Soft drinks have come under fire in the past decade, and for a good reason. A huge source of sugar and a significant contributor to the obesity and diabetes epidemic, sodas don’t have much good to offer. And a new study is adding to that list.
Highly palatable, cheap, and easily accessible, soft drinks are a significant part of American life. But for women, they could be highly dangerous. Forget their impact on blood sugar for the moment: new research is showing that daily consumption of soda is closely associated with poor bone health.
A recent study published in the journal Menopause found that consuming two cans of soda per day—14 per week—was associated with a 26-percent increase in the risk for a hip fracture compared to those who drank none. This particularly important for post-menopausal women (who made up the study group) because they are already a high-risk group for osteoporosis and weak bones that are prone to fracture.
Although the study was observational and could not prove cause and effect, another negative health association attributable to soda is not particularly surprising. So, if you’re drinking a couple of sodas per day, finding alternatives is highly recommended. Past research, for example, has found that cola is associated with lower bone-mineral density, possibly due to phosphoric acid leaching calcium from the bone.
If the mouth sensation is what keeps you going back to sodas, trying alternatives like sparkling water can recreate the fizz. If plain old sparkling water doesn’t do it for you from a flavor standpoint, trying soda stream or other flavor-enhancers may help.
Further, beverages like Kombucha—although it likely doesn’t have all the benefits of various claims—does have some fizz and a palatable taste. Tea and fruit-infused water can also be a better choice than soda.
Bone mineral density can be aided by a few other lifestyle techniques too. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy, can encourage proper nutrition for bones. Vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium are all essential to healthy dense bones. Resistance exercise can also help, as can maintaining a healthy weight.