Can You Get Kidney Stones From Drinking Soda? (2023)

Can You Get Kidney Stones From Drinking Soda? (1)

Did you know, one in three Americans drink soda on a daily basis? This statistic is easy to disregard, but it is important to highlight why kidney stones from drinking soda are such a common health issue in many adults today.

Keep in mind, not all types of soda are equally capable of contributing to kidney stones. Dark cola beverages, artificial fruit punch, and sweet tea are the top drinks that contribute to kidney stones. This is because these beverages contain higher amounts of fructose or phosphoric acid, which are ultimately known to contribute to kidney stones. They also provide zero nutritional value and are not a practical alternative to water.

In general, most of us understand just how unhealthy soda and other sugary drinks are — but we still consume them on a regular basis. Today, soda is said to be a leading cause of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, gout, has negative effects on bone health, and can even contribute to premature death.

(Video) Does Soda Cause Kidney Stones?|Kidney deseases| Very Well

Learn why soda and other sugary drinks are bad for your health and what you can drink instead.

What Soda Does to Your Urological Health

The urinary system is especially affected by soda consumption. Kidney stones from drinking soda are fairly common. One study found that participants who drank one soda everyday had a 23 percent higher chance of forming kidney stones.

The main purpose of the urological system is to flush out toxins from the body, a process that is heavily dependent on hydration from water. Unfortunately, soda drinkers generally do not drink enough water. As mentioned earlier, soda is never a viable alternative to water, and is not very effective in hydrating our bodies.

In men, regular soda consumption is known to lower your sperm count. While women who drink at least one soda per day have a harder chance of getting pregnant by up to 25 percent.

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Related: Can Wine Prevent Kidney Stones?

What are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are hardened deposits of salt and other minerals that do not properly filter through the kidneys. These deposits result in painful stones that need to be passed through the bladder. Roughly 11 percent of men and 7 percent of women suffer from kidney stones, and they tend to occur more than once.

Four types of stones can be passed, depending on the type of substance formed in the urinary tract. These include: calcium stones, struvite stones, uric acid stones, and cystine stones. Patients can be prone to certain types depending on underlying factors and certain conditions.

How You Can Get Kidney Stones From Drinking Soda

Sodas are filled with unhealthy chemicals, including high levels of processed bleached sugar, phosphoric acid, caffeine, and high fructose corn syrup. These ingredients can be extremely harmful to your body, especially when consumed in large amounts.

(Video) Is Diet Soda Bad for Your Kidneys? | The Cooking Doc®

High fructose corn syrup, in particular, can metabolize into oxalate and increase excretion of uric acid and calcium. This combination of high-level oxalate, uric acid, and calcium encourage kidney stone formation. Phosphoric acid is another culprit found in the average soda. This chemical creates an acidic environment in your kidney tract, enabling kidney stones to form more easily. In addition, many sodas are high in caffeine which is a diuretic that encourages chronic dehydration, which is the most common risk factor for kidney stone formation.

How to Prevent Kidney Stones

Because hydration is key for preventing kidney stones, drinking lots of water (and low-sugar beverages) will help move them along since they need to be flushed out of the body. We recommend consuming any soda in moderation, and if you must, stick to the light citrus types that have less sugar and chemicals. Please note, it’s best to avoid soda altogether if kidney stones run in your family.

Alternatives to soda include fresh fruit juices. Orange juice has been studied and shown to decrease the risk of stone formation. Fresh-squeezed lemonade is also great for preventing the formation of kidney stones. These beverages are high in citrate which binds to calcium in the urinary tract, preventing stone formation.

Additionally, improve your diet for optimal urological health in general. Limit meat intake, look for low-sodium options when shopping for food, and make sure you get your daily recommended amount of calcium. This will keep oxalate levels in check.

(Video) Should Kidney Patients Take Baking Soda?

The Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones have a wide range of symptoms that can be easily mistaken for another health condition. Refer to these symptoms if you believe you have kidney stones.

