Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pick-Me-Up Confession

There's all those things that we know we should do to nurture our health. 

Then there's all those things that we do that we know we shouldn't do. But we feel better when we do them. Even if we only feel better for a moment or two...

My hide-in-the-closet indulgence is found in a can of Coca-Cola. I pour it slowly and reverently into a tall glass filled with ice. Once poured, I lean over the glass and let the bubbles fizz onto my face. I sip it slowly, savoring every drop. Within  minutes, I can feel a slight buzz of renewed energy. I am sad when I drain the glass. 

I'm pathetic. I know. 

It's so bad for me in so many ways. Where to begin? The sugar, the tooth damage, the caffeine, the mouth-irritating carbonation, plus the who-knows-what-else that lurks in that frosty silver and red can.

So what exactly IS in there?

Well, let's see.......the can says: water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavors, and caffeine. 

OK. High fructose corn syrup is a well known villain in nutrition-land, and caffeine has it's shady side too. 

We've all heard the legend that Coke used to contain cocaine. True? 


According to this article on, as recently as 1902, there was 1/400 grain of cocaine per ounce of syrup, which, according to the article's author, wasn't enough to give a fly a buzz. Coca Cola didn't become completely cocaine free until 1929. I guess I don't have to worry about becoming a druggie from drinking Coke. 

Let's see, what else? Ah - natural flavors. Another article has an interesting discussion about the mysterious secret recipe for those natural flavors. Rumor has it that there is only two people in the whole world who know the secret recipe for Coke. Actually, there's lots of cloak and dagger type stories about the secret recipe, which makes for some interesting reading. 

Hm. Phosphoric acid. According to an article found here, food grade phosphoric acid is used to add a tangy taste to foods and beverages. The article goes on to discuss various studies which attempt to prove or disprove the theory that consuming the phosphoric acid in colas leads to a decrease in bone density. The jury is still out on this one, although one of my physicians used to tell me not to drink colas because they "just make you pee your bones out of your body."


Phosphoric acid is also used as an agent in dentistry to clean and roughen tooth surfaces before orthodontic appliances are attached. Roughen tooth surfaces?? 

I suppose there are no redeeming qualities to be found in Coca-Cola. Sigh. I'll start looking for a good soda 12-step program tomorrow.

 After I have just one more.


peony said...

Hi there, I have to admit I am a coke addict too... I used to drink tons of it, like a two liter bottle a day... Nowadays I try to limit my consunption of it, I don't keep the big bottles, but smaller cans at home. Therefore thought it costs me almost the same I drink less of it, but the addiction is still there, more so in the summer... People say that the sugary dring can't quench their thirst... for me there isn't anything better than an ice-cold can of coke in the hot weather (mind you I cannot stand the diet, or the zero stuff, I only dring the regular, which I assume contributes to my ever going battle with weight)... I don't drink alcohol, I never smoked, but I cannot fight coca cola...

peony said...
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