There are plenty of great reasons to skip the soda and pass on all those other sugary drinks, and now there's one more: Doing so can help lower your blood pressure.

Not by a lot, mind you--but since it's healthy, free and comes with no side effects, why wouldn't you take advantage of it?

Researchers looked at 810 people between the ages of 25 and 70, all of whom had either prehypertension or stage I hypertension. At the start of the study, they were drinking an average of 10.5 ounces of sugary drinks, a touch less than a can of soda, every day.

But 18 months after ditching that daily sugar shock, the participants had shaved an average of 1.8 off their systolic blood pressure, and 1.1 off their diastolic blood pressure levels.

Now, I know that's not a dramatic dip in blood pressure, and passing on sugary drinks alone won't solve anyone's hypertensions problems. But it's a start and, combined with other natural solutions and lifestyle changes, it could become a small building block in a larger, healthier structure.

And since the researchers found that the blood pressure effects were tied to sugar consumption, not caffeine, you don't even have to give up your coffee.

The researchers didn't look at heavy soda consumers... so if you're drinking a Big Gulp a day, it's entirely possible that you could see an even bigger dip in blood pressure by simply switching over to a healthier drink or plain old water.

But if you're still unimpressed, then consider all the other reasons to avoid sugary drinks: Empty calories, excess sugar, risk of obesity and heart problems, and a host of unholy additives and preservatives.

One recent study found that young men who drink soda have 30 percent fewer sperm than those who don't.

Some people even use soda to bring the shine back to copper coins.

If it can do that to pennies, imagine what it's doing to your insides!

Better yet, don't imagine... just stop drinking this stuff. You'll be healthier, and you'll enjoy lower blood pressure, too.