Could Unsweetened Drinks Save You Some Pain?

Medically reviewed in January 2022

Ice-cold sodas and fruity drinks may hit the spot on a warm weekend, but could sipping unsweetened tea instead save you from a pain-filled future?

Maybe so. In a study, the more of a common soft-drink sweetener called fructose that men consumed, the greater their chances of gout.

Substance Surplus
Gout is characterized by sharp crystals that form in the foot or leg joints—the big toe most often—causing sudden and severe pain. Fructose may be a factor in the disease, because it increases uric acid in the body—and too much uric acid can set off the gout-provoking process. Go really overboard on soft drinks and the risk of gout may skyrocket—as much as 85 percent higher in a study. But tea doesn't appear to affect risk. And coffee may even reduce it!

Don't Let Gout Get You
Here's what else you can do to keep gout out of your future:

  • Lay off the surf 'n' turf.
  • Keep your weight in check.
  • Cut back on the booze.

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