  • Severe pain in the side, back, or below the ribs that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
  • Pain that spreads to the lower abdomen and groin areas
  • Sudden changes in urine, pink or red urine, or cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Pain during urination
  • Urinating small amounts of urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and chills (Make an appointment with your urologist as an infection may be present)

How to Pass Kidney Stones at Home

While there isn’t a medication that can force the kidney stones out, your doctor may prescribe an alpha blocker to help with the pain. Alpha blockers relax the urinary tract muscles and allow you to pass the stone more easily. However, there are other natural remedies you can try while attempting to pass kidney stones.

  1. Drink lots of water. Water infused with citrus fruits like lemon, lime, and orange can help break up the stones.
  2. Drink equal parts lemon juice and olive oil. This may help ease the pain associated with passing kidney stones and help break them up.
  3. Drink apple cider vinegar. Take only a few ounces at a time mixed with water. This is also a great prevention practice!
  4. Eat diuretic foods. Watermelon, celery, and cucumber may help you pass kidney stones.

When to See a Doctor For Kidney Stones

If your kidney stones are relatively small (less than 5mm) they should be able to go through the urethra on their own. However, if your kidney stones are larger than 5mm you will likely need medical assistance to get them out. If this is the case, your urologist may recommend one of these three kidney stone procedures.

  1. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL). This surgery involves using shock waves through your body to break up large stones.
  2. Ureteroscopy with Laser Lithotripsy. This procedure uses powerful miniature lasers to break up kidney stones into “dust” and passable fragments.
  3. Percutaneous Nephrostolithotomy. This is a treatment option for very large stones. This minimally invasive procedure utilizes a puncture directly into the kidney, allowing placement of a stone-pulverizing device to remove large stones.

Staying Healthy: What Else to Consider Besides Kidney Stones From Drinking Soda

We care for your wellbeing and it’s important to stay healthy, not only to prevent kidney stones from forming due to soda consumption, but to protect your urinary system as well. For more information on how to be your healthiest self, download our Nutrition and Lifestyle Guide for tips and tricks to implement into your day-to-day life.

(Video) A Shocking Way to Break Up Kidney Stones

Access The Guide

This content was originally published in 2017 and refreshed in 2020.


Can drinking too much soda cause kidney stones? ›

Carbonated beverage consumption has been linked with diabetes, hypertension, and kidney stones, all risk factors for chronic kidney disease. Cola beverages, in particular, contain phosphoric acid and have been associated with urinary changes that promote kidney stones.

How much soda can cause a kidney stone? ›

Soda Beverages

Participants consuming one or more sugar-sweetened cola servings per day had a 23% (95% CI=−2% to 55%) higher risk of developing kidney stones compared with those participants consuming less than one serving per week (P value for trend=0.02).

What is the main cause of kidney stones? ›

Kidney stones form when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances — such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid — than the fluid in your urine can dilute. At the same time, your urine may lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, creating an ideal environment for kidney stones to form.

Are sodas hard on the kidneys? ›

Sodas. According to the American Kidney Fund, a recent study suggests that drinking two or more carbonated sodas, diet or regular, each day may increase your risk for chronic kidney disease. Carbonated and energy drinks have both been linked to the formation of kidney stones.

How can I avoid getting kidney stones? ›

The best way to prevent kidney stones is to make sure you drink plenty of water each day to avoid becoming dehydrated.
  1. drink water, but drinks like tea and coffee also count.
  2. add fresh lemon juice to your water.
  3. avoid fizzy drinks.
  4. do not eat too much salt.

How long does it take a kidney stone to form? ›

They can form in weeks or months when your urine contains too much of certain substances. There are several kinds of kidney stones. Calcium stones are by far the most common kind. They often form in men between the ages of 20 to 30.

What is the best thing to drink for your kidneys? ›

While plain water is the best drink for your kidneys, other fluids are perfectly acceptable, including coffee, green tea, low-potassium juices, and infused water. Avoid sweetened, carbonated beverages and coconut water.

What foods cause kidney stones? ›

Avoid stone-forming foods: Beets, chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, tea, and most nuts are rich in oxalate, which can contribute to kidney stones. If you suffer from stones, your doctor may advise you to avoid these foods or to consume them in smaller amounts.

