Food - Drinks
By: - at August 8, 2013

Top 15 Coca-Cola Myths Debunked

Ever since the Coca-Cola Company opened its doors, there has been a flood of curiosity about how the company has taken hold of the industry. This curiosity has lead to the creation of a number of myths. Most of the myths that have been circulated are downright comical, while others are quite harmful to the companyís reputation. Because of this, the Coca-Cola Company has had to do a large amount of damage control to improve the publicís perception of them. Unfortunately, many of these myths have been around for decades. They just keep getting re-circulated with different twists being added to them.

Coca-Cola van
 By Morio (photo taken by Morio) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Myth 15)  If You Place a Penny in a Cup of Coca-Cola Overnight, the Penny Will Dissolve
According to the MSN Health website, this myth is absolutely false. While it is true that coke contains phosphoric acid and citric acid, it is not a large enough amount to dissolve a penny. While there are many people who have actually believed this myth enough to try it out for themselves, it really only required a bit of common sense to debunk. If Coke contained high enough levels of acid to dissolve a penny, there would be millions of consumers complaining about intestinal issues. With as much soda as the general public consumes, there is no way that this issue would have not resulted in a major lawsuit against the company. Additionally, Coke is stored in aluminum cans and plastic bottles. If the drink contained that much acid, the beverage wouldnít even make it to the shelves before these containers were dissolved.

Coca-Cola aluminum cans

Myth 14)  Coca-Cola Contains Small Amounts of Cocaine
The myth that Coke contains small traces of cocaine is one that is no longer true. According to MSN Health, when Coke was first sold in 1885, this myth would have been absolutely true. When Coke was first created, it was marketed as a tonic that contained coca leaves and kola nuts. The carbonated water that was used at that time was stimulating and considered to be good for you. However, after the turn of the 20th century, cocaine received its negative reputation. After this point, the Coca-Cola recipe was completely stripped of any traces of the drug. So while there are still traces of cocaine in the companyís name, there is absolutely none left in the recipe. The current Coca-Cola recipe is actually under lock and key and can only be accessed by two executives in the company.

chemical formula of cocaine

This particular myth has been used as a way to explain why so many people continue to drink Coke in large quantities. There is really only one real explanation for the Coca-Cola companyís success. The company has worked tirelessly to provide their consumers with a product that they can enjoy. The original recipe for Coca-Cola is so different from the recipe that is used today because the Coca-Cola company listened to their consumers. The recipe has been worked and obsessed over to ensure that consumers are receiving a product that is high in quality.

Myth 13)  Coca-Cola Can Relieve GERD
Somewhere along the line, someone started the rumor that Coca-Cola could actually sooth and help those with GERD. This is a rumor that gained a bit of popularity and was circulated through email, social media, and word of mouth. It is also a rumor that upset a lot of doctors and parents.

Hyperacidity in stomach caused by carbonation
hyperacidity in stomach

Unfortunately for those that have the condition, this myth is completely false. According to MSN Health, any drink has the ability to temporarily relieve the pain that you can experience from GERD. That does not, however, mean that the drink is good for you. In regards to Coke being good for GERD, it is actually the opposite. Because there is acid in Coca-Cola, the drink will actually irritate the GERD condition. Drinking large amounts of it can actually make it worse. It should be noted, however, that any drink containing acidic components should be avoided by any person suffering from GERD. People who have GERD and suffer from it should actually stick with water or other drinks that have been cleared by their doctor.

Myth 12)  If You Mix Pop Rocks with Coca-Cola, You Will Explode
The myth that drinking a mixture of Pop Rocks and Coke will kill you is a rumor that has been around for years. It is a rumor that many older siblings use against their younger siblings in an effort to keep them away from the last of the Pop Rocks and Coke. It is a rumor that has been re-circulated and altered to fit the current generation. It is also a rumor that many children continue to have fun disproving. There was, however, a time when this rumor was the result of much panic in a particular generation.

poprocks candy

About 20 years ago, there was a rumor that the actor, John Gilchrist, from the Life cereal commercials died from drinking a mixture of Pop Rocks candy and Coke. According to the myth, the combination of the popular popping candy and Americaís favorite soda created a chemical reaction that caused the actorís stomach to explode from the inside. This particular myth got so much attention because people were a little panicked at the thought of their favorite candy and their favorite drink causing their favorite commercial actor any harm. Luckily, there is absolutely no reason to worry about any of your favorites. According to MSN Health, this myth is absolutely false. In fact, the actor that played the beloved cereal icon is still alive and well, completely explosion free.

