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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

More by this author

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 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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