Jul 20 2012

Water vs Cola – Which One Do You Drink?

With the 2012 Olympics drawing close let’s take quick look at some fundamental differences between the ‘Official Drink of the Olympics’ and good old water!

I’m not going to single out any brand here all I’m going to focus on is one soft drink – Cola, regardless as to who makes it. Now I could rant all day about some of the ingredients such as the amount of sugar found in one can or maybe aspartame, found in the diet varieties and how it’s responsible for 100’s of neurological disorders but that’s for another time. Today all I’m going to do is highlight a few points about the most popular soft drink and good old H2O

Let’s kick off with water…..

  • Research has shown that 75% of the UK population are dehydrated (this quite likely applies to a large percentage of the world’s population too)
  • Thirst is often mistaken for hunger – next time you start to feel hungry, step away from the fridge or the vending machine and drinks a glass of water – you might be surprised that those hunger pangs disappear!
  • Mild dehydration can slow down your metabolism by up to 3%, again one of the reasons I instruct my clients to consume at least 3 litres of bottled water every day. The last thing you want on a weight loss journey is a slow metabolism right?
  • Lack of water is a major cause of daytime fatigue, if you’re constantly feeling tired in the office during the day, check you’re taking in enough water
  • In a study by the University of Washington drinking one glass of water late in the evening prevented midnight hunger pangs in almost all of the dieters in their study!
  • Research has shown that drinking sufficient water and adequate hydration has shown to significantly ease joint and back pain for up to 80% of sufferers. The joint cartilage surface contain a high concentration of water and are a major part of lubricating the joint. Lack of water = less lubrication = more pain. If you have joint or back pain are you drinking enough water?
  • A mild level of dehydration (a loss of 1 to 2% of the body’s normal water content) can cause short-term memory loss, trouble concentrating and difficulty focusing on things like printed pages and computer screens
  • Drinking 5 glasses of water per day has been shown to decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, the risk of breast cancer by 79% and bladder cancer by 50%

Are you drinking sufficient water every day?

Now let’s take a quick look at Cola, just for comparison!

  • Cola can be used to clean a toilet bowl say’s household hint guru Mary Ellen. Just pour a can of “the Real Thing” around the bowl and leave for an hour or so then flush. The acid in the cola will clean the stains from the surface of the china bowl!
  • Remove rust from chrome surfaces by using cola and a ball of aluminium foil (source – Joey Greene’s
  • It will clean the corrosion from car battery terminals
  • Use a cola soaked cloth to loosen a rusted bolt by applying it for several minutes (source – Mary Ellen)
  • Add a can of cola to a load of greasy laundry to loosen the grease stains from the clothes (source – Mary Ellen)
  • The trucks that carry the Cola syrup (the concentrate the makes the drink) for the leading manufacturer are required by law to display Hazardous Materials signs on the trucks as the concentrate is corrosive
  • The active ingredient in Cola is phosphoric acid, which leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase of osteoporosis

There are a number of other rumours on around on the internet that state US highway patrol officers use Cola to remove blood from the road after an accident. I’m yet to find any evidence that say’s this is true but at the end of the day, just looking at the points above do you still want to swap your daily water intake for Cola??

If the answer’s still yes then maybe it’s worth bearing in mind what happens to your body after consuming a can….

  • Within the first 10 minutes up to 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your digestive system (yes that’s how much some cans contain!). You’d immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness but the phosphoric acid cuts the flavour down allowing you to keep it down!
  • 20 minutes in and you’re blood sugar levels spike through absorption of all of that sugar. This causes an insulin release after which your liver responds and turns any sugar it can get its hands on into fat just to get it out of your bloodstream
  • 40 minutes in and caffeine (yes another ingredient) absorption is just about complete. Your pupils dilate, blood pressure rises and as a response your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain start to become blocked preventing drowsiness.
  • 45 minutes in and your body increases your dopamine (a neurotransmitter) production which in turn stimulates the pleasure centres of your brain – in physically the same way heroin works! Just saying!

So do you still feel like ditching water??

I advise all of my clients to consume one litre of bottled water for every 50lbs of bodyweight, so a 10 stone individual should be looking to consume around 3 litres of bottled water every day.

Take care, stay hydrated and drink plenty water!!