Mix Up Your Beverages and Drink Moderate Amounts

Photo credit: Peter Løvstrøm

MADISON, Wisc. – “Drink your liquids” is not just a summertime mantra.

What you drink and in what quantity has a huge effect on your kidneys and other organs, year-round, says Dr. Kristina Penniston, a clinical nutritionist with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.


“Diversify your beverages and, actually, drink moderate amounts of them,” suggests Penniston.

How much?

“Depends on what you’re doing,” says Penniston, who works with kidney specialists. “Are you sweating during physical activity or sitting at a desk being sedentary?”

Be aware of the pros and cons of various drinks.

Grapefruit juice is packed with vitamins and minerals, but shouldn’t be taken by people on certain antidepressants or cholesterol-controlling drugs. Lemonade and orange juice help prevent kidney stones, but are laden with sugar. Same goes for sweetened cranberry juice, which works against urinary tract infections.

Non-diet sodas are off the charts with sugar. And too much diet soda affects kidney health, says Penniston. Vegetable juices are good but they have large amounts of sodium, as do sports drinks.

Water is always best.

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