Cannot imagine downing that pizza without a soft drink? Think again. Carbonated and sugar-based drinks are amongst the unhealthiest beverages you can consume. Even the diet versions of these beverages are loaded with chemicals that adversely affect various organs. 

A significant number of studies have highlighted the potential negative effects that soft drinks and artificial sugars can have on kidney health. Let’s look into this connection in detail. 

Effect of Soda on Kidneys 

In one study, researchers found that consuming at least two carbonated beverages per day is linked with proteinuria - or increased excretion of protein in the urine, which is a hallmark of kidney dysfunction. 

Drinking soda or other carbonated beverages each day may increase your risk of developing hypertension, type II diabetes, and obesity, all of which can raise your odds of kidney disease (renal stones, chronic kidney disease or renal failure). 

Be it a cola, non-cola, diet soda or any other sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage, it can increase your risk of serious health issues. 

Major Ingredients Responsible For Negative Effects on the Kidney

  • High levels of phosphoric acid: Phosphoric acid gives the drink a tangy and acidic taste you may have come to associate sodas with. Phosphoric acid is closely linked with the development of kidney stones and other renal problems that can strain the kidneys. 

  • High levels of sodium: Increased levels of sodium can put you at risk of developing hypertension, in turn harming your kidneys. 

  • High-fructose corn syrup: Most carbonated drinks are typically sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFSC). According to a study published in 2010, the high amount of HFCS in soda was found to be the reason behind elevated uric acid levels. The elevated levels of this acid push your kidneys to work harder. This study also compared and found that individuals who consumed more than one carbonated beverage per day had a significantly increased risk of chronic kidney disease.

  • Caffeine: It is a diuretic (increases urine production) that encourages chronic dehydration, which is a major risk factor for kidney stone formation.

 Healthier Alternatives to Soda 

  • Lemonade (non-carbonated)

  • Buttermilk 

  • Fruit juice (without added sugar) 

  • Coconut water

  • Fruit or vegetable-infused water


Soda is not evil, but regular soda drinkers seem to have a lot of health problems. This claim is now supported by widespread evidence that sweetened carbonated drinks/diet sodas can largely contribute to heart and kidney problems, type II diabetes, tooth decay, bone mineral loss, etc. 

Paying attention to the nutritional information (ingredients list) behind the can of your favourite carbonated beverage/soda can help you select a better and healthier option, the next time. 

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.