I drink the recommended amount of water per day. How much liquid does our body need us to take in daily? The recommended amount is 8 glasses, though the exact amount is 2000mL. Recently, soda companies have been claiming that their products are just as healthy as water – even better, since you’ll want to drink it. This advertising campaign worked; though many people did not believe it, a select few did. And converting a select few is the entire purpose of an ad campaign.
What if soda replaced water in our lives? I did some math, and will now share my results. It’s simple math – just multiplication against the Coca Cola nutrition facts sheet. I convert each amount given for 240mL and scale it up to 2000mL. This is what you’ll get if you drink nothing but Coca Cola Original in a single day.
Calories – 808 Calories
808 Calories out of a 2000 Calorie diet. That’s 40% coming just from liquids. Since I like to eat food during the day, my meals (even if I eat healthy foods) will still land me well above my 2000 Calorie target zone.
Sugar – 192 grams
This runs under the assumption that all of the carbohydrates in Coca Cola come from sugar. Out of the 310 grams of carbohydrates we should be eating per day, we shouldn’t let more than 30 grams of it come from sugar. Soda gives you a 1/1 ratio, where the rest of your diet must follow a 1/10 ratio. Even if we ate sugar free food the rest of the day, we’d still be consuming 6.4 times more sugar than the maximum limit.
Our bodies can’t (and won’t) process that much sugar. As many adults now understand, “sugar my body didn’t use” equates to “increased fat in my body”.
Caffeine – 192 milligrams
Looking at the adult body, 300 milligrams of caffeine per day is required for the standard “trouble” symptoms (shakiness, etc). It would seem that soda doesn’t push our caffeine levels over the limit. So what is caffeine doing in soda? It doesn’t give us an energy boost; at the end of the day, those of us over 20 feel tired from too much soda. What it does do is dehydrate our bodies, and that leads us to Sodium.
Sodium – 275 milligrams
Sodium dehydrates our systems as well. Sodium and caffeine both work to make our bodies lose water. This concerns me because it brings this “2000mL of soda per day” scenario closer to reality. Most of us have trouble drinking that much water daily, but soda seems easier somehow. This is partially because soda induces a feeling of thirst shortly after we finish consuming it. And the more soda we drink, the closer we are to living out these numbers.
High amounts of Sodium should be avoided at all costs. The absolute maximum safe amount of sodium for an adult is 2400 milligrams per day. 275 milligrams brings us over 10% there, and our food contains a lot of salt. This extra 10% can easily push us over the limit.
Phosphorus – 342 milligrams
The FDA has stated that consuming more than 250 milligrams of Phosphorus may cause stomach problems. That’s all I have for that point.
If you can’t imagine an adult drinking that much soda in one day, consider a small child. Their body mass is much less than an adult’s, which means they would only need a fraction of that amount of soda to experience these effects.
Scale things down by a ratio of body mass when considering these effects on children. If someone weighs 1/8th as much as you, shouldn’t they be consuming 1/8th as much sugar? 8 glasses gets cut down to one glass, yet these effects still applied. Considering they will take place in a developing body, the effects of soda are even more dangerous. If you have children, disallow soda drinking entirely. Cut it out of your own lives as well – there’s no reason to put yourself in a precarious position in life.