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Now the world's most popular soda brand in the world, Coca Cola has a long and somewhat surprising history. Did you know that John Pemberton, the pharmacist who invented the drink back in 1886, intially called it Pemberton’s French Wine Cola, and that it was an alcoholic beverage to start off with? You do now.
The drink was advertised as a cure for headache at the beginning — the caffeine the kola nut offers constricts blood flow to the dilated blood vessels in the head that cause headache, making Coca Cola look like something of a miracle cure. What's more, Pemberton — perhaps a tad too enthusiastic about his invention — claimed the drink could cure impotence and morphine addiction, and cola syrup was sold in pharmacies as a nausea and stomach pain remedy!
Sugary Drinks Kill An Awful Lot Of People
Coca Cola contains 39 grams of sugar per 12-ounce can. You can see what that actually looks like if you boil a can of coke down until only a dark, sugary mess remains — but you may have to come to terms with the need to throw the sauce pan you use away afterwards. Here's what all that sugar does to you in the short term:
- Within about 20 minutes, your body will synthesize 10 teaspoons of sugar, causing a huge blood sugar spike as well as lots of insulin secretion from the pancreas.
- After only an hour, the insulin and sugar will have passed through your system, leading to a slump that will probably make you want to have another can of coke.
A recent study published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation looked at the health impact of cosuming sugary drinks like soda, energy drinks and sweetened ice teas. After looking at numerous meta analyses on the topic, comprising a total of 611,971 participants, the research team came to the startling conclusion that sugary beverages are linked to a whopping 184,000 deaths a year on a global level. Of those deaths, 133,000 can be attributed to diabetes-related causes, 45,000 to cardiovascular disease, and 6,450 to cancer.