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The Dark Cola Drink Versus Water!


The goal of this article is to help you understand which beverage, dark cola drinks or water, will best nourish your cells and overall health. I will be discussing the ingredients in Coke and Diet Coke, as representatives for the dark cola industry. But, before I do I want to talk about Indiana Jones.

With all the buzz about the 4th installment being filmed it reminded me of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!” If you remember, Harrison Ford had to successfully complete several tasks to find the chamber that contained the Holy Grail. When he finally entered the cave where the Holy Grail was located it was being guarded by the last of the appointed Crusaders. After all the action, Harrison Ford is in a position to choose the cup he thinks Christ drank from at the Last Supper. This last Crusader says to him, “Choose Wisely!”

You might be thinking what does this have to do with our examination of Coke and Diet Coke and the dark cola industry. At the time of the movie, the Coca-Cola Company made a highly entertaining and successful TV ad featuring this same last Crusader as a mom tried to reach her refrigerator to get a cold drink. When she reached into the fridge to quench her thirst, the Crusader says to her, “Choose Wisely!” And, what was her choice? A refreshing can of Coke!

Well, let’s see how wise her cola choice really was!

Here is the list of ingredients on a can of Coke in the order that they appear:

Ingredients are listed in the order of greatest volume or greatest percentage of that ingredient in relationship to the overall product. Water is a good thing. Since it is listed first that means it is in greatest volume. We’ll talk about water and its importance at the end of this article. For now, let’s focus on the next ingredient.

High Fructose Corn Syrup – The process for making high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) out of corn was developed in the 1970s. It is a complicated chemical and enzymatic process that converts corn starch into HFCS. HFCS has a final concentration of about 55% fructose and 45% glucose with the exact same sweetness and taste as sucrose.

Since consumers see the word “Fructose” on the cola can they associate it with fruit and assume that it’s healthier than sugar. Dr. Meira Field and a team of investigators from the USDA decided to find out if this assumption was true. They fed rats a high amount of sucrose which is composed of glucose and fructose. These rats developed multiple health problems especially when they were deficient in certain nutrients such as copper.

The big question was whether the health problems were caused by the glucose component or the fructose component. They repeated their study with two new groups of rats. One group received high amounts of glucose and the other group received high amounts of fructose. The glucose group was unaffected.

The fructose group had severe, life threatening results! The male rats developed anemia, high cholesterol and heart hypertrophy. Additionally, the male rats had delayed testicular development. The female rats were not as severely affected, but they were unable to produce live young. From this research, Dr. Field made the following statement:

“The medical profession thinks fructose is better for diabetics than sugar, but every cell in the body can metabolize glucose. However, all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of the rats on the high fructose diet looked like the livers of alcoholics, plugged with fat and cirrhotic.”

HFCS contains more fructose than sugar. And, this fructose is more immediately available because it is not chemically bound like it is in sucrose.

Aspartame – This ingredient is an artificial sweetener used to replace high fructose corn syrup or sugar in your cola drink. When digested, aspartame breaks down into three chemicals:

Ralph Walton MD of Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine did a survey of aspartame studies. Here is his conclusion:

“Of the 166 studies felt to have relevance for questions of human safety, 74 had NutraSweet industry related funding and 92 were independently funded. One hundred percent of the industry funded research attested to aspartame’s safety, whereas 92 percent of the independently funded research identified a problem.”

Because of these chemical side effects, some of the cola companies will replace aspartame with saccharin. In 1978, the National Academy of Sciences concluded that saccharin is a potential cancer causing agent in humans. It also has the ability to enhance the carcinogenic effects of other cancer causing agents. The FDA’s position is that saccharin should not be used in food. Since soft drinks and cola products are not technically considered food that restriction does not apply.

Caramel Color – This ingredient is hard to get a handle on. The process for making caramel color is pretty straight forward. It is obtained by heating sugar until a brown color and characteristic flavor develops. I could not find any research on this ingredient with any definitive positives or negatives.

Phosphoric Acid – This ingredient is used because it creates an acidic medium which enhances the absorption of carbon dioxide to give your cola drink more fizz. Fizz in your cola drink might be nice but what affect does phosphoric acid have on your body.

To start we need to look at the pH level of Coke caused by the phosphoric acid. Coca-Cola is considered a “Super Acidifying Food” with a pH of 2. To understand this we need talk about pH. The pH scale measures the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a substance and ranges from 0 to 14:

The lower on the scale below 7 the more acidic something is and the higher on the scale above 7 the more alkaline something is.

The pH scale is not arithmetical but logarithmic. Logarithmic means that the values separating each unit are not of equal value along the scale but increases in proportion to their distance from a pH of 7. For example, a pH reading of 6 is 10 times more acidic than 7, but a pH of 5 is not 20 times more acidic but 100 times more acidic. If you’re catching on, then a pH reading of 4 is 1000 times more acidic than a pH of 7. Given this fact, what would seem like a small change in pH and be no big deal is, in reality, a big deal to your body.

Although some organs and organ fluids (like the gastric region) have a higher or lower pH than what is normal for the body, your body functions best when the pH of the internal biochemical environment (blood, lymph and intracellular fluids) is between 7.365 and 7.390. If you understand the pH scale above, then you can see that the body likes to keep itself slightly alkaline and in a very narrow range. Anything outside this range causes stress on the body. The farther outside this range, then the stress on the body goes up exponentially.

Since Coke has a pH of 2, it is 100,000 times more acidic than a pH of 7. This has a huge impact on your system. Your body will use its alkaline minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium to neutralize the acid to return your internal biochemical environment back to normal.

