Q. Can Drinking Seltzers, Sodas or Other Carbonated Drinks Harm Bones?

By Joyce Hendley, May/June 2008

Can Drinking Seltzers, Sodas or Other Carbonated Drinks Harm Bones?

A. Perhaps. There’s research that links drinking certain types of soda with weaker bones—but carbonation doesn’t seem to be the problem.

Nutrition experts once believed caffeine could be the culprit. In a 2001 study out of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, people lost measurable amounts of calcium after drinking caffeinated sodas. Drinking decaffeinated sodas didn’t appear to have the same effect. As it turned out, though, people tended to make up for the losses by excreting less calcium later in the day. The researchers concluded that if sodas harm bones it’s probably because people drink them in place of milk.

But another study, reported in 2006 by researchers at Tufts University in Boston, suggests that colas, specifically, might be problematic. Among the 1,413 women whose dietary records and bone-density scans they reviewed, those who drank a diet or regular cola at least three times a week over five years had significantly lower bone densities than those who sipped cola once a month or less. No such effect occurred with other carbonated drinks, even after researchers factored in intake of calcium from foods.

The likely cause? Phosphoric acid, which is unique to colas, says Katherine Tucker, Ph.D., lead author of the study. When the body breaks down this compound, the acidity (or concentration of free hydrogen ions) of the blood increases. To neutralize acidity, hydrogen ions bind with minerals, including calcium and magnesium. If they’re not available in the blood, says Tucker, “the body draws calcium from bones.” The occasional cola drinker probably needn’t worry. “The real risk is for those who drink cola every day,” says Tucker.

Bottom line: There are plenty of good reasons to quit a regular soda habit; carbonation isn’t one of them. In fact, sparkling mineral waters sometimes contain a little calcium and magnesium, says Tucker, “so they might even benefit bones.”


This didnt help me with my research at all!!!


01/18/2015 - 12:21pm

yep, i agree


12/21/2014 - 1:24pm

yall are nuts. Just drink it.


05/14/2014 - 1:37pm

If you care about your health, drink water. Milk is terrible for you, soda is insanely horrible for you, juice is full of acid, but water is essential to life. It's simple... Drink water you idiots!


05/04/2014 - 2:00am

All drinks n food have its effect. Too much of everything is not good, never take anything in excess. prevention is better than cure.


03/04/2014 - 2:38am

dumbest thing I've read


01/04/2014 - 6:40pm

I already found the cure to not lose calcium from coke, if u drink coke then it eats away your bone but it wont do much effect if you drink milk after you drink coke cause milk builds up calcium, milk has calcium in it so it is good to drink after you drink coke..... sooo there you have it, the cure the coke eating away ur bone loss


12/21/2013 - 4:22pm

it is true that people are addicted to carbonated drinks which contain acids like caffeine and phosphorus.
their effect can be reduced by adding ?????????????????????????????????????????


08/28/2013 - 8:12am

You would be far, far better off with the non-diet soda. By all means, do some research on the extreme harm of diet soda. It does NOTHING to lower weight or prevent weight gain; in fact, it aids in over-eating after the fact. And the sugar substitutes used are very damaging. Diet soda is a myth. Just have the regular Coke, please.


07/29/2013 - 2:10pm

A carbonated drink is a drink that bubbles and fizzes with carbon dioxide gas. The process by which the gas dissolves in the drink is known as carbonation. This process can occur naturally, such as in naturally carbonated mineral water that absorbs carbon dioxide from the ground, or by man-made processes, as is the case in most soft drinks and soda waters. This involves pumping carbon dioxide into the drink at high pressure, then sealing the container. Since the solubility of carbon dioxide is less at lower pressure, the dissolved gas escapes as bubbles when the container is opened and the pressure is relieved.

The maximum amount of carbon dioxide that can be dissolved in water is 8 g per litre. The excess will normally only remain in water when the drink is under pressure. Once the pressure is released - i.e. when the container is exposed to normal atmospheric pressure - the carbon dioxide will begin to escape. So once a bottle or can of a carbonated drink is opened, the beverage will starCarbonated beverages are beverages which contain dissolved carbon dioxide. The process of dissolving carbon dioxide in water is called carbonation. Carbon dioxide may be naturally occurring in the beverage from fermentation or a mineral source or be artificially added. Carbonated water was first discovered by brewer Joseph Preistley and Kristan Edwards.

Measuring carbonation
The quality of carbonated beverages including soft drinks, seltzer and beer is affected by the dissolved CO2 (the gas that causes carbonation) and the amount of carbonic acid in the drink. Carbon dioxide (CO2) has an infrared absorption wavelength of 4.27 micrometers and can be measured online using an infrared carbonation sensor. This is an improvement to the traditional inferred measurement method using temperature and pressure for Henry's Law coefficients because this methodology is influenced by changes in density and alcohol content. Infrared measurements are not affected by changes in density or alcohol content because they are actually measuring the CO2 molecule using the infrared transmissivity of the solution.

The amount of carbonation in a beverage is measured by weight per unit volume (grams/liter). This is because introducing CO2 into a beverage will change its weight. An easy experiment to prove this is to take a seltzer bottle and weigh it. Carefully remove the top slowly so no liquid escapes from the bottle; as the gas escapes the weight of the bottle of seltzer will go down

t to go flat. In a similar way, your stomach don't have enough pressure to hold excess carbon dioxide in side you either, which is why such drinks can result in burping.

The process of artificial carbonation was invented by Joseph Preistley in England in 1767,and the first commercialisation was by Jacob Schweppes - a carbonated beverage of mineral water - in Switzerland in 1783.

Carbonated drinks are very popular throughout the world. In many drinks, the carbonation is used to give "bite" to the flavour. Interestingly, the fizzy sensation of the drinks is almost never caused by the bubbles, but in fact by the presence of dilute carbonic acid created during carbonation. This acid creates a mild tingling sensation on the tongue.

There are no known health effects of carbonated drinks.


07/18/2013 - 7:24am

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