In Theory: Soft drinks, caffeine lower bone density

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Fire science freshman Marco Flores quenches his thirst in between basketball games. Photo by Addison Simmons

Fire science freshman Marco Flores quenches his thirst in between basketball games. Photo by Addison Simmons

Thirst indicates dehydration.

Ty-Eshia Johnson

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Water carries nutrients and flushes toxins out of the body, Martha Stephenson, kinesiology and dance professor, said.

Without enough water, it’s difficult for the body to carry out normal functions, and people will suffer from dehydration, she said.

“I like to challenge myself to drink water,” Stephenson said.

Stephenson stores BPA-free bottles of water in the refrigerator and tries to drink 64 ounces, equivalent to eight cups of water, daily, the amount recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine.

BPA stands for bisphenol A, a chemical used to make plastics that some studies show can seep into food.

Stephenson said 60 percent of body weight is water, and the function of organs depends on how much water people intake.

It is important to drink water before feeling thirsty.

Thirst indicates that the body is becoming dehydrated.

“The best thing to do is cut out soda habits,” Stephenson said. Soda can lead to bone deterioration and has no nutritional benefits.

Stephenson said caffeine interferes with calcium absorption, and soda could be replacing a healthier choice.

Stephenson referred to re-search by Tufts University:

“Women who drank three or more sodas per day were shown to have lower hip bone mineral densities than women who drank less than one soda per day.”

Stephenson said getting plenty of water helps the body perform better.

Clothing and exercise raise body temperature, causing people to sweat to reduce excess heat. Water lost during exercise must be replaced.

“People have more balance when drinking more water,” she said.

For more information, call 210-486-1010 or visit www.acsm.org.

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