Coca-Cola works the same way as Heroin

coke and health

Here’s an interesting fact that you may or may not know.

Coca Cola did, at one time, contain actual cocaine. In fact, the drink wasn’t entirely free of cocaine until 1929.

I actually thought it was an urban myth until I started researching the effects of coca cola, and discovered that that is where the name ‘coca’ comes from, from the coca leaf.

Anyway, that’s just a bit of trivia for you, although it does have some bearing on the article.

Research has shown that coca cola works on the brain in exactly the same way as heroin. That’s a massive claim, but it has been backed up by science.

Let me explain.

Under normal circumstances, when we eat, it causes the brain to produce dopamine, the so called pleasure hormone, and release it into the reward system. It is evolution’s way of ensuring survival – we eat food, which makes us feel good, so we repeat the behaviour.

Coca Cola

But when we drink coca cola, known as a super stimuli, it triggers a flooding of dopamine into the reward system which produces a kind of high. This then makes us want to repeat that action, taking more and more of the product which produces such intense feelings of pleasure, and leaving behind the healthier options which, although still releasing dopamine, gives a much lower feeling of pleasure.

We go for the most pleasurable option, naturally. However, over time, we build up a tolerance, which makes us consume it in greater quantities to achieve the same effect.


Taking heroin does exactly the same thing to the brain as Coca Cola. It is also a super stimuli and is one of the drugs which can produce up to TEN times the amount of dopamine that eating does. This excess of dopamine floods the reward system, exactly the same way as coca cola, and produces much higher feelings of pleasure, which then teaches our brain to repeat the behaviour – addiction.

To explain this further, the brain responds to this flooding of dopamine by reducing the amount produced on subsequent intake, or by reducing the amount of receptors in the brain, so that the brain does not receive as many pleasure messages. This will then result in more and more heroin being taken in a bid to recreate that initial high.

Can you see how heroin and coca cola work the same way?

What happens in the first 60 minutes of drinking coke?

According to The Renegade Pharmacist, several things happen to the body within the first hour of drinking.

  • 10 minutes – ten teaspoons of sugar have hit your system
  • 20 minutes – blood sugar spikes causing an insulin burst
  • 40 minutes – caffeine absorption is complete, liver sends more sugar into the bloodstream
  • 45 minutes – the dopamine rush
  • 60 minutes – the coca cola acts as a diuretic, making you urinate more often, taking valuable nutrients in the body with it.

Interestingly, a particularly dangerous type of heroin, called Black Tar, is made using additives to give it its namesake appearance. Additives such as Dextrose, and corn-starch.

These ingredients are also used in the production of coca cola.

We all know the dangers of taking illegal drugs, it is well documented, and yet people still take it. The same can be said for coca cola – it is no secret that it is responsible for many health issues, and yet we continue to drink it on a daily basis – why is that?

The reason is simple – coca cola does indeed work on the brain in the same way as heroin – it creates addiction, flooding the brain with dopamine so that we want to keep on recreating that feeling. And when we are denied it, it manifests itself as cravings, making us want it more and more.

Stopping a coca cola habit can be every bit as difficult as any other ‘drug’ – going cold turkey will produce serious side effects, and yet – for the sake of our own health – stop it we must. Do it slowly, and gradually. Start by alternating, swap every second coca cola with a glass of water, and then gradually have two glasses of water for every one coca cola you have and so on.

The cravings will stop. And your body will thank you for it.

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