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This Is Why You Should Never Drink Coke Again But Use It Instead

This Is Why You Should Never Drink Coke Again But Use It Instead

Do you have a Coke problem? Unless you’re someone like Lindsay Lohan reading this, you’d know right away that I’m talking about the beverage that is part of Americana: Coca Cola. You may be surprised to know that the classic drink which started out as an elixir tonic may be doing a whole lot of harm to your body.

Let me show you 8 reasons why you should look to avoid what’s been called “The Real Thing” (despite how amazing I thought the Coke ad was in the last episode of Mad Men). First, let’s set the stage.

History Of Coke

Coca Cola was invented by Civil War survivor John Pemberton. After being wounded in battle, he became addicted to morphine and was looking for a substitute. Coke started out as a coca wine. It was first registered as a nerve tonic. It was an alcoholic beverage, so after prohibition passed, Pemberton created a non-alcoholic beverage he called Coca-Cola. It was originally sold as a patent medicine for 5 cents a glass at soda fountains. This Cola was believed to cure morphine addiction, dyspepsia, headache and impotence. Pretty good deal for only a nickel.

You might be wondering where the name “Coca-Cola” comes from? Well, this ties into the whole “cocaine in Coke” issue. The original formula never used straight cocaine; however, the coca leaf is where cocaine is derived from. It inadvertently contained trace amounts. By 1903 fresh leaves were removed for “spent leaves” that contained virtually no cocaine. Today, Coke uses a cocaine-free coca leaf extract.

The name cola comes from the Kola nut which acts as a flavoring and supplies the caffeine. The “K” was eventually replaced with a “C” for marketing purposes. The rest of the recipe is a tightly guarded secret that has remained pretty much unchanged to this day, except for alternative varieties like New Coke.

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With all this in mind, let’s look at the issues that come from consuming this “black gold”.

1. A Horrific Amount Of Sugar

This is clearly the main issue around drinking soda in general — it’s liquid sugar. You are basically drinking a chocolate bar! A regular can of Coke contains upwards of 10 teaspoons of sugar. Since it’s fast acting liquid sugar, you are looking at skyrocketing blood sugar and insulin surges. Over time this leads to insulin resistance, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

2. High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup was introduced into beverages once it was found to be a much cheaper alternative to sugar. HFCS also has a longer shelf life. It is also the reason why drink sizes have become gigantic over the years. Since it costs manufacturers very little to make, you now have Big Gulps the size of an SUV.

When you consume HFCS it goes straight to the liver (unlike regular sugar) and triggers lipogenesis. This refers to the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol. It is one of the major causes of liver damage in the country, causing “fatty liver.” This affects 70 million people!

3. High Caffeine Content

Some caffeine comes from clean sources, like tea or fresh ground coffee. These aren’t that bad in moderation, and actually provide some health benefits. Caffeine in Coke is far from a clean source. Constant exposure can raise blood pressure, cause heart burn, negatively impact your sleep, lead to ulcers, and cause indigestion.

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If you want to learn more about the dangers of too much caffeine read this other article I wrote for Lifehack.

4. Promotes Dehydration & Thirst

This is the double whammy that causes you to keep drinking more. The caffeine issues mentioned above can also cause loss of water, since it acts as a diuretic. Then, the sodium content also keeps you thirsty. Add into this the addictive properties of sugar and caffeine (I’ll get to in a second), and you have a product with a built in continuous consumption cycle.

5. Phosphoric Acid

You might wonder why this is an ingredient in a soft drink. Phosphoric acid helps to give a sharper taste to sodas like Coke. It also slows the growth of molds and bacteria, which normally multiply rapidly in a sugary solution.

When you consume phosphoric acid it can lead to low mineral bone density and osteoporosis. This is specific to colas and not other clear sodas, which tend to use citric acid. To make matters worse, the first thing this acid hits is your teeth. Phosphoric acid can cause tooth enamel erosion, even at low levels.

Think of phosphoric acid as something that can pretty much dissolve away your skeletal system, like drinking from the wrong Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

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6. Tap Water

This seems a bit weird, but it’s important to remember that tap water is not the healthiest thing in the world either, and it is the main ingredient in Coke. They are using the cheapest municipal water sources they can find. These sources contain amounts of chlorine, which has been linked to bladder, rectal, and breast cancer.

7. Aspartame

This is going to apply more to Diet Coke, but with Diet being produced in larger quantities than regular this will apply to most people. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that went through a lot of shady politics to get approved. It probably should have been left for its original intended purpose: an ulcer medication.

When you consume an artificial sweetener like aspartame it does a few things: it acts as an excitotoxin (which can destroy brain cells), it causes addiction, leads you to want to consume more, and newer research shows it to alter our gut bacteria

The aspartame/artificial sweetener issue is a big mess. You can read more about it here. Speaking of destroyed brain cells, I wonder how much Diet Coke the Kardashians have consumed?

8. It’s Bad For Your Body, But Can Be Good For Other Uses

Do you really want to drink something that removes rust? Now that you know how harmful drinking Coke is, here are a few other ways you can use the favorite drink of Mean Joe Green:

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1. Pouring Coke on a bug bite or bee sting can help neutralize the pain.

2. A can of Coke and a wet cloth make a great cleaning solution to remove bugs and dust from car windows.

3. Remove rust from small objects. You might have tried this with the old penny in the glass of Coke overnight trick.

4. Coke can help get the smell of skunk off your pets. Just don’t forget to rinse your pet off afterwards.

5. Coke can also be used for toilet cleaner. Phosphoric acid is actually good for something! Your (old) favorite drink can now help breakdown all the lime scum and buildup in a toilet.

Featured photo credit: Emilio Labrador via flickr.com

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Jamie Logie

Jamie is a personal trainer and health coach with a degree in Kinesiology and Food and Nutrition.

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

More About Boosting Memory

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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