Can Drinking Diet Soda Give You Gas?

portrait of a young woman drinking cola from a straw
Drinking a carbonated beverage through a straw may cause gas. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Gas may not be a common topic of discussion for the dinner table, but about 10 to 20 percent of adults complain about belching or flatulence, which are two by-products of gas production. Although some people may have underlying food intolerances that cause excess gas, having gas is usually a result of what you eat.

It's the Bubbles

When carbon dioxide dissolves in syrup -- which forms carbonic acid -- carbonation results. Drinking carbonated beverages might be tasty, but when the carbon dioxide is released into your digestive tract, you feel bloated and gassy.

Artificial Isn't So Sweet

Diet sodas are made with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. Although artificial sweeteners keep the calorie count low, your body cannot fully break down these sweeteners, so they remain in the intestine for an extended period of time without being fully digested, resulting in gas, bloating and diarrhea.

The Way You Sip

It’s not only the ingredients in the diet soda that might cause gas, but also how you drink. When you sip out of a can or a straw, you swallow more air than when you drink out of a cup. In your digestive track, the air you swallow becomes gas. Guzzling your diet soda will also cause you to swallow more air, increasing the gas.

Beating the Bloat

If diet soda is causing gas, then don't drink it. If that’s out of the question, then reduce your chances of experiencing uncomfortable symptoms. Pour diet soda into a glass and sip straight from the glass instead of through a straw. Pouring your soda into a glass will also allow some of the carbon dioxide and bubbles to escape into the air instead of into your digestive tract.

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