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4 Drinks That Age Your Brain, Says Science

July 29, 2023

As we age, it becomes increasingly important to prioritize our brain health. One way to do this is by being mindful of what we eat and drink. Some foods and drinks can help support brain function, while others can have the opposite effect. Consuming the right food and drinks can enhance cognitive function, memory, and overall brain health. Therefore, it is essential to make informed choices about what we put into our bodies to ensure that our brains remain healthy and active for years to come. In particular, certain drinks can age your brain prematurely. It’s important to be mindful of the drinks we consume and their effects on our brain health. By avoiding drinks that age your brain, we can help promote healthy brain function and support our overall well-being.

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1. Sugary drinks

four glasses of different kinds of soda


Sodas, sports drinks, and other sugary beverages can wreak havoc on your brain health. Studies have linked high sugar consumption to a decline in cognitive function and a smaller hippocampus, a region of the brain important for memory. Consuming sugary drinks can lead to long-term damage to the brain, especially for those who consume such beverages regularly. It is recommended to limit the consumption of sugary drinks and opt for healthier alternatives like water, herbal tea, or natural juices.

2. Alcohol

woman drinking alcohol alone


Drinking alcohol in excess can lead to brain damage and cognitive decline. Even moderate drinking can have negative effects on the brain, including shrinking the brain’s gray matter and impairing decision-making abilities. Alcohol consumption can cause a reduction in the size of the brain’s frontal lobe, which is responsible for decision-making, planning, and inhibition. This, in turn, can lead to poor decision-making and loss of control over impulses. It is recommended to limit alcohol consumption to moderate levels and avoid binge drinking.

Related: The Psychological Effects of Alcohol You May Not Know About

3. Fruit juice

person holding juice bottles for a cleanse


While fruit juice may seem like a healthy choice, many varieties are high in sugar and lack the fiber present in whole fruits. This can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels, which can damage the brain over time. Consuming fruit juice regularly can lead to a condition called insulin resistance, which can impair cognitive function and increase the risk of developing dementia. It is recommended to consume whole fruits instead of fruit juice, as they contain both the fiber and nutrients needed for better brain health. Or find a 100% fruit juice that doesn’t contain any added sugars.

4. Diet soda

soda in cups with straws


Although diet sodas are marketed as a healthier alternative to regular soda, they still contain artificial sweeteners that can have negative effects on the brain. Studies have linked the consumption of diet soda to a decline in cognitive function and an increased risk of stroke and dementia. Diet sodas can interfere with the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, which can result in memory loss and cognitive decline. It is recommended to avoid diet sodas and opt for healthier alternatives like natural fruit-infused water or herbal tea.

Read next: 4 Foods That Age Your Brain, Says Science

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