Gout and Club Soda
February 3, 2007 in Gout Cures Forum
I got what looked like a simple question today – “Can drinking club soda help my gout?”
It seemed simple enough, but as I thought through the question I ended up searching through pages and page of information about different aspects of fizzy water.
First of all, I looked at what club soda is. It varies. At it’s most simple, it’s just water with carbon dioxide forced into it. Commonly it has sodium added, hence its other common name soda water. Sodium is well known for raising the blood pressure. Not a true gout problem, but as many gout sufferers also have high blood pressure (hypertension) then it’s worth pointing out the risk.
I wouldn’t expect anyone to take their full fluid requirement for gout from club soda, but even a couple of bottles a day might increase sodium intake beyond a healthy limit. Also, many club sodas have other additives, so it’s worth checking the labels. When I did a very quick, unscientific check, I noticed that sparkling water usually has less additives than club soda.
But I still hadn’t really answered the question. I could see that too much club soda might be a problem, but does a moderate amount help?
By using Google’s very flexible search features I started looking for gout or uric acid associated with club soda or soda water or carbonated water. What a journey that was. Along the way I found a couple of fantastic nutrition data resources. I’ll be covering these in more detail when I update you on my gout diet plans.
So back to the question. Does club soda help gout?
Some of the facts I’ve found are:-
- Carbonated water can help ease constipation. This is relevant to gout as around one third of uric acid is excreted through the gut. A 2002 study, Effects of carbonated water on functional dyspepsia and constipation, reveals that subjects who drank carbonated water for two weeks had 25% less constipation than those who drank tap water.
- Carbonated water can help increase skin blood flow. The report on skin blood flow and carbonated water involved subjects immersing legs in carbonated water for 10 minutes per say over a 3 week period. Those using carbonated water showed a significantly higher skin blood flow and reduced numbness compared to a control group using tap water. I’m not sure if this will help gout or not, but if anyone has the funds to dangle their gouty joints in club soda, I’d love to hear from you.
- Club soda has a slight alkalizing effect. There are hundreds of websites that claim the opposite. None of these have any source references for their claims, and many are sales sites for alkalizing diets or products. I finally found a site with clear scientific references. GoutPAl.com includes a method for calculating the acid-alkaline balance of diet. It also has list of PRAL values of all foods in the USDA database, showing club soda’s PRAL value of -0.133. I’ll be talking more about PRAL in my diet pages at foodary.com.
So, I’m fairly confident that club soda will have a positive effect for gout patients. Just beware of high blood pressure, and be aware of additives by checking the label.
Find more (see gouty search hints).