Drinking a soda is refreshing and delightful, and it's just the treat that you can't help but crave sometimes. However, drinking large amounts of it is really bad for you.
A lot of people think that because they drink diet soda instead of the regular sugar-packed drink, they are managing to avoid not only the calories, but also the bad effects. But calories aren't the only thing that matters, and diet soda can be just as harmful.
The controversial chemicals in diet sodas can actually be pretty bad, so when you finally choose to give it up, these are the things you would notice that would change drastically in your body.
While research is still young, the effects that diet soda have on your body seem to be pretty intense. These are biggest things you'll find will get better should you chose to give it up.
1. You'll crave less sugar
You would think that because diet sodas use aspartame instead of real sugar it wouldn't affect your cravings for sweets, but it's actually the exact opposite.
Aspartame makes you crave sugar because the artificial sweetness causes your insulin to spike. Dr. Melina Jampolis explains, "The taste of sweet does cause the release of insulin, which lowers blood sugar, and if carbohydrates are not consumed, it causes a drop in blood sugar, which triggers hunger and cravings for sugar."
2. You'll have less food cravings overall
Diet soda isn't only making you crave sweets, but it's making you crave everything.
Nutritionist Isabel Smith said "Artificial sweeteners affect our sense of satiety. Our bodies have [evolved] to expect a large amount of calories when we take in something exceedingly sweet, and those artificial sweeteners are from 400 times to 8,000 times sweeter than sugar."
So when your body doesn't get it from the soda, it starts to look elsewhere. "The muscles in your stomach relax so you can take in food, and hormones are released. With artificial sweeteners, your body says, 'Wait a minute, you told me you were going to give me all this high-calorie food,'" Smith said. "It can actually send some people searching for more food, out of lack of satisfaction."
3. You won't get sick as often
Researchers have started to realize that diet sodas are affecting not only your cravings and sugar intake, but they are hurting your metabolism.
They impact the "healthy gut bacteria" according to Smith, and can change how your body processes everything from your blood sugar to your immune system.
4. You won't get drunk as quickly
If you mix your alcohol with diet soda, you may find that you are kind of a lightweight. That's because the diet soda empties out of your stomach faster than a regular soda, leaving you with just the alcohol left to increase your blood alcohol level.
5. You might actually lose weight
A lot of people switch to diet soda because they think it'll help them cut calories, but it turns out that diet soda instead makes it really hard to lose weight.
Between the constant sugar cravings and the bloat, studies have found that diet sodas can cause an increase in metabolic syndrome, obesity, high blood-pressure, and diabetes.
6. Your bones will get stronger
Doctors and researchers are still not 100% why soda affects us so much, but studies have found that even one diet soda per day can raise your risk of hip fracture by 14%. Apparently they have found links to a lower bone density when someone drinks a lot of soda, but they don't know why.
7. You'll taste your food more
After giving up soda, you'll start to realize a change in your taste buds. The artificial sweeteners actually overwhelm your taste buds, so they aren't able to really appreciate the flavors.
You'll start to notice how sweet things really are, and may not find it as enjoyable to eat.
8. You'll have healthier kidneys
Kidney function is obviously very important, but the ingredients in a diet soda tend to give them a hard time. When your kidneys are no longer busy sorting through all those complicated ingredients, you'll find that your body can clear toxins and stabilize blood sugar.