Drinking sugary and caffeinated soft drinks while exercising in hot weather increases the risk of developing kidney disease, a new research suggests.

Published in the American Journal of Physiology, the study explains that people who consume caffeinated soft drinks during or after strenuous activities in the heat risk developing kidney disease.

“Consuming soft drinks as a rehydration beverage during exercise in the heat may not be ideal,” the researchers at New York’s University of Buffalo warned.

“Consumption of soft drinks during and after exercise in the heat does not rehydrate.”

Putting their subjects through 45 minutes of repeated strenuous exercise and thereafter feeding them 16 ounces of either high-fructose caffeinated soft drink or water, the researchers made quite disturbing findings.

They measured markers of kidney injury, body weight, blood pressure and heart rate after 24 hours of the repeated exercise.

Higher levels of creatinine and low gromerular filtration rate−markers of kidney disease−were found to be peculiar to participants who had consumed soft drinks, unlike those who had just water.

Blood levels of vasopressin, an anti-diuretic hormone that raises blood pressure, was also higher in the said participants who remained mildly dehydrated after the soft drink consumption.

According to the researchers, further work would however, be needed “to discern the long-term effects of soft drink consumption during exercise in the heat, and its relation to the risk of kidney disease”.

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