We hardly need another study to know that soda is bad for us, but in case you need an up-to-date reminder: New research says sugary drinks cause high blood pressure. Before you stop reading because you never drink coke, consider this: The study isn’t just talking about soft drinks: It’s talking about any drink sweetened with sugar. You might think you’re doing good by never drinking anything that comes out of a can, but if your beverage of choice (juice and smoothies included) contains high fructose corn syrup, you’re still putting yourself at risk.
The study, released in the latest issue of Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, examined the habits and vitals of nearly 3,000 subjects in the U.S. and U.K. According to ScienceDaily, for every “sugar-sweetened beverage drunk per day participants on average had significantly higher systolic blood pressure by 1.6 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure higher by 0.8 mm Hg.” We’re not experts on blood pressure, but researchers said the increase is significant, even after adjusting data for body mass differences. (Researchers found that diet soda drinkers were less active and had higher body mass indexes than non-diet soda drinkers, but it didn’t appear to affect on blood pressure.)
Unfortunately, not every drink containing added sugar looks like junk food. Natural and organic juices, healthy smoothies, and energizing elixirs are sold on their health benefits, but they can contain just as much sugar as a can of coke. Check out our gallery of 10 surprising drinks that could raise your blood pressure: