By now we should all know what long-term health consequences await frequent soda drinkers, but rarely do we consider what a single can of soda does to our bodies in the short-term. An infographic compiled by The Renegade Pharmacist — a blog run by a former pharmacist from the United Kingdom, Niraj Naik — shows what exactly happens inside of our bodies within an hour of drinking a can of coke.
From our brains to our hearts to our lungs to our teeth, there are very few parts of our bodies that are left unaffected by sugary soda consumption. As we’ve mentioned in the past, it only takes between 10 and 20 minutes before 10 teaspoons of sugar (100 percent of our recommended daily intake) hits our system and our blood sugar begins to spike, resulting in a burst of insulin that tricks our livers into converting all sugars into fats.
Forty minutes after finishing that can of coke, you may realize certain physical effects caused by the completion of caffeine absorption. For example, you may notice your pupils dilating, a rise in your blood pressure, and the brain’s adenosine receptors are blocked, which prevents drowsiness. After 45 minutes, our bodies begin to up dopamine production, leading to the stimulation of the brain’s pleasure centers. I can assure you this is the same effect heroin has on the brain.
You may be thinking, “I know soda is bad for me, but this all sounds just a little bit exaggerated.” While added sugar gets all the attention, it’s the combination of sugar and another ingredient that makes soda consumption such a detriment to our health. Phosphoric acid is a colorless, odorless acid that can result in toxic fumes when combined with alcohols, ketones, and other organic compounds. Now, does that sound like something you want in your body?
Coca-Cola uses phosphoric acid to cut down on the beverage’s sweetness so it's easier to keep down. It's also responsible for binding calcium, magnesium, and zinc in our lower intestine, causing a spike in metabolism. A study published in 2007 showed that phosphoric acid leads to tooth enamel erosion even at low levels. If you need more proof that your predilection for soda is harming your body, check out what drinking 10 Cokes a day for 30 days does to your body.