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Popular Drinks That May Cause Lasting Damage to Your Kidneys, Says Science

These popular drinks could be contributing to your ill health.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Whether you load up on coffee to get your day started or are a hot water with lemon devotee, what you drink is just as important as what you eat when it comes to your overall health. Unfortunately, many popular drinks—some of which you may be consuming every day—can have serious side effects on your kidneys, potentially leading to major kidney damage over time. Read on to discover which drinks could put your kidney health in jeopardy in the long run. And if you're ready to make over your diet, check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.


soda, coffee

If you want to protect your kidney health, you might want to consider cutting those sugar-sweetened sodas from your diet now. A 2016 study published in the journal Nephrology found that, among 2,382 participants in the Tehran Lipid and Glucose study, those who drank more than four sugar-sweetened soft drinks a week had more than double the risk of developing kidney disease than those who drank half a serving of soda or less each week.

The effect may be even more pronounced if cola is your drink of choice. Findings published in the journal Epidemiology found that individuals who reported daily consumption of two or more colas—which typically contain phosphoric acid—were at higher risk of chronic kidney disease than those who steered clear of the drinks.

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Diet soda

drinking soda

Drinking diet soda may not be much better than beverages sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup when it comes to your kidney health. According to a 2011 study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, among 3,318 female participants in the Nurses' Health Study, those who drank two or more artificially-sweetened sodas a day were twice as likely to experience a decline in kidney function than those who abstained.


Woman reading ingredients and nutrition information on juice bottle's label.

With high sugar content and ample calories, juice is no friend to your waistline—or your kidneys. Among participants in the Tehran Lipid and Glucose study, individuals who drank sugar-sweetened drinks has significantly higher rates of chronic kidney disease than those who rarely drank sugary beverages. And for more reasons to skip the juice aisle, check out these 5 Reasons You Should Stop Drinking Juice, According to Dietitians.


Men cheers with glasses of a whiskey soda alcohol cocktail drink

If you're a regular drinker, it's not just your liver health that may suffer. A comparative study published in the journal Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation found that, among a group of 6,259 adults, those who self-reported being heavy drinkers had significantly higher rates of albuminuria, an indicator of albumin protein content in a person's urine and a sign of kidney disease.

And for more incentive to turn down that cocktail, check out these Surprising Side Effects of Not Drinking Alcohol, According to Experts.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah
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