Pepsi is a very popular soda and is sold virtually everywhere.
Consuming certain foods and drinks can trigger diarrhea in some people, whereas particular foods and beverages consumed in moderate to high amounts will reliably give a person diarrhea.
Today, I will provide a full rundown of why Pepsi causes diarrhea and how to avoid it.
If you consume less than 2 cans of Pepsi per day but still get diarrhea, it’s either because you are intolerant or consume too much sugar and caffeine from other foods and drinks.
Below, I will provide a breakdown of how much sugar and caffeine are in Pepsi and why it’s enough to give a person diarrhea.
As well as whether beverages like Pepsi can cause an upset stomach or trigger IBS.
Reasons Why Pepsi Causes Diarrhea?
There are a few reasons why Pepsi can trigger diarrhea, either sometimes or every time you drink it. Here’s a full rundown of why Pepsi causes diarrhea and how to avoid it.
Medical professionals at Harvard Medical School state that a few chemicals in foods and drinks have been found to cause diarrhea.
One of which is sugar but more specifically fructose.
The other is caffeine.
The upper limit of how much of these a person can consume before getting diarrhea is:
- 40 g of fructose
- 200 mg of caffeine
A regular can of Pepsi is 12 oz (360 mL), equivalent to roughly 1.3 cups.
The amount of fructose and caffeine in a regular-sized can of Pepsi is:
- 5g of fructose
- 9 mg of caffeine
As you can see, the amount of caffeine is not enough to cause diarrhea unless you consume about 6 cans of Pepsi, which for most people is impossible.
But, 2 regular-sized cans or 3 cups of Pepsi is enough fructose to cause diarrhea.
Interestingly, there are a few different types of diarrhea, and various factors can cause them. Here’s a video where they explain this in detail:
Pepsi is sweetened with sugar which is about 50% fructose
If you look at the product label on a can of Pepsi, you will notice that it is sweetened with sugar, not fructose.
But fructose is the chemical that causes diarrhea in excess amounts.
Regular sugar is, on average, somewhere between 50% and 60% fructose.
The amount of sugar in a regular-sized can of Pepsi is 38.9 grams. So, about half of that is fructose.
Therefore, a regular-sized can of Pepsi contains about 20g of fructose.
Which is 50% towards the amount of fructose that will give you diarrhea.
Diet sodas such as diet Pepsi contain artificial sweeteners instead of sugar and do not contain any ingredients that are known to cause diarrhea.
But, they likely cause diarrhea in a small percentage of people that consume them.
Similar to how a small percentage of people react badly to certain foods.
Can Pepsi Cause Stomach Problems?
Pepsi is one of the most popular carbonated beverages and one of the most popular colas.
Many people report that sodas are good when you have an upset stomach, but some people have a bad reaction when they drink Pepsi.
So, below is if Pepsi can cause stomach problems.
The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders has stated that:
“Caffeine-containing drinks have a laxative potential. More than two or three cups of coffee or tea daily can often cause diarrhea”.
However, Pepsi contains about one ⅓ the caffeine that coffee has. For example, 12 oz of coffee contains 136 mg of coffee, whereas 12 oz of Pepsi contains 38.9mg of caffeine. Diarrhea and stomach problems tend to go hand in hand.
Therefore, based on the recommendation of the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, the laxative effects and stomach problems caused by Pepsi would only occur if you drink about 6 to 9 cups of Pepsi. Or 48 oz to 72 oz.
Can Soft Drinks Cause Diarrhea?
Soft drinks are one of the most refreshing glasses because they are carbonated, have a high water content, and taste good.
Diarrhea is common, but it’s often difficult to know what caused it.
So, this is if soft drinks can cause diarrhea.
But, you would need to drink six 12 oz cans daily for the caffeine content to cause diarrhea.
Therefore, the main thing to watch out for is consuming too much sugar daily.