Abstract Background Although high consumption of soft drinks has been associated with excess of type 2 diabetes risk, the strength of this association in the Mexican population, where a type 2 diabetes genetic susceptibility has been well established, has been scarcely studied. This study aimed to estimate the risk of type 2 diabetes due to soft drinks consumption in a cohort of Mexicans. Methods We used data on 1445 participants from the Health Workers Cohort Study, a prospective cohort conducted in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Soft drinks consumption was assessed with a semi-quantitative 116-item food frequency questionnaire. Incident type 2 diabetes was defined as self-report of physician-diagnosed type 2 diabetes, fasting glucose > 126 mg/dl, or hypoglycemic medication at any examination. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazard models. Results With a total of 9526.2 person-years of follow-up, 109 incident cases of type 2 diabetes were observed. Type 2 diabetes incidence rate was 7.6, 11.0, and 17.1 per 1000 person-years across levels of soft drinks consumption of < 1, 1–4, and ≥ 5 servings/week, respectively (p < 0.001 for trend). The intake of ≥5 soft drinks/week was significantly associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (HR 1.9 95% CI:1.0–3.5) compared with consumption of < 1/week (p-trend = 0.040). The HR was attenuated by further adjustment for body mass index (HR 1.5 95%CI:0.8–2.8) and abdominal obesity (HR 1.6 95%CI:0.8–3.0). Conclusions The consumption of soft drinks was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes in a cohort of Mexican adults. Our results further support recommendations to limit soft drinks intake to address the growing diabetes epidemic in Mexico.