Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Is Diet Coke Bad For You?

Also Known As: diet coca-cola



Short answer

Diet Coke contains very harmful ingredients and is far from nutritious. It is in your best interest to keep away from Diet Coke entirely to avoid problems later down the road.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Diet Coke, along with many other diet sodas, is popular for its 0 calories. It is highly processed, though, and filled with artificial sweeteners and other ingredients that can cause negative short and long-term effects.

University of Minnesota study showed that drinking one diet pop a day had a 36% increased risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. These syndromes are associated with elevated glucose levels, larger waist circumference, increased blood pressure, and raised cholesterol. Also, diet pop increases the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used in Diet Coke. It forms formaldehyde when you consume it and starts to break down in the body. It is known to cause muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis, and many other neurological symptoms with high consumption. It also triggers insulin release which sends our body into fat storage mode. This, ironically, can lead to weight gain.

Diet Coke is also associated with early preterm delivery. A study in Denmark that included 59,334 pregnant women showed that women who drank 1 serving of diet soda a day had a 30% increased risk of preterm delivery.

The citric acid in Diet Coke can cause tooth decay over time. The acid eats at the tooth enamel causing erosion and damage and may eventually result in the need for a root canal.

Lastly, Diet Coke uses an ingredient called "caramel coloring" to give it its unique brown color. This ingredient contains a chemical known as 4-methylimidazole and has been proven to increase the risk of cancer. This is very unfortunate considering the caramel color is only there to make the beverage look pretty.

Possible short-term side effects

  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • muscle spasms, aches, pains

Possible long-term side effects

  • weight gain
  • multiple sclerosis
  • increased cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • preterm delivery
  • blood pressure
  • cancer
  • neurological issues
  • tooth erosion

Ingredients to be aware of


  • zero calorie
  • zero fat
  • zero carb
  • short-term energy boost

Healthier alternatives

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Zevia Zero Calorie Soda

  • Zero calorie drink
  • Variety flavor pack
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • 24-pack of 12oz cans
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Kathan Natrajan
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Kathan Natrajan
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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