true link between diet soda and health problems?

The researchers found that those who drink two or more glasses of sugared beverages per day were 8 percent more likely to die prematurely compared to those who consumed less than one glass a month.

However, the most surprising aspect of the study was their finding that those who drink Diet Coke are subject to worse health effects than those who drink regular, non-diet soda.

A nutritionist at University College Dublin who worked on the study, Amy Mullee, suggests limiting all soft drink consumption. "Putting our results in context with other published studies, it would probably be prudent to limit consumption of all soft drinks and replace them with healthier alternatives like water," she said.

This is not the first study to come to the same conclusion. Other research has been conducted that has found a correlation between artificially sweetened beverages and premature deaths. 

However, the problem with making a direct connection is that researchers have been unable to determine with certainty whether Diet Coke specifically causes harm to people's health — or whether people who consume Diet Coke already have poor health habits and an unhealthier lifestyle. It comes down to a question of causation versus correlation, which researchers have not yet been able to answer.

Diet Coke is probably OK, in moderation

However, regardless of whether unhealthy habits and drinking soda go together hand-in-hand, or the soda itself is bad for your health, research has determined that daily diet soda drinkers are three times more likely to develop dementia or strokes than those who only drink diet soda once a week or less.

The problematic ingredients in diet soda are caffeine and aspartame. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set a maximum daily intake for caffeine at six milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day for an adult. For aspartame, the amount is 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day (via Finance Town Hall).

According to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, nearly half of adults and a quarter of children consume artificial sweeteners each day (via The Washington Post). If you love your daily Diet Coke, make sure to balance it out with healthy habits. If you can cut it down to once a week, even better. Definitely, though, don't try to take on the presidential amount of 12 Diet Cokes each day — that's well beyond the limit of what's healthy for your body.