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Too much soda can cause kidney problems! from NYT

From the NYT, too much soda can cause kidney problems. I drink maybe 1 can a day when I have Diet Soda (when I buy it), I love the stuff. Maybe I'll cut back. What do you all think?

"Colas contain high levels of phosphoric acid, which has been linked to kidney stones and other renal problems."

Article here:

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  1. It sounds like it should be okay as long as you're not drinking cola, and even if you are, you're not drinking as much as the people in the study.

    I tend to be skeptical of studies based on self-reported data about dietary habits. For a lot of reasons, that kind of data is not terribly reliable.


    1. If you drink sodas in moderation and keep your water intake up, you should do just fine. Replace the water with soda and you could be in trouble. You need to keep those kidneys flushed and soda won't do that.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Caroline1

        I drink quite a bit of diet soda, but drink just as much, if not more, water. I wonder if one could help off-set the other?

        1. re: ArikaDawn

          Water flushes out your system better than any other fluid, assuming you have a reliable water supply. A lot of people don't bother drinking that much water because they drink a lot of coffee or soda or milk or whatever. Sugar/HFCS sodas aren't as hard on your renal system as diet sodas. So yes, if you drink diet sodas, drinking adequate water will help compensate.

          But you should try to limit yourself on the number of diet sodas per day. I drink diet sodas too, and if you look at the number of empty cans in the recycle bin, you have to think I live on the stuff. But truth be told, I open one, drink about a quarter of it, maybe half, then it's flat when I try another sip so the kitchen drain drinks as much as I do. I need to look for diet soda in the half size cans!

          1. re: Caroline1

            I do the same thing with my diet sodas in regards to typically wasting a good portion of them. Unfortunately my current vice, diet sunkist, doesn't seem to be available in anything smaller than the standard can.

            I know I need to cut back, but it probably isn't happening anytime soon. Generally for every soda I consume, I have at least 16oz. of water, so lets hope that makes a difference.

            1. re: Caroline1

              Yeah, I do the same thing. I find that if I put a can in the fridge after taking a few sips, it stays moderately fizzy for a day or two, but it's rare that I actually drink a whole can. I've never seen half-size cans of diet soda.

              1. re: jlafler

                This may seem like a dumb question, but can you buy your soda in two liters bottles or smaller plastic bottles with a screw top? I rarely drink soda but I can never make it through a can when I do. I find keeping a two liter around with the cap tightly screwed on prevents flat soda, at least longer than canned soda goes flat.

                1. re: swissgirl

                  That's not a dumb question at all. I used to buy two liters, but found I tended to drink more than if I get them in cans. For some reason when the two liter would get below the half full mark I felt compelled to try to hurry and finish it before it went flat. Weird I know. I did pick up some coke zero in those litle mini bottle yesterday, but don't think it really floats my soda boat.

                  1. re: ArikaDawn

                    A 2-liter bottle also takes up a lot of room in the fridge. And the sodas I like to drink (diet ginger ale and fresca) are hard (impossible?) to find in small screw-top bottles. For a while I was mixing Torani syrup with fizzy water, but for some reason I don't like most of the sugar-free flavors they make.

        2. I personally have had problems with diet soda. I used to drink a large amount of diet cola and would get lower back/kidney pain. I was under the impression it was from the artifical sweetner, but I stopped drinking it and have no problems now.

          1. Wow, breaking news from the NYT. About 15 years ago, I had a boyfriend that was drinking approximately 4 liters of soda a day. He wound up getting kidney stones at 21 years-old. His doctor told him to cut the soda.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MrsT

              Yeah, this is knowledge that has been around for quite some time. If you drink soda occasionally, it probably wouldn't be a big deal. However, a lot of people drink soda like they drink (or should drink) water. My cousins at one point were each drinking a 2liter bottle per day. I remember growing up where soda was considered a treat.

            2. Im not going to cut back. I will continue my 3-4 cans of coke or pepsi a day diet. "you could get kidney stones", I could also get hit by a bus.

