A Critical Element -- Part III

In Part I of this series we looked at the importance of water for all life on Earth. In Part II we looked at why people choose sugary drinks over water. And in Part III, we're going to see what happens inside your body when you drink a soda and then talk about some of the ingredients in soda. 

Let’s take a look at what happens when you get sugar in liquid form:

You take a sip…

After ten minutes the sugar literally attacks the body and the only reason you don’t puke your guts out is because of the phosphoric acid they put in soda -- it inhibits the action of that huge amount of sugar.

Oh and for the record -- the amount of sugar in one soda is the equivalent of 4 feet of sugar cane. FOUR. FEET. How many hunter gatherers do you think sat around all day and ate sugar cane by the FOOT!? That much sugar is not natural or anything the body is designed to handle at one time. OK...back to the soda effect.

After twenty minutes insulin comes rushing into the bloodsteam to try and do something with the incredible and unnatural amount of sugar that has just invaded. The liver converts the majority of the glucose into triglycerides which is another way to say that most of the sugar is converted to fat. You have a cap on how much glycogen your body can store and as we have seen in recent years, there is no cap for the amount of fat someone can hold.

Forty minutes later, when the caffeine has finally been processed (which is fine if it’s from a good source in the morning, but not so good when combined with everything else in a soda at 6 PM), blood pressure rises because the liver dumps some stored sugar into the bloodstream since the insulin has had its way with it and it’s been swept out of the bloodstream. Also, if taken towards the end of the day, the caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors which keeps you from falling asleep.

Five minutes after that, dopamine starts to pump into the bloodstream -- the same hormone that is produced by heroin and other drugs. It’s the pleasure hormone -- it makes you feel great.

An hour after you drink the soda, that phosphoric acid that kept you from puking starts to bind calcium, magnesium and zinc in the GI tract which is not good because you need that stuff. Also, calcium starts to be released and is discarded in the urine. Not having enough calcium is bad for bones and teeth. And phosphoric acid is in diet soda, too, so just because there are no calories, doesn’t make it harmless.

A few minutes after that, you crash and get hungry and lethargic because the energy surge you just felt had absolutely no nutritional benefit so your body is still craving nutrients. So you drink another soda (or other sugary food item) and the process repeats.

I always like to know what exactly is included in anything I’m consuming. Most of the time it’s easy: meat or butter or coffee or squash doesn’t have but one thing in it. But soda has lots of weird stuff...including:

  • orthosphosphoric acid -- this stuff is why you can pour coke on your car battery cable and watch as the corrosion starts to melt away
  • sodium cyclamate -- a sugar substitute which is 200 times sweeter than sugar and was banned by the FDA in 1969 because it caused cancer. Nothing has changed with this ingredient except the fact that it’s not banned anymore.
  • acesulfame potassium -- again, 200 times sweeter than sugar and a stimulant
  • aspartame -- you’ve heard of this one. At elevated temperatures, aspartame breaks down into methanol and phenylalanine -- basically poison. In warm sodas, aspartame changes into formaldehyde which is a widely known carcinogen. Aspartame is a poison in the body.

Those are just a small fraction of the ingredients in most sodas.

My take on soda is that it’s a perfectly useful material -- as long as you use it for cleaning automobile engines, washing blood off of concrete (which many police departments do), unfastening rusty screws, getting stains out of clothes, and as a pesticide and NOT as a food product.

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