What Coke Does To Your Body

Mmm, wouldn’t a tall, frosty glass of Coca-Cola really hit the spot right now? Before you suckle on the carbonated syrup teat, Healthbolt blog tells you what exactly it does to your system:

• 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. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
• 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.

Everything in moderation, otherwise diabetes goes better with coke! — BEN POPKEN

What Happens To Your Body If You Drink A Coke Right Now? [Healthbolt]


Edit Your Comment

  1. zackola says:

    thanks jerks. you could have told me that before i had a can. the first can i’ve had in months. damnit.

  2. notlazyjustdontcare says:

    Are you suggesting that someone who can’t get a handle on how to use an apostrophe and can’t spell “dilate” can understand all that chemistry and biology?

    Also, a 12-ounce coke has like 30 grams of sugar. That’s around 10% (not 100%) of the daily carbohydrate value and not nearly 10 teaspoons.

  3. spin_sycle says:

    This is exactly why I don’t drink soda!!!

  4. JLam4911 says:

    I’d like to see a bit of the science behind these claims. How do we know they’re not just being made up?

    Oh, right, it’s on tha intarweb, so it must be true!

    Seriously, where’s the evidence that any of this happens? I’m not saying Coke is a health food, but just a bit of supporting evidence would be nice.

  5. Ben Popken says:

    Wade knows what he’s talking about. Yes, it really does have 10 teaspoons. And RDA of sugar is different from RDA of carbs.

  6. dma2006 says:

    “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.”

    As well as sex, eating food or doing anything else that normally activates your mesolimbic pathway. Difference is, Coca-Cola doesn’t get into your brain and affect receptor function, so the comparison is a bit misleading. Unless the authors wish us to stop having any fun at all.

  7. timmus says:

    Thanks — I consider this a public service. I have a bit of a weakness for Coke as an occasional treat, but now I’m reminded why I can do without it. Up until lately I had been buying the 8 oz. “mini cans” to keep the serving size down, but I’ll probably cut back altogether.

    Now around these parts in Texas we have a drive-in chain called Sonic. And I can’t tell you how many times I hear some bubba in the pick-up truck next to me saying to the speaker, “Gimme a Route 44 Coke!” Now a Route 44 is 44 ounces of drink… the whole damn thing is 2.5 pounds. That’s 101 grams of sugar, or half a cup of pure sugar. How the hell people around here drink those things is beyond me.

  8. acutusnothus says:

    Doubters need only consult any endocrinologist or Type 1 diabetic. Anything–ANYTHING–sweetened with corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup (evil incarnate) is pure, unadulterated poison in the human body.

  9. Plasmafire says:

    This article is not very clear or scientific. Notice they never mentioned if its 1 can of coke, a .5 liter bottle, a 1 liter bottle, or a 2 liter bottle. And just what size spoon are they using to measure the sugar?

    Come on, at least tell us what size bottle or can of coke they are talking about.

    Although lately I have been limiting myself to 2 .5 liter bottles of coke per week, and so far I have lost 10 lbs.. in just 3 weeks… (Instead of drinking one per day which is what I was doing…)

  10. Isn’t there something to be said for a person’s tolerance for drinking Coca Cola? ie: i don’t think the effects described here are going to happen to a person who drinks several big gulps a day.

    It might explain a few things about your children though ;)

  11. awall25 says:

    Um, Plasmafire, you do know that teaspoons are a regulated measurement and not measured by a random spoon? Right?

  12. Law-Vol says:

    I used to be a HUGE coke fiend.
    Then I switched to Coke Zero. It tastes just like coke (or close enough that I can’t tell the difference after switching for two weeks), and has no sugar or carbs.

    Better yet? No HFCS. Hence no suppressed production of leptin in the brain and no concomitant rise appetite or fat storage.

    Ok, so I just traded one addiction for another. Who cares? It tasts GOOD!

  13. cryrevolution says:

    Yes, I never understood how anyone could drink those route 44’s filled with Coke. My girlfriend LOVES coke to no end, and is always reaching for one when she’s thirsty. I constantly have to remind her that Coke does not quench your thirst, it actually makes you more thirsty. Alas, she never listens!

