Even though diet sodas we see in the market promise zero calories despite the still sweet and refreshing taste, sodas do absolutely nothing good for you. Here are some reasons why should give it up, stat, and what you can drink to replace that sweet liquid craving.

1. It has no nutritional value.

Although they satisfy that craving for sweet drinks while giving you that caffeine boost, diet soda has no vitamins, minerals, or anything that your body could benefit from.

2. It destroys your skin.

Various studies have found that the chemicals in diet soda mess with the PH levels of your skin, making your skin look dull and tired, and making you look much older than you are.

3. It leads to weight gain.

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Texas in the US found that diet soda drinkers gained 70% more inches around their waists compared to non-drinkers. Even worse? Drinkers who consumed two or more diet sodas had a 500% greater increase. Artificial sweeteners confuse the body and mess up the way our bodies process fats and sugar, but it could also be a psychological cause—people who drink diet soda might have a tendency to eat more, thinking that the soda is not a factor in their calorie consumption.

4. It messes with you psychologically.

Scientists have found that aspartame used in diet sodas is linked to headaches and migraines, dizzy spells, and even mood swings. In fact, it may also cause or aggravate symptoms of those with bipolar, depression, and anxiety disorders.

5. It increases your risk of heart attack and various cancers.

The higher your waist circumference is, the higher your risk of heart attack. Aside from this, various studies over the years have linked Aspartame to cancer. A study at the Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center in Italy found that it increases ovarian cancer, and various studies have liked it to lymphoma and tumors in rats.

Ditch the soda, drink this instead.

Try this super easy-to-make iced tea that’ll hit the spot, while giving you healthy benefits without soda’s harmful effects.

Ingredients:
  • 1 L Black tea
  • 1 C pure lemon or calamansi juice
  • 1-2 TBSP of Stevia or 1/2 C honey or coconut syrup

Preparation:

Steep two black tea bags in one liter of water. While warm, dissolve stevia or honey in the tea. Cool and add ice before serving. This drink is great alternative to soda. The lemon gives you vitamin C and fiber, and the black tea is rich in antioxidants, lowers your risk of diabetes, helps you relieve stress, strengthens your immune system, helps you clear your digestive track, and more. Either of your sweetener options give you loads of benefits too—try any of Natural Health’s options: The stevia is packed with potassium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B, and is often used to sweeten protein bars and granola. It’s also packed with fiber, which means it’s good for digestion and helps prevent constipation. Coconut syrup is a healthier substitute to syrups like honey and agave. Natural Health’s Coconut Syrup is fresh: no artificial preservatives, minimally processed, and made from pure coconut nectar. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals with a nutty, caramel taste that complements the flavor of any food and drink.

Trisha Bautista is a freelance writer, food and product stylist, social media manager, and violin teacher. She was formerly editorial assistant and social media editor for Women’s Health Philippines, and the assistant lifestyle editor and social media editor for Cosmopolitan Philippines. She enjoys discovering easy recipe hacks, working out by herself and trying out DIY workout programs, traveling outdoors, and enjoying wine and whiskey.

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