What is the Connection Between Soda and Kidney Stones?

T. M. Robertson

When it comes to health, there appears to be a connection between soda and kidney stones. Many people in the medical community claim that drinking soda can often be a contributing factor in the formation of kidney stones in the body. It's estimated that approximately 90 percent of kidney stones are caused by calcium deposits in the kidneys. These calcium deposits often can be attributed to drinking soda and consuming other acidic foods.

Kidney stones next to a ruler to show the size.
Kidney stones next to a ruler to show the size.

The relationship between soda and kidney stones has been scientifically documented. Research has shown that patients who consume the largest quantities of soda are also the ones who have the highest rates of kidney stone formation. The phosphoric acid found in most sodas acts as a stone inducer. Individuals who consume more than about 33.8 ounces (1 liter) per week have been found to have about a 15 percent higher chance of getting kidney stones than people who don't.

A glass of soda, which is associated with kidney stones.
A glass of soda, which is associated with kidney stones.

The combination of soda and kidney stones can wreak havoc on the body. When a person ingests soda, the phosphoric acid causes his or her body to become more acidic and unbalanced. The body naturally reacts and tries to neutralize the substance. At first, the body uses stored minerals such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium to counteract the effects and re-balance itself.

A kidney with a kidney stone.
A kidney with a kidney stone.

A person's body will first try to neutralize the soda and kidney stones by using minerals in the blood. If this isn't enough, the body will then start releasing calcium from the bones. When the body gets to this stage, it starts overcompensating for its acidic condition and often releases excess calcium in anticipation of more acid coming in. When the body releases too much calcium, it must then find a way to get rid of the excess.

Some of the excess calcium will be discharged through the urine, but most will end up deposited in other locations throughout the body. The deposits in the kidneys are what causes kidney stones to form. Other amounts of excess calcium are deposited in the joints, arteries and other parts of the body, causing numerous other health problems.

There is a medically proven relationship between soda and kidney stones. The best preventative measure for one to stop the formation of kidney stones is to consume little to no soda. If a person is already prone to kidney stones, it's in his or her best interest to eliminate soda from his or her diet.

A urinalysis may be conducted to detect kidney stones.
A urinalysis may be conducted to detect kidney stones.

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Discussion Comments


I also think that soda causes kidney stones.

I haven't had kidney stones but I did have kidney sand. It happened in college and now that I think about it, I was drinking a lot of soda at that time. My parents never bought us soda growing up but when I went to college, I had access to it all the time. I would drink soda at every meal and sometimes in between meals too.

I developed a constant back pain during my second semester. I went to the campus health center and they took a urine sample. The doctor said that I was passing kidney sand! I was so shocked! Now I know what caused it. Thankfully, I rarely have soda now and I haven't had any kidney sand since college.


This is a great article. I had never thought about the connection between soda and kidney stones before. I thought that kidney stones were caused by the type of water we drink.


@anon138267-- Consuming soda increases the risk of kidney stones, but this doesn't mean that only people who drink soda will get them.

Calcium is not the only mineral that causes kidney stones. Uric acid and magnesium can also be responsible for kidney stones. So the causes of kidney stones are many and not every kidney stone has the same composition.

It's great that you don't drink soda. If you did, you would probably suffer from more kidney stones.


I'm 53 years old, just had two kidney stones removed, and I never drink soda or anything carbonated.

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