Do cola drinks attack your bones?
We survived the cola wars of the 80s. But now these soft drinks are waging a new kind of war on our bodies, especially our bones.
"Most dark cola drinks contain phosphoric acid as a flavoring agent," says Barbara Darcy, Virtua Health registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. "Excessive phosphoric acid may interfere with the body's ability to absorb calcium. This is especially alarming for women who need 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day to help prevent fractures and osteoporosis or brittle bones."
Darcy explains that as little as 12 ounces of cola — one can a day — can put a person at risk. This is especially important for those who aren't getting enough calcium from other sources such as lean dairy foods, broccoli and fortified cereals or juices.
"The best thing to do is limit the amount of cola you drink. Instead, drink milk, water or non-sugar drinks. To meet the daily calcium requirement, try to drink 24 ounces of skim or 1-percent milk a day and eat a cup of yogurt," advises Darcy.
And if you must have soda, Darcy suggests choosing clear sodas. Although they contain sugar and empty calories, they don't contain phosphoric acid.