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One Last "Soft" Drink Leads To Big Problems at Bedtime

Although the primary result of this new study -- sugary, soft drinks can indeed damage your health and impair your ability to sleep -- sounds like a no-brainer, considering the current epidemic of obesity this country faces, it's still worth mentioning, if for no other reason, to remind you just how devastating making the wrong food choices can be.

Researchers reviewed data from the large, ongoing Sleep Heart Health Study, aimed at investigating the connections between disturbed sleep and cardiovascular health. Almost a quarter of the 15,000 patients surveyed reported heartburn problems while sleeping. Those who drank one or more carbonated soft drinks per day increased their risk of developing heartburn at night by almost a third, compared to patients who stayed away from them.

How do soft drinks have such a "hard" effect on heartburn sufferers?

  • Many carbonated drinks are extremely acidic.
  • Drinking carbonated beverages forces your body to consume carbon dioxide which can cause more distension of the stomach and more acid reflux.

Besides, a continuing problem with reflux can lead to many more complications that are far more life-threatening than merely interrupting a good night's sleep, especially when you consider all the harm you can do to your esophagus that can eventually lead to cancer.

And, don't waste your money on sports drinks (with up to 80 mg of caffeine in them) or fruit drinks (full of insulin-raising fructose) thinking they are any better either.

Chest, Vol. 127, Number 5, May, 2005: 1658-1666

Forbes.com May 10, 2005

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