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What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Coke

It might be time to put down that can of soda, once and for all...

It's universally known that drinking soda isn't ideal for your overall health. It's the one drink you'll hear just about any expert tell you to stay far away from, as it's rather easy to get hooked on sipping a few cans of soda every day, especially when it happens to be Coca-Cola. But what exactly happens to your body when you drink a Coke?

Well, that's what we're here to expose, as you might not be aware of what this habit is actually doing to you with every can of Coke you drink. Here's a breakdown of what happens to your body when you drink a Coke.


Your blood sugar spikes.

Pouring soda

One regular can of Coke contains 39 grams of sugar. Yes, that is a lot to have at one time, especially from a drink, as there is a chance you're also eating something while you're sipping on this beverage. So you're consuming quite a bit of the sweet stuff. The second ingredient in Coke is high fructose corn syrup, after all. This one Coke can cause your blood sugar to spike, something that can have long-term side effects. In fact, a study in the journal Circulation found that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages was linked to the onset of type 2 diabetes. So with every Coke you drink daily, you could be increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


You gain weight.

dont want to step on scale to weigh herself

Along with packing a ton of sugar, one can of Coke will cost you 140 calories. These two factors alone make it rather obvious that another long-term result of drinking this soda every day is weight gain. A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition even found that drinks made with high-fructose corn syrup are in fact linked to obesity. Save yourself all those extra calories and just sip on water instead!

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Your skin breaks out.

woman popping pimple

If you find your skin starts to break out when notice you've been drinking Coke regularly, there is a correlation there. A 2019 study found that the participants who frequently drank carbonated sodas, sweetened tea drinks, and fruit-flavored drinks were more likely to have moderate-to-severe acne, especially if the sugar intake from the soft drink exceeded 100 grams per day.

If you drink three cans of soda daily, that's already 117 grams of sugar you're consuming! Sugar is an inflammatory food, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that soda could be causing your skin to flare up. It's no wonder soda is on the list of foods that double your risk of adult acne.


Your smile suffers.

Grandfather In Bathroom Wearing Pajamas Brushing Teeth With Grandchildren

Not only is that can of Coke packing a ton of sugar (which isn't great for your teeth!), but according to a study published in the International Journal of Dentistry, darker-colored sodas such as Coke can stain the surface of your teeth. Plus, it can lead to dental erosion. See, according to the American Dental Association, sugar is a major cause of tooth decay. Having your smile decay because of your Coca-Cola habit is just not worth it.


You can't sleep.

senior woman having sleep disorder, sitting in bed look sad

If you're having trouble falling asleep at night, it might be because of the Coke you're drinking. A study in Sleep Health found that short sleep is associated with a greater intake of sugary caffeinated sodas. Of the 18,000 participants, those who drank sugary caffeinated sodas slept five hours a night or less.


You can die sooner.

Man having a heart attack

OK, this one is a bit dramatic, we know. But sadly, there is plenty of truth behind this bold claim. A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that those who drank artificially sweetened drinks such as Diet Coke were 26% more likely to die prematurely compared to those who rarely ever drank these types of drinks. The study followed 450,000 Europeans over the span of 16 years and tracked the mortality rates of the participants. So if you thought going for the diet version is any better than a can of regular Coke, you're going to want to think again.

Another study published in Circulation actually found that having just one 12-ounce soda a day raises your risk of a heart attack by 20%, citing soda's inflammatory properties as a reason why this can happen. At the end of the day, a can of Coke just isn't worth it.

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more about Jennifer
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