Most of us know that sugary sodas aren’t exactly good for our bodies. But it’s just the calories and sugar content that make them harmful, right? Many people believe that by making the switch to diet soda, they’re choosing the much healthier options. Without all those extra calories, carbohydrates and sugar, there’s nothing to worry about, right?


Contrary to popular belief, diet soda is not a healthier choice. In fact, it’s far from healthy or safe in any regard when it comes to the effects it has on our bodies. Among other health issues, artificially sweetened drinks increase your risk of stroke and dementia.

stroke risk

The Link Between Diet Soda And Dementia & Stroke Risk

When researchers studied diet soda consumption in nearly 3,000 adults, they found some disturbing data. In adults older than 45 years of age, the artificial sweeteners in soda increased the risk of stroke. In adults older than 60 years of age, diet soda increased the risk of dementia. Regardless of other factors such as overeating, diet, smoking and exercise levels, diet soda was still found to cause an increased risk of both stroke and dementia.

Researchers also studied the impacts of drinking regular soda. While the sugar in regular soda was not associated with a higher risk of stroke or dementia, it did come with a set of its own problems. Excess sugar can cause many serious health issues, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes and more.

stroke risk

Boston University researchers took the study a step further. They studied how sugary sodas, soft drinks and fruit juice impact the human brain. They used MRI imaging, cognitive tests and existing data to conclude that drinking more than two sugary drinks a day, or more than three sodas a day, results in smaller brain volume.

According to their research, drinking more than two sugary drinks per day causes brain shrinkage. It also accelerates brain aging, resulting in memory loss and increasing the risk of early-stage Alzheimer’s. Researchers found that even one diet soda per day can result in smaller brain volume. One!

Ditch The Soda And Drink This Instead

Whether it’s regular soda or diet soda, each time you take a drink you’re putting your health at risk in a big way. Drinking several sugary drinks a day puts you right on track for accelerated aging, dementia, diabetes, obesity and stroke among many other serious health issues. Ditch the soda for good and try one of these drinks instead:

  • Kombucha – If you enjoy the fizzy nature of soda, you’ll probably love Kombucha. It’s loaded with gut-friendly probiotics to keep you happy and healthy.
  • Water – Nothing beats good old fashioned water. Like it or not, your body needs water to survive and to function properly. If you don’t like the bland taste, try infusing your water with berries, cucumbers and other fruits.
  • Green Tea – Studies have shown that green tea may have anti-cancer benefits. It’s also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension and kidney stones. It’s calorie-free and full of powerful antioxidants!

Watch the video below for more information on the link between diet soda, stroke and dementia:

Dr. Axe
The Journal Of The Alzheimer’s Association
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Dr. Axe