Myth 11)  Coca-Cola Was Once Contaminated by Terrorists
There are some myths that have the ability to create severe negative effects for the company if it is believed. A rumor that created a lot of problems for Coca-Cola and still continues to is that terrorists were able to infiltrate the Coca-Cola Company. When the terrorists supposedly infiltrated the company, they would have been able to contaminate all of the products created by the company. Those products were apparently sent out to retailers and were distributed to consumers. Because of this, consumers were advised to dispose of all of their Coca-Cola products and to stop buying them. In some versions of this particular myth, Coca-Cola invited these terrorists into their factories with open arms. In other versions, there are hidden terrorists throughout the company whose main goal is to bring harm to Coca-Cola consumers.

coca cola bottling company
 By User:Ronbo76 (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

According to the official Coca-Cola Company, there is absolutely no truth to this myth. This particular rumor was started by a small group of people that claimed that a major news network put an alert out on the Coca-Cola factories. Depending on the version that you have heard, you would have to believe that Coca-Cola is either not secure enough or that they wish to harm the very consumers that support and purchase their products. Fortunately, neither scenario is true. In fact, many Coca-Cola employees have felt insulted over those types of accusations. This particular myth was circulated to thousands of people via email and social media. It is a myth that has caused a large amount of unnecessary worry for consumers, employers, and the retailers that sell Coke, as well as the vendors. Coca-Cola has had a hard time keeping rumors like this to a minimum. Because Coca-Cola has a large number of committed consumers, contaminating the factories would cause a lot of harm to millions of people. This factor makes this type of rumors somewhat believable and even more dangerous to the companyís reputation.

Myth 10)  A Child Died when He Ate a Mentos and then Drank Coca-Cola
For some time now, a rumor has been circulating that a small child that drank a mixture of Coca-Cola and Mentos suffered deadly consequences. According to the official Coca-Cola website, this rumor is absolutely false. This particular rumor was, and still is, circulated via email, YouTube, and social media. While most people just laugh it off, it is a myth that Coca-Cola isnít too happy about being associated with. In fact the possibility of a Mentos and Coke mixture causing death is almost impossible.

mentos and coca cola explosion

This is a rumor that was started when it was discovered that putting Mentos into a full bottle of Coke will create an extreme fizzing effect. When you chew on a Mentos and then drink Coke, what happens is actually the opposite. Instead of fizzing and exploding, you will find that nothing happens. This is because when you chewed and broke the shell of the candy, you destroyed the surface that was responsible for the carbon dioxide bubbles. There are several variations to this particular myth, so it is recommended that you disregard any that even resemble it.

Myth 9)  The Aluminum That Coca-Cola Uses for Their Cans Can Cause Alzheimerís
Another strange and possibly hurtful rumor is that the aluminum used to create Coca-Cola cans can cause a person to develop Alzheimerís disease. According to the Coca-Cola website, this is absolutely false. In fact, it is quite impossible. The inside of every single Coca-Cola can is lacquered, which prevents large amounts of aluminum from being in contact with the actual soda. In order for a drinker to even come into contact with the amount of aluminum that is found in aluminum hydroxide-based antacid tablets, they would have to drink about 5,000 twelve-ounce cans of soda. According to the Alzheimerís Association, there is no actual evidence that proves that contact with aluminum can cause Alzheimerís disease. So even if you were drinking from a non-lacquered can, the chance of you developing Alzheimerís is slim to none.

coca cola aluminum cans alzheimer's disease

The development of rumors such as this one is not only harmful to the company, but they are harmful to the people that actually have to live with a disease like Alzheimer's. Rumors such as this one take a serious disease that many people deal with every day and turn it into a sort of joke. Unfortunately, rumors such as this one often get the most attention because they cause many people to become fearful or even panicked.

