When dealing with arthritis, inflammation is your worst enemy and you want to avoid it at all costs, no matter what. A special diet is made for you that excludes processed meats, vegetable oils and many other things that many cause inflammations in your body.
However, what we don’t pay enough attention to is our drinks. Drinks take lesser time to digest which is why they are more dangerous than the food items are can cause a reaction almost immediately. This is also why it is easier to determine what caused the reaction. The reaction is usually in the form of a very sharp pain. It’s a shame not enough importance is given to this side of the diet. However, not all drinks react the same way to arthritis patients therefore, you may try and decide for yourself whatever suits you best.
Here are some drinks that you should try to avoid if you’re a patient of arthritis;
1. Energy Drinks
Energy drinks is the most harmful one out of the list. Add in double or even triple amounts of sugar used in soda and you have a typical energy drink in your hands. Having too much of energy drinks has been usually linked to seizures or even heart attacks. So, it can be concluded that energy drinks are not safe for anybody to consume, arthritis or no arthritis.
Energy drinks contain both caffeine and sugar. Both of these items can cause severe inflammation. Caffeine particularly is very questionable as it is known to trigger gout attacks in people with arthritis. And keeping in mind the fact that energy drinks have a high concentration of acid, it can strip your bones of the necessary calcium needed especially in old age.
2. Tap water
Staying hydrated is very important no matter what you’re going through or where you live. Water has been known to lubricant your joints your bones and joints which helps reduce pain and supports almost all processes that are being carried out in your bones.
Tap water is used almost all around the world however, arthritis patients should be more careful when consuming tap water. It can cause problems to you depending on where in the world you are situated as some tap waters have some compounds which may end up irritating your tissues and may even cause severe inflammation. One common compound that arthritis patients should steer clear of is fluoride. Waters with low levels of fluoride can be consumed however, it is always better to be more careful. It may trigger a flare-up in some people. So, it would be better to use a faucet attachment or a filter to stay safe!
3. Tonic Water with Quinine
The days when quinine was a famous treatment for arthritis has gone by. These days quinine is usually used for very severe problems like malaria when a person is left with no other options than to try for quinine. And the amount of quinine you find in tonic water does not help at all with arthritis so it would technically be wasting time if you went ahead with it anyways.
The US Food and Drug Administration has actually stepped in to save people and their health. A safe limit has been placed on how much quinine can actually be added to tonic water by people as in large doses it can be very harmful and can have severe repercussions.
4. Regular Soda
All people with arthritis should avoid all types of sodas for the same reason as energy drinks are to be avoided. They contain a lot of caffeine, sugar and acid. Caffeine and sugar lead to extreme inflammation which can be very destructive to people with arthritis.
It can even cause many other bodily problems like gaining weight. People without arthritis can deal with a weight gain but it become very difficult for arthritis patients to deal with weight gain as being overweight adds extreme pressure on your tender and weak joints and they might not be able to bear that pressure.
5. Diet Soda
Having soda in the form of a diet soda does not automatically make it better for you. Diet soda has artificial sweeteners which come with their own set of problems for you. They will cause just as much inflammation to your body as normal sugar would, the damage done to your body would be the same and not any lesser.
Artificial sweeteners are basically, as already stated, very unhealthy. The reason behind it is that it actually alters and changes the balance of your healthy gut bacteria in your body which leads to your body struggling and finding it very hard to metabolize the glucose present in your body. This in turn releases another chemical which causes inflammation in your body. Inflammation in your body is very dangerous as an arthritis patient so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
Beer causes several problems for people with arthritis and should be avoided in general. One of the first effects it has on your body is that it releases a chemical called purine. It is your livers job to break down only the fructose in it while the rest of the purine metabolizes into uric acid which is the main culprit behind the dreaded gout.
Beer also has a good amount of gluten and since some people are very sensitive to it, it may cause inflammation. Another inflammatory causing particle in beer is the alcohol itself which can sometimes be extremely inflammatory. More details about alcohol and its effects on arthritis patients are discussed below in a separate space.
Having very controlled levels of alcohol is acceptable, meaning, only a couple of glasses of wine or having a mixed drink is okay however, it should be made sure that the gin and tonic and other strong drinks are completely skipped out. It should be made sure even with light drinks, one should not drink to point of drunkenness at all as it well set off a chain reaction with multiple other problems coming your way. The reason behind this is that the drunkenness cause hangovers in the next morning. The reason hangovers occur is due to dehydration and inflammation. These two things can throw an arthritis patient directly under the bus.
8. Fruit Juices
Fruit juice is usually not recommended for people with arthritis since the juice contains all the sugars of the fruit but none of its fibers that are present in the fruit as a whole. Fiber is very important for your body as it slows absorption of sugar and can steady your blood sugar levels as well.
Another problem that shows up for people with arthritis is that these fruit juices usually contain fructose. This fructose usually breaks down and creates another substance called purines. It is the same purine that increases the level of uric acid in one’s body which brings with it its own problems like the dreaded Gout. Gout sufferers should therefore especially avoid fruit juice to avoid harming themselves.
However, one fruit juice that can be consumed and should be consumed is Tart Cherry juice. Instead of having the body more inflamed, it has special anti-inflammatory properties that can really help people with arthritis.
Coffee has double sided effects on people with arthritis. Coffee is known to have an anti-oxidant called ‘polyphenols. This antioxidant reduces inflammation in a person which is very beneficial for a person with arthritis, and it even minimizes the free radicals that are in your body and can cause serious damage, to a great extent.
However, it also has caffeine, is pretty acidic and is usually filled with lots of sugar and cream. This makes it a dangerous drink as it could cause severe inflammation in your body which may prove to be very painful as well.
In controlled amounts, coffee might be beneficial for people with arthritis whereas uncontrolled amounts with lots of sugar and cream may be harmful and the antioxidant benefits of coffee may be wiped out completely.
10. Milk and other Dairy Products
Many patients with arthritis may find that a certain special type of protein that is found in milk and other dairy products may trigger severe inflammation. The protein is called Casein and some patients’ bodies may even end up developing special anti-bodies just to destroy any form of casein in their bodies, mistaking it as a harmful foreign substance. And it is these anti-bodies that spark inflammation in your already very tender joints.
However, certain fermented dairy products might contain less casein and so some patients might be able to tolerate that dairy. But then again, just like coffee, this area also calls for experimentation as some arthritis patients aren’t bothered by it at all!
11. Tomato Juice
It is not a hidden story rather it is a well-known fact that tomatoes are considered very bad and unhealthy for people with arthritis because tomatoes are known to contain substances that lead to inflammation of the body. The substance is called Solanine.
However, many people disagree and believe that solanine, when taken in large amounts, have no bad effects. Nonetheless, tomato juices are factually loaded with a lot salt. As an arthritis patient, the best decision on your part would be to limit your sodium intake. These are some of the drinks we believe should be consumed with caution. However, you should try and experiment with these beverages to see which ones work for you and which ones simply don’t, as everybody is different. A food journal could really help you around! In the meanwhile, drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated!