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6 Things That Will Happen When You Start Drinking Coke Every Day

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6 Things That Will Happen When You Start Drinking Coke Every Day

Ever since the 1830s, the consumption of soft drinks has steadily increased, with technological advances of the past few decades only making things worse. Policy makers and health care providers realized that the high consumption of sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages belongs to that category of dietary behaviors that has been identified as an important issue to address in the prevention and management of obesity and other related diseases.

If drinking Coca Cola or other soft drinks is part of your daily routine, prepare to experience the following:

1. You’ll unconsciously influence your dietary choices

When your parents told you to drink milk because it was healthy, they told you so because milk is truly a rich source of protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin A. However, numerous studies have indicated that a high level of soft drink consumption (especially coke), is associated with the displacement of healthier food and beverage choices. What this means is that if people are drinking coke on a regular/daily basis, they are more likely to be deficient in a large number of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibres due to their dietary choices (Harnack et al. 1999; Ballew et al. 2000).

As a matter of fact, other longitudinal studies at the population level have found that milk consumption has decreased over time and that this has directly correlated with an increase in soft drink consumption (Lytle et al. 2000; Blum et al. 2005; Striegel-Moore et al. 2006).

Conclusion: The displacement of milk and reduced intake of calcium as a consequence can easily have short-and long-term implications for overall bone health, so make sure that you limit your intake of Coke to 1 small cup a day, or even less/none if possible.

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References:

  1. Harnack L, Stang J and Story M (1999). “Soft drink consumption among US children and adolescents: nutritional consequences.” J Am Diet Assoc 99(4): 436–441 [Online]
  2. Ballew C, Kuester S and Gillespie C (2000). “Beverage choices affect adequacy of children’s nutrient intakes.” Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 265(22): 1148–1152. [Online]
  3. Lytle LA, Seifert S, Greenstein J and McGovern P (2000). “How do children’s eating patterns and food choices change over time? Results from a cohort study.” Am J Health Promot 14(4): 222–228. [Online]
  4. Blum JW, Jacobsen DJ and Donnelly JE (2005). “Beverage consumption patterns in elementary school-aged children across a two-year period.” J Am Coll Nutr 24(2): 93–98. [Online]
  5. Striegel-Moore RH, Thompson D, Affenito SG, et al. (2006). “Correlates of beverage intake in adolescent girls: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study.” J Pediatr 148(2): 183–187. [Online]

2. You’ll likely develop dental caries and dental erosion

The regular consumption of soft drinks has also been associated with enamel erosion and dental caries due to their large sugar content and high acidity.  In a joint report conducted by the WHO and FAO in 2003, evidences indicated a close relationship between soft drink consumption and risk of dental erosion to be ‘probable’ while the evidence pertaining to free sugars causing dental caries were found to be ‘convincing.’

A recent review of soft drinks and dental health concluded that it is the low pH of these drinks that may lead to the erosion of enamel surface while the high sugar content is believed to be metabolized by plaque micro-organisms to generate organic acids that bring about demineralization leading to dental caries (Tahmassebi et al. 2006).

Therefore, the Australian Dental Association discourages the frequent consumption of both soft drinks and diet soft drinks, or any kind of sports drinks and fruit juices for that matter, due to their high sugar and/or acid content. (Australian Dental Association 2002).

References:

  1. Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation (2003). Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Geneva, WHO. [Online]
  2. Tahmassebi JF, Duggal MS, Malik-Kotru G and Curzon ME (2006). “Soft drinks and dental health: a review of the current literature.” J Dent 34(1): 2–11. [Online]
  3. Australian Dental Association. (2002). “Policy Statement 1.2.2 — Diet and Nutrition.” Retrieved 28th August, 2007. [Online]

3. You’ll likely develop bone fractures

Consumption of cola and other soft drinks has also been associated with a decrease in bone mineral density and an increase in the frequency of bone fractures in both children and adults (Petridou et al. 1997;Wyshak 2000; McGartland et al. 2003). Wrist and forearm fractures were found to be more and more frequent in children between the age of 9 and 16 due to the overwhelming presence of soft drinks and their high caffeine content. (Ma and Jones 2004).

