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How Coca-Cola Affects the Body
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How Coca-Cola Affects the Body

Sugary drinks are considered a major contributor to health conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay. One researcher has created an infographic that explains what happens to the body within an hour of drinking a can of Coca-Cola.
There are approximately 10 teaspoons of added sugar in a single can of cola. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends consuming no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar daily, meaning drinking just one serving of cola a day could take one well above these guidelines.
As such, it is no surprise that sugary drink consumption is associated with an array of health conditions. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, people who drink 1-2 cans of sugary beverages daily are 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and last month, Medical News Today reported a study claiming that 184,000 global deaths each year are down to sugary drink consumption.
Now, an infographic created by British pharmacist Niraj Naik - based on research by health writer Wade Meredith - shows the damage a 330 ml can of Coca-Cola can do to the body within an hour of consumption, reports MNT.
Naik said the intense sweetness of Coca-Cola as a result of its high sugar content “should make us vomit as soon as it enters the body. However, the phosphoric acid in the beverage dulls the sweetness, enabling us to keep the drink down.”
Blood sugar levels increase dramatically within 20 minutes of drinking Cola, explains Naik, causing a burst of insulin. The liver then turns the high amounts of sugar circulating the body into fat.
Within 40 minutes, the body has absorbed all the caffeine from the Cola, causing a dilation of pupils and an increase in blood pressure. By this point, the adenosine receptors in the brain have been blocked, preventing fatigue.
Five minutes later, production of dopamine has increased - a neurotransmitter that helps control the pleasure and reward centers of the brain. The way Coca-Cola stimulates these centers is comparable to the effects of heroin, making one want another can.
Sugar Crash
An hour after drinking the beverage, a sugar crash will begin, causing irritability and drowsiness. In addition, the water from the Cola will have been cleared from the body via urination, along with nutrients that are important for our health.
Naik said the infographic is not only applicable to Coca-Cola, but to all caffeinated fizzy drinks.
“Coke is not just high in high fructose corn syrup, but it is also packed with refined salts and caffeine,” writes Naik on his blog The Renegade Pharmacist. “Regular consumption of these ingredients in the high quantities you find in Coke and other processed foods and drinks, can lead to higher blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.”
“However a small amount now and then won’t do any major harm,” he adds. “The key is moderation.”
In a press statement, a spokesperson for Coca-Cola says the beverage is “perfectly safe to drink and can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle.”

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