I remember even as a child, the discussion of how bad Coke was for your teeth. It was not just Coke, but all sugary soft drinks. But it was the experiment with the nail in the Coke which highlighted the effect of “pop” or “fizzy drinks”, as my older daughter likes to call them, on teeth enamel. I still recall my reaction at the time. I found it very interesting that they still do similar experiments in school, as both my daughters performed this experiment this year, using water, milk, and pop. I hope they learned something from it, even if my younger daughter still likes an occasional soda, and both still like sweet drinks. Fortunately, it’s usually iced tea or orange juice.
So, we have known that pop, when consumed in excessive amounts, is bad for your teeth and bones. We also know that those with caffeine can cause problems with migraines and palpitations (rapid heart rate). Now, we find out that drinking too much of these soft drinks can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, and even paralysis. These effects are due to the loss of potassium from the glucose, fructose and caffeine. Even without caffeine, the body can lose potassium through diarrhea from the high levels of fructose. Several people have come to medical attention after suffering serious adverse events due to excessive consumption of pop.
What is excessive consumption? Well, for those who ended up in the hospital, it ranged from 2-3 L/day up to 4-10 L/day. Of course, I cannot imagine drinking even that amount of water, so it’s hard for me to imagine drinking that amount of pop. Anyhow, scientists do not have a recommendation on the amount that is acceptable, but it would be safe to say that any amount may have small effects on levels of potassium. Needless to say, the sugars found in pop would very likely exacerbate diabetes and obesity, two big health problems today. If anything, it would probably be best to limit oneself to only one can of pop a day.