Iced tea is one of the most savored drinks during summer time. Although, I have always preferred hot tea in comparison to iced tea, but I can see why iced tea is popular drink to beat the hot summer. As a matter of fact, in the past decade or so, iced tea has become so popular that you can see your favorite brand of ice tea in soda machines, almost everywhere. The popularity of iced tea has grown dramatically with a whopping 1.91 billion gallons consumed a year in the U.S., according to the Tea Association of the U.S.A. Nearly 128 Americans drink the beverage daily.
A study brings not so good news to ice tea lovers, which revealed that ice tea can increase your risk for kidney stone.
About kidney Stones
Kidney stones are crystals that form in the kidneys or urethras, the small tubes that drain the urine from the kidney to the bladder. The reports revealed that men are four times more susceptible for kidney stones than women. Furthermore, risk for kidney stone increase after the ago of 40 for men.
In the summer, when weather is hot, people are generally more dehydrated due to sweating. It is recommended to drink more water to keep your hydration level in balance in order to avoid kidney stones.
Why does ice tea cause kidney stone?
Iced tea contains high concentrations of oxalate. Oxalate is believed to be a key ingredient for formation of kidney stones, a common disorder of the urinary tract that affects about 10% of the population in the United States. The dehydration during summer, in combination with increase iced tea consumption raises the risk of kidney stones, especially in people who are prone to develop them.
Dr. John Milner says
Dr. John Milner, an instructor at department of urology, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Ill says:
- For many people, iced tea is potentially one of the worst things they can...
- For people who have a tendency to form kidney stones, it’s definitely one of the worst things you can drink
- A lot of people choose to drink more iced tea, thinking it’s a tastier alternative. However, in terms of kidney stones, they’re getting it going and coming. They’re actually doing themselves a disservice.
- Iced tea’s appeal is due to the belief that it is healthier than other beverages such as soda and beer.
- Water is your best bet when you want to quench your summer thirst. You can always add lemon slices for some extra flavor.
- Lemons are very high in citrates, which inhibit the growth of kidney stones
- Lemonade, not the powdered variety that uses artificial flavoring, actually slows the development of kidney stones for those who are prone to the development of kidney stones.
Advice for people prone to kidney stones
As Dr. Milner advised drinking water is good and adding lemon can inhibit growth of kidney stones. There are more foods which have higher content in oxalates and are not recommended if you have a tendency to form kidney stones, these are but not limited to spinach, chocolate, rhubarb and nuts.
Also, go easy on salt, eat meat sparingly, drink several glasses of water a day and don’t avoid foods high in calcium, which reduces the amount of oxalate the body absorbs.
Basically, watch what you eat and drink to reduce your risk for kidney stones. Some people in my family suffered from kidney stones and the pain is unbearable. It is better to prevent than cure.