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Cola and other carbonated soft drinks were also found to be detrimental to bone mineral density in women due to their high caffeine content (Tucker et al. 2006). The reason for that is because Caffeine has been identified as a catalyst for increasing the excretion of calcium in the urine, which is a leading and potential contributor to osteoporosis (Kynast-Gales and Massey 1994).

Excessive consumption of Cola and other carbonated soft drinks may lead to low bone mineral density, bone fractures, osteoporosis (causes bones to become weak and brittle) and even hypocalcemia (low serum calcium).

References:

  1. Ma D and Jones G (2004). “Soft drink and milk consumption, physical activity, bone mass, and upper limb fractures in children: A population-based case-control study.” Calcif Tissue Int 75(4): 286–-291. [Online]
  2. Petridou E, Karpathios T, Dessypris N, Simou E and Trichopoulos D (1997). “The role of dairy products and non-alcoholic beverages in bone fractures among school age children.” Scand J Soc Med 25(2): 119–125. [Online]
  3. Wyshak G (2000). “Teenaged girls, carbonated beverage consumption, and bone fractures.” Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 154(6): 610–613. [Online]
  4. McGartland C, Robson PJ, Murray L, et al. (2003). “Carbonated soft drink consumption and bone mineral density in adolescence: the Northern Ireland Young Hearts project.” J Bone Miner Res 18(9): 1563–1569. [Online]
  5. Tucker KL, Morita K, Qiao N, et al. (2006). “Colas, but not other carbonated beverages, are associated with low bone mineral density in older women: The Framingham Osteoporosis Study.“ Am J Clin Nutr 84: 936–942. [Online]
  6. Kynast-Gales SA and Massey LK (1994). “Effect of caffeine on circadian excretion of urinary calcium and magnesium.” J Am Coll Nutr 13(5): 467–472. [Online]

4. You’ll increase your chances of developing chronic diseases

Other alarming studies have also surfaced in the past few years. According to the US Framingham Heart Study, the consumption of greater than or equal to 350 ml soft drink per day (that would be 1 can) was already associated with an increased risk of obesity, an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, impaired fasting glucose, increased waist circumference, high blood pressure, higher low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (higher LDL levels put you at greater risk for a heart attack from a sudden blood clot in an artery), and even hypertriglyceridemia (high cholesterol levels) (Dhingra et al. 2007).

Similarly, the US Nurses Health Study II found that those women who consumed one or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day had an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those who consumed less than one of these beverages a month. (Schulze et al. 2004).

Both the US Framingham Heart Study and the US Nurses Health Study II agreed on the fact that the consumption of greater than or equal to 350 ml soft drink per day may lead to the development of a series of chronic cardiovascular diseases, such as metabolic syndrome or high blood pressure, just to mention a few.

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References:

  1. Dhingra R, Sullivan L, Jacques PF, et al. (2007). “Soft drink consumption and risk of developing cardiometabolic risk factors and the metabolic syndrome in middle-aged adults in the community.” Circulation 116(5): 480–488. [Online]
  2. Schulze MB, Manson JE, Ludwig DS, et al. (2004). „Sugar-sweetened beverages, weight gain, and incidence of type 2 diabetes in young and middleaged women.“ JAMA 292(8): 927–934. [Online]

5. You’ll likely experience adverse side-effects due to increased caffeine intake

Cola-type soft drinks  containing caffeine have the largest share of the beverages market all over the world. Caffeine, whether we admit or not, is a mildly addictive drug that occurs naturally in tea, coffee and chocolate, but it is soft drinks that serve as the very main source of caffeine in children’s diet. The levels of caffeine content in soft drinks are in the range of between 40-50 mg per 375 ml can, which is the equivalent to one cup of strong coffee.

A strong link has been identified between caffeine in coke and bone health, as indicated above. In addition, several studies have confirmed a firm link between cola drinks and kidney stones (Rodgers 1999; Massey and Sutton 2004).

Caffeine insensitivity (the extent to which someone is responding to the effect of caffeine) is also a side-effect of excessive caffeine intake. Ideally, the smaller one is, the less caffeine one would require to reap the stimulating benefits, such as increased energy and attention, enhanced mood and motivation as well as enhanced motor activity. However, we must note here that these effects can only be reaped if taken in small doses – 20-200 mg (Smith et al. 2000).

