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Can Soda Cause Diarrhea?

The short answer:

Yes, drinking soda could cause diarrhea. Increasing bowel movement is a common side effect of too much drinking soda. This might be attributed to the caffeine and sugar content and also the artificial sweetening agents have a role.

Key facts:

  • Drinking soda could increase your bowel movements causing diarrhea.
  • It is better for you to avoid drinking soda when you already have diarrhea or other diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome which is characterized by disturbance in bowel movements.
  • The caffeine content in soda has a stimulant effect that increases your bowel movements inducing diarrhea.
  • Diet soda could also cause diarrhea due to the laxative effect of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and mannitol.
  • Decaffeinated soda could also cause diarrhea due to components rather than caffeine such as artificial sweeteners.
  • Drinking soda could lead to bloating and camping due to the trapped gases.
  • Soda may worsen the symptoms of higher gastric acid secretion due to the increased acidity by soda and also, bubbles could induce pressure in the gastric wall leading to acid reflux.

Can soda cause diarrhea?

Why does drinking soda cause diarrhea?

FAQs about drinking soda

Can drinking soda cause diarrhea?

The answer is yes.

Diarrhea is a common health problem. It means you have increased bowel movement. It may be a result of viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection. Also, It may be due to certain beverages or foods you ingest (Ref).

Drinking soda is a popular habit worldwide. People may differ in the preferred type and the amount of soda they drink but there is no doubt that it is a popular habit everywhere.

Drinking too much soda is associated with increased bowel movements causing diarrhea. So, if you have diarrhea after drinking soda, please don’t panic you are not alone. Diarrhea is commonly reported following drinking too much soda.

Why does soda cause diarrhea?

Soda could lead to diarrhea for the following reasons:

Caffeine content

Caffeine has a stimulant effect that may potentiate your intestinal motility. This action causes you to have diarrhea. This effect is more common among people with irritable bowel syndrome. They can’t tolerate the caffeine content in soda.

Sugar content

Generally, sugar and especially fructose could increase your bowel movement. About 75 % of people who ingest daily more than 40 grams of fructose will develop diarrhea (Ref).

Sugar triggers the gastrointestinal tract to release electrolytes and water into the lumen leading to diarrhea.

For one can of soda, about 30 to 40 grams of sugar. This amount of sugar is equivalent to 7-10 teaspoonfuls of sugar (Ref).

Artificial sweetening agent:

If you think of diet soda to avoid sugar, it is not a good choice. Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners that may have a laxative effect. They increase water content in your colon and thus, diarrhea may result.

Artificial sweetening agents such as mannitol and aspartame could cause discomfort, bloating, and diarrhea (Ref).

A study published in 2016 reported that excessive drinking of soda lead to diarrhea. The researchers attributed this effect to the action of caffeine content and fructose which cause osmotic diarrhea.

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine involved 451, 743 people who used to drink soda for 20 years. The authors reported a higher risk of death from digestive system disorders associated with drinking soda.

FAQs about soda

1. Does diet soda have a laxative effect?

Yes, diet soda has a laxative effect

The artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks such as mannitol, sorbitol, and sucrose have a laxative effect.

Also, in some people, these artificial sweeteners may not be digested well. Therefore, they could attract water in your bowel causing diarrhea.

2. Can caffeine-free soda cause diarrhea?

Yes, diarrhea could result from soda even if you drink caffeine-free soda.

Caffeine is a stimulant that stimulates the intestinal motility causing diarrhea,

However, caffeine-free soda could still have a laxative effect and cause diarrhea due to other ingredients such as artificial sweeteners.

3. Can soda cause bloating?

Yes, drinking soda can lead to bloating

Soda and other carbonated beverages are more likely to cause bloating and flatulence due to the tapped gases in your gut which could lead to bloating, cramping, and discomfort.

4. Is carbonated soda bad for your stomach?

Drinking soda could increase gastric acidity. So, if you suffer from symptoms related to higher gastric acid secretion, it is better to decrease or avoid drinking carbonated soda.

Also, bubbles induced by carbonated soda could induce pressure on the stomach lining inducing stomach acid reflux to the esophagus (Ref).