Compounding this acidic problem, your body also maintains a balanced concentration of phosphorus, calcium, and potassium in the bloodstream. This provides the right combination for building new bones and maintaining old ones. The shock of incoming phosphorus with zero calcium causes the calcium levels in the blood to decline. This triggers your body to dissolve calcium from the bones to restore this balance. This reaction, continued over time, leads to osteoporosis. Additionally, the body usually dissolves more calcium than needed so the excess calcium is eliminated in the following order:

  1. Excretion in the urine.
  2. Deposited in the joints leading to osteoarthritis and bursitis.
  3. Formation into stones such as kidney stones.
  4. Deposited in the arteries leading to calcified plaque.

Because phosphoric acid is such a strong acid, it reduces the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Hydrochloric acid is used for the digestion of protein and fats as well as aiding in the absorption of minerals. When hydrochloric acid is reduced inadequate digestion occurs which can result in bloating and flatulence. Additionally, mineral absorption is hindered which can lead to anemia (lack of iron) and accelerate the trend toward osteoporosis. Plus, low stomach acidity allows harmful bacteria, yeasts and parasites to grow which can affect your health.

Finally, the March/April 2007 edition of General Dentistry contains a report that shows, even with minimal exposure, phosphoric acid causes tooth enamel erosion.

Natural Flavors – This ingredient is even harder to get a handle on than Caramel Color. Technically, natural flavors are chemicals or a set of chemicals extracted from a natural substance, usually a plant or animal, without any chemical modifications. Cola companies are not required to disclose what those chemicals are or the procedure that they use to create the “Natural Flavors.”

Caffeine – This ingredient has the ability to stimulate mental alertness, overcome fatigue, and enhance endurance. Sounds great! But, it is an addictive chemical that comes with a cost to your body. As a stimulant it can be accompanied by constriction of the cerebral arteries, rapid heartbeat, and high blood pressure. Caffeine also causes the release of adrenaline which increases blood sugar. The pancreas reacts by secreting insulin to stabilize your blood sugar by driving the sugar into the cells for oxidation and energy production. However, excess blood sugar in the cells will be stored as fat.

People who consistently consume cola drinks high in sugar with caffeine constantly create an unbalanced cycling process. This puts undue stress on both the adrenal glands and the pancreas. Over time this has an impact on their ability to function properly resulting in arthritis and diabetes.

Aluminum – This ingredient is not listed on any cola can since the manufacturer does not add it to the liquid mixture at the time of manufacturing. However, over time, phosphoric acid is strong enough to eat away enough aluminum from the container to leach this metal into the liquid contents. Aluminum is deposited in the brain and bone tissue. In the brain, aluminum results in the formation of lesions similar to those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, aluminum exposure increases the break down of the bone structure while at the same time reducing new bone formation.

Water – This ingredient is the number one ingredient in all cola drinks. Thus, you might think that this is a good thing. Given the consumption of soda in the United States, it is interesting that experts estimate that 75% of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. WHY? Because most of the contents of a dark cola drink must be processed by the liver! All chemicals, artificial sweeteners, and most sugars especially fructose need to be metabolized by the liver. Most of the water in the dark cola drink goes to help the liver detoxify the body. This means that very little of the water actually ends up in the cells to help them function properly.

Water is a necessary and foundational part of our lives. Every biochemical action that takes place in your body takes place in water. By itself, pure water contains no calories, no artificial sweeteners and colorings, and is fat-free, cholesterol-free, low in sodium and not acidic. Please read my article, “Water, is it the Best Ingredient for Slowing Down the Aging Process?” for more information.


You’ve been presented with a lot of information. To help summarize, here is a side-by-side comparison of the potential health benefits of dark cola drinks vs. water:

Dark Cola Drinks



Most significant factor in losing fat!


Serves as an appetite suppressant!


Helps the body metabolize stored fat!


Helps to reduce water retention!


Medium for the body’s biochemistry!


Aids in maintaining proper acid-alkaline balance!

Here is a side-by- side comparison of the potential health risks from dark cola drinks vs. water:

Dark Cola Drinks


Alzheimer’s disease








Calcified arterial plaque






Emotional disorders


Fertility problems in both men and women




Heart hypertrophy


High blood pressure


High cholesterol


Kidney stones


Neurological disorders








Poor quality sleep




Tooth decay


Now, I’m not saying that the cola industry is the primary cause of all these health issues. What I am saying is that many of the ingredients in dark cola drinks have been linked to the above health issues. I find it interesting that as soda consumption has increased, along with an increase in processed foods that contain many of the same ingredients, there has been a correlating increase in all of the above wellness issues.

Remember, the goal of this article is to understand how the ingredients of dark cola drinks will nourish your new cells. Will they provide good nutrition or poor nutrition to the 1% of cells that are new each day? I think it’s pretty clear what your choice should be. So, as the aged Crusader from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade stands next to your refrigerator encouraging you to “Choose Wisely!” grab the bottled water and not the aluminum can of Coke!

Until next time, may we both age youthfully!

Synergistically yours,

P.S. To help you build an effective anti aging strategy, I recommend the following articles:

The Best Anti Aging Advice is Grounded in The 1% Solution

Water, is it the Best Ingredient for Slowing Down the Aging Process?

How Do Food, Metabolic, and Digestive Enzymes Factor in an Anti Aging Strategy?

These 5 Steps To Better Sleep Can Positively Affect Your Health!

The Acid Alkaline Balance:  Does Your Body’s pH Cause Cancer and Other Diseases?  Part 1  

The Acid Alkaline Balance:  Does Your Body’s pH Cause Cancer and Other Diseases?  Part 2

How Advanced Glycation End Products Cause You to AGE!

Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Good or Bad For You?

8 Dangers of Human Growth Hormone!

Return from Cola to Anti Aging Solutions

Return from Cola to Aging No More (Home Page)



The information contained in this website and posted articles are for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this website and posted articles has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

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