Filthy logo

What if You Only Drank Coke (Day by Day)

Ever wondered what would happen to you if you only ever drank Coke?

By Jayveer ValaPublished about a year ago 20 min read
What if You Only Drank Coke?

You love it, you crave it, you can’t get enough of it. Coke is your go-to drink, and you’ve decided to make it the only liquid you put into your body. What could go wrong? To start with, the sugary drink is tricking you into wanting more. You’ll never actually be able to quench your thirst, and with each can of soda, you are killing yourself quicker than you think. In the days to come, your teeth will rot, you will gain weight, and at least one of your vital organs will fail. Before we get started, let’s blow your mind with some statistics. In 2018 the average American consumed 38.87 gallons of soda throughout the year.

This is lower than in previous years. For example, in 2010, the average annual consumption of soda was 45.5 gallons per person in the United States. This is a massive amount of soda to be drinking annually, and it comes with all kinds of consequences. Although, if we look at the average amount of soda consumed worldwide in 2018, the United States is not in the number one spot. Argentinians drink about a quarter of a gallon more soda a year than Americans do. The Americas themselves hold the top 5 spots for most soda drunk each year, with Argentina being first, the United States second, Chile third at 37 gallons per year, Mexico fourth at 36 gallons per year, and Uraguay in fifth at about 30 gallons of soda per year. Belgium, Germany, and Norway come next at around 26 gallons per person per year. Followed by Saudi Arabia at approximately 23.5 gallons per year. Now if you are drinking soda every day, these numbers do not apply to you. If we assume that instead of drinking your recommended 8 glasses of water daily, you drink 8 cups of Coke daily, you will consume 182.5 gallons of Coke during the year. This is somewhere between 4 and 5 bathtubs full of Coke. Just thinking about that should make you feel a little queasy, but let’s say you go for it anyways. The first day you switch to your Coke-only lifestyle, you feel okay. Soda for breakfast seems a little odd at first, but as the sugar hits your tongue and pleasure signals are sent to your brain, you quickly forget about the no-soda-for-breakfast taboo. The sugar in the drink is tricking your brain into wanting more.

But it’s not just soda you want more of; you want more of everything. This is because the sugar your body is taking in is increasing your appetite. In the days to come, this will lead to many more problems as your body tries to adjust to only drinking Coke. As the first day of drinking Coke comes to an end, you’re likely going to be pretty tired. Whenever you needed a pick-me-up, you just opened another can of Coke. But now that it’s bedtime, you decide that it's best to stop drinking and try and get some rest. At first, you’re a little jittery as the levels of caffeine and sugar in your body are still pretty high. It will take several hours for your body to metabolize and use up these chemicals, which means you could be staring at the ceiling waiting for sleep to come for several hours. But at some point, you will crash hard. You pass out and sleep through the night. When you wake up the next morning, you are a little achy. You are dehydrated as the high amount of sodium and high fructose corn syrup in the Coke causes your body to use up much of its resources to metabolize and digest the sugary liquids from the day before. You go to the sink for a glass of water, but then you remember that you’ve given up on the clear quench thirster and instead head to the fridge for another bottle of Coke.

The top comes off with a satisfying release of CO2, and you are officially on day two of your Coke-only lifestyle. Everything seems pretty normal the first few days except for the ups and downs associated with sugar highs. But as the week progresses, you notice some changes to your body, none of which are very pleasant. Every time you take a bite of food or sip of soda, your teeth ache. It’s like you’ve developed cavities overnight. This is not too far from the truth. After days of only drinking soda, the enamel on your teeth starts to break down. As you drink your Coke, the sugar that lingers in your mouth is used by bacteria to carry out life functions. One of the byproducts of these processes is an acid that causes your teeth to decay. As your teeth are damaged, cavities, which are holes in the teeth, start to develop. These can eventually become so painful that you’ll need to seek the help of a dentist. The crazy part is that the more soda you drink, the worse the tooth decay is going to get. Not to mention that once you have a cavity, every time soda enters your mouth, some of the liquid will get inside the holes in your teeth and cause searing pain. All of this is exacerbated by the fact that the bacteria destroying your teeth thrive inside your cavities. They also now have a surplus of food because every time you take a swig of Coke, you are providing them with the sugars they need to multiply. It’s a vicious cycle that can only end with you losing a few teeth.

