Expert Q&A

Artificially sweetened beverages: Guidelines for consumption?

I drink a lot of artificially sweetened beverages and I worry they're bad for my health. Are there any guidelines for consumption?

There aren’t any official guidelines for consuming artificially sweetened beverages. There are general guidelines for fluid consumption, though. Most people need about 60 ounces (7 ½ cups) of fluid per day. This total includes fluids from high-water-content foods, such as fruits and vegetables. As a general rule, I recommend drinking about six cups of fluid per day, and then getting the rest from a regular, healthy diet. Individuals need varying amounts of water depending on their physical size, whether they exercise or not, if they are sick, or whether they spend a lot of time in air conditioned or heated air.

As far as artificially sweetened beverages go—I suggest limiting your consumption to one per day. This recommendation translates into one diet soda, one Crystal Light, or other beverage. If really you don’t like plain water, it’s preferable to drink water that’s been flavored with a citrus wedge, freshly brewed iced tea, or some other naturally flavored liquid.

For further information on children and their recommended consumption of soda see the following article from TheDietChannel: Soda: Should you limit your child's consumption?

Erin Dummert RD, CD
Contributing Expert

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