A UK pharmacist has shocked fizzy drink fans by releasing a step-by-step guide to the dramatic way a can of Diet Coke affects the body from 10 minutes after the first sip until an hour later.
Niraj Naik, who runs The Renegade Pharmacist blog, has created an eye-opening infographic that exposes how the sugar-free drink can wreak havoc on everything from your teeth to your waistline.
The phosphoric acid attacks the enamel in your teeth at the same time the aspartame in the drinks hits the system.
The drink can trigger an insulin release, which sends your body into fat storage mode and the false high could start kick start cravings.
Here FEMAIL reveals just what happens to your body when your drink Diet Coke.
We also speak to Ella Allred, technical nutritionist at NutriCentre for a detailed breakdown on how the soda affects your system.
In the first 10 minutes: It tricks your taste buds and attacks your teeth. The phosphoric acid attacks the enamel in your teeth, while the artificial sweeteners like aspartame hit your system. Aspartame may trigger taste receptors and tricks your body into thinking it has just had processed sugar.
Ms Allred says: ‘As soon as you taste the sweetness of Diet Coke, your body prepares for the sugar load and causes you pancreases releases insulin. The insulin surge decreases the pancreases sensitivity to insulin, putting you at risk of developing diabetes type 2. The insulin triggers your body to store fat around your middle, and increases your risk of developing heart disease.’
In the first ten minutes the drink attacks your teeth. It then triggers insulin which sends your body into fat storage mode
20 minutes: Can switch on fat storage mode. Like regular Coke this can trigger insulin, which sends your body into fat storage mode. Data from a number of studies, including Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study also reported greater risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Ms Allred says: ‘Blood insulin saturation is complete. But the problem is, there is no sugar in Diet Coke. But now you have a lot of insulin in your blood stream, pulling all of your blood available blood sugar into your cells leaving you with a massive sugar low. You then need sugar in your blood to maintain equilibrium. The sweet cravings kick in and may find you are reaching for another Diet Coke, which starts the cycle again.’
40 minutes: Can cause addiction. The combination of caffeine and aspartame creates a short addictive high similar in the way cocaine works. Excitotoxins are released which may exhaust your brains by overstimulating its neuroreceptors, especially if consumed on your regular basis.
Ms Allred says: ‘Caffeine saturation of your blood is complete, switching off tiredness receptors. It’s creating pseudo alertness, and pushing our bodies beyond their designed capabilities. The aspartame has reached your brain, where it is a neuro toxin, which in some people may trigger migraines and other neurological problems. Aspartame and caffeine both trigger your brains reward centres, making this combination highly addictive.
After 40 minutes Diet Coke mimics the effect of cocaine on your body. It also makes you thirsty as it dehydrates rather than hydrates
60 minutes and beyond: Can deplete nutrients, make you hungry and thirsty for me
Unlike the small amount of satisfaction you get from regular Coke, your body may still crave sweets. This makes you likely to reach for another soda, or worse, some other junk food you consider to be safe and the cycle continues.
A can of Diet Coke provides no nourishment and would replace a more nutritious drink you could have drunk while potentially depleting your body of essential minerals.
It will never quench your thirst as it dehydrates rather than hydrates your body. A lack of vital water can lead to brain fog, poor concentration, fatigue and feeling irritable.
Ms Allred says: The dehydrating effect of the Coke is already having an impact on your cells hydration levels. Dehydration has the effect of causing tiredness and drowsiness, which will likely leave you reaching for another caffeine hit. And so the vicious cycle starts again. Each time worsening its effect, causing you to gain weight and pushing your body beyond its design.