We all know Coca Cola is laden with sugar and that, at a push, you could use it to clean your toilet. But it's a bit of a mystery as to what it does to your body.
Now, thanks to Niraj Naik, we have the answer to that question.
The brains behind website The Renegade Pharmacist has revealed exactly what a refreshing can of Coke does to your system within the first hour of drinking it. And it's not pretty.
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 flavour, allowing you to keep it down.
20 minutes in
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)
40 minutes in
Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
45 minutes in
Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centres of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
60 minutes in
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.
After 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, electrolyte and water.
As the rave inside of 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 having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.
On his site, Naik writes: "I discovered that a trigger factor for many widespread diseases of the west such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes could be closely linked to the consumption of one particular substance found in many processed foods and drinks – fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup.
"High fructose corn syrup is found in pretty much all processed foods such as ready meals, fast foods, sweets and fizzy drinks and most people are totally unaware of its danger."
The Renegade Pharmacist tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle that he was inspired to teach people about their dietary choices after managing to heal himself of a chronic auto-immune condition.
"I used a combination of different techniques that I discovered by researching others who had healed themselves," he explains.
"My method combines self hypnosis, meditation, special breathing exercises based on Himalayan monks, having a very low-carb diet that's free from factory based foods and taking a special supplement called Colostrum."
When Naik worked as a community pharmacist, he says he was able to successfully wean people off longterm medication - particularly for health issues such as high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes.
"Many of them would consume fizzy drinks on a daily basis," he says. "A few, on several medications, would consume between two and three cans a day. In one case a guy was on every heart drug under the sun and taking big doses."
Naik went through the patient's diet and found that he was drinking up to 15 cups of coffee a day with 2/3 spoonfuls of sugar in each cup.
"I was even more shocked to find out his doctor had not asked him about what he ate or drank and just stuck him on strong meds for life," he says.
So, the pharmacist created his own system to help patients overcome their conditions.
"My first piece of advice to them would be to do a simple swap," he explains, "replacing fizzy drinks with water and fresh lemon or lime juice.
"In many cases just doing this would have a dramatic effect on their health.
"This indicates to me that fizzy drinks and sugar are big issues relating to blood pressure and metabolic diseases like diabetes and heart disease."
READ MORE ON LIFESTYLE:
SOMEWHAT TRUE: Coca-Cola is officially a non-alcoholic beverage. In fact, it was created specifically to be a soft drink during the temperance movement, a political campaign advocating abstinence from alcohol. However, research by the National Institute of Consumption in Paris revealed that there is 0.001 per cent per litre in many popular soda brands, including Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola website maintains that traces of alcohol can occur naturally in many beverages and such low levels are considered acceptable by governments.
FALSE: There have been several rumours that Coke contains ‘pork extract.’ The company’s website debunks this by saying the drink doesn’t have any animal derivatives and is vegan-friendly. It's possible this rumour started as a result of another myth, that pouring Coke on pork can make "worms" come out of it, later debunked by Snopes.
FALSE: There are rumours that Coke added MSG to their secret recipe because it creates an aphrodisiac. Coca-Cola holds firm that the flavour enhancer is not in the drink, and also that Coke is in no way an aphrodisiac. Smell expert Dr. Alan Hirsch, however, has postulated that thanks to Coke's role at certain points in our lives, the scent and smell might evoke feelings of comfort, or alternatively, alertness, according to YourTango.
FALSE: It’s widely believed that Coke contains a red food dye made from cochineal beetles. This isn’t true, according to the company. However, bug dye is commonly used in foods such as meat, jam and baked goods in general, often referred to as Cochineal, Cochineal Extract, so look out for that.
TRUE: Coke no longer has any cocaine. It’s uncertain how much, but there was a significant amount in the drink until 1903, reports Live Science, and the drink contained some of the illegal drug in its recipe until 1929.
SOMEWHAT TRUE: Coke does contain citric and phosphoric acid, which can wear on teeth's enamel in the long term. These acids are common in many food and drinks, like orange juice, but in low levels so that they don’t put a strain on our digestive systems.
SOMEWHAT TRUE: It’s also said that these acids make the drink a useful household cleaning product. While it contains carbonic acid, which can help in removing stains, according to Snopes, it’s a weak solution. Water is generally better since it doesn’t leave behind a sticky sugary residue. Image ID: 86665639
[H/T Coca Cola]