Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cola Consumption

Okay, I'll admit it; I have a serious attachment to cherry cola. One that I would have classified as borderline addictive, until I read this Yahoo article, titled, Too Much Cola Can Cause Muscle Problems. My friend forwarded the link to me with this summary attached: "Drinking too much cola can increase the risk of a muscle problem called hypokalemia, experts warn."

Naturally, I was curious to know in what and how much danger my 12 oz of cola a day (or 24 oz every other or every few days) habit placed me. So, though I usually delete most forwards, I decided to check this one out.

To my relief (and utter shock), I discovered that the review concerned people who drank two to seven liters of cola a day. (!) This fact makes the article almost too outlandish. Instead of taking my cola consumption seriously, I sat there and thought, "Duh." It is almost certain that people who consume such large quantities of cola face many more health concerns than the one mentioned in the article, especially considering that their other lifestyle decisions are likely to be equally as out of control. Most disturbing is the mention of two pregnant women who consumed 3 and up to 7 liters a day. They were each admitted to the hospital with low potassium levels, complaining of weakness and fatigue, among other things. Those poor babies!

Wow. So, sadly, instead of coming away with a resolve to drink less cola, I feel pretty good about my cola consumption, due to this article! While I usually think I should cut back to a can every few days, what I've just read makes my cola drinking seem the picture of moderation.

And I guess that's what I come away with when I read this and other articles like it: that moderation is the key. There are plenty of health nuts out there who, (I didn't say it--my husband did!) look like they're ten years older than they are, and then there are people who die very young of heart disease and other health-related illnesses. But there are those seventy-and eighty-something men and women who have never cut out red meat, butter, eggs, colas, sugar or carbs from their diets, who do not overly exercise, who have stayed healthy and trim and have few health concerns. If asked about their diets, the list will often include many of the supposed no-nos in food trends. I am more and more convinced the importance is not in what is consumed, but how much.

As to cutting back on my Cherry Coke habit, it would seem I'll need a more relevant article to open my eyes to the dangers and health risks of one cola a day.