food

What Coke does to your body - in just 60 minutes.

We’ve always know coke is bad for you, but we never knew the effects could kick in so quickly.

The sugar-laden drink has been tested by The Renegade Pharmacist and the results aren’t pretty.

LISTEN: Trump drinks 12 can of Diet Coke each day, which might go some way towards explaining why he’s s bonkers. We discuss what else he eats, on our Trump podcast. Post continues after. 

“I discovered that a trigger factor for many widespread diseases of the west such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes could be closely linked to the consumption of one particular substance found in many processed foods and drinks – fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup,” Niraj Naik, the brains behind TRP told Huffington Post.

“High fructose corn syrup is found in pretty much all processed foods such as ready meals, fast foods, sweets and fizzy drinks and most people are totally unaware of its danger.”

Here’s what happens after someone chugs down a can:

First 10 minutes

10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavour, allowing you to keep it down.

20 minutes in

Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment).

40 minutes in

Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.

45 minutes in

Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centres of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.

60 minutes in

The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.

After 60 minutes

The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.

As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.

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Well, we've just had a reality check.

Debrief Daily's Bern Morley previously reported ...

There's a dirty little secret being kept by some of people I work with - an addiction that's perfectly legal.

It's an addiction to Diet Coke.

When they'd talk about their 'addiction', I'd laugh, and so would they. Because, for God's sake - it's soft drink. And you can buy it everywhere.

But when one said she was seriously going to try kicking her habit, I started to look around. And it seems it's no laughing matter.

Beware. This isn't as good for you as you think it is. (Image via. iStock)

The two existing diet products combined account for 32 per cent of cola sales, so it's fair to say Diet Coke is ubiquitous. But even I was shocked by some of the stories on the website Diet Drink Addiction:

One commenter, Genevieve wrote:

I drink 10 to 15 diet cokes every day. It’s killing me! I’m extremely tired all the time to the point I think I have cancer and I feel like the walking dead. My bones hurt and most recently my hips, knees, elbows and hands ache. I find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. If I sleep for eight hours I still wake up extremely exhausted! Is this due to diet coke? I’ve been complaining for years about these symptoms but the doctor says it’s because of the weather or it’s due to depression. I’m really worried and don’t know how to stop drinking diet coke.

Another, AKO, had this tale to tell:

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Like many others, I am drinking over 10 cans of Diet Coke per day. Last year I was told that I needed $48k in dental work for a full mouth restoration, I am 37. In addition to tooth decay I also experience – severe dry skin, intense night sweats, daily migraines which can cause vision loss (for which I take a preventative medication), and fatigue. I have noticed recently that when I wake up in the morning, my skin…smells funny. It’s hard to explain – like a sour smell that is coming out from the inside (build up of toxins?). Very unsettling! I do not drink anything other than Diet Coke, ever. It is my constant companion. For the first time I am considering quitting, even though just the idea makes me panic. The catch? Diet coke is free at work and there is an unlimited supply!

And our own Debrief Daily editor, Annie Markey, has been hooked on it for decades:

For years, I've joked that I'm a Diet Coke addict. And in truth, I probably am.

I have one 375ml can every day, religiously, about 11am. No more, no less. I've been doing it for at least 15 years, since an especially full-on job.
 
If I don't get it, I think about it - not obsessively, but it definitely lurks somewhere close to front of mind. The people I work with buy me a can if I'm in a meeting (because yes, it HAS to be a can - although, as any addict will tell you, if the cravings get bad, you can adapt more easily than you think). They know it's worth it - otherwise I'm grumpy and headachey and generally flat.
 
I've sipped it with CEOs and frowning friends. I've changed driving routes so I can pull into a servo at about the right time, and enjoyed it as a bubbly aperitif at Sunday lunch while everyone else had champagne.
 
Of course, it is a bit embarrassing. Nothing screams 'bogan' louder than someone cracking a coke before lunchtime, even if it is the diet variety. Unless it's pushing a shopping trolley devoid of anything but a 36-can box of the stuff in the proud knowledge you've stripped the cost back to as little as 56c a can. 
But I can't be shamed out of my habit.
 