Can doing coke cause kidney stones? ›

Yes, cocaine can indirectly cause kidney stones because the drug impacts your body's fluid level. Your kidneys need a specific amount of fluid to function correctly and prevent kidney stones. Cocaine causes the kidneys to work harder, thus increasing the likelihood that kidney stones develop.

What drink causes the most kidney stones? ›

Dark cola beverages, artificial fruit punch, and sweet tea are the top drinks that contribute to kidney stones. This is because these beverages contain higher amounts of fructose or phosphoric acid, which are ultimately known to contribute to kidney stones.

What are 5 symptoms of having kidney stones? ›

Symptoms & Causes of Kidney Stones
  • sharp pains in your back, side, lower abdomen, or groin.
  • pink, red, or brown blood in your urine, also called hematuria.
  • a constant need to urinate.
  • pain while urinating.
  • inability to urinate or can only urinate a small amount.
  • cloudy or bad-smelling urine.

Can stress and anxiety cause kidney stones? ›

Can stress cause kidney stones? Especially when combined with chronic dehydration, stress can trigger the formation of kidney stones. Stress overall can affect your kidneys. Stress can result in high blood pressure and high blood sugar, which can both affect the health of your heart and the kidneys.

What are the first signs of kidney problems? ›

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Fatigue and weakness.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Urinating more or less.
  • Decreased mental sharpness.
  • Muscle cramps.
3 Sept 2021

What food helps get rid of kidney stones? ›

  • Staying hydrated is key. Drinking plenty of fluids is a vital part of passing kidney stones and preventing new stones from forming. ...
  • Water. When passing a stone, upping your water intake can help speed up the process. ...
  • Lemon juice. ...
  • Basil juice. ...
  • Apple cider vinegar. ...
  • Celery juice. ...
  • Pomegranate juice. ...
  • Kidney bean broth.

Do kidney stones naturally go away? ›

Typically, the stone will eventually move through the urinary tract (figure 1) and is passed out of the body in the urine. A stone may cause pain if it becomes stuck and blocks the flow of urine. Large stones do not always pass on their own and sometimes require a minimally invasive procedure to remove them.

Is Cranberry Juice Good for kidney stones? ›

Cranberry juice has been thought to help with kidney stones, but research suggests that it may actually increase kidney stones formation — especially calcium oxalate stones, which are the most common kidney stones. Ideally, you should try to limit your juice intake to around one cup (236 mL) or less per day.

What is the fastest way to dissolve a kidney stone? ›

What Dissolves Kidney Stones Fast? Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which helps dissolve kidney stones. In addition to flushing out the kidneys, apple cider vinegar can also decrease any pain caused by the stones. In addition, water and lemon juice can help flush the stones and prevent future kidney stones.

How can you test for kidney stones at home? ›

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have a kidney stone present in your urinary tract:
  1. Severe pain in the back, side, or below the ribs.
  2. Pain that travels to the lower abdomen or groin area.
  3. Pain when urinating.
  4. Pink, red, brown urine coloring.
  5. Cloudy or bad-smelling urine.
  6. Nausea and vomiting.

How are you tested for kidney stones? ›

What tests do health care professionals use to diagnose kidney stones?
  1. Urinalysis. Urinalysis involves a health care professional testing your urine sample. ...
  2. Blood tests. A health care professional may take a blood sample from you and send the sample to a lab to test. ...
  3. Abdominal x-ray. ...
  4. Computed tomography (CT) scans.

Is lemon water good for your kidneys? ›

Lemons contain citrate, which helps prevent calcium from building up and forming stones in your kidneys. Interestingly, the benefit doesn't seem to be present in oranges, making lemon a unique tool in kidney stone prevention.

What not to drink if you have kidney problems? ›

Avoid fruit juices and other sugar-sweetened beverages if you have kidney disease and diabetes. These drinks tend to be high in added sugar that can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar.

Can I drink Sprite with kidney stones? ›

You can put them in your water or make your own lemonade. Limes and oranges also contain citrate and so do some lemon-lime sodas, like sprite or 7-up. However, the best soda to fight stones is diet orange soda. "Diet orange soda contributed the most citrate to the urine," Dr.

