Brain and Body

Viral Rumors About Coca Cola: Debunked

September 25, 2015 | Kelly Tatera

Coca Cola infographic by Fabio Pantoja
Photo credit: 'Uncover the Truth' by Fabio Pantoja (

While Coca Cola isn’t a healthy choice by any means, the science behind the drink’s effects on the body proves some of the viral claims to be wildly exaggerated. 

Coca Cola’s been taking the heat recently — an infographic showing Coke’s effects on the body after an hour of consumption went viral, and now, a revamped logo claims to “uncover the truth” about the soda’s harm on different organs. Undoubtedly, Coke isn’t the healthiest beverage choice out there, but how accurate are these incriminating internet campaigns?

The logo designer, Fabio Pantoja, fashioned a new Coca Cola logo featuring all of the different organs that the soda allegedly damages. He published his work, titled Uncover the Truth, on Behance, writing, “More than a critic to CocaCola, it’s a critic to myself, to see if I can finally stop drinking this poison once and for all!”

SEE ALSO: Fraudulent Nutrition Research Loses Libel Case

According to Pantoja, when we drink Coke, we’re damaging our brains, livers, stomachs, bladders, eyes, small and large intestines, kidneys, nervous systems, pancreas, bones, and hearts. Apparently Coke doesn’t discriminate as it fizzes through our bodies, seeping into its unknowing victims.

The viral soda infographic, created by Niraj Naik of The Renegade Pharmacist, also singles out Coke as one of the body’s worst nightmares. It suggests that in the first 10 minutes of consumption, 10 teaspoons of sugar hit our systems, and at 40 minutes, our pupils dilate and blood pressure rises. Just five minutes later, the infographic claims that there’s an increase in dopamine production, stimulating the pleasure centers of the brain in the same way that heroin does.

While both Coca Cola condemners wield compelling content, how accurate is their information?

The facts seem somewhat legitimate at first, but focusing in on the details make the claims seem a little fishy.

Michael A. Taffe, associate professor for the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders at the Scripps Research Institute told Buzzfeed that the comparison of Coca Cola to heroin was way overblown. “Everything about drugs needs to be understood in terms of dose and tolerance,” he said. He also clarified that caffeine doesn’t “stimulate dopamine production” directly, but it may enhance the release of it.

Besides which, Coke only contains 34 mg of caffeine. Considering that the amount of caffeine found in a large coffee trumps that figure with a whopping 200 mg, it’s pretty unlikely that Coke dilates pupils within 40 minutes.

According to Livestrong, drinking soda can hurt the liver and kidneys as well as causing osteoporosis and tooth decay. But as for causing significant damage to all the organs highlighted by Pantoja — unlikely.

These Coca Cola critics have a clear end goal to encourage people to stop drinking so much soda. While their attempts undoubtedly contain exaggerations and inaccuracies, the intentions are golden.

Regular consumption of soda, a drink high in sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, can contribute to health problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. The bottom line is, a can every once in awhile won’t kill you, but when it comes to maintaining top-notch health — water is your best friend.

Hot Topics

Facebook comments