“Barman, bring me another brandy and coke, and make it a double!” or NOT
Before you reach for that next drink, here’s what drinking brandy and coke does to your body, or any other alcohol mixed with a caffeinated fizzy drink.
(Binge drinking is classified as four or more drinks for women and 5 or more for men in a single session of about 2 hours.)
The effects of fizzy drinks and alcohol on the body are surprisingly similar, and the two together can land up becoming a lethal combination.
Coke and alcohol can both affect your gut health, your mood, make you more susceptible to anxiety, stress, and depression, can cause inflammation, lead to weight gain, liver damage, diabetes, raised blood pressure, heart disease and more.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on inside the body after you’ve had a brandy and coke:
Sugar overload on the liver.
A can of coke contains your entire daily allowance of sugar, and it’s all high fructose corn syrup, which means that it goes directly to the liver and gets stored as fat. Alcohol is also processed by the liver, meaning double the weight gain and double the liver damage, if drunk in excess.
Fructose turns into fat faster than other sugars and fats.
A quote from the Food-based Dietary Guidelines for South Africa states, “Over the past decade, a considerable body of solid evidence has appeared, particularly from large prospective studies, that strongly indicates that dietary sugar increases the risk of the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and probably cardiovascular disease too. These findings point to an especially strong causal relationship for the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs).”
Binge drinking leads to binge eating.
Both alcohol and fructose confuse the body, and your brain doesn’t get the signal that you are full, that’s why you generally land up making bad eating choices at the same time, which can also increase weight gain.
The caffeine buzz.
A regular can of coke contains about 34mls of caffeine, which overrides the drowsiness that alcohol usually brings on, and may make you feel less intoxicated than you actually are, leading to more drinking and generally ending off with poor decision making (Hello dancing on the tables!).
A “high” similar to heroin.
Coke and alcohol both act on the pleasure centres of the brain, which creates a response similar to what heroin would do. In order to get that same feeling over and over again, you’ll drink more.
More drinking, more drunk.
The fizziness of the drink can also lead you to drink more, and can allow the alcohol to be absorbed faster. According to Princeton University’s website, “The carbon dioxide of carbonated drinks, like beer and soda, increases the pressure in your stomach, forcing alcohol out through the lining of your stomach into the bloodstream.”
Both caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, meaning double the dehydration, and double the time you spend going to the bathroom. A lack of hydration can lead to brain fog, poor concentration, tiredness, and irritability. For every glass of coke you drink, you will need to drink 8 – 12 glasses of water to replace the water you lost.
Walking like an Egyptian.
The combination of alcohol and caffeine may also pose a negative effect on coordination, balance, and your body’s ability to regulate temperature.
Severe impact on digestion.
Caffeine and high amounts of sugar can virtually shut down the digestive process. Your body will be unable to absorb any nutrition from food you might be eating while drinking your brandy and coke, or from any food you might have eaten earlier.
Alcohol is toxic.
The body sees alcohol as a toxin and focuses all of its energy on getting rid of it, which means that other bodily processes are interrupted, including the production of glucose and the hormones needed to regulate it.
What goes up, must come down.
After your sugar rush, and alcohol high, you will experience a crash as the effects wear off. This will either make you want to drink more or find the nearest bed to pass out in.
Hangover of death.
Dehydration prevents the body from processing the alcohol and can even lead to an “I’d rather be dead” hangover in the morning.
But, don’t think mixing your alcohol with diet soda is any better. The potentially deadly combination of caffeine and aspartame creates an addictive high, similar to cocaine. It also over-stimulates your brain, having a negative impact, by destroying neurons and triggering cravings for more sweet stuff.
“When you drink a lot of chemicals that your body simply cannot break down, your body makes more and more internal fat to wrap the chemicals in keeping those harmful chemicals away from your vital organs,” says Marisa Peer, “Britain’s Best Therapist.”
Drinking brandy and coke is exactly not what you should be doing as a Banter, particularly if you are wanting to lose weight and get healthy.
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