Bradenton Cardiology Center and Daytime's resident doc Srini Iyengar has this warning about diet sodas:
Diet sodas contain fewer calories and many people turn to them to lose weight, but newer studies are suggesting the small benefits may not outweigh the health risks.
Published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, the report argues that artificially sweetened beverages are not only linked with ill health effects similar to those associated with consuming regular soda - but they may even cause worse long term health outcomes. I think we need to focus less on "Are diet sodas worse for you than regular sodas? The real idea here is what good are sodas for you in the first place?
In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline.
Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day.
Some studies have found that diet soda doesn't help you lose weight after all. Research completed a couple years ago found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500%. Why? Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body's natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods, suggested an animal study from Purdue University. That means people who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because your body is being tricked into thinking it's eating sugar, and you crave more.
The pH of 3.2, diet soda is very acidic. The acid is what readily dissolves tooth enamel, and just because a soda is diet doesn't make it acid-light. Adults who drink three or more sodas a day have worse dental health, than those who don't. Soda drinkers of all sorts had far greater decay, more missing teeth, and more fillings.
If you are looking for flavor some alternatives would be herbal teas or 100% fruit juice.