We looked at the importance of hydrating your body a couple of blogs back. I would like to explain what consuming a can of Coke or even Diet Coke (or any Diet Soda) actually does to your body apart from dehydrate it.
There are four types of sugar:
- Best known is sugar. Which is half glucose and half fructose
- Glucose is a natural sugar that is regulated in the blood by Insulin
- Fructose is found in fruit and HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) and processed by the liver. An excess of fructose can, among other things, lead to fatty liver
- HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) is man-made. It became attractive to food and drink producers as it was cheaper than sugar. It is also more likely to be contaminated with pesticides, glyphosate and be Genetically Modified
One can of Coke contains 9.5 teaspoons of sugar. Other fizzy drinks contain as much if not more. A 3 minute video shows you, if you are interested, how much sugar regular fizzy drinks / sodas contain.
This picture gives you a good idea of the sugar content of drinks:
The American Heart Association1 made the following recommendations regarding the maximum recommended amount of sugar for daily consumption. Please note, this is not the recommended daily amount of sugar, but the recommended maximum daily amount2.
- Children no more than 3 teaspoons (12g)
- Teenagers no more than 8 teaspoons (33g)
- Women no more than 6 teaspoons (25g)
- Men no more than 9 teaspoons (37g)
Sugar has no nutritional benefits whatsoever, so significantly less sugar and ideally no sugar is better for your health. I will blog about sugar later. In particular I will talk about the difference between the high fructose corn syrup, which is particularly detrimental to your health and used to sweeten fizzy drinks such as Coke, and normal table sugar, honey and fruit.
One can of Coke exceeds every age group’s maximum daily allowance of sugar!
Let’s look at what happens when you drink a can of Coke:
Diet Cokes and Fizzy Drinks
Many people believe that if they turn to Diet Cokes or diet fizzy drinks they will avoid all the ill-effects of sugar drinks. This is a misconception. Studies have found that Diet drinks increase your risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 32% and diabetes Type II by 67%2. Diet drinks also increase the likelihood of you developing high blood pressure, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Like sugary fizzy drinks, diet drinks can increase your insulin levels3. Unlike sugar, artificial sweeteners like aspartame, most commonly found in diet fizzy drinks, are Excitotoxins. Excitotoxins can penetrate the blood-brain barrier where they destroy brain neurons3.
High-intensity artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, confuse the body’s natural ability to manage calories and leads to greater consumption of foods4. In other words, consuming diet drinks is, contrary to what one might think, far worse for your health than consuming high-sugar drinks. Furthermore, although sugar damages your gut flora, studies show that aspartame damages your brain and Splenda or NutraSweet / Sucralose damages your gut even more than sugar6.
Sugar, HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) and artificially sweetened drinks cause addiction in the brain4. If you eliminate both from your diet you will find you no longer crave them.
My recommendation is to avoid both and drink water to hydrate.