I've been caned for it in the past. My clean-eating, almond-butter-making, triathlon-running cousin told me once it would kill me. Someone she knew had drunk a can a day (like me) and his innards had liquified (or something). And when I look at what's in it, she could be right. I mean there is NOTHING in this shiny little can that's derived from nature, unless you strip nature back to the sub-atomic level. I promised her I give it up, and I did for a fortnight. But it's siren song, that gentle, sparkling 'shhhhh', proved irresistible.
 
I occasionally think idly about the Coca Cola corporation, and how it's flogging expensive water to developed countries where people could get it for free, and soft drink to developing ones, keeping it cheap so they'll develop a taste, and how that's probably immoral on both fronts, but there's little likelihood I'll stop on any grounds now - moral or physical."

But to kick the habit, we need to understand why it's a problem in the first place:

Why do you get addicted to Diet Coke?

And why is different from an addiction to regular Coke?

As Dr Edward F. Group III told Global Healing Centre, there are a number of reasons you keep on coming back for more of the bubbly black stuff, and it actually has little to do with maintaining or losing weight.

"Aspartame, the chemical sweetener used to replace high fructose corn syrup in diet soda, activates the reward centres in your brain," he said. "The trouble is, because aspartame doesn’t provide any calories (energy), the body misses out and makes it crave more.

"It’s your body’s way of basically 'reaching out' for fuel when it’s missed the calories from the first hit of diet soda consumption. Diet soda is trying to trick the body, but the body rebels and makes you want more and more to satisfy those reward centres in the brain and provide energy for cells."

How do I know if I'm addicted?

The only way to find out is is to remove the the product from your diet for one week and see if you experience withdrawal symptoms.

"When I did this, I had a screaming headache on the third day," Annie says. "I felt completely lethargic."

Caffeine deprivation after a prolonged period of consumption will bring about headaches, irritability, and mood disturbances, according to Dr Group. Psychological issues could also result as a side effect of eliminating aspartame, as the sweetener can impair the transport of tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin.

are you addicted to diet coke
Start replacing your Diet Coke with a cup of tea. (Image via. iStock)
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How do I fight the addiction?

The only way to really stop a Diet Coke addiction is to stop drinking it. There is no magic cure, you just need to stop. Make a deliberate and conscious choice NOT to buy it at the supermarket or order it at restaurants. Going cold turkey is the only way for most people; however, extreme cases may need appropriate psychological counselling and behavioural therapy to fight addiction.

If you can’t go cold turkey, start by reducing your intake by one can or glass per day and replacing it with pure water. You can try replacing Diet Coke with coffee or tea, but you'll still have the caffeine issue. While these beverages are certainly healthier (without sweetener), you might wish to try herbal tea initially.

Also recommended: start looking at your food labels and stop buying anything that has aspartame anywhere in the ingredients list.

The dangers of Diet Coke and the addiction to aspartame is explained in the video below:

"The FDA have reported 92 separate health problems from exposure to Aspartame"

Kellis managed to quit her addiction after a tough month:

I quit a 10 year Diet Coke addiction cold turkey. It was REALLY hard for the first two weeks, then it got easier and easier. I stopped craving it completely after about a month – 6 weeks. I have zero desire for it now and its been almost 2 years.

It’s just a matter of pushing past your feelings. It’s uncomfortable, but nothing more. Anyone can do it. All those times at the grocery store I went back and forth to the checkout with a case, struggling to put them back on the shelf, all those times I felt like I was missing something, all those times I wanted to actually CRY… they were all worth it.

Eventually the headaches will subside and you’ll no longer feel like your missing a comfort.

I now have glowing skin, I no longer am bloated all the time and my eating is much healthier because my food choices no longer revolve around Diet Coke…. which also means I’ve lost weight! If I can do it, you can.

So how about you? Ever found yourself craving diet drinks?

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