Here’s another reason to avoid artificial sweeteners and diet drinks: They can pollute our waterways. A study that appeared in the journal Environmental Science and Technology showed that after consumption, the human body flushes artificial sweetener down the toilet and into the water supply. And here is where this chemical sweetener can have a drastic impact on the biodiversity of the planet: Water with fake sugar impacts a plant’s ability to perform photosynthesis. This impacts its ability to produce food and release oxygen. And small aquatic species are affected by this toxic water, which flows up the food chain to the fish and larger species that consume them. The best bet: Avoid fake sugars and stick with ingredients you can pronounce.