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~Follow up on Coke's Claim It's Good for Hydration~
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Published: 16 years ago

~Follow up on Coke's Claim It's Good for Hydration~

On Coke's Claim It's Good For Hydration

by Gayle Eversole, DHom, PhD, MH, NP, ND

Clear as Crystal, a pure river of water for life

Marketing madness really drives the corportocracy in a consumer based society.

So long have we been inundated with advertising we succumb to promotional ideation and easily act, almost subliminally, on these ideas flashed at us on TV and other venues.

Not too many years ago, well in to the switch to bottled water, a study was released denigrating water over the use of any fluid to hydrate your body.

Recently, and I'm sure based on this old report, the beverage industry through its lobby group, American Beverage Association, is engaged in an industry wide campaign. The campaign is promoting soft drinks as a healthy way to hydrate.

Coca-Cola is on this bandwagon advertising over 80 ways to help you hydrate.

While Coca-Cola is fluid, here are some facts you might want to consider before substituting a soft drink for the water of life.

Water is necessary for life of all living things, human and otherwise.

In the human body water is the most common molecule. An adult body holds about 45-75 percent water, depending body fat because fat holds less water. Muscle cells contain about 50-70 percent water, approximately half of your body's water. Blood may be as much as 80 percent water; grey matter in the brain, 70-85 percent; bones, 20-33 percent. Water inside cells is just over half this fluid balance. Just under half is the water concentration in blood and extra-cellular fluid.

Hippocrates (460-354 BC) was aware of the importance of water for disease prevention and health. Water has been established as an important health directive, due to its ability to dilute and reduce toxity in the bloodstream and digestive system. Water is necessary for respiration, digestion, circulation, glandular secretion, temperature regulation, waste elimination, flushing bacteria, preventing fatigue, maintaining memory and virtually every body function. Water helps lubricate, insulate, protect, and give flexibility to the muscles, ligaments, and joints.

The average person loses about three quarts of water daily. If your intake of water is less than this amount you are on your way to dehydration. This is a good guide for daily intake of at least this much water, or more as necessary if you are infirmed.

If you live in a hot, dry climate or at higher altitudes you need a substantial increase in water just as it you exercise and sickness. Excessive amounts of salt, Sugar or protein in your diet increases water need. Vomiting, diarrhea, lactation, and even cuts and a runny nose increase water loss and must be replaced by drinking more water.

Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, lethargy, mental confusion, reduced skin elasticity, sunken eyes, fever, scanty dark urine, accumulation of urea, creatinine and sodium in the blood, thickening of the blood, shock, constipation, kidney and bladder infections, kidney stones, and elevated hemoglobin/hematocrit readings.

Losing even twenty percent of water volume from your body usually spells death. We usually need more water than we realize.

An easy way to test yourself is to run your index finger over your tongue. If your tongue feels at all rough or like sandpaper you need more water. You are very often likely to be dehydrated before you feel thirsty.

Other fluid beverages just don't meet the muster when it comes to hydration and here's why -

In the 1880's when an Atlanta pharmacist invented Coca-Cola it was more like an over-the-counter remedy you purchased at the pharmacy. The selling of the soda fountain beverage did not really take off until ten years later. Over the decades Coca-Cola has grown to sell over one billion drinks a day, worldwide.

The original formula was marketed for nausea and vomiting, or soothing the stomach. It was mixed into a simple syrup (sugar and water) containing sugar, water, phosphoric acid, caffeine extract from coca leaves, cola nut with other (herb/spice) flavorings and caramel color.

* Simple syrup with Sugar and water is for taste and energy (in cells).

* Phosphoric acid is used to rebalance pH or the acid-base balance in blood.

* Caffeine is a stimulant and diuretic. In the 1880s it was a pure plant extract, not a synthetic additive.

* Kola nut is a traditional African sustenance food containing caffeine starch, sugar, fats, plant oils and enzymes. In addition to supplying caffeine, Kola nut is a valuable nervine, heart tonic, and a good general tonic.

* Caramel coloring: generally at the time considered to be a mix of sugar, water, milk and fat cooked over heat until the dark color develops.

The dose was one or two teaspoons over crushed ice and sipped slowly. I remember taking this remedy as a child.

Fast forward -

In the 1960s most soda fountains phased out. All kinds of soft drinks began flooding grocery shelves. Today it is an entire aisle or two, depending on the size of your local market.

Now they'll have you believe Coca-Cola and other drinks are good for hydration.

