What Happens if You Only Drink Soda vs. Water?
Drinking too much soda can cause an array of negative effects in your body, even if you drink diet soda. Carbonated soda drinks do not contain any beneficial nutrients, but typically contribute excessive calories and sugar to your diet. Start swapping out one soda per day for a bottle of water. Many varieties of water are carbonated and flavored to mimic soda, without providing all of the unnecessary calories and sugar.
Drinking soda can contribute to tooth decay and dental cavities. Sugary beverages coat your teeth, gums and tongue for hours after you drink them. This effect breaks down enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to rotting. If you like to enjoy a soda here and there, drink it through a straw. This way, the beverage goes right into the back of your mouth and it is less likely to corrode your teeth. Water does not contribute to dental decay. In fact, water is fluoridated and actually helps strengthen your teeth.
If you drink only soda as your beverage of choice, you may be at risk for weight gain. Consuming an extra 3,500 calories leads to 1 pound of weight gain, explains the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For example, if you drink five 100-calorie sodas per day totalling 500 calories, you can gain 1 pound in a week. Start by exchanging one soda per day for a glass of water. This cuts out around 700 calories from your diet per week, which may help with weight loss if you continue to eliminate soda drinks. Since water is calorie-free, you can drink as much as you want without worrying about weight gain. Flavor your water with fresh mint leaves, lemon wedges or orange slices. These ingredients add plenty of flavor to your water, but contribute few, if any, calories.
Diet sodas contain phenylalanine, which is used as an ingredient in artificial sweeteners called aspartame. A metabolic disorder known as phenylketonuria, or PKU for short, inhibits your ability to metabolize phenylalanine. If you have PKU, drinking diet sodas can be dangerous to your health and lead to brain damage and seizures, explains Katherine Zeratsky, a registered dietitian with the Mayo Clinic. Additionally, if you have a sleep disorder, certain mental health conditions or are taking prescription medications, talk with your primary care physician about aspartame. This ingredient may be especially harmful if any of these circumstances apply to you. You can avoid any of these negative effects by replacing your carbonated diet soda with water as an alternative.
University of Rochester: Caffeine
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: A Calorie Is a Calorie, or Is It?
MayoClinic.com: Phenylalanine in Diet Soda: Is it Harmful?