  14. cryrevolution says:

    Yes, I never understood how people can drink those Route 44’s from Sonic filled with Coke. My girlfriend loves Coke to no end, and is always reaching for a Coke when she’s thirsty. And I always have to remind her that Coke does not quench your thirst, it in fact makes you more thirsty. Ehhh, but she never listens.

  15. Plasmafire says:

    So if Coke does this to my body what would Pepsi do, it has far more acid.. How about Mountain Dew, which seems to have way more sugar and massively more caffeine?

    *oh and sorry didn’t realize they were talking teaspoons… I was thinking soup spoons and serving spoons…. my bad.

  16. cryrevolution says:

    gah sorry for the double post. :

  17. JLam4911 says:

    High fructose corn syrup is not “pure poison”. Arsenic is pure poison. Cyanide is pure poison. A Clorox milkshake is pure poison. High fructose corn syrup is simply something that’s not very good for you.

    Sheesh. Hyperbolize much?

  18. aestheticity says:

    Thing is, I might be getting old but I could swear it’s sweeter than it used to be. These days I can barely stand to drink it it’s so sickly but I remember it tasting more peppy and… cokey, one of the less sweet soft drinks alongside things like Dr. pepper.

    Then again, I’ve never got over the time some years ago when I worked at a supermarket, and a whole load of Coke came in with blown cans so the Coke inside had evaporated and dried into just sugar and flavour? The cans were a third full of it, a tubular block of crystallised brown crud.

    Funny story – when I’m puking for any particular reason, like after a night out or a bad BBQ, and I want to speed it up and get it over with – I remember that coke slime and the billions of people guzzling it.

  19. WMeredith says:

    Sorry about the typos. Mostly corrected now, I hope.

    Due to numerous requests I’ve posted some of my source links with the original article. They are from the interweb so take with salt as I do.

    It is worth saying that I had a practicing (35+ years) MD consult on this story, since it deals with so much pharmacology and biochemistry, and he gave me a thumbs up after correcting a few things time-line-wise.

    Yes, a teaspoon (4g, packed) is a standard of measurement for sugar and other dry goods, and the 40g is in a 16oz. Coke.

    Thanks for the link, Ben, I love the Consumerist and am flattered.

  20. As a Type 1 diabetic I can attest to these claims, because my body can’t produce the insulin part of this equation, and instead will be sent into a shock or even a coma by too much. Doesn’t mean it’s any better for your bodies though, just means I’m forced to avoid the product, though a bit angry and bitter those with the ability to produce their own insulin waste it on such a disgusting product.

  21. Smoking Pope says:

    Christ, what’s next? Scientific evidence that beer causes people to lose their ability to sdhj lsadkjaslkdjf alkjdfafuweriudnavcasd*&##^#…?


  22. brkl says:

    What about sugar free versions like Coke Zero?

  23. Brianron says:

    Oh, gee, now here’s a shocker: Coke isn’t good for you. What’s next? McDonalds? Doritos? Coffee? Chocolate Chip Cookies?

    The point is that none of these processed, artificial foods are good for us. And, ingested in an immoderate amount will cause problems, as our society is seeing in terms of explosions(figurative explosions so I don’t run afoul of the hyperbole police) of diabetes and obesity from High Fructose Corn Syrup.

    Use in moderation and get some exercise, and take these scare stories with a grain of salt and you will be fine.

  24. Corn Syrup != Sugar. That would be my argument.

    Then again, I still drink one coke a day, normally in the morning. But lately I’ve been cutting back due to none in the house. I drank Sprite Zero for awhile then I lost touch with it.

    How does a coke in the morning work when you wake and bake as well? balanced out, double space out, or far out trip? I’ll tell you it makes the gym more fun.

  25. pronell says:

    Ya know something, I’d rather know the _specifics_ of how something “not good” for you actually is “not good” for you. But then again, I’m a flaming liberal jackass that is set to ruin all of America by sinking Coca-Cola.