Negative effects have also been determined, especially in young children and adults, that may include more harm than potential benefits: disturbed sleep patterns, bedwetting, and anxiety along with a number of withdrawal symptoms such as headache, fatigue, decreased alertness, or even depressed mood and irritability can be experienced 6–24 hours after caffeine abstinence. (Juliano and Griffiths 2004).

Cola-type soft drinks contain caffeine in the range of between 40-50 mg per 375 ml can that, if over consumed, can easily lead to the development of kidney stones and caffeine insensitivity along with a large number of withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, decreased alertness, depressed mood and irritability.

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References:

  1. Rodgers A (1999). “Effect of cola consumption on urinary biochemical and physicochemical risk factors associated with calcium oxalate urolithiasis.” Urol Res 27(1): 77–81.  [Online]
  2. Massey LK and Sutton RA (2004). “Acute caffeine effects on urine composition and calcium kidney stone risk in calcium stone formers.” J Urol 172(2): 555–558. [Online]
  3. Smith PF, Smith A, Miners J, McNeil J and Proudfoot A (2000). Report from the expert working group on the safety aspects of dietary caffeine. Canberra, Food Standards Australia New Zealand. [Online]
  4. Juliano LM and Griffiths RR (2004). “A critical review of caffeine withdrawal: empirical validation of symptoms and signs, incidence, severity, and associated features.” Psychopharmacology 176(1): 1–29. [Online]

6. You’ll risk the development of cancer due to the presence of Benzene

There has been a recent movement towards regulating Benzene levels in drinking water and bottled water both nationally and internationally. However, the presence of benzoic acid in soft drinks is not that strictly regulated that has spurred some environmental and public concern towards a more closer regulation of this chemical in these drinks. The reason why benzoic acid is so hazardous is because it works as a catalyst when it comes into contact with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and metal ions (such as iron or copper) to form the chemical known as Benzene, a known cancer-causing chemical(carcinogen). The chemical reaction usually takes place when when we are exposed to heat or light.

The Food and Drug Administration initiated public trials to test the level of benzene in soft drinks all across the country. 4 out of 100 products were found to contain levels of benzene above the 5 ppm barrier, which is the officially acceptable limit for drinking water. (CFSAN/Office of Food Additive Safety 2007).

Since 2005, these products were significantly reformulated and the FDA believes that the levels of benzene found in soft drinks should no longer be a cause for alarm. However, there are still companies that either cannot or would not devote extra time and effort to monitor the level of acceptable benzene content in their products. Therefore, general recommendations are that you should not consume more than 1 can of cola a week. Better safe than sorry, right?

Due to high levels of Benzene in cola and other carbonated soft drinks, you are more likely to develop cancer if more than 1 can of soft drink is consumed per week. Benzene is a known cancer-causing chemical (carcinogen).

References:

  1. CFSAN/Office of Food Additive Safety. (2007). “Data on Benzene in Soft Drinks and Other Beverages: Data through May 16, 2007.” Retrieved 29th August, 2007. [Online]

Do not get me wrong though: I did not say that consuming these beverages here and there will cause all these aforementioned symptoms. These symptoms and side-effects may appear in case of those who have a daily habit of drinking carbonated soft-drinks, such as coke or fruit juices. If you love soft drinks, and there is no way you would give it up, at least try to limit the amount you consume. Being considerate with your health will pay off, trust me!

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Now, share the things that you have learned here with a friend or family member who has been drinking too much coke recently! Why? Because your advice may easily save their life once!

Featured photo credit: Laszlo Szabo via bodybuildersupplementz.com

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Last Updated on December 7, 2021

World’s 15 Weirdest Museums You Must Visit

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World’s 15 Weirdest Museums You Must Visit

When we think about culture one of the first things that come to mind are museums – it is ingrained in our collective consciousness that we need to visit a few museums when vacationing abroad, so we can then feel free to indulge in hedonistic pleasures because we’ve bowed at the altar of culture first. However, not all museums are created equal. While some may have your standard collections of classic artwork, statues and pottery fragments, there are a lot of unconventional and even fairly quirky museums around the world. If you like to travel and want to experience something new and truly unique, to be awed, then be sure to visit some of the following museums on your next vacation.

