What Happens To Your Body One Hour After Drinking A Coke?

Did you know over 1.8 billion (billion!) bottles of Coke are consumed around the world every day? No doubt you’ve had one recently and enjoyed the pleasurable effects of the short-term sugar rush. But did you know that one can of Coke (or Pepsi or any other cola product) has so much sugar in it, the only thing preventing your body from immediately rejecting it by vomiting is the phosphoric acid that’s also evident in it. (Incidentally, phosphoric acid is so acidic, it will dissolve a nail in about four days.)

With concerns of heart disease and diabetes on the rise, people are starting to rethink the types of liquids they consume. And then there are people like Niraj Naik, a pharmacist and UK blogger with the handle The Renegade Pharmacist, who’s recent studies have caused us all to be highly concerned about the negative effects of drinking cola. Naik recently created this infographic detailing the physical effects a Coke has on the body within the first hour of consumption. To say the findings are disturbing is an understatement. Thankfully, there’s always water! In our blog about Soda Versus Water, we talk about all the benefits H20 has on your body and your overall wellness. Cheers!


First 10 Minutes

10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (Which is 100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavour allowing you to keep it down.

20 Minutes

Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment.)

40 Minutes

Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and, as a response your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked, thus preventing drowsiness.

45 Minutes

Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.

60 Minutes

The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar, which increases the urinary excretion of calcium.

After 60 Minutes

The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyes and water.

As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may becaome irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, peed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.

But What About Diet Coke?

And in case you’re thinking Diet Coke is healthier for you, have a look at this other infographic below, also done by UK blogger Niraj Naik. Not only do you suffer the same affects as drinking a Coke, you also have the added negative impact of Aspartame — an artificial sweetener that’s essentially a poison for your entire digestive system.




Everything You Need to Know About Sodium


If you’ve ever used the phrase, “Pass the salt please?” chances are there’s too much salt in your diet. While a certain amount of sodium is necessary for our bodies to function properly, the majority of us sprinkle salt far too liberally.

In this post, we take a look at one of humanity’s oldest seasonings, how it impacts our bodies, and how to monitor our intake.

Are salt and sodium the same?

No. Salt is a compound called Sodium Chloride while Sodium is a chemical element (Na) found in the Earth’s crust.

What does sodium do for your body?

Sodium is an essential nutrient for human beings because it regulates blood volume, blood pressure, osmotic equilibrium, and pH levels in our bodies. Sodium is also needed for your muscles and nerves to work properly. In fact, each of us needs a minimum of 500 milligrams of sodium a day. This is where salt, or Sodium Chloride, enters the picture. It’s the principal source of sodium in the human diet and one of our most ancient and ubiquitous food seasonings – in fact, for thousands of years, salting has been an important method of food preservation.

What are some sources of sodium?

Sodium occurs naturally in most foods such as celery, beets, milk, and even our drinking water (although the amount varies depending on the source). These days, unfortunately, most of our sodium intake comes from processed foods: Monosodium glutamate, sodium nitrite, sodium saccharin, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and sodium benzoate can be found in items such as Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, onion salt, garlic salt, potato chips, and bouillon cubes. Processed meats like ham, sausage, bacon, and canned soups and vegetables are all examples of foods that contain a lot of sodium. And of course, a drive-thru at McDonald’s, or any other fast-food restaurant, will leave you filled with food that’s extremely high in sodium.

Can too much salt/sodium in your diet be harmful?

Absolutely. At Mountain Trek, we recognize every person is unique, and recommended sodium intakes will vary based on age, metabolism, amount of exercise/sweat, medications, etc. However, Health Canada sets the adequate intake of sodium for women at 1500 mg daily, and a tolerable upper intake level of 2300 mg/day. How much exactly is that? Well, 2300 mg is the amount of sodium that’s found in one teaspoon of salt. And recent research shows we’re consuming a lot more than that. The average North American man consumes about 3500 mg of sodium every day and women consume 2500 mg. Their large amounts promote hypertension, an ailment that causes 7.6 million premature deaths worldwide. If you’re chronically eating a diet that’s high in salt you are at risk of high blood pressure, which in turn increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. There are also some studies that suggest too much salt consumption can increase the risk of osteoporosis and kidney problems.

Sodium and exercise

Ask any Mountain Trek guest who’s hiked 10km with us and they’ll tell you that they sweat. A lot. And when you perspire, your body loses sodium, potassium, and other essential minerals and nutrients. If you’re hiking, jogging, kayaking, or doing any athletic activity over long distances, and you don’t rehydrate properly, you could be contributing to a decreased blood/sodium concentration. And the result might be ringing in your ears or mild heart palpitations. (In extreme instances you could succumb to hyponatremia, a condition similar to dehydration in which nausea, muscle cramps, disorientation, slurred speech, and confusion may occur.) Does that mean you should drink Gatorade every time you exercise? Absolutely not! Gatorade is full of sugar and it’s not an effective electrolyte replenishment tool. (For more about, electrolytes, check out our blog called “Electrolytes – Myth Busted!”)

Everybody responds differently to exercise and therefore our sodium needs vary. Fortunately at Mountain Trek, our team of nutritionists and chefs are all looking out for you 24-7. Before we head out on the hiking trails we make sure you’re getting the proper amount of sodium in your diet through our delicious meals, and once on the trail our experienced guides monitor how you’re feeling all along the way and have electrolyte supplements like Vega Sport on hand.

