Soda is Eating Away at Your Knee Joint
Soda is Eating Away at Your Your Knee Joint
“Our main finding is that in general, the more sugary soda men drink, the greater the risk that knee osteoarthritis will get worse… We very carefully [took into account] weight in the statistical analysis. We controlled not only for the general categories of overweight and obesity, but also for patients’ specific body-mass indices, or BMIs.” – Bing Lu, MD, DrPh, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
before I got into this article, let me just note that I’m a firm believer that drinking soda does indeed F*** your knees up. What’s my reasoning? My freshman year in college, I literally drank anywhere from 6-12 Coca-Cola’s a day. If you don’t believe me, you can ask my roommate in the dorms that would see empty soda cans on my desk everyday, and see me bring home the grocery store special”buy 4 12packs for $20.” I was young, and dumb. I was bias against soda having a negative effect on my body, because externally, I looked great. A normal daily routine went like this:
- Wake up, drink a soda.
- Lunch, drink a soda.
- Before walking into the gym to play 4 hours of basketball, drink a soda.
- After playing 4 hours of basketball, drink a soda.
- Before going to bed, drink a soda.
As you can see, that’s about 5 listed on the low end of an “average day.” Now, clearly, one would say, “well, no sh*t you shouldn’t drink that much soda ever.” Yes, I know. However, sugar has been said to have the same effects on your brain as cocaine does and is even more addictive. – FedUp, the movie. Of course the healthier route is to drink at least a gallon of water a day, but I had to learn my lesson the hard way after tearing my ACL, meniscus and partially torn mcl. During this time, I never realized the correlation that drinking soda has on your knees because I was young and full of energy. Hopefully this message brings awareness to younger athletes that do not have healthy eating habits. With this in mind, let’s take a look into this study on soda and osteoarthritis.
How was the study conducted?
Dr. Bing Lu and his colleagues analyzed over 2,000 men and women that were in an osteoarthritis study whom all had knee osteoarthritis. As with many studies, the participants were asked questions with regards to their average soda intake. The study was conducted over 4 years, and for every year, the participants progression of osteoarthritis was tracked by the researchers by measuring the the gap between the knee joints, which indicates loss of cartilage with lesser space. The participants body weight was also measured. The study did not take into account the effects of diet soda, which I believe should be left out as the ingredient “aspartame” has a greater affect on your brain.
If you’re not obese and think it can’t happen to because you’re “fit” think again. Drinking sugary drinks was linked to worse knee damage was only true to non-obese men. This shows that aside from the effects on the knee joint that overweight has to do, sugary soda can worsen knee osteoarthritis, according to Dr. Lu.
So, what can a man that enjoy’s soda do?
“There’s an easy answer. Just don’t drink [sugary] soda,” Dr. Lu states.
“As with everything, enjoy soda in moderation. If you are [a man with] knee osteoarthritis and are drinking a lot of soda, this might be a reason to curb back,” – American College of Rheumatology spokesman Scott Zashin. However, Zashin states that the study doesn’t prove cause and effect since it hasn’t been thoroughly reviews by experts. But, what Zashin can provide is that with every excess pound of weight is 4 extra pounds of dead weight on the knee joint.
How many soda’s can one drink in a week?
Men that drank 5 or more soda’s a week had 2x as much narrowing of joint space compared with men who didn’t drink soda at all. This, of course, was taken into account after body weight measurement and other risk factors toward knee osteoarthritis. Keep in mind that the study suggests that this correlation is only present in men and not women, and they believe it has to due with women’s estrogen being the culprit for osteoarthritis down the road.
What Can We Take Away From This Article?
- Stop drinking soda altogether if you can.
- Soda affects osteoarthritis in men substantially than women.
- Just because you look fit and in shape, doesn’t mean soda won’t affect your knee joints.
- Be conscious of your body and the things you consume, especially artificial and processed goods.