Does coffee cause kidney stones? ›

Caffeine intake has been shown to be associated with increased urinary calcium excretion (6) and, as such, could potentially increase the risk of developing kidney stones, although in our previous reports we consistently found an inverse association between consumption of caffeine-containing beverages, such as coffee ...

What drugs mess up your kidneys? ›

Most street drugs, including heroin, cocaine and ecstasy can cause high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure and even death, in some cases from only one use. Cocaine, heroin and amphetamines also can cause kidney damage.

How common are kidney stones? ›

They're quite common, with more than 1 in 10 people affected. Kidney stones are usually found in the kidneys or in the ureter, the tube that connects the kidneys to your bladder. They can be extremely painful, and can lead to kidney infections or the kidney not working properly if left untreated.

What drink breaks kidney stones? ›

Consume Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is often utilized to pass kidney stones because it contains citric acid, which can break down small kidney stones. Citric acid is one of the most commonly found acids in fruits and vegetables and can break down kidney stones by forming soluble citrate salts.

What is the best drink for kidney stones? ›

Drinking plenty of water also comes with other benefits, including better-looking skin, higher energy levels, and easier weight control. If you want to vary your fluid intake, adding lime or lemon juice is a good choice. These contain citrate, which has been shown to help prevent kidney stones.

What should you not drink to avoid kidney stones? ›

Avoid sugary drinks, such as fruit drinks and sports drinks, because they add calories and change the acid-base balance of the urine. For most kidney stones, urine should be less acidic. One way to make the urine less acidic is to add citrate to drinking water. Lemon and lime juices are great sources of citrate.

What are the first signs of passing a kidney stone? ›

But when symptoms do appear, they are clear signs that something's off and that you need to see a doctor:
  • Nausea and Vomiting. Kidney stones can make you feel sick to your stomach. ...
  • Blood in the Urine. ...
  • Cloudy or Foul-Smelling Pee. ...
  • Problems with Flow. ...
  • Fever and Chills.
8 Sept 2020

What does a kidney stone feel like when it first starts? ›

Common symptoms of kidney stones include a sharp, cramping pain in the back and side. This feeling often moves to the lower abdomen or groin. The pain often starts suddenly and comes in waves. It can come and go as the body tries to get rid of the stone.

Where do you feel kidney stones first? ›

You'll typically feel the pain along your side and back, below your ribs. It may radiate to your belly and groin area as the stone moves down through your urinary tract. Large stones can be more painful than small ones, but the severity of the pain doesn't necessarily relate to the size of the stone.

What exercise is good for kidney stones? ›

Exercise might actually promote stone passing.

If you feel up to it, a light jog or other cardio workout could be enough to shorten your kidney stone's unwelcome stay.

How do you tell if your kidneys are stressed? ›

20 Jul 2020

Do kidney stones cause brain fog? ›

The waste buildup in your body could begin to affect your stomach and make you lose your appetite. You may also feel fatigued and experience brain fog or nausea. Some patients end up vomiting due to their nausea symptoms.

Are Clear sodas better for kidneys? ›

Clear sodas do not contain as much phosphorus and are better if a person with advanced kidney disease wants to drink a soda. I, personally, recommend that you drink water.

Is cranberry juice Good for kidney problems? ›

Healthy levels of cholesterol and blood pressure directly affect kidney health, as the kidney acts as a filter for the blood passing through the body. The juice from cranberries is also shown to keep pathogenic bacteria from accumulating at the walls of the kidneys and can prevent infections or diseases from occurring.

How do I check if my kidneys are OK? ›

Blood Tests. Because your kidneys remove waste, toxins, and extra fluid from the blood, a doctor will also use a blood test to check your kidney function. The blood tests will show how well your kidneys are doing their job and how quickly the waste is being removed.

What color is your urine when kidneys are failing? ›

When kidneys are failing, the increased concentration and accumulation of substances in urine lead to a darker color which may be brown, red or purple. The color change is due to abnormal protein or sugar, high levels of red and white blood cells, and high numbers of tube-shaped particles called cellular casts.

