Is Your Seltzer Habit Bad for Your Bones?

May 8, 2020   Preventative Care

seltzer can

You’re probably aware of the importance of yearly physicals, flu shots, and mammograms — but have you learned about the significance of bone density tests? The purpose of the test is to look for signs of osteoporosis, which is a deterioration of your bones that can lead to breaks and discomfort.

Following the test, you will receive a T-score, which is the number derived from comparing your bone density to that of a healthy 30-year-old. Your T-score represents how much higher or lower the bone density is from the young adult.

Typically, we can’t feel a change occur in our bones; that’s why it’s super important that we are mindful of the factors that contribute to bone loss. Here are some things to consider.

Aging

Women over the age of 50 and men over the age of 70 have a higher risk of osteoporosis. As women age, they experience a drop in estrogen around the time of menopause, which can cause bone loss. For men, a decrease in testosterone as a result of age can induce bone loss, as well.

Older couple

Tobacco use

Tobacco use can be detrimental to our bones—both male and female. Fractures take longer to heal, and there is a higher risk for complications. Quitting as soon as possible can significantly reduce that risk.

No smoking sign on brick wall

Eating habits

Try to reduce the amount of processed, canned, and salt-added foods in your diet. Salt, in particular, causes one’s body to lose calcium, which inadvertently leads to bone loss.

A well-balanced diet equipped with plenty of fruits and vegetables is important. Our bodies need daily doses of calcium and vitamin D to maintain strong, healthy bones.

Aside from dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt, there are a variety of calcium-rich foods to consider:

  • Almonds
  • Kale
  • Beans and lentils
  • Tofu

For reference, when scanning a food label for a calcium count, you’ll notice that the amount of calcium in the food or drink will be shown as a percentage of 1,000 mg. For example, if the label says 50 percent, that means the food serving contains 500 mg of calcium.

Yogurt and granola with blackberries

Drinking habits

Drinking both coffee and alcohol in excess can lead to bone loss.

Soda contains phosphorus, which may be linked to a decrease in bone density. Seltzer, on the other hand, has become a fan favorite. It is sugar free and calorie free, making it a wonderful alternative to soda. Some say it is a dehydrating beverage, but in fact, it hydrates just like regular water. From a bone perspective, seltzer is not linked to bone loss since it is free of phosphorus.

La Croix seltzers in cooler

Exercise

Exercise is not only a great stress reliever and important for one’s general fitness, but it helps to strengthen bones and improve balance. Weightlifting (safely), running/jogging, walking, and participating in aerobics classes are great options for maintaining your bone health.

A few adjustments in our daily routines will make a world of a difference in the long run. Your bones will thank you!

Young woman exercising
Kristin Yates, DO

Make sure to review your risk factors for osteoporosis with your provider at your annual exam.

— Kristin Yates, D.O.

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