The Negative Health Effects of Coca-Cola

Alex L., Staff Writer

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While this drink is very popular around the world, it is not very good for your health. Sugary drinks such as Coca-Cola products are major contributors to one getting health conditions such as obesity, type two diabetes, and tooth decay. Although the drink is refreshing and sweet, it is not very healthy for you.

When you chug down a Coca-Cola like they do in the commercials, you probably don’t even realize how much sugar and chemicals are in the drink. More often than not, you feel even more thirsty after drinking the whole can. According to, there are approximately 10 teaspoons of added sugar in one 12 oz serving of Coca-Cola. While that doesn’t seem like a lot, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that the average person should only consume 6 oz of added sugar daily. That means that with one can of Coca-Cola, you go over your limit for that day, and you are close to going over for the next day. 

According to British pharmacist Niraj Naik, the sweetness in Coca-Cola is so very intense that we should be throwing it up the minute it enters our bodies. The reason we don’t do that is because the acid in the drink dulls the sweetness so we can keep it down. How horrifying is that?

Within 20 minutes of consuming the beverage, our blood sugar levels rise causing a burst of insulin. Your liver then turns all of the sugar into fat. After 40 minutes pass, your pupils dilate and your blood pressure increases. Then the receptors in your brain become blocked, preventing fatigue. Five minutes after that, dopamine (it controls the pleasure and reward center of the brain) production increases. When the dopamine stops flowing, it makes you want another can, and another, and another- much like the drug heroin. Finally an hour after consuming the beverage, you experience a sugar crash, which makes you irritable and drowsy.

While this hour may seem bad now, the long term effects are monstrous compared to this. One severely harmful effect is kidney failure. The sugar is not what makes your kidneys fail, it’s the artificial sweeteners in the drink. Hence Diet Coca-Cola has more of a chance of giving you kidney failure. Also, one may experience bone or tooth damage. The pH level of a can of coke is 3.2, which may not seem like it, but it is very high. The pH level decides how acidic a drink is. Since the drink has a high pH level, the drink can dissolve bone and enamel very quickly.

Not only can Coca-Cola have a harmful effect on your teeth, blood, and kidneys, it also has a horrible effect on your brain as well. Coke has artificial sweeteners(HFCS) that have a harmful effect on your memory and brain function. Here is an experiment done on two rats to show what effects Coca-Cola has on the brain:
The experiment was actually performed on rats due to their brain chemistry much similar to humans. Two category of rats were examined, those with HFCS given and those not given and were tested in a maze to observe their thinking capability. It was found that rats that had not been given HFCS were much better in finding their way than the rat given HFCS.

The scientists then conclude that, ” High amounts of HFCS disturbs the insulin activity in our brain which maintain the sugar for energy process.”

Brain cells were not able to properly signal each other in order to rectify thoughts. Therefore, those rats who were given HFCS got troubled in finding their way to exit. It is being deduced that, similar memory problems can occur in humans like memory loss. That’s why those rats weren’t able to recall the exact path, they learned six weeks earlier.


I went around Pierce Middle School asking kids how much Coca-Cola they drink on a daily basis, this is what they have to say. A 7th grade boy said that he drinks a Coca-Cola everyday for dinner. An 8th grade girl said that she drinks a Diet Coca-Cola every other day. Aiden L, a fifth grade boy, says that he has a Cherry Coca-Cola every Friday. When I told them all of the negative effects of Coca-Cola on their bodies, everyone of them were completely surprised and said that they would be passing on their sugary beverages for a little while.

Still not convinced that Coca-Cola has negative impacts on your body? Here are some links to videos that have some more information on negative health effects of this popular sugary drink:

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The Negative Health Effects of Coca-Cola