Osteoporosis is a common bone disease that can result in fractures.
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, 6% of men and 20% of women have osteoporosis.
And it seems that 60% of fractures are caused by osteoporosis.
Nutrition is one of the ways to help decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
However, in some cases, there needs to be a stronger approach.
A common medication to help treat osteoporosis is alendronic acid (bisphosphonate), which is sold under the name Fosamax.
The medication slows down bone loss, leading to stronger bone structure.
The side effects of Fosamax can range from mild to severe. Make sure you consult with your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Stomach pain
- Pain in the esophagus
- Difficulty swallowing
- Muscle pain
While Fosamax can strengthen bones, there was some controversy regarding its effect on femur fractures.
For some years, Fosamax was taken off the market due to its increased risk of femur fractures.
However, some doctors are still prescribing this medication as a way to help combat osteoporosis.
If that is the case, you might want to know which foods you need to eat and avoid if you are taking Fosamax.
In this article, we’ll go over everything related to Fosamax to get the most out of the medication.
4 Foods To Avoid While Taking Fosamax
There are some foods you might want to avoid when taking Fosamax. These are foods that can decrease the efficacy of the medication, or they can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
1) Coffee and Tea
Studies found that drinking coffee or tea (both decaf and caffeinated) can interfere with the absorption of Fosamax. According to research, it can decrease the absorption of the medication by 60%.
Can I drink coffee after I take my Fosamax?
Make sure you stay away from coffee and tea 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after taking Fosamax.
2) Orange Juice
Drinking orange juice or other fruit juices can decrease the absorption of Fosamax.
Not only can sodas decrease the absorption of Fosamax, but they can also increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Evidence suggests that daily consumption of soft drinks increases the risk of bone fracture due to increased calcium loss.
For that reason, make sure you avoid regular consumption of sodas, even if they are sugar-free.
4) High-Sodium Foods
A large sodium consumption can reduce calcium levels. This happens because the body starts releasing more calcium through the urine.
Since salt is used as a preservative, you can find it in most products. Make sure you are reading the nutritional label to determine how much sodium a food has.
Choose foods that ideally have less than 200 mg of sodium per serving, and avoid cooking with too much salt.
Foods high in sodium you want to avoid while taking Fosamax are dehydrated soups, salty snacks, canned foods, beef jerky, frozen foods, and fast food.
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4 Foods To Eat When On Fosamax
The following foods can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis while taking Fosamax by improving bone health.
1) Calcium Foods
Calcium is a crucial component in bone health. The daily recommended intake for calcium is 1,000 to 1,200 mg daily.
Some of the best calcium sources include:
- Dairy (yogurt, cheese, and milk)
- Fortified beverages
While leafy greens contain calcium, they also contain oxalates. Therefore, they are not the best source of dietary calcium since oxalates can reduce calcium absorption.
2) Vitamin D Rich Foods
Vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium, making it an essential nutrient to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
You can get vitamin D from the following foods:
- Egg yolk
- Beef liver
- Fortified foods such as milk and cereals
You can also get a daily dose of vitamin D through your skin. Catching 10-15 minutes of sunlight a day can help increase your vitamin D intake.
Ensure you avoid going outside during the strongest sunlight hours, typically between 10 am and 2 pm, but it might vary from place.
3) High-Protein Foods
While most people focus on calcium and vitamin D, some forget that protein is equally important for bone health. Getting adequate protein intake is essential for bone structure and growth.
The minimum recommended intake is 0.8 grams of protein by kilogram of body weight. However, if you are trying to lose weight or are currently exercising, the International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends consuming 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Consult with a health professional to get personalized protein intake based on your needs. But, a good recommendation is to consume 15-25 grams of protein for every meal.
High-protein foods include:
- Greek yogurt
4) Vitamin C Foods
Vitamin C doesn’t have a direct effect on bone health. However, vitamin C increases collagen synthesis.
Collagen helps support bone growth and mineral bone density. On top of that, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation.
Foods high in vitamin C include:
- Brussels sprouts
|Foods to avoid
|Foods to eat
|Coffee and tea
|Vitamin D foods
|Vitamin C foods
Other Interactions With Fosamax
Besides some foods you need to avoid, there are some other things you need to consider if you are taking Fosamax, such as alcohol intake, interactions with other medication or supplements, and avoiding lying down immediately after taking Fosamax.
Fosamax And Alcohol
While alcohol might not interact with the medication, it can reduce its absorption. So, just like any other beverage, make sure you avoid taking alcohol 30 minutes before and after taking Fosamax.
In addition, alcohol can increase some common side effects of Fosamax, such as nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, and esophageal ulcers. Also, a high alcohol intake can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Fosamax Drug Interactions
Before taking Fosamax, make sure you tell your doctor which medications you are taking since they might interfere with the absorption of Fosamax.
Also, multivitamins that contain iron, calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients can reduce the absorption of the medication.
Going To Bed After Taking Fosamax (Alendronate)
Fosamax can increase the risk of heartburn and acid reflux. Make sure you avoid lying down at least one hour after taking the medication.
When you lie down after taking the medication, it can remain longer in your stomach, increasing the risk of irritation and ulcers in the esophagus.
Should You Take Fosamax With Food?
No, you should take Fosamax on an empty stomach and only with water. Taking it with any food or drink might reduce the absorption of the medication.
How To Take Fosamax
Take the medication 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything, and make sure you wait another 30 minutes.
If you forgot to take the medication but you already had breakfast, wait at least 2 hours before taking Fosamax.
Osteoporosis is a condition that creates porous bones, which increases the risk of bone fractures.
It is a common condition that mostly occurs in women. Poor nutrition and hormonal imbalances can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Nutrition and exercise can reduce the risk of this condition, but there might be times when medication is recommended.
Fosamax is a common medication used to treat osteoporosis. It helps reduce and slow down bone loss.
While Fosamax doesn’t interact with any food or drink, you need to take it on an empty stomach since any food or drink might decrease its absorption. So, make sure that you take Fosamax on an empty stomach 30 minutes before or after any food or drink.
Also, to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, some foods to avoid while taking Fosamax include high-sodium foods and sodas. Instead, include high-calcium foods, vitamin D, high-protein, and vitamin C in your Fosamax diet.