But you decide to put up with the mouth pain and continue chugging that Coca-Cola. Unfortunately, you are about to start noticing some physical changes to your body that you might not like very much. Every week that you drink Coke instead of water, you are consuming around 5,000 more calories than you normally would. This is like adding two extra days of meals to your weekly caloric intake. What this means is that your body is going to start to become larger. And this is not because you are gaining muscle from picking up and putting down the soda can all day. The weight you’re gaining is mostly stored fat. As you plan your meals for the day, it’s unlikely you are taking into consideration how many extra calories are coming from your soda. This means you do not adjust what you eat, and therefore you are consuming hundreds of more calories than you would have on a normal diet. The high fructose corn syrup in soda also doesn’t stimulate the production of insulin and leptin the same way that other sugars do. What this means is that you do not feel full as quickly as you should. This results in overeating, resulting in weight gain. As you continue your week, you try and mitigate your calorie intake by not snacking as much, but when you go for that sugary drink, your body doesn’t register all of the calories in it the same way it would if you were eating a protein bar or a healthy snack. So, even after a large glass of Coke, your body still thinks it needs more calories. On top of this, as your body gets used to the high amounts of sugar in Coke, it craves more.

Sugars are vitally important to the energy production process in your cells. The brain knows this, which is why it is programmed to make you want more and more sugar. Unfortunately, the sugars in Coke do not satisfy this craving, and you end up finding yourself having that snack anyways. The really unfortunate part is that if you are a female, there are no fewer than 88 different studies that show weight gain caused by sugary drinks is more prevalent in women than men. The body typically stores the excess calories and sugars as fat, which builds up further each day that you are continuously drinking Coke. But women aren’t the only subgroup that seems to be negatively impacted by drinking too much soda. Children who drink soda every day increase their odds of becoming obese by 60%. This is too big of a number to be a coincidence. By drinking soda all the time, there is no doubt that your body will gain weight, which could also lead to you becoming obese. And with obesity comes all sorts of other problems that you’ll discover in the weeks to come. Other factors play a role in someone becoming obese other than just drinking soda. However, in a huge study of more than 33,000 people, researchers found that people who have a genetic predisposition for obesity had a much higher rate of actually becoming obese if they drank soda. However, people with the same predisposition who did not drink soda were less likely to become obese. Why is this important? It shows even if you have a family history of obesity, staying away from Coke and other sugary drinks might help you maintain a healthy weight if you also maintain an active lifestyle and eat right. Drinking large amounts of soda, on the other hand, could worsen the underlying condition and amplify it to deadly levels. So, after a few weeks of only drinking Coke, your teeth hurt, and your gaining weight. Soon your clothes won’t fit, and you’ll need to go shopping, but this is the least of your worries. Things are about to get much more serious.

As you continuously put high amounts of sugar into your body via your daily bottles of Coke, your pancreas and liver have to work overtime to metabolize it all. This can lead to a life-altering disease, diabetes. Oversaturing your body with sugars from a soda can lead to insulin resistance of your cells or damage to the pancreas that keeps it from producing enough insulin. Either way, your body is starting to fall apart from within. Just by drinking 1 or 2 cans of soda a day, your chances of developing type 2 diabetes increase by around 26%. And since all you’re drinking is Coke, it is pretty much inevitable that you will develop the disease after a few weeks to a few months. This happens because as the sugar in the Coke circulates through your body, too much of it is left in the bloodstream because your pancreas just can’t keep up. But a side effect of this excess sugar is that it can eventually lead to your cells resisting the signals to take in the substance and produce energy. This is one way that type 2 diabetes develops. There can be no denying that you're rolling the dice with your body with each extra drink of Coke. At some point, you will probably lose and be confronted with diabetes. Your pancreas is not the only vital organ that takes a beating from your Coke-only drinking habits. After months of consuming Coke, your liver could be in dire straights. Coke and other sodas contain a lot of a type of sugar called fructose.

