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Coke Or Energy Drinks - Which Is Worse?

Posted in General Health 28 Jul, 2015

What's your poison? Coke (It's Pepsi, is that OK?) or an energy drink? I say poison because it's just a case of which you'd prefer to make you ill. Energy drinks are more popular than Coke now. In 2014 sales of Coca-Cola drinks were down 3%, while drinks like Red Bull continue to grow in popularity. This is probably due to our chronic exhaustion, non-stop iPad use and crappy sleeping habits - or perhaps it's the energy drinks that are keeping us up?

Some retail experts believe the popularity of energy drinks is due to evolving trends. Our teenagers don't want to drink Coke because their parents do. Coke, Pepsi, all those fizzy drinks are not cool any more.

So let's take a look at the two suspects. Guilty until proven guilty, but which is worse?

Coke In The Dock

I do like an ice cold Coke on a sunny day. It really makes your tongue feel clean. That's probably because it's battery acid in sugar form. Although it mixes well with spirits and looks 1950s glamorous in a shapely glass bottle, it's still full of nasties such as:

  • Caffeine – it's a performance enhancer but it's not harmful in small doses, unless you are a small child. It's also a diuretic, which means you'll pee more and dehydrate yourself. Potentially leading to more sugary drink intake.
  • Sugar - which leads to obesity and diabetes, and is also bad for tooth enamel.
  • Any good stuff? Nope. Its health issues are well documented. Everyone knows that fizzy drinks are bad for you.

Energy Drinks In The Magistrate's Court

I hate them. I tried one and it made my teeth feel furry. Lucozade is sipped by Katie Hopkins. Monster flows in the veins of Sep Blatter. But maybe you disagree. The Western world loves an energy drink or four, and it's not just exam-stricken teenagers, I know a few emergency service workers who always have energy drinks with them. Here are the nasties:

  • Caffeine. The doses are huge in energy drinks. Enough to make your heart pound, raise your blood pressure, and induce nausea.
  • Sugar. Some contain 20 teaspoons of sugar. I don't need to expand on that.
  • They are marketed as healthy. Not a great steer for impressionable young people. Some schools have banned energy drinks.
  • Mixed with alcohol, they create wide awake drunkenness. So instead of passing out, you are more likely to engage in risky behaviours (Yes. That thing you did...)
  • Any good stuff? Some have vitamins…

So which is worse? It looks to me like they are both evil, but energy drinks might finish you off quickly, whereas Coke will do it slowly. So it depends on whether you prefer to boldly rip or timidly snail a sticking plaster off.

Did you see that film Idiocracy with the least famous Baldwin? The stupid future race thought watering their crops with energy drinks was the right thing to do, because that's all they drank. I fear we're going the same way.

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