Myth 8)  A Consumer Died After Drinking out of a Coca-Cola Can That Was Encrusted with Rat Urine
This is a rather disgusting rumor that you have probably heard at one point or another. As the myth goes, a lady went to lunch with her friend and purchased a can of Coke with her lunch. She enjoyed her lunch, drank her Coke, and went back to work. About 24 hours later, this lady was dead. The coronerís report showed that there were traces of rat urine in her system. After some research and detective work, it was discovered that the can of Coke that the lady drank from was encrusted with rat urine.

can of coca cola

According to the Coca-Cola website, this myth is absolutely false. The Coca-Cola website is very quick to point out that each of their cans of soda goes through rigorous inspection and that there has never been an incident involving rat urine and a can of Coke. Furthermore, the chances of the lady not noticing that she were about to put her mouth on a rat urine-encrusted can seems highly unlikely. Not only would she notice the smell, but she probably would have noticed the taste as well.

Myth 7)  Coca-Cola Has Ties to the Nazi Regime
The myth that the Coca-Cola Company supports, or ever supported, the Nazi regime is absolutely false. Not only is it false, but it is a hurtful rumor that is in no way entertaining. According to the Coca-Cola website, the company completely rejects the Nazi regime or any ideals that can be compared to it. This nasty rumor started when photos surfaced of posters that were used by the Nazi regime to promote their Olympics. On the poster, you can see a clear Coca-Cola trademark.

Coca Cola vintage advertisements for Americans and Allies

Despite this photo that many people use as proof, Coca-Cola never gave the Nazi regime permission to use their logo, nor did they support the Nazi Olympics. In fact, the German bottlers were unable to even obtain the materials that are needed to even create the Coca-Cola drink. Because they were unable to receive the ingredients and materials, German bottlers created their own Coke-like soda. It was done in an effort to keep their soft drink industry alive. There has been a lot of damage control over this rumor. It is a hurtful rumor that leads many people to question the company values and beliefs that Coca-Cola has always stood for.

Myth 6)  Coca-Cola is Trying to Create an Aphrodisiac by Adding MSG to Their Coke
A rumor that most people probably wish was true is that the Coca-Cola Company started to add MSG to Coke in an effort to create an aphrodisiac. Unfortunately, this myth has absolutely no merit to it. In fact, MSG isnít even an ingredient that is used in Coke. Even if MSG was added to Coke, there is no scientific proof that states that an aphrodisiac would be created. It is a rumor that was possibly started to explain why so many people continue to drink Cokeís products, but no one knows for sure. Where this rumor started stumps even the Coca-Cola Company, but they are more than willing to put an immediate end to it.

coca cola as an aphrodisiac

Coca-Cola has always been and continues to be a drink that the entire family can enjoy. A rumor that implies that the company is making a favorite beverage more adult friendly can cause alarm to parents with young children. It is a rumor that the Coca-Cola Company has had to debunk several times and will probably have to continue to debunk in the future.

Myth 5)  Coca-Cola Can Be Used as a Household Cleaner
One of the more silly rumors that have been circulated is that Coke can be used as a household cleaner because of its acidic nature. According to the Coca-Cola website, this myth states that Coke can be used to clean toilets, clean car batteries, remove rust spots, and clean wind shields. Though the drink does have acidic properties, it is not enough to counteract the other ingredients and serve as a proper cleaning agent. The acid that can be found in Coke is so minimal that it would do more harm than good to try and use the beverage as a household cleaning agent.

woman cleaning windows

One thing that you have to remember about Coke is that it also contains sugar. If you have ever tried cleaning with sugar-based products, you will know that all you are left with is a sticky mess that even the most powerful cleaning products will have problems getting rid of. Just like it is not recommended for you to try using Windex as a refreshing drink, you should also avoid trying to use Coke as a cleaning solution. The only thing more laughable than this particular rumor is imagining a person trying to scrub their toilets with a toilet brush that had been dipped in a bucket of Coke.

Myth 4)  Coca-Cola Can Cause Cancer
Another rumor that the Coca-Cola Company has had to debunk is that Coke can cause cancer. As the myth goes, drinking Coke will cause you to become dehydrated, which in turn will cause you to develop cancer. Another form of this myth is that the soda is made by using a type of radiation that is strong enough to cause brain cancer in those that drink it. It is an untrue myth that has been used to scare people into believing that their favorite soft drink will be the death of them. This myth was very popular about ten years ago and caused widespread panic amongst many of the uneducated consumers.

cancer definition

According to the Coca-Cola website, all beverages, including Coke, are a source of water, and the majority of Americans meet their daily intake by consuming a variety of beverages every day. While there have been concerns that caffeine can cause a diuretic effect, research has shown that this effect is temporary. There is no scientific proof that currently states that Coke will lead to cancer in any way, shape, or form. Like most of the myths that you hear about the Coca-Cola products, you really have to use your common sense when deciding what you should believe about a company.