Fructose is not broken down in the body the same way other sugars like glucose are. Instead, fructose is processed almost exclusively in the liver. The problem is that when there is too much fructose in your body, the excess is stored as fat in your liver. This build-up of liver fat can cause all sorts of problems inside you. As you consume more soda and more fat accumulates in your liver, you could develop Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. This can lead to the inflammation of your liver, which in extreme circumstances can cause scarring of the tissue and liver failure. It probably goes without saying that if your liver fails due to damage caused by drinking too much soda, you die. But even if you have a milder case of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, all kinds of problems can still arise. You might start feeling fatigued due to a slowing down of your metabolism. There also may be pain or discomfort in your abdomen as your body tries to signal to the brain that there is something very wrong going on. This can also lead to abdominal swelling, enlarged palms, and even jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin. This change in skin colour is a good indication that the liver is not working properly as one of its functions is to filter out a chemical called bilirubin that accumulates when blood cells die. This is a natural process, and a healthy liver that hasn’t been sabotaged by its owner drinking excessive amounts of soda can easily filter out the bilirubin. However, if the liver has a build-up of fat around it, this process is hindered.

Drinking Coke every day will also increase your chances of developing a painful disease called gout. A gout is a form of arthritis that can result in sudden and severe pain in your joints. One minute you could be sipping your eighth can of Coke for the day, and the next, you could be on the ground writhing in agony as your joints feel like they have fire ants crawling within them. Gout occurs when crystals form from a buildup of uric acid in your joints. These urate crystals are what cause the excruciating pain associated with gout. The fructose in soda causes your body to produce uric acid to help break down the complex sugar. As a result, more and more urate crystals can accumulate in your joints. The more Coke you drink, the more uric acid your body needs to produce. Every time you take a sip, your body is that much closer to developing gout. In a 22-year-long study, researchers found that people who consumed just one can of a sugary drink a day were 75% more likely to develop gout in the future. So, it is not a matter of if, but when you will have to worry about joint pains from gout if you only drink Coke. Just remember that the more times your body has to dump uric acid into your system to help with the digestion of fructose, the more likely you are to develop pain in your joints as a result of urate crystals being formed. So, at this point, some of your main organs are beginning to malfunction or shut down. As the first few months of only drinking soda comes to an end, you are likely overweight, and your skin may be discoloured; it’s not a pretty sight to look at. However, the worst is yet to come.

One study found that drinking just one can of soda a day increases your risk of having a heart attack by 20%. You are likely consuming around 8 cans a day since this is your only source of water, other than what’s in the food you eat. Why do your drinking habits coincide with an increased risk of having a heart attack? When you started gaining weight, your heart needed to work harder to circulate blood and nutrients around your body. Like with any muscle, the more you use your heart and the harder it has to work, the more tired it gets. After months of working overtime just to keep up with all of the sugar input from the soda your drink, your heart begins to become strained. The extra weight you’ve gained doesn’t help matters either. There is a correlation between drinking lots of Coke and what types of food you are putting into your body. Coke and a healthy salad normally don’t go together, so more likely than not, the meals you’re eating while drinking Coke probably contain some fatty or processed ingredients. This further aggravates the problems for your heart as your cholesterol levels are likely increasing as well. The sugar in soda also causes an increase in blood pressure. All of these factors combined are really bad news for your heart. The high amount of fructose in soda might not only cause inflammation of the liver but could cause your arteries and veins to swell as well. If fat begins to build up along the pathways that your blood flows through, your heart will need to work even harder than it already is to make sure that nutrients reach your brain and other vital organs.

The Coke you are drinking every day is causing your body to swell up, increasing the likelihood of a future heart attack. And once you have that heart attack, the doctor who saves your life will likely tell you to stop drinking soda. Your Coke-only lifestyle will be over. On the plus side, following your doctor’s advice will probably save your life. As you lay in the hospital bed recovering from a heart attack your bones start to ache. You have been dealing with gout, but this is different. You feel like a young person in a 90-year-old body. And it’s because of your Coke intake that your bones are falling apart. The Coke you’ve been sipping on over the last several months contains a large amount of phosphate. If you consume more phosphate than calcium, it can cause your bones to deteriorate. Since Coke contains approximately 0 milligrams of calcium per bottle and around 37 milligrams of phosphorus, your ratio to maintain healthy bones is off by a lot. You could supplement your phosphate intake by drinking more milk or other calcium-rich drinks, but since you decided Coke was the only beverage for you, this isn’t an option. You could try eating foods high in calcium like cheese, soybeans, and salmon, but it probably won't be enough since you’ll be washing it all down with a glass of Coke. The effects of soda on a developing body can be especially detrimental as having strong bones is vital for the growth process.

