Soda, Pop, Coke, Cola… Whatever you call it, it has a big impact on your health. Drinking soda can cause you to gain weight, retain fluid, and put you at risk for major health problems. Obesity, diabetes, and many other major health problems are associated with drinking soda regularly.
Your kidneys are especially affected by drinking soda. It is no wonder, considering that every drop of everything you eat and drink eventually gets processed through your kidneys. Especially because they taste delicious and seem so innocent, most people do not realize just how dangerous soda can be.
It Doesn’t Take Much
You don’t have to drink a whole two liter of soda a day to reap the consequences. Unfortunately, just one or two sodas a day can wreak havoc on your kidneys. Regular consumption, even if it isn’t every day, can hurt you.
Keep this in mind as you realize just how much soda the average American drinks on a daily basis. Everywhere you turn there is a soda fountain with huge, cheap cups and unlimited refills. People don’t just drink a soda because they like the taste every now and then, they are addicted and drinking it like they should water. It is no wonder that a huge population of people in the United States are living with major health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and chronic kidney disease.
Regular soda consumption is a factor that can lead to kidney disease. There are many ingredients that affect your kidneys in different ways; all of them working together are like a perfect storm:
Fructose: Most sodas use fructose as a sweetener, but it could go by many names. It can be just plain sugar, glucose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup… There are literally over fifty different names for sugar that are used in sodas and other foods that you eat every day. Manufacturers try to be sneaky about their labeling so you won’t realize just how much sugar you are consuming. Just one soda puts you well above the recommended daily sugar intake.
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney disease and failure. High blood sugar leads to decreased kidney function and the altered production of insulin is closely tied with kidney function as well. Too much sugar in the blood makes it harder for the already over-taxed kidneys to do their job and filter out the excess waste.
Phosphoric Acid: Most sodas get their caramel color from phosphoric acid. This ingredient has been known to create an overproduction of kidney stones. Clear sodas typically have citric acid instead of phosphoric acid and it is not known to create as many problems, but there is no evidence to suggest that is necessarily much healthier.
Diet Sweeteners: Even the no sugar sodas are dangerous for your health. In fact, most studies show that they are actually worse on your kidneys than regular sugared soda. When sugar free diet sodas came on the market, kidney problems doubled when compared with regular soda.
Caffeine: Perhaps one of the biggest draws to drinking soda is the same reason that many people drink coffee. Caffeine is a highly addictive “pick me up” that many people enjoy convenient access to during the day. However, caffeine can contribute to kidney stones as well as increased blood pressure.
Soda has a huge effect on the body as a whole, but especially the kidneys. It is a huge contributing factor to the rising number of people with diabetes and kidney failure. Although most studies talk about constant use of sodas, one or two a day, you should know that there is no safe amount of soda to drink. Especially if you have diabetes or kidney disease, you should keep your soda consumption to a minimum or cut it out of your diet completely. For other tips on your renal diet, click here.