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Is Sprite Zero Bad For You?

Also Known As: Diet Sprite, Sprite Light



Short answer

Sprite Zero is a zero calorie, non-caffeinated, carbonated beverage that contains ingredients that are associated with health challenges. This soda has no nutritional value.



Long answer

Sprite Zero was originally known as Sugar Free Sprite when it was first created in 1974.  It is a carbonated non-caffeinated beverage that has no calories and also has no nutritional value.

One of the most toxic ingredients in diet Mountain Dew is aspartame. This artificial sweetener has been linked to multiple serious health challenges. Recent studies have shown that artificial sweeteners actually increase weight gain. They fail to satisfy cravings and often intensify hunger. Aspartame consists of aspartic acid and phenylalanine, which when broken down in the system produces methanol, which can be toxic in high amounts. Metabolites from methanol can be the cause of central nervous system depression and other disorders that lead to metabolic acidosis and coma.

Aspartame has been used as an artificial sweetener since the 1980’s and is currently found in thousands of products. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in food and beverages as a substitute for sugar but in the late 1990’s, products containing aspartame were the focus of 80% of complaints about food additives to the FDA. Since the onset of its use in the United States, its safety in regards to consumption has been highly controversial.

Aspartame has been linked to numerous hazardous side effects including a greater risk of birth defects in women who consume aspartame while pregnant. Aspartame has also been linked to certain cancers (there has been a 300% increase in brain cancers since its release as well as increases in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia).  Aspartame is also associated with seizures, headaches, dizziness, weight gain, extreme fatigue, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, lupus, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, general musculoskeletal pain and multiple sclerosis. The side effects attributed to aspartame can occur gradually over time or can be acute reactions to the chemical. Immediate reactions can include trouble with vision and eyes, ringing in the ears, heart palpitations and shortness of breath.

The high citric acid in Sprite Zero can ruin your teeth over time. The General Dentistry Journal published a study about how long-term consumption of citric acid destroys the enamel of the teeth. The teeth of habitual diet soda drinkers are said to resemble the teeth of methamphetamine and cocaine users.

Another nasty ingredient in Sprite Zero is potassium benzoate.  This chemical is used as a preservative to prevent bacteria or mold growth but serious health effects have been associated with this toxin. These effects include hyperactivity, dizziness, insomnia, DNA damage and significant neurologic disease such as Parkinson’s.

When combined with vitamin C, potassium benzoate can form benzene, a known carcinogen. Vitamin C is a necessary part of our diet and is found in many fruit and vegetables. Because of the presence of this preservative in salad dressings, sodas, and fruit juice, it is almost inevitable that this combination will occur in most people’s diets. Other factors that can affect the rate at which benzene is formed in potassium-benzoate-containing-foods include heat, light and shelf life.

If you eat and drink foods containing these ingredients often, you can be at risk for various benzene health consequences. Long-term exposure can cause bone marrow to not be able to produce new red blood cells properly, which can lead to anemia. There can also be decreased white blood cells, decrease in antibodies, which together means a less active and stable immune system. You get further exposure to benzene from tobacco smoke, gasoline fumes, glue, paint, furniture waxes, and detergent.

There are many great alternatives to Sprite Zero. Organic juices and natural sodas with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives are a wonderful substitute. And of course, water should always be part of everyone’s daily routine.

Possible short-term side effects

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

Possible long-term side effects

  • tooth enamel erosion
  • cardiovascular problems
  • increased cholesterol
  • increased blood pressure
  • multiple sclerosis
  • weight gain
  • diabetes
  • cancer

Ingredients to be aware of


  • zero fat
  • zero calorie
  • zero carb
  • zero sugar

Healthier alternatives

  • natural organic sodas
  • water
  • organic juices

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Dr. Becky Maes
Published on: 12-27-2015
Last updated: 11-28-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Dr. Becky Maes
Published on: 12-27-2015
Last updated: 11-28-2023

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