First off, let me start by saying that you’ll have to pry Diet Coke from my cold, dead hands one day. While I don’t drink nearly as much of it as I used to, there’s still nothing like the bitter fizz hit it provides. Claims that diet soda is unhealthy, will make you gain weight, and could cause cancer have been repeatedly debunked (and I do mean repeatedly), but they still persist. It’s ridiculous and I can only imagine it’s a hate campaign funded by… the sugar industry? Who knows. Either way, drinking Diet Coke could apparently cause four very serious side effects within only an hour of drinking. Let’s play along, shall we?
Diet Coke side effect 1: It destroys your teeth
Now, there is a small kernel of truth to this one, but it’s not specific to Diet Coke. Carbonated beverages in general can affect your tooth enamel, and given that it can’t be replaced, you’ll need to be careful. Otherwise, you could end up with cavities, sensitivity, and even enamel erosion.
Of course, there’s a simple way to mitigate this problem: drink fewer carbonated beverages in general and when you do have them, use a straw. Duh.
Side effect 2: Your body will start storing fat
I mean, it won’t, but sure. Some experts claim that Diet Coke (and other diet drinks in general) cause your blood sugar to spike by triggering your body to produce excess insulin. More insulin could potentially mean more fat storage.
However, if this all sounds like nonsense pseudoscience, that’s because it is. There’s zero suggestion or proof that Diet Coke and the sweeteners it uses, acesulfame K and aspartame, trigger insulin production or affect the body’s insulin sensitivity. Nice try!
Diet Coke side effect 3: You’ll become addicted to it
According to someone calling himself The Renegade Pharmacist (who I refuse to link here because I respect actual science and reason), you become a hardcore addict of Diet Coke within 40 minutes of taking a sip. That’s because it gives you a “short, addictive high.” Is this dude thinking of Coke back when it contained actual cocaine, or what?
He claims that Diet Coke releases “excitotoxins” that “overstimulate” your brain’s neuroreceptors. This means you’ll become addicted and you’ll destroy your life and your family’s lives with your intense need to consume Diet Coke at all costs, I guess. LOL, sure.
Side effect 4: You’ll be hungrier and thirstier
Again, this is just plain ludicrous. While Diet Coke does contain caffeine, which is a natural diuretic, it’s no different from a cup of coffee in that regard, so you’re very unlikely to become dehydrated in any meaningful way, especially if you’re drinking other beverages besides the ol’ DC.
The idea that you’ll also become hungrier as a result of caffeine consumption is also completely unfounded and makes zero sense, so don’t buy it for a second.
Now, it should be said that it’s clear you shouldn’t be drinking Diet Coke solely. Drink water! Stay hydrated! However, having a Diet Coke with your lunch or dinner or whatever isn’t going to kill you. It isn’t even going to seriously harm you. Anyone who tells you differently is a quack.