Myth 3)  A Delhi University Student Died While Chugging Coca-Cola
Another unsettling myth that was circulated for a while is that a New Delhi student died after drinking eight bottles of Coke too quickly. According to the myth, there were large traces of CO2 found in his blood, which indicated that drinking Coke was the cause of his death. It is a rumor that has had many variations, and, unfortunately, it continues to cause alarm. The thought of a favorite drink being the cause of death for you or someone you know is understandably concerning.

coca cola bottle on the beach

Fortunately there is absolutely no truth to this myth. In fact, when carbon dioxide is mixed with water, it is no longer harmful to ingest. So even if you drank twenty gallons of Coke, you wouldnít die from the CO2 that the drink contains. The carbon dioxide that is used in Coke has been reviewed and monitored, and it has been found to be safe. There are no effects to either gastrointestinal health or health in general. If there were any dangers to gastrointestinal health, Coca-Cola would probably be the first to address them.

Myth 2)  Coca-Cola Will Cause Kidney Failure
The myth that Coke can cause kidney failure is one that has scared many people into not drinking it. The myth started when it was reported that a young mother died from consuming too much Coke. According to the Coca-Cola website, these reports have been looked into and declared false. Additionally, Coke will not cause you to develop kidney stones. Deteriorating kidney health is largely caused by an inadequate amount of fluids. Drinks, such as Coke, will actually help you to consume your daily requirement of fluids. This is just another rumor that has caused fear in many consumers and has kept them from enjoying a refreshing drink. While Coca-Cola does encourage restraint, the company insists that all of the ingredients that are used to make the drink are wholesome and will not cause harm to anyone.

Coca Cola Cap

At the end of the day, it is a consumerís responsibility to promote their health. Coca-Cola has done their part by creating a product that is safe, enjoyable, and easily accessible. If you are worried about kidney failure or kidney stones, you should talk to your doctor about your concerns. He or she will probably agree that moderation is key, but enjoying a Coke will not cause you any harm whatsoever.

Myth 1)  Anti-Muslim Messages Appear in Coca-Cola Graphics
Unfortunately, a myth has lead many people to believe that Coca-Cola is an anti-Muslim company. According to the myth, the Coca-Cola trademark can be translated to an anti-Muslim phrase. There is absolutely no truth to this rumor. The trademark that has been used by Coca-Cola for years was created in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1886. At this particular time, there was very little that was actually known or shared about the Muslim religion in the Western world, so the chance of the trademark being designed to insult Islam is highly unlikely.

drinking coca cola

This particular myth has been brought before several different Arabic clerics that have researched it thoroughly. In 1990, a committee declared that there is absolutely no basis to this rumor. It is these types of rumors that only serve to segregate people and create hate. Coca-Cola strongly denies rumors that claim that they are a hateful company. The company has always been one that has encouraged and accepted the different cultures, lifestyles, and beliefs that differentiate people from all over the world.

Many of the rumors that have been created about the Coca-Cola Company are baseless and have absolutely no merit. Some of the rumors have actually caused others to avoid drinking Coca-Cola products and have been used as a sort of scare tactic. Fortunately, the company continues to sell their products and goes about their business with their head held high. The company has created a product that they feel they can be proud of. All of the rumors and myths in the world cannot deter a company with such determination. One of the interesting things about the rumors that claim that Coca-Cola would allow the production and distribution of harmful products is that the company has always had a history of philanthropy. It makes you wonder why such baseless rumors would be started and why anyone would consider passing those rumors on. In most cases, applying a little bit of common sense will allow you to decide whether you are reading a myth or an actual fact about any company. You should also keep in mind that no company is perfect. It is through trial and error that they can learn and grow. It is the way that they handle their failures and the quality that they strive to deliver that really matter. The internet has allowed more ways to share these rumors and myths that can ultimately bring harm to a company. It is important that you remember this the next time that you want to share a popular myth that you hear from your family and friends.





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