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Magnesium Deficiency & Soda

1 January 2015 - Posted by Kathryn Kos under ,

If you are among those that enjoy fizzy soft drinks… you may want to reconsider!

We humans do not produce magnesium on our own. Magnesium and other minerals can only be obtained from the earth. Their biological role is multifaceted. Minerals help to maintain the pH of the body and are necessary for proper nerve conduction, contracting and relaxing muscles, and tissue growth.

Drinking Soda Can Rob Your Body of Necessary Minerals | Ancient Minerals BlogMany people are unaware of the negative effect soda drinking has on mineral intake, mineral absorption and assimilation within the body. In middle-aged adults, consumption of one soda a day is associated with a 48% higher prevalence and incidence of multiple metabolic risk factors linked to magnesium deficiency, such as diabetes, obesity, and higher resting blood pressure. Carbonated soda consumption is negatively associated with achieving adequate calcium and magnesium in children aged 6 years and older. Consuming just 8 ounces of carbonated soda decreases the likelihood of achieving recommended calcium intake for children by 40%.

In this piece we will be discussing the different components of soda that contribute to magnesium depletion in the body.

What are the mechanisms behind soda drinking and magnesium loss?

Phosphorous in Soda Depletes Minerals

Do you enjoy that “tangy” flavor in soda? The “tang” comes from phosphoric acid added by soda manufacturers. Phosphorous itself is a necessary mineral. You need some phosphorous in your diet to support bone structure, create and store energy in the body, transmit genetic material, and regulate the body’s pH levels. Phosphoric acid is phosphorous that has undergone a modification process to become more chemically stable. Companies add phosphoric acid to many soft drinks to make the flavor more enhanced and give it that tanginess that we enjoy. However, high phosphorous levels in soda can lead to reduced body storage of minerals.

Excessive intake of phosphorous actually blocks mineral absorption in the body. Too much phosphorous binds with minerals in your blood, thus rendering them unavailable to your body’s functions. Your body, sensing it doesn’t have enough calcium or magnesium in the blood, takes it from your bones. Since phosphorous intake is increased when drinking most carbonated beverages, this depletes your body of both calcium and magnesium.

It’s not just sugary soft drinks that produce this negative effect. Phosphoric acid is also found in diet sodas. One 12 ounce cola contains approximately 40 mg of phosphoric acid!

Sugar in Sweetened Soda Robs the Body of Nutrients, and Displaces Nutrient-Dense Foods

For every molecule of sugar we eat our bodies need 54 molecules of magnesium to be able to process that sugar. Therefore consuming sugar-laden soda depletes our body of this necessary nutrient. There are approximately 39 grams of sugar in one 12 ounce can of sweetened cola.

But beyond the fact that magnesium is depleted through simply processing the sugar we consume, an additional factor contributes to reduced intake. It is suspected that the role of soft drinks in mineral deficiency and reduced bone mineral density may be partially due to the fact that these soft drinks are displacing foods that would offer a source of minerals.

According to Loren Cordain, author of “Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century”, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,

Standard American diets high in sugar and processed grains are both void of necessary micronutrients and deplete micronutrients. Refined sugars such as those found in soft drinks do not contain any vitamins or minerals. Therefore consuming these beverages reduces the nutrients in the diet.”

Sugar in soda replaces the calories and nutrients we could get from eating more nutrient-dense and mineral rich real foods, such as bone broths and grass-fed liver.

Drinking Soda Can Rob Your Body of Necessary Minerals | Ancient Minerals BlogAspartame in Diet Soda Interferes with the Actions of Magnesium

Think you are making a better decision by avoiding sugar and drinking diet soda? If so, it’s time to think again!

Diet soda has also been shown to reduce magnesium, and may be associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke, related to magnesium deficiency. The most commonly used sweetener in diet soda is aspartame, which is a source of aspartic acid. Aspartic acid interferes with the actions of magnesium, thus chronic aspartame consumption may lead to magnesium depletion. In studies, consumption of diet soda has been linked to numerous disorders associated with magnesium deficiency such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and osteoporosis.

Caffeine in Soda Reduces Both Calcium and Magnesium

Do you enjoy soda for the caffeine “buzz”? Many soft drinks now contain excessive amounts of caffeine, and some claim to give you more energy.

One 12-ounce soda contains approximately 30-60 mg of caffeine. Urinary calcium and magnesium excretion and intestinal calcium secretion were correlated with caffeine consumption in metabolic studies on premenopausal women. For every 150 mg of caffeine ingested, approximately 5 mg of calcium is lost. This effect occurs even hours after the consumption of caffeine.

Caffeine also inhibits the amount of calcium that is absorbed through the intestinal tract and depletes the amount retained by the bones. In another study, female college students were either given decaffeinated or caffeinated beverages after fasting for 10 hours. Urine samples after three hours revealed significant excretion of calcium, magnesium and sodium after caffeine intake. Thus limiting caffeine intake is crucial when trying to maintain adequate minerals.

As you can see, soda drinking depletes minerals in the body in several ways, and replaces calories from more nutrient dense sources. The best way to stay hydrated by far is drinking real filtered water. If you are craving flavor or bite, try adding some lemon or lime juice to your water!

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  • Sceptical chemist

    Junk science. If you want educated readers to take your writing seriously, include citations from peer-reviewed scientific articles and present a balanced viewpoint. Don’t just cherry pick every negative point you read.

