Are Colas Really That Bad?

We’ve all heard of the science fair project where a student immerses a piece of meat in soda, and it is dissolved in only a few days. If this were true, it would be practically impossible for us to drink soda without our entire digestive system being eaten away. However, while reports of this experiment have been around for years, it doesn’t really work. The PH level of soda is strong enough to tenderize meat, but not enough to dissolve it. The PH of our stomachs is similar, but our digestive system includes special enzymes to help with the breaking down of meats and other foods.

Effects on Teeth

Another science fair experiment you may have heard of; however, is true. A tooth placed in cola will dissolve in 24 – 49 hours. The phosphoric and citric acid are plenty strong enough to erode calcium. (While the cola will have no effect on meat, it is able to dissolve bone.) Habitual drinkers and those who slowly sip soda are the most likely to experience erosion of tooth enamel.

Another side effect of cola on teeth is staining. Darker colas contain pigmented molecules that latch onto dental enamel. This process is made easier if the enamel is eroded or softened by acids. Even when drinking light colored sodas that don’t stain teeth, the acid that softens the enamel makes teeth more susceptible to pigments found in other food and beverages.

A few tips to reduce the effects of soda on teeth are to drink through a straw which especially helps reduce contact with the front teeth, swallow quickly, and rinse your mouth with water after drinking. Brushing would, of course, be even better.


Let’s look at a few of the ingredients found in soda pop. First, natural sweeteners including table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, honey, and maple syrup are found in these drinks. Many, especially the diet variety, utilize sugar substitutes. These can be low or no calorie, natural or artificial. Several of these sugars and sweeteners are associated with negative side effects. Even those not causing harm, can contribute to a diet too heavy on sweets.

Several acids including phosphoric, citric, ascorbic, and carbonic (resulting from the carbon dioxide used to add the fizz) are found in colas. Due to the PH of cola, it can be used for rust control. Have you ever used it to clean your corroded car battery?

While caffeine free colas exist, it is a main ingredient in many of the soft drinks available. This stimulant added for flavor, can cause heart palpitations, anxiety, and insomnia, and is highly addictive. Persons addicted to caffeine only through the intake of soda can experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to cut back.

1 Hours’s Worth of Effects

Wade Meredith gives a beak down of the effects of cola within an hour of consumption. Some of them are listed below.

10 min.-10 teaspoons of sugar, 100% of the daily recommended intake, enter your body

20 min.-Your blood sugar spikes causing an insulin burst, and your liver turns sugar into fat.

40 min.-Caffeine absorption is complete causing your pupils to dilate, blood pressure to rise, sugar to enter your bloodstream, and drowsiness to be prevented.

45 min.-Your body’s dopamine production increases. This stimulates the pleasure censors in your brain the same way heroin would.

60 min.-Caffeine acts as a diuretic causing you to lose calcium, magnesium, sodium, electrolytes, and water.

Are colas really that bad? Decide for yourself, and drink accordingly.


HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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