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I admit: I like Coca-Cola. I don't drink coffee that much, and the soft drink gives me a nice jolt of caffeine in the morning. So, following my month-long vacation, I just bought a twelve-pack while restocking my refridgerator. While paying at the register, I noticed the following blurb on the bottom of the pack:

Who knew soft drinks could be hydrating?

It's true. All beverages hydrate, including soft drinks. So if you are looking for hydration, but want the delicious and refreshing taste you get from Coca-Cola, don't compromise -- go for it! You'll be hydrating your body with each and every sip.

We offer over 80 ways to hydrate, energize, nourish, relax or enjoy every drop of life. For more information on the benefits of hydration, go to:

I was immedately skeptical. I understood the marketing strategy behind the blub -- consumers are increasingly conscious of the effects of fast-food and other unhealthy products that they put into their bodies (see here, along with this and this and this and this)- but I doubted that this method of self-promotion by Coca-Cola was accurate.

The supplied hydration website discusses the benefits of hydration and the effects of caffeine - which, of course, is a drug. But nowhere does it say how Coca-Cola specifically hydrates one's body well. Of course, this is not the company's intention. By merely associating the brand name with "hydration" (variations of the word itself appear six times in the blurb on the box), Coca-Cola creates the impression in consumers' minds that the soft drink, in fact, does hydrate one's body.

But, again, is that accurate? "Carbonated water" is the ingredient listed first on the product's container, meaning that water is indeed the most prevelant item in the beverage. However, I wondered whether there is more to the story, so I did some cursory research.

From Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.,'s guide to chemisty:

When you get right down to it, the colas and uncolas of the world aren't good for the body. The acids used to carbonate and flavor these beverages will damage your teeth and may even weaken your bones. Soft drinks are devoid of any real nutritional content. Even so, they taste great! You are more likely to drink what you like, so if you love soft drinks then they might be a good way to hydrate. The carbohydrates will slow your absorption of water, but they will also provide a quick energy boost. In the long run, they aren't good for you, but if hydration is your goal, soft drinks aren't a bad choice. Avoid drinks with lots of sugar or caffeine, which will lessen the speed or degree of hydration.


It is difficult for the body to get water from any other source than



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(2011, 02). Coca-Cola. Retrieved 02, 2011, from

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