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So you’ve finally decided to stop drinking diet (and hopefully all) soda — GREAT. Whatever brought you to this decision, whether it was the long list of ingredients, not reaching weight loss goals, or hearing for the millionth time how terrible sodas are for you, eliminating diet soda from your diet will drastically improve your health. Check out these 5 things that will happen when you drop diet soda from your life!

Fast food cola

1. Headaches vanish and focus sharpens: According to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the chemicals in the artificial sweetener aspartame, prevalent in many diet soda drinks, may have altered brain chemicals, nerve signals, and the brains reward system — all of which lead to headaches, anxiety, and insomnia. By ditching the diet drinks you’ll have less headaches, better sleep, and sharper focus.

2. The scale finally moves the right way: Just because diet drinks have zero calories, does not mean they are fine to drink to accomplish weight loss goals. A 9-year study found that older adults who drank diet soda continued to pack on belly fat. Another study found that each diet soda you drink per day increases your chance of becoming obese in the next 10 years by 65%! Even more, a study published in Diabetes Care found that drinking diet sodas each day is associated with increases in obesity, high blood-pressure, high triglycerides, and increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

3. Bones strengthen. A study completed in 2014 found that each diet soda consumed per day increases the chances of hip fracture by 14% for postmenopausal women. When you give up sodas, you give your bones a chance to strengthen!

4. Fat storage decreases. A study done in Diabetes Care found that drinking two-thirds of a diet soda before eating primed the pancreas to release more insulin (the fat-storing hormone). When your pancreas is overworked from creating insulin to control your blood sugar levels, diabetes can occur. By giving up diet sodas, your body can stop working too hard and store less fat.

5. Kidney function improves. Giving up diet drinks allows your kidneys to get back to their job of clearing toxins, stabilizing blood pressure, and absorbing minerals. One study of 11 years of data found that women who drank 2 or more diet sodas a day doubled their chance of declining kidney function because the kidneys were having to make sense of the unnatural ingredients in sodas rather than doing their job!

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