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This Coke infographic has gone massively viral, but here's why it might not be entirely accurate

You can’t believe everything you read.

coke1hr3 Source: The Renegade Pharmacist

OVER THE PAST week, an infographic claiming to explains what happens to your body one hour after drinking a can of Coke has gone incredibly viral.

The infographic, created by The Renegade Pharmacist, is based on an article featured on the website Blisstree.

Among other things, it likens the sensation experienced after drinking Coke to taking heroin and makes claims like…

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

The infographic was picked up by several media outlets, including The Daily Mail and The Telegraph, and spooked a lot of people.

But is it to be believed?

Possibly not.

First of all, it is worth considering the source.

giphy (39) Source: elizabethgillies/Tumblr

The information contained in the infographic is lifted entirely from an article published on a health and wellness website called Blisstree in 2010.

The piece was written by someone named Wade Meredith and a quick Google search reveals that the same piece has been doing the rounds on the internet since at least 2006.

Notably, the article doesn’t cite any concrete evidence to back up its alarmist claims, meaning the only source we have to draw from is an article that has been hanging around the internet for nine years.

The Renegade Pharmacist, meanwhile, is a blog devoted to holistic healthcare. It has previously shared bold, unsubstantiated claims like, “97% of all chemo treatments do not work.”

Is any of it true?

giphy (38) Source: nicconoh/Twitter

Buzzfeed reached out to experts to try verify some of the claims, and they didn’t really stack up. 

On the claim that phosphoric acid is the only thing preventing you not vomiting after consuming a can of Coke: 

By far the majority of people have no trouble consuming 10 teaspoons of sugar-sweetened beverage. We have studied 100s of participants in our studies who consumed beverages that contained more than 10 teaspoons of sugar, but no phosphoric acid. Not one ever vomited due to the sweetness, and I don’t remember any of them ever reporting that they felt nauseated due to the sweetness. 

And the claim that it has the same affect on your brain as heroin:

Everything about drugs needs to be understood in terms of dose and tolerance. This sensationalistic description makes it sound more dramatic than is the experience for the average Coke drinker. It’s way overblown, as such things tend to be.

Michael A. Taffe, Ph.D., associate professor for the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders at the Scripps Research Institute, told Buzzfeed that it’s “breathlessly sensationalistic but not egregiously wrong.

TL;DR: it’s not complete fiction, but it is quite overblown.


giphy (37) Source: gifloop

Drinking too much Coke is almost certainly not good for you, but this infographic is still best taken with a giant pinch of salt.

We measured how much sugar is in your favourite fizzy drinks >

About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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