    Oh, wait, no, that’s right. This is the real world, where some people might want to know how what they’re being sold for the purposes of consumption actually interacts with their bodies, as opposed to the two categories of “not good” and “vegetables.” I forgot.

  26. Sockatume says:

    Right. It turns all that sugar into fat. And not, say, glycogen. Which is, y’know, the large, brush-shaped carbohydrate stored in the liver and muscles as the insulin-stimulated half of the glucose homeostasis system.

    “This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way”

    No, no it isn’t. Heroin works by stimulating the mu-opioid receptors. What dopamine does do… well that’s hugely complicated but it ranges from the neuropsychology of reward to the action of cocaine.

    I really, really wish our self-appointed health advisors actually knew more biochemistry or medicine. It’s basic stuff – the role of glycogen in storing sugar is high-school biology, and the activity of opiates is very, very basic university level toxicology.

  27. Sockatume says:

    Just to clarify: just about everything with feels “rewarding” involves a change in the dopamine:acetylcholine ratio. This ranges from a hit of cocaine to sex, working out, and warm wholemeal toast. So while technically true its use here is incredibly misleading – it’s like saying that dihydrogen monoxide is in 100% of tumours.

    There are indications that hitting the body with high amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates all at once indirectly kicks in the opioid receptors (an indication that large amounts of enkephalins/endorphins may be released when the body gets a lot of food) but that’s not discussed above, and the references sure as heck aren’t websites.

    While I’m at it, it’s a myth that caffienated drinks result in net fluid loss. Alcohol does this, but caffiene is simply not enough of a diuretic to cause this effect in normal doses. And your biochemistry of phosphoric acid is at best dubious and in my opinion outright laughable.

    I mean, the biochemistry in the article, as a whole, is essentially true, but the implications for the body are essentially invented (unless you make your own coke by crushing caffiene pills into maple syrup) and combined with some outright urban myths.

  28. Pelagius says:

    But if you mix it with Jim Beam then that makes it ok, right? RIGHT?

    Serslah though, a friend who is a doctor was hooked on the Coke for it’s “keeping him awake during 16 hour shifts” properties. He switched to Diet Coke, made no other changes in his lifestyle, and dropped 20 pounds in three months.

    And no, his name is not Jared.

  29. pooryoric says:

    If you follow the links and read the comments, there are quite a few disputing the ‘facts’ in the article. I think ‘hyperbolize much?’ is pretty much right on target.
    Most people know soda/pop/coke is not a health food.
    This Snopes piece (linked in the comments) debunking the 8-glasses-of-water-a-day recommendation was also interesting.

  30. pooryoric says:

    Sorry for the double post.
    Just wanted to add that I’m a little surprised Consumerist didn’t at least read the comments on the site before presenting it as gospel.

  31. Thing is, I might be getting old but I could swear it’s sweeter than it used to be.

    I water down my soda when I drink it (Sprite, neve liked the taste of Coke). I usually have to do the same thing to juice too.

    Oh, gee, now here’s a shocker: Coke isn’t good for you. What’s next? McDonalds? Doritos? Coffee? Chocolate Chip Cookies?

    So we’re not supposed to care how bad it is or why it’s bad for us?

  32. Rectlinear, so do I.

    I use soda water though, to cut down the sweetness.

  33. Solo says:

    I found out recently that 80% of the appeal of soda (all soda!) came from both the cold of the drink and the carbonation.

    I logically switched to carbonated water that I stick in the fridge. 0 calories, 0 processed chemical. 100% goodness. I still drink soda, just less of it.

  34. tuqqer says:

    We need science to know that coke’s extremely bad for human health?

    Reminds me of the US culture waiting to hear that bottle-feeding infants wasn’t as good for us as breast feeding. It took over 30 years before science could prove that so. I can still hear mothers saying, “Y’know, there’s just not enough science behind that belief. Once there is, believe me, I’ll make the right decision then. Until then, I’m bottle-feeding my kids.”

    When it comes to staying healthy, common sense often trumps science.

  35. KeithPellig says:

    technically, there’s no sugar in coke