Both sugar and diet drinks are implicated in brain damage and dementia in two new studies by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine and Alzheimer’s Disease Center. In one study, researchers find that people who drink sugary beverages are more likely to have poorer memory, smaller overall brain volume, and a significantly smaller hippocampus — an area of the brain important for learning and memory. In a follow-up study, the researchers found that people who drank diet soda daily were almost three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia when compared to those who did not. It can be hard to interpret these results and researchers are considering whether these drinks actually damage the brain or whether the damage may be caused by underlying vascular disease or diabetes. Until research can clear up the cause of the brain effects, unsweetened water, coffee, or tea are looking like better alternatives.