Which Is Healthier: Clear or Dark Soda?

When you decide to purchase soda, it is important to know that not all types of soda are created equal. For example, soda that is dark in color is comprised of different substances than clear soda, and can affect the body differently. Knowing these differences can affect your decision, and can help you maintain a healthier body.

Young girl drinking dark soda with a straw (Image: shalamov/iStock/Getty Images)


Dark soda, such as Coca Cola, contains high fructose corn syrup, phosphoric acid, caramel coloring, caffeine, natural flavoring and carbonated water. Clear soda, such as Sprite, contains sugar, citric acid, carbonated water and natural flavoring. Clear soda does not contain caffeine, phosphoric acid or high fructose corn syrup like dark soda.

Health Concerns

Many of the ingredients found in dark soda, but not in clear soda, can be harmful to your health. These ingredients include caffeine and phosphoric acid. Caffeine can cause an increase in heart rate and can be harmful for people suffering from anxiety disorders. Phosphoric acid can be damaging and taxing on the kidneys, as reported from the University of Virginia Health System.


Although both dark and clear sodas are sweet, they are sweetened with very different sweeteners. While sugar is produced from natural sugar cane or beets and requires relatively little processing, high fructose corn syrup is produced from corn and is a highly processed food that is harmful to the body. Consider selecting a soda that only contains natural sugar, instead of high fructose corn syrup.


Check with your doctor before drinking dark or clear soda if you suffer from a blood sugar or kidney disease. All sodas that are sweetened contain high sugar levels that can raise blood sugar or negatively affect a blood sugar disorder, such as hypoglycemia or diabetes. Phosphoric acid in dark sodas can cause damage to the kidneys if the kidneys are already not functioning properly.

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