A New Reason For Men To Avoid Soda

glasses of coke soda

Men with osteoarthritis of the knee may want to avoid sugar-packed soft drinks. That’s the advice of researchers who found that drinking sugary soda is associated with progression of the disease in men.

No such link was found in women in the study of more than 2,000 people with knee osteoarthritis.

Researchers at Brown University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Tufts Medical Center studied over 2100 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The study found that patients, particularly men who drank sugary soft drinks showed worse narrowing of the joint space in their knees – a significant symptom of osteoarthritis.

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While being overweight or obese are risk factors for osteoarthritis, this study found that men who weighed less, or had a lower BMI showed worse knee damage if they drank more soda compared to the more overweight men. Dr. Bing Lu, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and lead investigator suggests that soft drinks may cause damage independent of the wear and tear brought on by overweight and obesity.

The researchers believe the caffeine found in many soft drinks can be considered a risk factor for osteoporosis. “Soft drinks may contain phosphoric acid, which has shown to interfere with calcium absorption and to contribute to imbalances that lead to additional loss of calcium. It has also been suggested that the high fructose corn syrup used to sweeten carbonated beverages may negatively affect bone,” adds Lu.

The main finding is that in general, the more sugary soda men drink, the greater the risk that knee osteoarthritis will get worse. If you’re thinking that is because the calories in soda may contribute to being overweight or obese — a known risk factor for knee osteoarthritis — think again.

Much to the researchers’ surprise, the link between knee osteoarthritis and sugary soft drinks could not solely be explained by weight, Lu says.

“We very carefully [took into account] weight in the statistical analysis. We controlled not only for the general categories of overweight and obesity, but also for patients’ specific body-mass indices, or BMIs,” he says.

When the men were divided into obese and non-obese, the link between sugary drinks and worse knee damage held true only in the non-obese men.

This suggests that soft drinks worsen knee osteoarthritis independently of the wear and tear on the joints caused by carrying around excess weight, Lu says.

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8 Ways To Unwind After Work

A businesswoman relaxing on her sofa with a cup of teaThe last thing you want to do when you get home from a long day of work is to do more work. Some days are more stressful than others so make sure you try to unwind and relax a little before continuing with your evening routine.

If you find it difficult to wind down after a demanding workday try these 8 tips to help you shift from office to home mode.

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Get Comfortable

As soon as you get in from work, change into different attire. This will have an immediate relaxing effect. Change into your most comfortable clothing once you get out of the shower. Pajamas are an excellent choice, especially if you get home from work late at night.

Take Time To Daydream

With instant access to information we seem to have lost the art of daydreaming. The daydreaming process is vital to the creativity process as well as reordering the working memory and rebalancing our energy levels.

Take Care Of Your Body

Exercising is an excellent way to re-energize your body after a tiresome day at work. If you have a sedentary job that requires sitting at a desk for long hours, choose a form of exercise that involves moving your legs, like walking or jogging. If your job keeps you on your feet for hours on end, choose a gentle exercise that you can perform while sitting down such as stretching or yoga.

Eat Well

Eat something nutritious and make sure of drinking plenty of water. Avoid junk food or having anything full of fats. Vegetables, fruits and juices can be the best energy sources after coming back from exhausting job. Try to make the process of cooking a goal in itself. Just make sure you don’t stress with cooking just because you have to. If you’re exhausted, you should consider ordering food just for this night. But don’t make it a habit! It’s not good for you in the long run.

Pamper Yourself

Fill a hot bath with aromatic bubbles, play a soothing CD or tape, get a good massage to relieve those tight, tense muscles, or allow your self to take a power nap.

Read

Crack open a book or magazine and escape into it. It is easy to get caught up only reading from a computer screen or e-reader. Flipping pages will give your eyes a much-needed break from the screen, and non work-related content will help you forget any office woes.

Call A Friend Or Family Member

No texting. This is about having an actual voice-to-voice conversation. Surprise someone you haven’t seen or spoken to in a while. Make a list of topics or open-ended questions beforehand if it would make you more comfortable. End the conversation when it’s dying down. End on a strong note. Feel good about reconnecting.

Switch Off An Hour Before Bedtime

Allow yourself at least 60mins technology free time before you go to bed to ‘unload’ the working memory before your head hits the pillow. This means not checking email or social networking before bedtime.

Never fall asleep with your laptop, iPad or smart phone switched on beside you. These measures will dramatically improve the quality of your sleep – you will need less REM (dreaming and information processing) sleep and have access to more nourishing, deep sleep.