Downing a soda a day may bring the doctor your way, new evidence suggests. Soda and other sweetened beverages like fruit drinks are associated with higher blood pressure levels in adults, a new study in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association finds. In addition, those who consumed more than one soda/sugary drink on a daily basis took in nearly 400 more calories per day and had higher body mass indexes (BMIs) compared to those who drank less, according to the findings.
“People who drink a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages appear to have less healthy diets,” explains Ian Brown, Ph.D., research associate at Imperial College London in an AHA press release about the study. “They are consuming empty calories without the nutritional benefits of real food. They consume less potassium, magnesium and calcium.” Opting for diet soda may not be a healthier option. While the study didn’t find a high blood pressure link in diet soda drinkers, separate research presented earlier this month showed daily diet soda drinkers had a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events (like stroke) than soda abstainers.