              Ill take the "risk"

              1. I've read somewhere before but not sure if it is true that phosphoric acid can also leech calcium from your body. If that is true it is especially bad for us women. I don't drink sodas anyway because of the caffeine which causes my blood pressure to run high. And I don't take artificial sweeter because I just don't trust it. With water I know I can't go wrong!

                5 Replies
                1. re: Madelyne

                  I think that is exactly it! I could be wrong, but I believe that one reason why kidney stones form is due to excess calcium in the blood and therefore urine. This makes perfect sense that soda leeches calcium from the bone and leads to kidney stones.

                  1. re: Lixer

                    Yes.... I've just had hip replacement surgery at the relatively young age of 58 and am cutting out Coke and drinking sparkling waters for the fizz! But colas in particular leech calcium and can cause kidney stones....I need all the bone I can keep. Being a skinny gal I'll get my calories from juice and expensive chocolates ;-) !

                    1. re: OCEllen

                      A speedy and painless recovery! And YAY chocoloate!

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        Thanks C1 ! So far so good! Chocolate and all!

                  2. re: Madelyne

                    That is true. I have osteoporosis (i am under 40) and was told to avoid sodas at all costs.

                  3. I drink way too much diet Coke; on occasion I try to cut back, but it's difficult. I would probably just pick up another vice!

                    1. I never buy soda and rarely drink it.

                      It causes obesity.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: paris221966

                        Yes, well, nearly anything consumablr can cause excessive weight gain or obesity if not consumed in moderation.

                          1. re: jlafler

                            yes, it is possible that artificial sweeteners are a contributing factor to obesity. Google artificial sweetener and obesity.

                        1. I think a lot of people here are missing the point of the NY Times article, that the problem is specifically colas, which contain high levels of phosphoric acid. Here's the nut:

                          "In a study published in the journal Epidemiology, the team compared the dietary habits of 465 people with chronic kidney disease and 467 healthy people. After controlling for various factors, the team found that drinking two or more colas a day — whether artificially sweetened or regular — was linked to a twofold risk of chronic kidney disease.

                          But drinking two or more noncola carbonated drinks a day, they found, did not increase the risk."

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: jlafler

                            I am a coke addict. I have dwindled down my intake considerably to one can a day (and even that is the smaller can). And I do drink bottles of water.
                            But I guess I am doomed because I love the stuff (and with sugar not the diet stuff).
                            But what a way to go!!

                            1. re: jlafler

                              I love....well loved soda. I drank as much as I wanted, I'm healthy, I eat whatever I want and maintain a tiny weight. I started getting lower back pain on my right side. I thought it was due to my 12 hour grave yard shifts at a job that involves standing and absolutely no sitting. Well, four years later, I'm finally realizing when I don't drink soda I have no back pain. In fact, I was pain free for 2 weeks and bought an energy drink. About an hour later, pain. Hmmm.....now I'm thinking back and I remember 4 years ago at that job I had to leave one day cuz I went per and all that was in the toilet was a thick line like it was drawn down the toilet. Well I don't remember having back pain before that incident. So powered also hurts me. Gatorade is fine. Sprite is fine. What is this?

                            2. So ridiculous! I hate pop for this reason, it just feeeels like its killing you as you drink it. I know theyre singling out cola but pop in general just seems so bad. I blogged about how much I hate pop!

                              1. im in trouble ive been drinking a 2 liter of cola after work.every day for the last 16 years.1to2 energy drinks a day for about 7years.and 1or 2 20oz colas. i never drink water.

                                1. "Everything causes cancer"
                                  --- Joe Jackson

                                  1. I think that, "Too much ____ can cause ____ problems." It's neither new nor news.

                                    What's important is, "Even small amounts of ____ WILL result in ___ problems." Fortunately, not many foods qualify for this one. And, the ones that do are REAL toxins like those found in mushrooms and fugu.