back to article Excess of cola floors Oz ostrich farmer

A report in the International Journal of Clinical Practice is warning of the perils of quaffing too much cola - a habit which can, by lowering blood potassium levels, result in symptoms from mild muscular weakness to paralysis. The doctors behind the fizzy doom-mongering cite the extreme case of the Oz ostrich farmer who, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    What rubbish....!!

    I drink 3 gallons of the stuff every day and it's never affected my heal......


  2. Anonymous Coward

    Can't drink beer, can't play rugby,can't play cricket

    and now, can't drink coke !!!

    As for me 3-4 litres of (proper) Coke a day for 20+ years. No issues apart from deafness in the ears from my doctors warning me of the perils of sugar drinks.

  3. Christopher Martin

    Unit conversion

    American reader here - How much cola is 10 liters? Please describe in terms of volume of breasts needed to crush a coke can. Thanks.

  4. fishman


    Teens who drink 2 liters of soft drinks a day are getting around 850 calories from it. Adding that to a balanced diet could increase your weight by 25-30 kg.

  5. Paul Naylor
    Thumb Up

    On a serious note

    I know that this story started off as one of those 'mad Aussie' pieces but it did make for interesting reading. My girlfriend drinks nothing but diet Coke all day, with the odd small bottle of water thrown in. She won't drink tea or coffee and any protestations on my part won't convince her that drinking that much of the sugary stuff is bad for her health. I've sent her this link.

    Actually, she has been nagging me for years to stop smoking, saying that being addicted to the Evil Weed is no where near as bad. Now I've quit I can finally get my own back! Cheers Reg!

  6. Sly

    4-10 liters??

    10 liter bottles? wow... must have been a strong man then. so about 10 gallons a day (rough math, not exact). Even if that's supposed to be 2 liter bottles, that a heck of a lot of soda. Bet he had to piss quite often to pass all 10 gallons of that soda.

    like everything else... moderation much?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I stopped drinking Coke about 6 years ago

    and instantly found I had more energy, slept better and had more room for beer

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I like Caffiene.

    I drink about 3 litres of Coca Cola a day. And 2ltrs of Caffinated Energy Drinks.

    I might be at risk from this lol

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    10 litres!

    10 litres!!!! 10!!!....

    I mean, that's just insane. And somehow he thought that was normal????

  10. Tom

    @Paul Naylor

    I might be wrong but surely Diet Coke doesn't have much Glucose or Fructose in it so it wouldn't really apply?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Paul Naylor - You're about to lose...

    Quote: "My girlfriend drinks nothing but DIET Coke all day..."

    Diet Coke contains no sugar, and far less caffeine than regular Coke, so this article doesn't really apply.

    However, I think I'm correct in saying the artificial sweetener used in Diet Coke has been found to cause cancer, so the argument is probably still valid, just for different reasons.

  12. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    IT Angle


    Clearly that's the only IT angle that matters.

  13. Kristian Durvin

    Cola is good for you then!

    But only for medicinal purposes... Must find more medical conditions to support my cola habit in that case.

  14. A J Stiles

    @ Christopher Martin

    10 litres is five two-litre bottles, or thirty 330ml. cans.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Therapy? I got your therapy RIGHT here...

    "And the good news? Packer notes: "The only therapeutic use of soft drinks is described in a few case reports of the successful use of Coca-Cola to dissolve phytobezoars.""

    Speak for yourself. I find my Mountain Dew VERY therapeutic. And anyone taking it away from me would suffer for my lack of therapy.

    Mine's the one with the 32oz can of AMP in it.

  16. ScientologyIsACult

    @paul naylor

    there is no sugar in diet coke at all, so describing it as sugary is just plain wrong

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    10 liters

    It's about 2.5 gallons (roughly 1 liter = 1 quart).

    I almost fell out of my chair laughing when it came to the kangaroo hunting bit.

    The thought of someone with all that sugar and caffeine with a gun. I'm wondering if he had his shirt pulled up over his head while wearing only tidy whiteys and looking for t.p.

    Anon... cuz I'm still at work.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    @Paul Naylor

    Not to be pedantic, but diet soda isn't sugary. The worst thing about it is the aspartame, which in *insane* quantities might give you cancer - but hey, that'll only help you lose weight, so it's a win-win, really.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Paul Naylor

    "My girlfriend drinks nothing but diet Coke all day, with the odd small bottle of water thrown in. She won't drink tea or coffee and any protestations on my part won't convince her that drinking that much of the sugary stuff is bad for her health."

    She needn't worry about sugar, because there's no sugar in diet-anything! Just read the label for the ingredients..

    Whether there's a problem with drinking massive quantities of artificial sweeteners (e.g. aspartame) in Diet Thingo, well, that's another question.

  20. Daniel Evans

    Fructose, Glucose and Caffeine...

    So prolific drinking coffee and eating sugary foods is likely to have a similar effect?

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @Paul Naylor

    > My girlfriend drinks nothing but diet Coke...

    > ...convince her that drinking that much of the sugary stuff...

    There's a lot of sugar in her diet Coke? I wonder how it got there.

  22. Andrew Garrard

    As any fule know...

