8 Beverages to Ease Gout Symptoms This Summerby Carissa Andrews - July 6th, 2020
For those who don’t know, gout is an inflammatory arthritis and it affects about 4% of adults. Gout is caused by hyperuricemia, which basically means too much uric acid builds up in the body. When this happens, crystals can get deposited in the joints, which can trigger the swelling and inflammation. Although best known for attacking the big toe, gout can also ta width="" height="" title=""/rget other joints as well including your ankles, elbows, wrists, knees, and fingers. Because uric acid levels are affected by what we consume, summertime can lead to higher risk of gout flareups thanks to a change in diet Foods and drinks that contain a higher, or concentrated level, of a chemical compound called purines can trigger gout symptoms. Foods like seafood, organ meats, and even alcohol are loaded with purines.
Does this mean you can’t enjoy summer as much? Of course not. There are a few ways you can help ease gout symptoms naturally, just by paying attention to what you drink. There are plenty of great beverages you can consume that won’t flare up your gout symptoms and cause you to sit this summer out. Let’s take a closer look.
Ease Your Gout Symptoms with These Beverages
Just by knowing which drinks are triggers and which drinks are safe, you can ease your gout symptoms and still have a great time this summer.
1. Water – For obvious reasons, water is one of the best beverages to add to your drink arsenal. It flushes out toxins, such as uric acid, out of the body, which causes gout in the first place. It also prevents kidney stones, since they’re also caused by high uric acid levels. Aim for a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses a day and drink it filtered, if you’re able. For a kick of flavor, add in a couple lemon slices or cucumber slices.
2. Coffee – When taken in moderation, caffeine can block the ability to create uric acid caused by purines. The key here is to drink coffee regularly, but in smaller doses. If you binge on too much coffee, it can have the opposite effect. Stick with a cup or two a day and you should be just fine.
3. Tea - This drink is known for its many health benefits, especially for arthritis sufferers. Green, black, and white teas are especially great drinks because of their anti-inflammatory attributes. Green tea and many herbal teas also include antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Compounds like polyphenols, which are found in green tea, for instance, can neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation, which is definitely what you want in a drink.
4. Low Fat Dairy – Unless you are lactose intolerant, dairy can and should be a part of your diet. Any low-fat dairy product, including cheese, provides anti-inflammatory effects that can help you manage gout symptoms. This is not just for cow’s milk, either. Goat milk and even soymilk can be beneficial, especially for those who are lactose intolerant and need an alternative.
5. Pure Fruit Juice – In moderation, juice contains antioxidant propertied, just like tea. However, many also contain high levels of sugar content which can lead to higher inflammation. Stick with fresh squeezed juice whenever possible and keep the added sugar to a minimum. Orange juice, pineapple juice, tart cherry juice, and even carrot juice have tons of antioxidant properties and vitamin c. All of which, can lower inflammation and reduce arthritis symptoms.
6. Smoothies – Unlike its juice counterpart, smoothies often use the entire fruit and/or vegetable and can be far more beneficial for a variety of reasons. By doing this, you actually end up intaking more nutrients from the food. You can also combine yogurt or other dairy products with your smoothies to help you, as well as hiding anti-inflammatory superfoods, such as turmeric into the mix.
7. Decaffeinated Beverages – Unlike many of the other drinks on this list, decaffeinated beverages won’t necessarily prevent gout attacks. However, if the only reason you’re drinking coffee or tea is for the taste, this could be a great option. Decaffeinated versions won’t have the same negative effect, in this case, causing gout symptoms, if you drink more than the recommended dose. However, make sure you’re not loading them up with sugar when you drink them, because sugar can increase that inflammation response.
8. Red Wine – Because of the compound resveratrol, red wine can have anti-inflammatory benefits when taken in moderation. However, it can be a double-edged sword, since alcohol is known to have the opposite effect. The key here is to drink no more than a single drink a day for women and no more than two a day for men.
BONUS: 6 Beverages Gout Patients Should Avoid
Drinking the right beverages can help you manage your gout symptoms. But the truth is, there are also a few drinks out there you should avoid altogether so the symptoms don’t flare up. Let’s take a quick look at them.
1. Hard Alcohol – Alcohol consumption of any kind can lead to dehydration and issues with hormonal regulation. It also affects the way our kidneys work. When our kidneys can’t filter properly, uric acid builds up in the body. Gout flare-ups increase and inflammation gets worse.
2. Beer – Sorry, beer drinkers. This alcoholic beverage contains a large amount of purines, which can turn into uric acid if the kidneys can’t keep up. Along with this, studies have shown that by drinking beer, people are 1.5 times more likely to have gout as well.
3. Soft Drinks – By consuming soda, women especially have been found to be twice as likely to develop gout, compared to women who don’t drink soft drinks as often. Interestingly, diet soda is not related to an increase in likelihood of gout. However, when you consider the sugar alternatives and carbonated water, there are definitely healthier drinks to consume.
4. Excessive Caffeine – Caffeine in drinks such as tea and coffee could be protecting you from gout if you drink them regularly, and in moderation. Unfortunately, by consuming these drinks in excess can actually lead to gout symptoms and flareups.
5. Fructose Based Juice – The high amount of fructose and added sugar found within juices have been found to lead to a higher risk of gout. Orange juice is well known for having a high natural sugar content, which can hurt you if you drink too much. Pay attention to the sugar and fructose levels in your juice and when in doubt, squeeze it yourself so you can control the contents.
6. Energy Drinks – Like mentioned previously with coffee, excess caffeine can be harmful to you. Energy drinks are notorious for having high caffeine levels, as well as high sugar content—a double whammy for people with gout. It’s best to avoid these drinks altogether and stick with coffee or tea for your caffeine boost. In moderation, of course.
Speak with your doctor if you think you may have gout or are at risk of developing it. In addition to watching what you consume, there are a few medications, such as Colcrys, that can help you manage gout symptoms. Ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking Colcrys if you should avoid any of these drinks on the list, as well. Each individual has different dietary needs and they’ll know which ones will suit you best. Hopefully the tips we’ve provided here will help you as you work toward reducing the pain and inflammation associated with gout.