The Science Behind President Trump's 12 Diet Cokes a Day 

In his own words, sad!

President Donald Trump has an infamous appetite for Diet Coke.

The New York Times published a profile of President Donald Trump on Saturday that adds new details to his well-known love of the soft drink (which even Fox News covered. According to the NYT, the president “summons via a button…the dozen Diet Cokes he consumes each day.”

The nutritional details of a can of diet coke. 

Coca Cola 

Each 12oz can — the standard size — contains 40mg of sodium, 46mg of caffeine, as well as other ingredients like phenylalanine, aspartame, phosphoric acid, and potassium benzoate.

The president Consimes 480mg of sodium and 552mg of caffeine every day with his dozen Diet Cokesevery day with his dozen Diet Cokes

According to the American Heart Association, the recommended daily intake of sodium for most adults is, ideally, no more than 1500mg. Meanwhile, the Mayo Clinic says that “up to 400mg of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults.”

By these standards, while President Trump’s Diet Coke habit falls within his recommended daily sodium intake, because virtually all foods contain sodium, his actual intake is likely much higher. Indeed, the president is also known for his taste for such sodium-heavy foods as McDonalds’, fried chicken, and steak with ketchup, suggesting that his actual daily sodium intake probably exceeds the suggested limit.

Meanwhile, his twelve Diet Cokes per day is in excess of the recommended daily caffeine intake of 400mg. Consuming too much caffeine is associated with a host of health side effects, including migraines, insomnia, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, stomach upset, and a higher than normal heartbeat. “Even a little makes you jittery”,” warns the Mayo Clinic.

Of course, we do not know whether the president actually finishes each can, as he is also known to be a germaphobe that refuses to return to food items that were previously opened.

On the other hand, his sodium and caffeine consumption levels may be even higher than we have estimated, since we based our numbers on the assumption that he is consuming 12-ounce cans, rather than larger bottles, like this 20-ounce bottle that he kept close by at the G20 Summit.

President Trump and his 20oz bottle of Coke at the G20. Credit: Felicity Morse

Felicity Morse

What we do know, however, is that Diet Coke does not have any sugar or calories, so at the very least, it seems that the president’s love for the drink is not affecting his weight.

But, on the other hand, he has admitted that Diet Coke makes him more hungry — and appetite certainly affects body weight.

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