1. Cancun Underwater Museum

Let’s start off the list with something entirely different. The Cancun Underwater Museum boasts hundreds of beautiful sculptures such as “The Silent Evolution”, a huge crowd of people, and “Inertia”, a fat man sitting on a couch in front of the TV. These sculptures would evoke powerful emotions regardless of their location; however, being situated underwater gives them an air of mysticism and an almost unnerving calm. The marine flora and fauna has already become one with some of the sculptures, making the whole site look like the sunken remnants of an ancient civilization.

2. Paris Sewers Museum

We all admire the grand architecture of famous cities, particularly one as iconic as Paris, the city of romance and art. What people seldom stop to look at is the complex labyrinth that is the Paris sewer system. It is an entire network of tunnels as large as the city itself and it is also a museum that tourists can visit and explored, complete with tour guides. It doesn’t smell as bad as you’d think, so if you ever find yourself in Paris and have about an hour or so of time to kill, this is definitely an interesting option.

3. Franz Kafka Museum in Prague

A man with a dark and near dreamlike vision of the modern world, where bureaucracy, alienation, lack of empathy and human suffering are the order of the day, Franz Kafka is rightfully considered one of the greatest modern writers. The Franz Kafka Museum reflects some of the main themes of the authors works, which Kafka himself wanted his friend to burn after his death, and their unique atmosphere. The weirdest thing about it is probably the sculpture of two men urinating in a pool shaped like the borders of the Czech Republic, which are, for some reason, animatronic and can spell out words in the pool based on SMS messages that people send.

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4. Leila’s Hair Museum in Independence, Missouri

Art has always been very accommodating, allowing artists to choose from a huge range of different mediums and materials from which to create unique designs. That being said, I doubt you’ve ever considered hair as a valid material for creating works of art. Luckily, Leila’s Hair Museum is here to prove you wrong. With thousands of wreaths and various creative jewelry pieces made out of real human hair, which is said to have been popular in the Victorian period. There are multiple pieces containing hair from famous people, including the likes of Queen Victoria.

5. Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in Saint Petersburg

The Kunstkamera houses Russia’s oldest museum, the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, which has exhibits ranging from interesting to bizarre and morbid. Peter the Great reportedly wanted to dispel myths about monsters and mythical creatures among his people, so there are plenty of deformed skeletons, jars with fetuses and rarities like two-headed animals. Some of the exhibits are not for those with a weak stomach, but they are definitely unique and rare.

6. Iceland Phallological Museum in Reykjavík

Iceland is known as “The Land of Ice and Fire”, a small and some would say magical island with a long and proud history. It’s no surprise that it would feature a world renowned museum, but what’s unusual about the Phallological Museum is the fact that it is devoted solely to showcasing penis samples from 93 different animal species – including the 67 inch front tip of a blue whale penis and specimens supposedly belonging to mythical creatures like trolls and elves. It definitely offers a unique experience.

7. Meguro Parasite Museum in Tokyo

Many museums feature animal exhibits, showcasing everything from dinosaur bones and large stuffed land mammals to unusual insects, but rarely does a museum focus solely on parasites. The Meguro Parasite Museum takes humanities worst nightmares, lays them before you and provides plenty of information on each and every one. Their motto is “Try to think about parasites without a feeling of fear, and take the time to learn about their wonderful world of the parasites”, and there really is a lot to learn if you can get over the initial feeling of unease.

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8. The Iga Ninja Museum in Mie

Western pop culture has been in love with ninja’s since the 80’s and we have only grown fonder of them with time. If you find this topic intriguing or just want to learn more about the whole ninja phenomenon, then the Iga Ninja Museum is the right place for you. You can see the numerous weapons and tools used by these legendary warriors and enjoy a practical display of some of the traditional techniques and tactics. It is a lot of fun and very informative to boot, great for people of all ages.

