People consider sugary drinks to be a major contributor to several health conditions such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes and dental caries. Research shows that drinking a can of Coca-Cola can have damaging effects on the body within an hour.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), about half the U.S the population will drink a minimum of one sugary beverage on any given day. Young adults are the foremost regular consumers of sugary drinks.

There are 37 grams of added sugar, which is almost equal to 10 teaspoons(tsp), in a very single can of cola.

Glass of Coca Cola

For optimal health, the globe Health Organization (WHO) recommends consuming no over 6 tsp of added sugar daily. By drinking only one serving of cola daily, someone will easily exceed this amount.

A 2015 study attributed 184,000 global deaths every year to the consumption of sugary drinks.

Effects on the body

An infographic by pharmacist Niraj Naik shows the damage that a 330 millilitre(ml) can of Coca-Cola can inflict on the body within one hour of consumption. Naik based his infographic on the research by health writer Wade Meredith.

According to Naik, the extreme sweetness of Coca-Cola resulting from its high sugar content should make an individual vomit as soon as it enters the body. However, the oxyacid within the beverage dulls the sweetness, enabling people to stay the pour down.

According to Naik, blood sugar levels increase drastically within 20 minutes of drinking the beverage, resulting in insulin bursts. The liver then turns heavy sugars into fat.

Effects just like heroin

 Bottle of Coca Cola

Within 40 minutes, the body absorbs all of the caffeine from the beverage. This caffeine causes the pupils to dilate and therefore the vital sign to extend. By now, Coca-Cola has blocked the adenosine receptors within the brain, preventing drowsiness.

Just 5 minutes later, the assembly of dopamine has increased. Dopamine may be a neurotransmitter that helps control the pleasure and reward centres of the brain. Per the infographic, the way that Coca-Cola stimulates these centres is reminiscent of the results of heroin. It triggers a person’s urge to drink another can of it.

An hour after drinking the beverage, a sugar crash will start, causing irritability and drowsiness. The body will have cleared the water from the cola, together with vital nutrients, within the urine.

According to Naik, the infographic applies not only to Coca-Cola but to any or all caffeinated fizzy drinks.

Naik on his blog writes “Coke isn’t just high in fructose syrup, but is also full of refined salts and caffeine”. 

In response to Naik’s claims,  Coca-Cola released a statement that the beverage is “perfectly safe to drink and might be enjoyed as a part of a diet and lifestyle”.

They also found that often consuming sugary drinks may affect the standard and duration of a person’s sleep cycle. Some compounds also had effects on memory and motor coordination, which can contribute to the event of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) in children.

However, many of the studies during this review came about in rats. The complete extent of the consequences of sugary drinks on humans isn’t yet clear.

A can of Coca Cola

The authors of a 2018 study involving 2,019 participants found that they might not even rule out the consumption of diet sodas as a risk factor for diabetes. They note that their findings support the suggestion that sugar-sweetened beverages, like cola, play a job in the development of this chronic disease.

A 2016 study on rats found that the rodents that drank Coca-Cola showed signs of decreased kidney and liver function as compared with the rats that didn’t drink soda.

Again, further research would be necessary to verify the results of Coca-Cola in humans.


Researchers have confirmed that there are many risks of regularly consuming Coca-Cola and other sugary drinks.

These beverages increase glucose levels rapidly and affect the pleasure centres of the brain in a very similar way as heroin. More modern research adds to the evidence of a link between sugary drinks and diabetes and seems to substantiate the adverse effects of those drinks on brain, kidney, and liver activity.

However, consuming Coca-Cola and sugar-sweetened beverages moderately is unlikely to have a severe effect on health.

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