Light Soda vs. Dark Soda: Is there a difference health wise?

light soda vs. dark sodaPhoto courtesy of

My mom has always told me that if i wanted to drink soda it had to be light. When I asked why, she simply replied that it was better than drinking dark soda. I wondered how this could be if both drinks contained a good amount of sugar. Is lighter soda a healthier option as opposed to dark soda or should people steer clear from both?

When determining which is “healthier” it comes down to the contents of light and dark soda. What sets apart dark soda from light soda are the ingredients caffeine and phosphoric acid. Caffeine and phosphoric acid are the sources of several health concerns. According to LIVESTRONG“caffeine can cause an increase in heart rate… phosphoric acid can be damaging and taxing on the kidneys, as reported from the University of Virginia Health System.” (Sundstrom) This article shines a bad light on dark soda, but keep in mind there are exceptions. Root Beer and Sunkist Grape Soda both dark drinks do not contain caffeine putting them on the same level as some lighter drinks. Lighter drinks as well have their exceptions with one of the ingredients in Mountain Dew being caffeine.

Now just because some light and dark sodas do not contain caffeine doesn’t mean that there are no health risk. Both drinks do contain sweetener so the best choice would be to choose a soda that is made with natural sugars. So, when it comes down to which is healthier, it all depends on the ingredients and “how much is too much?”(Editors of the Huffington Post Healthy Living), not the color of the drink. There are several factors that should be taken into consideration when drinking soda regarding ones health. Both light and dark soda can be harmful to those who have blood sugar and kidney issues (Sundstrom). The effects of caffeine and phosphoric acid as mentioned before can lead to: damage in the kidneys, diabetes, or hyperglycemia. After reading this research on the ingredients these drinks contain, I will just take a water.

Works Cited

Sundstrom, Kelly (2013). Which Is Healthier: Clear or Dark Soda? Retrieved from

The Editors of Huffington Post Healthy Living (2013). 8 Sugary Drink Myths, Busted. Retrieved from

5 thoughts on “Light Soda vs. Dark Soda: Is there a difference health wise?

  1. Nicole Kristen Abunassar

    I have never heard that light soda is better to drink than dark soda, or vice versa. I find this very interesting because, to me, I never thought that the shade of what I’m drinking could be a sign of the chemicals inside. Overall I agree with you completely, I think I’ll take a water too.

  2. ibg5025 Post author

    Hi, I think the wording was a bit confusing, but I meant that the color does not determine how caffeinated a drink is. Root Beer, a dark pigmented soda has no caffeine, but Mountain Dew, a light pigmented soda has a great amount of caffeine. I used the same article you linked for my blog, I found it very interesting. There are all these different myths about soda and most of them are untrue. I guess when it comes down to it, the ingredients are the main factor.

  3. Nicole Avila

    I agree with you, my mom always told me the same thing. Also, I just found out that clear soft drinks contain different ingredients than dark soft drinks. For example, Sprite contains sugar, and Coca-Cola contains high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup contains large amounts of fructose, which can only be processed by your liver. However, in reality when trying to be healthy you shouldn’t drink soda because they’re both equally bad.

Leave a Reply