I found an interesting couple of articles on Blisstree.com about the health effects of drinking sugary and sugar-free soft drinks. I knew soda was bad for you, but had kind of gotten lazy about it and would every now and then give in to a craving for a nice cold Pepsi or Coke with lunch. These articles helped remind me why I gave up drinking pop.
Have you ever wondered why Coke comes with a smile? Because it gets you high. They removed the cocaine almost 100 years ago. Why? It was redundant.
- In the first 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor, allowing you to keep it down.
- 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (And there’s plenty of that at this particular moment.)
- 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate; your blood pressure rises; as a response, your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked, preventing drowsiness.
- 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production, stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
- > 60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium, and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
- > 60 minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium, and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolytes, and water.
- > 60 minutes: As the rave inside you dies down, you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like hydrating your system, or building strong bones and teeth.
This will all be followed by a caffeine crash in the next few hours. (As little as two if you’re a smoker.) Want to know what happens after that? Check out what happens to your body after you drink a coke, every day for a long time.
Coke itself isn’t the enemy here. It’s the dynamic combo of massive sugar doses combined with caffeine and phosphoric acid, which are found in almost all sodas. Moderation, people!
If you think people are hooked on Coke, it seems like Diet Coke has added a new meaning to the word addicted. It’s not hard to find someone who drinks several cans a day. Everyone seems to think that it’s totally fine for your body, since it doesn’t have any calories. In fact, the communications director of Coca-Cola North America is quoted as saying, “Great taste. No calories. Wholesome ingredients. How could you drink too much?”
We’re not sure exactly which wholesome ingredients he’s talking about. If you check out our post about the effects of Coke on your body, you’ll see that several of the negative health aspects of Coke don’t have anything to do with the high-fructose corn syrup it contains. So we broke down the ingredients of Diet Coke, and what they do to your system.
Carbonated water: This can irritate your digestive system, triggering Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Caramel color: According to the Journal of American Medical Association, there’s some evidence that caramel coloring could increase insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes.
Aspartame: This chemical sweetener replaces the “bad” high-fructose corn syrup found in regular Coke, but could be bad for you in its own way. There have been studies for years linking aspartame to cancer, and while the FDA has claimed that there’s been thorough testing on the chemical, not everyone is convinced. In 1995, the Department of Health and Human Services submitted a list of aspartame side effects to the FDA, which included headaches, seizures, neurological problems, and abdominal pain, and nausea. Also, when aspartame is ingested, it breaks down into a variety of chemicals, including formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, and can also cause abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and damage to internal organs and the central nervous system.
Phosphoric acid: This ingredient gives Diet Coke a tangy taste. Oh, and it can also be used to remove rust on surfaces. Phosphoric acid has been linked to low bone density in several studies, as well as kidney stones. The phosphoric acid binds with zinc, calcium, and magnesium in your lower intestine, which would be good for your bones, but the caffeine in Diet Coke makes you pee it all out before that happens.
Potassium Benzoate: This preservative keeps your Diet Coke fresh. Coincidentally, it also gives fireworks that annoying whistle.
Citric acid: You know that slightly citrus-y taste you love so much in your Diet Coke? That’s thanks to citric acid. It can ruin your tooth enamel and lead to decay.
Caffeine: Your body absorbs caffeine within 40 minutes, causing your pupils to dilate and your blood pressure to rise. It can also lead to ulcers, since it increases the production of stomach acid.