diet coke: what's in it?

diet coke is my comfort food.
i love it so much - always have, always will.
i can't even count the number of times someone has told me
just how bad diet coke is for me. i can't blame them, i know it's not healthy,
but all processed food isn't healthy. it's just my poison of choice.
anyway, i decided that if i'm going to drink it i should be informed 
on what i'm putting in my body. in case you are a diet coke drinker too
(i know there's a lot of you)
this might help break down each ingredient.

carbonated water & caffeine
(i think we all know what these are)

caramel color
this is what gives the soda its color. it is essentially brown food coloring/flavor that is made by heating a sugar and other carbs. it sounds harmless, but several studies show that caramel color is a carcinogen (eek). although it's in a lot of things we eat, the normal person consumes much less of it in foods than they do in their soda drinks (unless, of course, you are sticking a straw in a 32oz glass of soy sauce)

in my opinion, this ingredient gets the worst rap.
studies have linked aspartame to cancer in lab rats, but not in humans
and the fda considers it generally safe to consume.
it's just a zero-cal artificial sweetener
that might trick your body into thinking it's eating something high in calories,
causing you to overeat so your body can get what it thinks it was getting in the first place.
(this is why people say diet soda is just as bad as regular soda).

phosphoric acid
this is the chemical added to sharpen the taste.
it's actually used in more concentrated doses to dissolve rust,
so it can quite possibly erode your tooth enamel and give you kidney stones (shoot).

natural flavors
this is the mystery ingredient.
"all natural" means is that they were derived from foods found in nature.
in the words of coca-cola, "natural flavors are derived from the essential oils
or extracts of spices, fruits, vegetables and herbs"
so...whatever that means.

potassium benzoate
this is a preservative added to protect the flavor and prevent mold from growing.
it's pretty harmless until it's mixed with certain other ingredients
(like vitamin c, at which point it could turn into benzene which is a known carcinogen).

citric acid
another preservative (this time a more natural one),
which gives the soda a bit of a sharp flavor.
because it's natural, it's not terrible for you.

will i stop drinking diet coke? nope.
will i cut back on my intake? probably...
(but it's just so hard with a fountain machine in my office).


  1. does this deter me? not one bit. poison is poison, and everyone has one :)

  2. did you go to diet coke school? thanks for sharing, i love this informative post!

  3. haha yikes. except that when i did get kidney stones when i was preg, i was cursing DC. but it's fine as long as you equalize it with water in my opinion! ha!

  4. YIKES. My mamma is obsessed with DC. I emailed her this link. Love this hahaha it really is so refreshing and yummy though! LOVE your cute blog!!!


  6. When I saw your post title I was a little scared to read it. Up until September I had given up DC for over 18 months! I've had maybe five between now and think I will stop drinking it again. Haha

  7. This does not stop me one bit. You are a babe!

  8. my husband and my mom are both obsessed with diet coke, no joke. i guess we all pick our poisons right? and i always think you could be addicted to something worse, like alcohol or drugs, right?