Drinking Soft Drinks Just after Exercise Increases Biomarkers for AKI: Study

It is a matter of common observation that drinking soda just after exercise brings you a refreshing feeling. However, the new study states otherwise, gulping down soft drinks just after the exercise can affect kidneys along with dehydration. Everyone is well aware of the fact that these caffeinated drinks are famous for nothing; they are high in fructose.

For playing a huge negative role in obesity and diabetes sodas have been highly criticized by people. To avoid such drinks, researchers have now added a new potential reason in the list.

Recently, the researchers from the University at Buffalo in New York have evaluated and studied the effect of soft drinks on the kidney health consuming it after or during the exercise. The study is published in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology.

Exercising in Hot Environment could affect your Kidneys

Due to the process of homeostasis, exercising in a hot environment reduces the blood flow to the kidneys, making them conserve more water. This also helps in the regulating blood pressure. This feedback mechanism does not bring any harm to the body. However, a sudden drop in the blood flow to the kidneys can lead the person to acute kidney injury- AKI. The patient will suffer due to less supply of oxygen to the tissues.

As per the earlier studies, most of the cases of acute kidney injury are reported in high temperatures. Furthermore, the researchers, on the other hand, have reported dehydration in rats after drinking high fructose soft drinks, thus increasing the risk of acute kidney injury.

Research authors of the University of Buffalo brought these two different kinds of research together. They said: “[T]he purpose of our study was to test the hypothesis that consuming a soft drink during and following exercise in the heat elevates biomarkers of AKI, compared to a water control trial.”

After a strong session of workout people usually, quench their thirst with a can of soda including labors. One of the most important tasks is to understand its effect on our vital organ, kidneys. For carrying out the research, researchers selected 12 people of an average age of 24 who were medically fit. The participants were asked to do a 30-minute exercise using a treadmill, plus 15 minutes exercise which included three tasks similar to that of done on the agricultural field.

Then, after exercising for 45 minutes they were allowed to rest for 15 minutes. The participants were then given either water or 16-ounce citrus flavored high fructose caffeinated drink. The process of this 1 hour was repeated four times.

After one week the participants were called again to repeat the entire process again but this time the participants who were previously given soft drinks were now given water and those who had water now had soft drinks.

How Soda can affect your Kidneys?

Before and after 24 hours of conducting the cycle, body weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature was measured. These parameters were also measured just after the cycle was over.

Next, they measured the amount of creatinine in the blood and glomerular filtration rate. Increased level of creatinine and low filtration rate are two important manifestations of acute kidney injury. The participants who recently consumed soft drink had both the markers.

Adult participants who took soft drinks also were found dehydrated with increased levels of antidiuretic hormone. Antidiuretic hormone is specifically known for increasing blood pressure.

The researchers said: “The consumption of soft drinks during and following exercise in the heat does not rehydrate. Thus, consuming soft drinks as a rehydration beverage during exercise in the heat may not be ideal.

However, this study has some limitations as this study was carried out on only a small number of people; this should be repeated with a large group of participants keeping in mind all the parameters of the study. The research author said: “Further work will need to discern the long-term effects of soft drink consumption during exercise in the heat and its relation to the risk of [kidney disease].”

Adeena Tariq

Adeena's professional life has been mostly in hospital management, while studying international business in college. Of course, she now covers topics for us in health.

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