Sugary drinks are considered a major contributor to health conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay. But have you ever wondered exactly what these beverages do to your body after consumption? One researcher has created an infographic that explains what happens to the body within an hour of drinking a can of Coca-Cola.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around half of the US population drink sugary beverages on any given day, with consumption of these drinks highest among teenagers and young adults.
There are approximately 10 teaspoons of added sugar in a single can of cola. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommend consuming no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar daily, meaning drinking just one serving of cola a day could take us well above these guidelines.
As such, it is no surprise that sugary drink consumption is associated with an array of health conditions. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, people who drink 1-2 cans of sugary beverages daily are 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and last month, Medical News Today reported on a study claiming 184,000 global deaths each year are down to sugary drink consumption.
Now, an infographic created by British pharmacist Niraj Naik – based on research by health writer Wade Meredith – shows the damage a 330 ml can of Coca-Cola can do to the body within 1 hour of consumption.
Coca-Cola ‘comparable to heroin’ in how it stimulates the brain’s reward and pleasure centers
According to Naik, the intense sweetness of Coca-Cola as a result of its high sugar content should make us vomit as soon as it enters the body. However, the phosphoric acid in the beverage dulls the sweetness, enabling us to keep the drink down.
Blood sugar levels increase dramatically within 20 minutes of drinking the Cola, explains Naik, causing a burst of insulin. The liver then turns the high amounts of sugar circulating our body into fat.
Within 40 minutes, the body has absorbed all of the caffeine from the Cola, causing a dilation of pupils and an increase in blood pressure. By this point, the adenosine receptors in the brain have been blocked, preventing fatigue.
Five minutes later, production of dopamine has increased – a neurotransmitter that helps control the pleasure and reward centers of the brain. According to the infographic, the way Coca-Cola stimulates these centers is comparable to the effects of heroin, making us want another can.
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