Sometimes there’s nothing better than a glass of coke, slice of lemon bobbing on the top, ice clinking.
However, next time someone judges you for reaching for a red and white can of the stuff, here are some medical justifications for doing so.
1. Increase your energy
If you’re all out of energy and in need of a quick blast of sugar to get over that 4pm slump.
Of course, most doctors would recommend snacking on a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit for a more controlled release of sugar into your system, but sometimes you just need a rush to get you going – regardless of the inevitable sugar crash 30-60 minutes later.
2. Focus the mind
Just like your morning cup of coffee, CocaCola offers a good whack of the stimulant caffeine (it’s a caffeinated drink after all).
As the caffeine enters your blood stream, it can spark increased concentration and mental focus, so if your attention levels are dipping, a mouthful or two of Coke could get you back up to speed.
Overdo it though and too much caffeine can leave you feeling jittery and stressed.
3. Stop nausea
There is much speculation on this front, but many people swear by a glass of flat coke when it comes to settling an upset stomach and eradicating nausea.
While the jury is out on whether the drink is actually capable of curing a nasty bout of diarrhoea or sickness, what is agreed upon is the fact the sugar content in it will make you feel better – for a while at least.
4. Ease digestion
Scientists and doctors have found that one of the best treatments for gastric phytobezoar, a condition where a person has difficulty with food moving through their digestive tract and suffers stomach blockages, is a glass of Coca-Cola.
The high acidity in the fizzy drink acts like gastric acid and can ease severe abdominal pain, break down the blockages and get things moving again.
Nevertheless, Regardless of the apparent medical benefits, and the fact Coca-Cola still tastes pretty great (you can’t beat it with ice and a slice on a hot day), it is still a fizzy drink, meaning it’s completely packed with sugar. Horrifyingly, one can of coke (330ml) contains 100% of your daily sugar allowance, and there’s no denying that will have a corrosive effect on your teeth over time.
It is also a diuretic, meaning however cooling and thirst quenching it might seem, it won’t help with rehydration. In fact, according to health writer Wade Meredith, it’ll make you want to urinate, and force your body to expel vital nutrients including calcium, magnesium, zinc and sodium.
Bottom line, Coca-Cola’s addictive. Even without the cocaine that was in the original list of ingredients, it has a similar effect on the pleasure centres in the brain as heroin – as do most caffeinated drinks.
That’s not to say you should go immediately cold turkey on cola, just drink in moderation.