July 31, 2015/in Food Love, Industry Research /by Dr. Millie
Coca Cola: we all know it and love it. It sponsors and represents the USA at the Olympics, an event we perceive as the ultimate in peak performance and fitness! Ironically, Coca Cola doesn’t exactly practice as it preaches when it comes to this. Coke’s name is borrowed from plants that grow South of the border. The original recipe contained two stimulants: the coca leaf, which is now the source of street drugs like cocaine, as well as the natural version of anaesthetic drugs like Lidocaine and Novacaine. The second ingredient is a lesser-known nut called the cola nut or betel nut, popularly chewed among some southern and African peoples for energy. These medicinal ingredients are bitters – therefore, they also stimulate digestion and detox. However, Coca Cola in its modern form is a mess of synthetic chemicals and sugar that disrupt the brain, causing metabolic syndrome and obesity. One thing I notice about Coke is that only the first gulp that tastes good anyway, then it’s the law of diminishing returns. I challenge you to cut your losses and Eat for Meaning – drink a gulp of Coke and, yes, throw the rest away! Read Kristen Leccese’s blog on what happens in the body if you consume the entire can.
We’ve all seen those infographics that let us know exactly what happens in our bodies when we smoke a cigarette – or on the other hand, when we stop smoking cigarettes. Now, that same logic has been applied to drinking just one can of Coca-Cola. From the Renegade Pharmacist, this graphic went viral earlier this week, stirring up major buzz on social media. Coca Cola used to contain actual cocaine – thankfully, that’s no longer the case. But the graphic offers some valuable information that may keep you from reaching for a Cola next time. Check it out:
This infographic breaks it down in intervals of 10, 20, 40, 45 and 60 minutes. Here’s how it works:
10 Minutes after Drinking One Can of Coca Cola: 10 teaspoons of sugar are absorbed into your system – that’s 100% of the recommended daily intake. According to the graphic, the only reason we don’t get sick is because Coca Cola also contains phosphoric acid, which cuts the flavor and lets us keep it down.
20 Minutes After: The unhealthy ingredients in Coca Cola cause a sharp spike in blood sugar, which leads to a burst of insulin. This mechanism then impacts your liver, which turns any sugar it can find into fat – and Coca Cola provides PLENTY of that!
40 Minutes After: The caffeine has been fully absorbed. Pupils may dilate, blood pressure increases, and your liver dumps even more sugar into the bloodstream. Adenosine receptors in your brain become blocked, which prevents drowsiness which would normally occur when the body is in such a state.
45 Minutes After: Dopamine receptors in the brain are activated, causing a wave of pleasure and feeling ultra-happy, even “high.” The graphic states that this is the same way heroin works – true, but it’s not just heroin. This is the way that nearly all drugs, legal and illegal, work in the brain. And Coca Cola doesn’t even contain actual Coke anymore! Scary.
60 Minutes After: Diuretic properties kick into action. You’ll probably need to use the bathroom excessively, getting rid of all the zinc, magnesium and calcium that were headed for your bones. You’re also getting rid of sodium, water and electrolytes – all of which your body needs. Soon enough, you’ll begin to “crash”. The graphic puts it well: “The rave inside your body begins to die down.” There’s one thing that’s important to note here, that many of us may not realize: Coca Cola causes the body to excrete valuable nutrients that your body needs to hydrate and build healthy, strong bones and teeth – basically, it causes elimination of the nutrients your body needs to maintain your health.
So to sum it up, even though Coca Cola is no longer offered in its “vintage” variation with actual cocaine included, it still has a seriously rough impact on your body. These negative aspects of a drink you probably love really aren’t worth it – satisfy your sweet tooth with sparkling juice or a sweet smoothie instead.
Millennia (Millie) Lytle, ND, MPH, CNS has a passion for solving health puzzles. Dr. Millie holds an undergraduate degree in women’s health (sociology) from the University of Toronto and a four-year doctorate diploma from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (2002). In 2010, she earned an International Masters in Public Health in Hamburg with a focus on nutrition and health promotion policies for alternative medicine. From this experience she went on to become part of a research team investigating the role of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Health Providers in rural Canada. Dr. Millie is a published researcher, radio host and author. Upon moving to New York, she mentored with Jerry Hickey, pharmacist and nutritionist. She is a licensed ND with the District of Columbia DOH, a licensed nutrition specialist with the BCNS and a member of the NYANP. She has been published in NDNR, theNatPath and is a contributor to NPLEX pharmacology questions. Dr. Millie is the Author of Eating for Meaning Workbook, Eating for Meaning Guide to Detox and The Food for Mood Diet; Eat for Your Brain Not Your Stomach. Eating for Meaning helps others transform their relationship to food and get to the root-cause-resolution of illness. She is a member of a Primary Care team at Tournesol Wellness in Manhattan. www.milliesays.com