Here's What Happens When You Drink Diet Coke Every Day

Diet Coke is supposed to be a healthy choice, right? There are 140 calories in a single can of regular Coke, according to the Coca-Cola company. Diet Coke, on the other hand, allows you to "Regret Nothing," since it has "no sugar, no calories."

Well, maybe you should be doing a little regretting, as well as refraining from ordering a Diet Coke every time you dine out or stocking your fridge full of this product. Calories or no, it might just be a nutritional disaster. In fact, drinking Diet Coke every day has been linked to a number of hazards including kidney damage, heart disease, strokes, migraine headaches, depression, and even obesity. Umm, say what? How can drinking a zero-calorie product make you gain weight? Scientific evidence is not conclusive as to whether or not regular consumption of diet drinks is directly linked to weight gain, but it is one possible result of consuming Diet Coke on a daily basis as opposed to doing so every now and then.

How Diet Coke messes with your body

Certain studies suggest that drinking Diet Coke and similar artificially-sweetened sodas might stimulate hunger hormones, thus causing you to eat more than you would had you consumed a different beverage. Other studies, such as the one performed at Massachusetts General Hospital and published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism (via Science Daily) show that aspartame, the sweetener used in Diet Coke, can have a disruptive effect on metabolism which might lead to not just weight gain but also diabetes and cardiovascular disease. While Healthline acknowledges that there have been additional studies which show that artificially-sweetened beverages are not detrimental to weight loss, there is some evidence that certain of these more positive studies may be just a wee bit biased due to having been funded by the artificial sweetener industry. Imagine that.

It looks like the jury's still out on whether daily Diet Coke drinking will pack on the pounds, but this soda's still no health drink. Cola beverages contain high levels of phosphorus which, if consumed in excess, can cause both tooth decay and kidney damage.

Is Diet Coke worse than regular Coke?

So is it safer to consume regular Coke? Neither one of them is all that great for you, but the artificial sweeteners used in Diet Coke may possibly pose certain dangers above and beyond the damage done by excessive sugar consumption. A study published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism (via the National Center for Biotechnology Information) imparted the disturbing information that frequent consumption of fake sugar puts you "at increased risk of ... metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease," while another study reported by the International Journal of Clinical Practice (via NCBI) suggested that artificially-sweetened beverages such as Diet Coke present a significantly greater stroke risk than do sugar-sweetened ones. Yikes. 

And if you're pregnant, you really might want to pass on the daily diet beverages, since there is also evidence that artificial sweeteners could be a possible cause of preterm delivery and might even cause your baby to become obese, which is totally unfair to the poor kid.

If you really, truly, can't live without your Diet Coke — well, addictions are tough to kick, and consuming the drink in moderation (maybe once a week) might not be too harmful. Drinking it every day, however, is probably something you should try to avoid. Diet Coke, like Cookie Monster's favorite treat, should just be a "sometime food."