While you may save yourself around 200 calories a "pop," there are a multitude of drawbacks to consider when choosing diet soda over regular –– as presented in this article and by conducting your own investigation.
Furthermore, David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, Harvard Professor, in his article –– Artificially Sweetened Beverages Cause for Concern, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in December 2009, challenges the notion that artificial sweeteners are risk free and he makes three important points:
- Our body gets confused by artificial sweeteners
- We’re “Infantilizing” our taste sense
- Long term effects unclear
And, if you think that just because you drink "diet soda," you are immune from weight gain, think again. Surprisingly (not to those of us in the fitness industry), a 2005 study reported by WebMD declares, "people who drink diet soft drinks don't lose weight. In fact, they gain weight." Seemingly, diet soda may not be the direct cause of weight gain and obesity, but it does give a false sense of "dieting" and a license to splurge in other areas.
Bottom line on soda:
What you drink does impact your diet –– positively and negatively, and the evidence is clear, drinking soda –– diet or regular –– is not good for your health or fitness level, especially if you are consuming more than one a day –– and warning for those "six-pack a day" people. But will having a soda from time to time "kill" you? I don't think so. How do I know this? Because one of my vices is Diet Coke and I'm still alive to write about it. That being said, as a 30-year veteran in the fitness industry and a retired fitness competitor, drinking soda –– diet or regular –– is not what I recommend on your "fit path," particularly if your goals involve weight loss and optimal health.