Donald Trump drinks 12 Diet Cokes a day. Can that really be healthy?

Dec. 27, 2017

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Drinking 12 sodas in one day sounds like something a 9-year-old might try to pull off behind their parents’ back.

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But as the New York Times reported in December, it is President Donald Trump who crushes about a dozen Diet Cokes daily.

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Research has shown that drinking even one soda per day has some potentially risky side effects.

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Even though Diet Coke is calorie-free, studies have found that diet sodas can contribute to obesity.

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One found those who drank two-plus diet sodas a day had a 500% greater increase in waist circumference than non-drinkers over about 10 years, Health reported.

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Health’s report didn't show the increase when drinking 12 diet sodas a day, but it's easy to speculate.

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So while choosing diet over regular Coke saves the drinker 140 calories, that's only part of the story.

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Plenty of research has found that artificially sweet things can make you hungrier.

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Fake sweeteners — like the aspartame in Diet Coke — can mess with a hormone called leptin, which helps regulate the body's appetite.

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So while Trump may not be consuming any calories while chugging his Diet Coke, he's more likely to consume more calories later.

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Let's go back to the number 12. Twelve Diet Cokes. That's a whole lot — 144 fluid ounces, assuming he’s drinking typical cans — of liquid.

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The supposed recommendation of eight glasses of water per day is equivalent to 64 fluid ounces. For some people, that much liquid seems overwhelming.

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But at 12 cans a day, or 144 fluid ounces, Trump is drinking more than twice that amount in the form of Diet Coke.

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Let's say that leaves little room for drinking water. Does his Diet Coke habit provide enough hydration?

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No: Unless Trump's supplementing his Coke habit with extra water, it’s likely he's dehydrated, experts say, which can affect his energy levels.

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Trump has never been pictured drinking the caffeine-free version of his favorite soda, though he might be better off doing so.

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Twelve cans of Diet Coke means 552 mg of caffeine, which is equal to about six cups of coffee.

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Daily, Trump consumes above the 400 mg of caffeine the Mayo Clinic reported as “safe for most healthy adults.”

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Too much caffeine is associated with nervousness, insomnia, migraines, irritability and restlessness.

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If Trump were getting all that caffeine through coffee, at least he'd be reaping some of the beverage's health benefits.

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Instead, he could be upping his risk for a host of issues linked to diet soda, including stroke, depression and dementia.

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Dissecting Trump’s soda habit might seem trivial, but when it comes to the president's health, it's a bigger issue than you might think.

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