I have been following a strict diet for over four years now but one of the things I cannot seem to live without is diet soda (pepsi in my case). I drink about 4-5 cans a day and it helps wash away the monotony of the food I am consuming on a daily basis (about 5,200 cals). I feel that since I eat consistently clean, I am "allowed" to cheat with this. I know of a lot of bodybuilders who drink diet soda as if it were the latest liquid test guaranteed to make you a monster.
However, I am always looking to improve so tell me what you think. Common sense tells me water, juice, etc. is better for you, I know that. How is the diet soda affecting my development? Is it hindering my progress? Some thoughts would be appreciated..