There are some awesome effects of diet soda: You can enjoy the sweetness and bubbles of something delish without packing on the calories, which is a big incentive. Diabetics can enjoy soda without affecting their blood sugar, which lessens the feeling of missing out. Sounds pretty win-win, right?
Well, it might not be. There have been lots of reports about negative effects of diet soda that have had questionable results and findings–no one’s really sure if it causes cancer (so far, you’d have to drink a whole lot for a really, really long time to show any changes–and they’ve only studied mice, so take it with an enormous grain of salt) or makes you gain weight by increasing cravings for sweets (what a cruel world!). Now, another possible effect of diet soda has emerged: It’s being linked to depression. Yikes!
New studies have found that people who drink four or more sodas of any kind every day were 30 percent more likely to suffer from depression that people who didn’t drink as much soda at all. People who drank diet soda were 32 percent more likely to be depressed than people who didn’t drink soda daily, and diet soda drinkers were almost 10 percent more likely to have depression than people who drank regular soda. Phew, that’s a lot of numbers–got all that?
Good, because there’s more: Diet soda isn’t the only culprit. Apparently diet fruit drinks might bum people out, too. People who drank diet fruit drinks daily had a 51 percent higher chance of being depressed than people who didn’t.
We’re like, “But they’re so delicious! Say it ain’t so!”
Thankfully, it was just a link, not a direct cause. The researchers admit there are a ton of other factors that can affect your likelihood of depression: Your BMI, family history, stress, and just how your life is going in general.
There is, however, a drink that may stave off depression: Coffee. The same study showed that people who gulp down four or more cups of java a day were less likely to be depressed. That may be because caffeine acts as a brain stimulant–or just because it’s so yummy–but the jury is still out.
We’re not trying to make you panic and throw all your Diet Coke into a river. That would be terrible for the aquatic life. But maybe just don’t drink so much of any one thing all of the time, whether it’s diet soda, fruity diet drinks or regular stuff. Maybe those people were depressed because they didn’t get a ton of variety in their hydration. Seriously, the same thing all the time? Boring!
Do you buy all of the negative effects of diet soda and diet drinks, or do you think it’s just hype? Have you ever noticed what you eat or drink affecting your mood? Tell us in the comments!