Phosphorus is an essential dietary mineral found in many foods such as milk, meat, fish, eggs, cereals and bread. Some soft drinks also contain phosphorus but in smaller amounts than in most other foods. For example, a cup of milk contains 250 mg of phosphorus while a 12-ounce can of Pepsi contains just over 50 mg. For perspective, the Reference Daily Intake for phosphorus set by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is 1000 mg per day.
Why is there phosphorus in soft drinks?
The phosphorus found in some soft drinks comes from phosphoric acid, an ingredient used to provide tartness. Since very small amounts of phosphoric acid are used, the amount of phosphorus in our products is low. Importantly, phosphorus levels in soft drinks are well within the Reference Daily Intake amounts set by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and are safe for consumption by people of all ages.
How does phosphorus affect bone health?
Science tells us that we need a balanced intake of calcium and phosphorus as well as other vitamins and minerals for optimum bone health. However, the low levels of phosphorus in soft drinks are not adequate to meet your daily phosphorus needs. For more information about balancing calcium and phosphorus for bone health you can download the Surgeon General's Report on Osteoporosis and Bone Health from the National Institutes of Health.
(mg per )
per serving (mg)
|Yogurt, plain nonfat||8 oz||385|
|Fish - salmon, cooked||3 oz||252|
|Milk, skim||8 fl oz||247|
|Fish - halibut, cooked||3 oz||242|
|Lentils, cooked||1/2 cup||178|
|Beef, cooked||3 oz||173|
|Turkey, cooked||3 oz||173|
|Chicken, cooked||3 oz||155|
|Cheese, mozzarella (part skim)||1 oz||131|
|Eggs, cooked||1 large||104|
|Bread, whole wheat||1 slice||57|
|Carbonated cola drink||8 fl oz||35|
|Bread, enriched white||1 slice||25|
The Oregon State University Nutrition Information Center