    Too much sugar is bad for you, but you do not need 54 molecules of magnesium to process a molecule of sugar. Magnesium is not a molecule, for a start, and it is not consumed by sugar metabolism.

    It’s true that some aspartic acid is formed when aspartame breaks down in the stomach. You get a lot more aspartic acid (aspartate at neutral pH) every time you have a protein meal.

    With rubbish like this I believe readers should not believe anything that’s written on this website without consulting a more balanced, scientific source.

  • sceptical chemist

    Incidentally, can you please provide evidence that your ‘magnesium oil’ is absorbed through the skin? Magnesium chloride is a salt, and simple inorganic salts are not absorbed through the skin. Otherwise swimming in the ocean would be very dangerous. You should call your product snake oil.

  • magnesium dad

    Dear sceptical chemist… When I see arrogant comments like this it makes me so mad. I always think… which drug company or supplement company are you affiliated with? To be charitable I would call your opinion…. hmmmm….rash! Have you actually tried it? I bet not. I do not need a degree in chemistry to know what works or doesn’t work for me. I spray 60 – 80 squirts on my arms, legs, and chest in the morning (I use Ultra with MSM because it actually absorbs faster). In a few minutes it is gone! Did it evaporate? I don’t think so. My skin is hydrated after showering. Nope… it is absorbed into my skin and I am fed a lot of magnesium with 0 side affects. My wife however uses regular and you would be shocked to hear that it absorbs too! It’s easy… have an open mind… not so much that your brains fall out… but at least realize that there are a lot of people that use this product effectively… and then prove it to yourself. I recommend that you do it at bed time and you will sleep better and not be so cranky and full of yourself!

    I get upset with your rash comments because I have personally seen it stop severe SVT’s in moments and eliminate them completely over a period of several weeks. I have seen a very close friend shut down and fight her premature labor and contractions that started at 7 months. She used Ancient Minerals Bath Flakes and Mag Chloride Spray. I have seen it eliminate RLS in a friend that said she hadn’t had a good night sleep in several years, help calm a severely autistic child that was otherwise only calmed with drug intervention that came with side affects, help calm asthma attacks in adults and kids, treat eczema, muscle cramps, panic attacks, anxiety, migraines, and a ton of other real stuff. So in my opinion your opinion is just that… an erroneous opinion. My science is actually real. I tested it. It worked. I don’t make people like it. They try it and it either helps or it doesn’t. You have a chemistry degree and skepticism. I have factual evidence with myself and my family and friends. Lots of them. These are my peer tested reviews! A living lab! They aren’t imagining that it helps. It helps. But you are arrogant enough to tell us all that it can’t possibly help or that this is invalid outside of your lab. Our evidence isn’t good enough for you. The fact that you say it doesn’t absorb doesn’t actually stop it from absorbing on me. And why do you think people went to the sea to heal… to absorb minerals. And odd isn’t it that sea water is extremely rich in magnesium… and I guess people just put epsom salts in their bath to change the color of the water… they can’t possibly absorb anything there either… Maybe my magnesium evaporates and I inhale it! You call it what you want. You don’t have to use it. I don’t care. Eat a bushel basket of pumpkins seed and raw almonds and huge green salads to get your magnesium. That would be very healthy… if you can find foods with any magnesium left or that food chemists haven’t engineered the magnesium out of. Or… take a handful of magnesium pill formulations and lose weight fast by sprinting to the bathroom when you take one pill too many.

    We personally all use it transdermally. It works as advertised. No side affects. Of course there is no one shoe fits all supplement. Everybody has a different physiology, different diets, genetics, etc… but there are enough studies showing that the majority of the population is some form of magnesium deficient. Transdermal application of Ancient Minerals Magnesium Chloride works for me and for a lot of people I know. If yours doesn’t absorb… bummer…. mine does wish I could help you.

    So how about you prove to us that it doesn’t absorb and then tell us where it goes… because mine goes somewhere… or keep your rash opinions to yourself.

    I apologize for the tone of my response… maybe you are great person trying to help people not get hurt by crap claims and real snake oil purveyors. That can be a good thing but that is not what is happening here. This is a fabulous product that myself, my family, and many of my friends use regularly with great results. Your rash judgments and comments will only hurt people that buy into your expert analysis and delay trying this product that can really help them. Be scientific… try some. Then you can say honestly that it did or didn’t work for you. I can live with that. Not everything works for everybody. But your skepticism is easily overshadowed by the shear number of people that I have seen helped by this product. Including myself, my wife, and a couple of my children.

  • Mangalore Cafe

    Starts slow clap…clap…clap..clap..clap..clap

  • sssteeve

    In defense of “sceptical scientist” I agree that the lack of references undermines the credibility of this blogpost as a scientific document***, and I really doubt that he is in the employ of a drug or supplement company.

    However his blanket refusal to accept the idea that a magnesium salt could be absorbed through the skin suggests that he did not research the issue at all. Here is a PDF report of a scientific test that indicates that soaking in epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) increases the levels of both magnesium and sulfates in the blood.


    FWIW since learning about the importance of magnesium in 2009 I have been taking epsom salt baths at least once a week, after which I always feel very refreshed.

    *** I really doubt that this blogpost was intended to be a scientific document but just a very welcome heads up as to the importance of magnesium.