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Does drinking soft drinks make you retain water?

By Anonymous April 10, 2009 - 12:38pm
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I drink maybe about 2-3 soft drinks a day and I often notice that I retain water. Just wondering if there's a connection here. Thanks!

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Thanks for your great question.

In a word - yes, you can retain water. But I am wondering if you are retaining water or gaining weight? Why do you feel it is water retention, rather than weight gain? Water retention is usually temporary. Do you notice that you retain water and link it directly to the soda pop? Or are you gaining weight due to the soda pop?

I know you don't need or want a lecture and I promise I am doing neither but three soft drinks a day is really not healthy. Even if it's diet pop. If it is regular pop, you will gain weight rapidly and the amount of sugar in a regular soft drink is huge. Just three 12 oz soft drinks is 36 spoons of sugar! If it's diet pop, it is filled with chemicals that can (ironically) lead to weight gain and poor digestion. Pop, in general, is bad for bones as it can lead to a deficiency in calcium.

Sodium is also in pop - and this can lead to water retention, as can the caffeine. Soft drinks also increase the risk of constipation - which causes bloating. And the effect on teeth isn't good at all.

Try to switch to 100% juice and dilute the juice with water. Or if you like the fizz, try a Club Soda with fresh lime juice. Or you could stick with iced water, with fresh lemons or limes - it's really delicious.

If this water retention is permanent (not tied to your period or other issues) it may actually be weight gain. Three soft drinks a day will lead anyone, even someone who works out regularly, to gain weight.

Can you give up the pop for a week or two and see if the water retention ends? I know for some people that giving up soft drinks is really hard. But this will be the only way to know if it's the pop that is causing it.

Do you think that you could try? Or you can wean slowly - perhaps substituting one soft drink a day for water with fresh lemons or limes. And gradually wean yourself off. I PROMISE you, that even cutting out one drink a day will do your body good! Cutting it out altogether (or just having an occasional pop) will see a leaner waist line and better teeth and bones.

April 10, 2009 - 1:09pm
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