How to lower your salt intake

  1. Avoid processed foods as one small meal could have twice the recommended daily intake of sodium. Stick to whole foods, vegetables, and fruit
  2. Cook with less salt
  3. Drink lots of water to flush excess salt
  4. Sauna or steam to sweat out excess salts
  5. If you’re experiencing a craving for salty foods, try these seasoning alternatives:
    Garlic powder (not garlic salt)
    Roasted garlic
    Granulated sea kelp or sesame seeds
    Onion powder (not onion salt)
    Lime or lemon juice
    Veggie Salt
    Nutritional Yeast

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at or reach out below:

Electrolytes: Myth-busted!

IMG_8791This past week one of our alumni, Mary, wrote on Mountain Trek Facebook’s wall, “Can you post info on when to use electrolytes? I wish I had taken better notes during that lecture!”

Mary is refering to one of the many different lectures our guides deliver during the Mountain Trek program. Topics include “Nutrition,” “Sleep,” and “Stress,” among others. Also, during the morning meal Kirkland or Cathy usually discuss various subjects, including electrolytes.

Because of the fact guests work out approximately 6 to 8 hours a day, and relax in saunas and on massage tables in the evenings while at Mountain Trek, staff are always conscience of people’s energy levels and hydration. Here are five quick myths that guests learn about electrolytes and ones that every active person should know.

1. Gatorade is a great source for electrolytes – FALSE

Advertisers market Powerade and Gatorade as essential for hard-working, professional athletes but the fact is drinks such as these are full of sugar and artificial sweeteners and are more harmful than anything. At Mountain Trek we prefer to use Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator – a natural, alkaline-forming drink mix that is free from sugar and sweeteners. It has 11% potassium per 400g and 4% sodium per 100g.

2. I should consume electrolytes before and/or during every workout – FALSE

Electrolyte needs vary from person to person and depend on a variety of factors including body size and fitness level. At Mountain Trek, the guides may consume electrolytes once every two weeks but guests usually get them twice a week or more because of all the sweating and detoxing that’s done during workouts and sauna sessions. However, consuming too many electrolyte supplements overloads the body with sodium and does more harm than good.

3. I should only consume electrolytes when my muscles cramp – FALSE

Although there are some different thoughts about what causes cramping, most scientists agree it’s a body’s warning sign that you’re getting dangerously low on fluids and electrolytes. By then it’s too late to doing anything immediate, however, because cramping means the damage is already done and it’ll take time for the electrolytes to be absorbed again. Each body is different so you’ll have to be aware of your energy levels at all times and react accordingly but a general rule of thumb is if you start to experience ringing in your ears or are mild heart palpitations immediately stop what you’re doing and consume a serving of electrolyte. (In those cases your body requires sodium.) if you feel your muscles may start to cramp or your energy is starting to flat-line then you also need an electrolyte (because your potassium stores are depleted.) In each case, consume a glass of water with an electrolyte supplement dissolved in it and continue to hydrate. And remember that next time you perform a similar workout you will need to prepare accordingly.

4. Salt pills are sufficient right? – FALSE

Salt tablets are an unacceptable choice for electrolyte replenishment because they only supply two of the electrolytes your body requires (sodium and chloride) and they can oversupply sodium, thereby causing further damage. Again, stick to a natural, sugar-free electrolyte supplement such as Vega Sport.

5. It will require time and practice to dial in my electrolyte requirements – TRUE

There isn’t an easy answer when it comes to electrolyte consumption. To use a metaphor, electrolytes are like the oil in a car: they’re not the fuel that makes you go, but they’re essential in keeping the engine working properly. And, similar to the oil tank in your car, you don’t want it to ever be empty, nor do you want it over full. The key is to always have electrolytes on hand and to monitor your pre-, during, and post-workout habits. If you have a long sauna session one night and then work out for two hours the next day and start to feel a leg cramp coming on, then you’ll know the next time you do something similar to include an electrolyte supplement at breakfast, a few hours before your workout.


Why It’s Important to Choose Water Instead of Soda

Clean water pouring into the glass next to the stones on the old wooden table

Concerns of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes are on the rise. People are rethinking their nutrition and the types of liquids they consume. It’s no secret that drinking too much soda is not good for your body, but why should you choose water over Coca-Cola and Pepsi? 

The two companies have engaged in many different marketing campaigns, and today they own some of the most recognizable brands on the planet. In fact, 1.8 billion bottles of Coke are consumed around the world every day! Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi have made efforts by introducing no-sugar, no-calorie beverage options, but these diet versions still have harmful effects.

The fact is, no matter how these products are advertised they will never come close to the health benefits of water. 

Why You Should Choose Water

  • Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50%, and breast cancer by 79%.
  • One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of those who participated in a University of Washington study.
  • Preliminary research indicates that drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  • Lack of water is the most common cause of daytime fatigue. Drinking a few glasses of water easily rectifies it.
  • Consuming water is the best method to detox and flush impurities from the body.

What’s in Coca-Cola and Pepsi

  • The active ingredient in Coke and Pepsi is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.
  • Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase in osteoporosis.
  • Coke and Pepsi contain High Fructose Corn Syrup. One can of cola has the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is 100% of your recommended daily intake. 
  • Citric Acid, while not harmful in small quantities, excessive amounts can be harmful to your stomach and liver.
  • A can of cola has approximately two-thirds of the amount of caffeine that your morning cup of coffee contains. While safe in small amounts, we have a few reasons to keep the caffeine to a minimum

What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at or reach out below: