Too Much Iced Tea Increases Kidney Stone Risk

People who have trouble with kidney stones may want to lay off the iced tea this summer, HealthDay News reported Aug. 7.

Iced tea, which often gets guzzled in large quantities during hot summer months, contains high levels of oxalate, a key chemical in the formation of kidney stones, says John Milner, M.D., a urologist at Loyala University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

“People are told that in the summertime they should drink more fluids [and] … a lot of people choose to drink more iced tea, because it is low in calories and tastes better than water,” Milner says. “However, in terms of kidney stones, they might be doing themselves a disservice.”

Kidney stones affect four times as many men as women, particularly after the age of 40. Reducing sodium intake and staying hydrated as well as avoiding other oxalate-rich foods like spinach, chocolate, rhubarb, and nuts can all help lessen your likelihood of developing a kidney stone.

So what to drink besides water on sweltering day? Try that other classic summer refreshment – fresh lemonade — Milner suggests.

“Lemons are high in citrates, which inhibit the growth of kidney stones,” he notes.

(Photo © Ted Van Pelt via Flickr)