It’s the shifting of the calcium and phosphorus ratio within your body that results in a decrease in bone density. Regardless of who you are or your age, this is not a good thing. On top of this, you now weigh much more, which is putting even further strain on your bones. You are only a Coke or two away from collapsing, which brings us to the scariest part of only drinking Coke: it lowers your life expectancy drastically. It may seem astonishing, but the Coke you’ve been drinking for years now is changing your DNA. At the end of each of your chromosomes is a section of the genetic code called telomeres. Telomeres play a role in maintaining the integrity of your DNA every time your cells divide, which is happening all of the time. The division of cells is what allows you to grow, heal, and replace dead or damaged cells. Every time a cell divides, some of the telomere section of the chromosome is lost. Eventually, there are no more telomeres left. When this happens, the DNA degrades, and the cell dies. This is what causes ageing. As you get older, your telomeres get shorter and shorter until your cells start to deteriorate due to the ends of each chromosome no longer having any protection during cell division. If your cells can’t divide, you can’t replace damaged or lost cells, which eventually leads to death by old age. The most insane part is that drinking large quantities of soda every day may shorten your telomeres by about the same amount as someone who smokes cigarettes every day.

What this means is that the Coke you're drinking is shortening your life expectancy by years or even decades. The exact mechanism that causes the soda to erode your cell’s telomeres is not exactly known yet, but recent studies on telomere length in white blood cells have produced interesting results that connect the two. Scientists from the University of California San Fransico have found that “daily consumption of a 20-ounce soda was equivalent to an average of 4.6 years of telomere shortening.” However, the shortening of your life due to only drinking Coke is not just because of the damage it’s doing to your cells. Studies suggest that drinking one to two glasses of soda per day can increase your chances of early death by 14%. If you drink two or more glasses per day your chances of dying early increase to 21%. These are some really scary statistics because the cause of death is not defined. Your chances of dying from many types of diseases increases as a result of consuming a lot of soda or sugary drinks. The most common cause of death from soda is cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease or stroke. People who drink two or more servings of soda per day are 31% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

There is also some evidence to suggest that consuming soda may increase your risk of certain cancers as well. All of these statistics are not pleasant to think about, which probably indicates you should quit drinking large quantities of soda as soon as possible and supplement it with water. But there is some good news. If all you drank was soda for days, weeks, or months and you haven’t succumbed to any of the terrible side effects mentioned so far, you may be able to reverse any damage that’s already been done to your body. Everyone’s body is different, which means that drinking only Coke will affect people in different ways. Take one case of a woman from Monaco. She only drank Coke for 16 years before being hospitalized. This is probably much longer than most people would last, but her body did eventually start to fail. From the time she was 15 until she was 31, all this woman had to drink was Coke.

But during the 16th year of this lifestyle, things started to go wrong. She was constantly fainting, which was likely due to the inability of her body to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Both her potassium levels and heart rate were severely impacted by the soda she was consuming all of the time. Doctors and medical professionals believe that low potassium levels are common among heavy soda drinkers due to fructose-induced osmotic diarrhoea. This is the scientific way to say that the high amounts of fructose in soda cause the food you eat to stay in your intestine while water isn’t being absorbed properly by the circulatory system. The excess water in the intestines means that your bowel movements will be liquid and loose, which means the more soda your drink, the more diarrhoea you’ll have. This process leads to nutrients such as potassium not being absorbed properly by the body. However, there is some good news. Even after 16 years of only drinking Coke, the woman’s body was able to recover with the help of medical professionals and dietary scientists. There is no doubt that if the doctors did not intervene, the woman would have died as a result of her choice to only drink Coke.

This should be a lesson for you if you are only drinking soda. By dialling back your Coke intake and drinking more water, you could live longer, and your body will thank you. And we’re not even talking about if you are an avid Coca-Cola drinker who has multiple cans every day. If you drink soda several times a week, it could be harming your body if you aren’t supplementing it with healthy meals. Just by removing soda from your diet or limiting yourself to one or two glasses a week, you will be lowering your risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and several other diseases. Most things in moderation are okay.

This includes soda. However, if you drink Coke every day, the side effects will eventually catch up to you. It may take 16 years, or it could be in a matter of months. Why take the risk? Try a glass of fresh cold water during your next meal; it could change your life.


About the Creator

Jayveer Vala

I write.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.