Here's why that's not the case.

Today, according to the Coca-Cola Company web site this beverage is made from carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and/or sucrose, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavors and caffeine. (Some industry reports the unidentified use of artificial sweeteners mixed with Sugar in regular Coke to keep profit margins up.)

The ingredients may not be from natural sources as in the past, and the way it's used is very different. Coca-Cola no longer comes in an amber or green glass bottle; it's either an aluminum can or plastic bottle. Water is not identified as filtered which may pose other concerns.

According to Nutrition Data, one small fast-food outlet serving of (fountain) Coca-Cola contains 29.5 g sugars/carbohydrate, 11 mg sodium, 117 calories, small size by weight 284 g, and 1% calcium. A large fountain Coke is noted to contain fluoride.

* HFCS - Continuing studies of fructose and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) indicate that it is a major contributor to rising obesity rates. Corn allergy is common. More and more corn is GMO, and it is grown with a very toxic herbicide, Atrazine. HFCS is metabolized dfferently than sugar, and it is very stressful to the pancreas. Low-fat foods are often high in HFCS. Corn syrup is made from corn starch and it bypasses digestion going directly to the liver where enzymes are released telling the body to store fat. This can elevate triglycerides and LDL ( bad cholesterol).
It is known that HFCS does not stimulate insulin, so you do not feel full. You may also lose chromium, needed to protect you from developing Type 2 Diabetes. Elders have a higher risk. HFCS is inexpensive (Federal subsidies generate about a 20% lower cost for commercial food manufacturers), easy to transport and has a long shelf-life. Ketchup, Coke, Fruit on the bottom yoghurt and fig bars have high amount of HFCS. Read labels before you purchase. - from the Leaflady, 04/21/04. Please read more here http://

* Phosphoric Acid - Generally used as a pH balancer (in this environment, reduce acid). However, when in aluminum cans this can react with the metal and cause other health concerns such as promotion of bone loss.

* Carbonation - Contributes calcium, mainly in carbonate form. In many consumer beverages such as soft drinks carbonation is used to give "bite". Contrary to popular belief, the fizzy taste is caused by dilute carbonic acid inducing a slight burning sensation, and is not caused by the presence of bubbles. This can be shown by drinking a fizzy drink in a hyperbaric chamber at the same pressure as the beverage. This gives much the same taste, but the bubbles are completely absent. Carbonation is sometimes used for reasons other than consumption, to lower the pH (increase acid) of a water solution, for example. It has been shown that consuming carbonated beverages, especially those containing the caffeine (a diuretic causing water loss), in excess during hot weather can result in dehydration and also worsen other heat-related injuries such as heat stroke.

* Caramel coloring - Caramel coloring is made for general food and beverage use with approximately double color intensity. These colorings are allegedly designated as "ACID PROOF" because of prolonged stability and brilliance when used in acidulated carbonated beverages. The pH of today's caramel coloring is 2.5 -3.0 (highly acid). It has a shelf life of two years and contains sulfites .

* Caffeine - a stimulant and diuretic. Generally today obtained from a synthetic chemical compound.

* Sugar - For taste. Excess sugar in blood craves water. Read about sugar here:

* Natural Flavors - from Title 21, Section 101, part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations is as follows: The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.

Some soft drinks include sodium or potassium benzoate. In its refined form, sodium benzoate is a white, odorless compound that has a sweetish, astringent taste. It is soluble in water. Sodium benzoate has anti-microbial characteristics it is typically used as a preservative in food. Recent studies report this as a carcinogenic ingredient that can affect DNA, although maintains a GRAS (generally accepted as safe) rating by the FDA. It is found in antiseptics, medicines, tobacco products, pharmaceutical preparations, dyes and as a rust and mildew inhibitor. Use in non- meat foods is limited to 0.1% by weight.

If you are relying on Diet Soda - Don't!

Diet Coca-Cola is made from water, high fructose corn syrup and/or sucrose, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavors, potassium benzoate (to protect taste), potassium citrate, caffeine, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose. Nutrition Facts: Serving size: 8oz; total fat 0g; sodium 30mg; total carbohydrate 12g; sugars 12g; protein 0g.

Temperatures of 80-90 degrees cause the degradation of Aspartame into neurotoxic substances. More facts on artificial sweeteners can be obtained from Dr. Betty Martini,

If you've got an abundance of plastic 20 ounce bottles donate them to a good cause:

And drink more pure, clean filtered water. Your health depends on it.

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