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Sugary Sodas Linked to Increased Risk of Disease

Sugary Sodas Linked to Increased Risk of Disease

Find out how drinking soda can cause harm to many of your organs.

Coca-Cola’s first recipe (1892) included sugar, caffeine, water—and, yes, it was rumored to include leaves of the coca plant, and/or processed cocaine. The concoction was marketed as “the ideal brain tonic” that “relieves physical and mental exhaustion.” Legend has it that in the early 1900s, the “Coca” was removed from the popular drink. (That’s when it became known as a “soft” drink.)

We now know that today’s Coca-Cola and other sugary soft drinks aren’t an ideal tonic in any way. One study found drinking one or more sugary sodas a day increases your risk for type 2 diabetes by 26 percent. There’s also research showing sugary beverages are associated with harm to various organ systems.

  • A study in Circulation looked at 40,000 men for 20 years and found guys who averaged one daily can of any sugary beverage had a 20 percent higher risk of having a heart attack, or dying from one, than guys who rarely drank them.
  • A recent study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology looked at 3,000 African American adults over an eight-year period. Roughly 6 percent of them developed kidney disease—and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages significantly increased their risk. Another related study found an association between sugary beverages and elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. That condition is linked to gout.

Clearly you reap what you soda! So—duh, make your own! Mix still or seltzer water with lemon, orange or pineapple juice, or berries. Add mulled mint for some natural zing.

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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