9. Bran Castle near Braşov in Transylvania

The name might not sound familiar at first, but the geographical location kind of gives it away – yes, this is the castle of Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler, a.k.a. Count Dracula from the Bram Stalker novel and world-famous horror character. Bran Castle is the only Transylvanian castle that perfectly fits Stokers description of the world’s most famous vampire’s castle and has thus been dubbed Dracula’s Castle. It has been turned into a museum which every horror fan is welcome to visit and explore.

10. Malacca Museum of Enduring Beauty

The nature of beauty is a topic that has troubled mankind for millennia.  Aesthetic preferences and sensibilities have been very different in different regions and at different times, and as fashions changed so too did people try to change themselves to conform to the various ideals of beauty. The Museum of Enduring Beauty showcases the numerous traditions and the jewelry, tools and practices used by peoples the world over to try and make themselves as beautiful as possible. Practices such as foot binding, neck elongation, inserting huge discs into the lips and many others are explained in detail, which gives us an insight into our nature, and perhaps motivates us to see the current standards of beauty for what they really are – an artificially created set of desirable features based on a subjective interpretation of beauty.

11. The Museum of Human Disease in Sydney

Doctors spend years and years in medical school for a good reason – there are a lot of diseases that can plague humans. Some of these are more serious than others, but each one is interesting from a scientific standpoint. The Museum of Human Disease catalogs a huge variety of diseases and their effects on the human body, including the most common causes of death. You can participate in dissection workshops or explore some of the large number of vital organs on display. It is a real eye-opener and highly educational, if somewhat morbid and unusual.

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12. Museum of Medieval Torture Devices in Amsterdam

There are, of course, some parts of our history that we are not exactly proud of, and this includes wars and atrocities like torture. However, it is interesting to see just how creative people of the past centuries have been when it came to thinking up different ways of inflicting pain to fellow humans. If you’ve got a morbid curiosity for this sort of thing, the Museum of Medieval Torture Devices in Amsterdam has a lot to offer you. There are plenty of weird torture devices, complete with images and even sculptures, depicting the various torture methods that were in use, and the courteous staff is more than happy to answer any questions.

13. The Skull Tower of Niš

The Balkans region has had a very turbulent history, particularly in the past few centuries. In the nineteenth century, as Serbians sought to free themselves from their Ottoman oppressors, many battles raged, and one of the most famous was certainly the Battle of Čegar. When the tides of war changed and it became clear that the Turks would win, Serbian commander Stevan Sinđelić sacrificed himself and the remaining Serbian forces in an unprecedented act of bravery, blowing up the gunpowder storage and taking out thousands of enemy soldiers in the process. In order to silence the rebellion and frighten the people, Hurshid Pasha had a ten foot tower built using over 900 skulls of the fallen Serbian soldiers. The original Skull Tower suffered some structural damage over time, and now only 58 skulls remain in the wall, one which is said to belong to Sinđelić himself and is encased in glass. It is a fairly frightening, yet awe inspiring site.

14. Funeral Carriage Museum in Barcelona

Funerals are still somewhat of a taboo topic and it’s certainly something you’d mention in polite society. This is really a shame, since there are plenty of wonderful rituals that have been built around escorting the departed on his way to the afterlife. The vehicles used to transport the deceased have always had a somber tone, but where not without a hint of grandeur, as you can witness by exploring the Funeral Carriage Museum in Barcelona.  The exhibit consists of 13 beautiful funeral carriages and six coaches that were used to transport departed citizens to their eternal resting place.

15. Siriraj Medical Museum in Bangkok

The word “medical” in the name of this museum has surely tipped you off that you are in for something morbid and unusual. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it has a lot to offer. Also known as “The Museum of Death”, you can see everything from the mummified remains of a serial killer and cannibal to a large variety of human skulls and different preserved body parts. There are plenty of interesting examples of fatal injuries in the Forensic wing of the museum, and there is enough material to keep you occupied for several afternoons, if you aren’t squeamish.

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It is good to sometimes break from the mold and look for something a bit more thrilling and unusual than rusted bits of ancient swords, broken pottery and pieces of jewelry. These museums may be a bit weird, morbid or even spooky, but they will not disappoint. If you are an adventurous soul, be sure to check them out.

Featured photo credit: Igor Miske via unsplash.com

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