How long can you have kidney problems without knowing? ›

Around 90 percent of people who have this condition are unaware they have it. 2 out of 5 adults who have CKD don't know they have severe chronic kidney disease. People with CKD can live for years without knowing, as it doesn't always have the most clearly defined symptoms.

What can mimic a kidney stone? ›

Conditions that can be mistaken for kidney stones, sharing similar symptoms: Appendicitis or lower back pain. Urinary tract infection (UTI) Stomach flu or virus.

How can I tell if my back pain is kidney related? ›

Kidney pain is felt in your sides, back, belly or groin. It's often mistaken for back pain.
Some of the most common kidney pain symptoms include:
  1. A constant, dull ache in your back.
  2. Pain in your sides, under your rib cage or in your abdomen.
  3. Severe or sharp pain that comes in waves.
  4. Pain that spreads to your groin area.
31 May 2022

What does it feel like when your kidneys hurt? ›

What does kidney pain feel like? Kidney pain often feels like a dull ache that gets worse if someone gently presses on that area. While it is more common to feel kidney pain on only one side, some health problems may affect both kidneys and cause pain on both sides of your back.

What sodas give you kidney stones? ›

Soda Causes Kidney Stones

MYTH BUSTED: While we are tempted to let you believe this one as Soda is a nutrient empty, sugar-laden drink, we must inform you this is NOT the case. The fact is phosphoric acid is the culprit that is an ingredient in SOME sodas, typically colas, and pepper sodas such as Coke or Dr.

Can Coca Cola cause kidney stones? ›

Sodas that are acidified with phosphoric acid—think Coca Cola—have been linked with an increased risk for kidney stones and kidney disease. It's best to limit yourself as much as possible when it comes to soft drinks.

Does carbonation cause kidney stones? ›

Carbonated water (aka seltzer water) is a bit more complicated. Soft drinks, especially colas, seem to increase the risk of repeat kidney stones (Annals of Internal Medicine, Nov. 4, 2014). Mineral water, whether still or sparkling, did not increase the likelihood of a problem.

Can stress cause kidney stones? ›

Can stress cause kidney stones? Especially when combined with chronic dehydration, stress can trigger the formation of kidney stones. Stress overall can affect your kidneys. Stress can result in high blood pressure and high blood sugar, which can both affect the health of your heart and the kidneys.

Is Sprite OK for kidney stones? ›

You can put them in your water or make your own lemonade. Limes and oranges also contain citrate and so do some lemon-lime sodas, like sprite or 7-up. However, the best soda to fight stones is diet orange soda. "Diet orange soda contributed the most citrate to the urine," Dr.

Is Ginger Ale Good for kidney stones? ›

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases, the best ways to prevent kidney stones are the following: Drink more water. Up to 12 full glasses of water a day can help to flush away the substances that form stones in the kidneys. Ginger ale, lemon-lime sodas, and fruit juices are acceptable.

Is Gatorade Good for kidney stones? ›

Continual urine production, which comes from consistent fluid intake, prevents the stone material from settling in your kidneys or urinary tract causing build up and possible stone formation. While water is the best, other hydrating fluids such as Gatorade® or Pedialyte® work well.

Does Coke Zero prevent kidney stones? ›

CHICAGO—Drinking diet soda may help patients with stone disease, data suggest. According to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco, the citrate and malate content in commonly consumed sodas may be sufficient to inhibit the development of calcium stones.


1. Repair Kidneys with Baking Soda
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2. How to Get Rid of Kidney Stones!
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3. Eliminate Kidney Stones With Lemons – Kidney Stone Causes & Lemon Benefits – Dr.Berg
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4. Is Beer or Coffee Good For Kidney Stones? Drinks for Kidney Stone Prevention
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5. What are the Top 5 Drinks for Your Kidneys | The Cooking Doc
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6. Detoxify Uric Acid From Kidneys – Uric Acid Gout & Kidney Stones – Dr. Berg On Kidney Cleanse
(Dr. Eric Berg DC)
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