Sugary drinks can lead to kidney stones

I've given you 1,000 reasons to skip soda over the years. Today, I've got reason #1,001: kidney stones.

Now, already 1 in 10 can expect to get these things. And plenty of you have already had them (you probably started squirming the moment you saw the "kidney stones" in the headline if that's you).

If you're not among the victims -- yet -- then quit the soda ASAP, because a new study of close to 200,000 people finds that just one sugary drink per day will increase your risk of getting stoned by nearly a quarter.

I don't care how much you love cola or fruit punch, that's a risk you shouldn't be taking -- because while many things in life don't live up to the hype, kidney stones aren't one of them.

(But whatever you do DON'T fall into the trap of switching to diet soda. That poison in a can might even be worse than the full sugar stuff. In fact, it's been linked to diabetes. Surprised? Click here to learn more.)

A kidney stone, if you're unfamiliar, is a small and jagged stone, sharp like a piece of glass, that bounces around in your kidney. Each time it hits the kidney wall, you feel like you've been stabbed from the inside.

Think that's bad? HA! That's just the beginning -- it still has to get out. How do you think that happens? Very painfully, with a trip through the urethra and out the front door.

Yes, now you're squirming, too.

On the other hand, once a kidney stone passes, you're done (at least 'til the next one comes along). Some of the other side effects of soda are a lot tougher to shake: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and more.

Now, the media accounts of the new study include the inevitable mainstream know-it-alls claiming the best way to avoid stones is to drink water until you feel like you've got a fishbowl strapped to your belly.

This is nonsense.

You can avoid stones without drinking a drop of water if you don't want to. Coffee and tea, for example, can actually slash the risk of stones. And unlike soda (or water, for that matter), coffee and tea are both delicious and packed with antioxidants.