    Yes, drinking vast amounts of cola knackers your electrolytes - and dehydrates you, which brings its own problems. I've played enough drinking games as a teetotaller to know this - I average about 8 litres a day at drinking-game heavy events; probably two litres on a work day, or on an all-day pub crawl. (I worked out that a pub crawl on full-fat cola quadrupled a Weightwatchers' daily allowance; fortunately I'd switched to the diet stuff by then, so I could claim the walk was healthy.) Like the beer drinkers, eat plenty and drink some water as well and all should be fine. Do it wrong and your muscles cramp up, which hurts - although fortunately I've not had lunch issues.

    I'm surprised he'd not had problems before. Maybe he ran out of water.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    litres litres litres!!!!

    Not liters!!!!!!!! Arrgggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

    And maths, not math.

    Pop/fizzy drink, not soda.

  24. Steve Foster

    @Unit Conversion

    1 US Gallon = ~3.78l, so 10l is about 2.7 US Gallons (~21 US Pints).

    I don't have USG to cup size conversion data, so I can't put that into Jubs.

  25. eurobloke

    @ Christopher Martin

    4 litres is roughly 8 1/2 pints (US) and 10 litres is roughly 21 pints (US)

  26. EdwardP


    The average adult should be drinking 2.5 liters of water a day.

    10 liters of water is probably not going to do you any good, so 10 liters of Coke should be a a no brainier.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other news

    Were all doomed. DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED I SAY. Yeah ok so some twat sucks down upwards of 10 liters of soda per day and after three years gets himself sick. Well no shit Sherlock what ever gave you first fucking clue. What else was he doing to destroy his health that might have contributed to that condition as well? What you mean that's not in the learned report?? /gasps all shocked like. Yeah can't let rational ideas or logic get in the way of a justifying your grant money now can you.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Despite my love of root based sugary fizzy drinks I do make the effort to avoid ones with aspartame in, namely the ones proudly saying "Diet" or "Lite" on them, though that hasn't helped my waistline... :(

    I once tried caffiene free, sugar free Coke, it was one of the most chemically vile tasting drinks I've ever had.

  29. Andrew Fraser

    Back in the day...

    Coffee Enema's were all the rage (cold coffee of course) Rumor has it, that the Royal's enjoyed their health benefits too.

    Until the figured out that the coffee was sucking the K and Na from their systems, and causing more issues than they solved.

    Too much Caffene is BAD kids ! ... No matter which way you injest it.

    I allow myself 1 Red Bull /Day.

    I don't drink coffee, and maybe 3L of Coke a week.

  30. Dave Morris

    @Sly, re: 4-10 liters??

    10 liters is closer to 2.5 gallons. A liter being slightly larger than a quart. Drinking 10 gallons of coke, however, may be sufficient to make one confuse liters with gallons, I suppose.

  31. martinX

    Cuppla things.

    1. Australian Coke doesn't have "fructose and glucose" as ingredients. Coke is sweetened with sucrose. Sucrose is a disaccharide of glucose and fructose, but that's not the same thing.

    2. The issue appears to be with the caffeine. It's not Coke specifically, nor even cola drinks but anything with caffeine. Still, we haven't been inundated with reports about obsessive Starbucks patrons dropping from low potassium. Could be diuretic effect + low dietary intake of K+, in which case it's not the Coke's fault specifically but a general symptom of poor dietary habits.

    3. PAUL NAYLOR: if your GF is drinking diet Coke, she's not drinking sugary stuff. Excess phosphates may contribute to osteoporosis though.

    4. He's an ostrich farmer. Out roo shooting. What does this guy have against our Coat of Arms?

    5. Why is a Greek physician writing up a paper about an Australian ostrich farmer?

  32. Anonymous Coward

    @Paul Naylor - diet Coke all day

    sugary stuff ? buhwuh?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    as a software developer

    i drink at least 3 litres of the stuff a day, i lost several stone in weight by switching to diet!

    i recentyly gave it up completely, the two week headache i got was fun :)

  34. Tom Reg

    Package size

    Its getting quite hard to find coke or anything in the 'small' old 350 ml cans (12 oz) instead they push the 600 - 800 ml as one serving. When I was 12 cans were 280 ml (10 oz). The unit cost of coke is just about 0 to manufacture. The size increase is basically a price hike in disguise.

    The worst is when they push the stuff in the big bottles in high school.

    Drinking is a great way to get too many calories. If you are worried about your weight - never take in calories by liquid (unless its beer). Doing this will drop your caloric intake by 20 - 40% or more if you are an Aussie Ostrich farmer.

  35. Christopher Martin

    @ helpful imperial unit people

    Hah, I forgot we buy soft drinks by the liter in the US too :)

    I guess I'm only about 10-15% of this guy's cola intake... I feel safe now.

  36. Jeff

    Ostrich on the coat of arms?

    nah mate, it's a bloody emu.

    Ostriches are native to Africa.

    Either way, they're both pretty tasty

  37. Darryl

    @AC - Aspartame and cancer

    " I think I'm correct in saying the artificial sweetener used in Diet Coke has been found to cause cancer..."

    From U.S. National Cancer Institute:

    A study of about half a million people, published in 2006, compared people who drank aspartame-containing beverages with those who did not. Results of the study showed that increasing levels of consumption were not associated with any risk of lymphomas, leukemias, or brain cancers in men or women.

    Researchers examined the relationship between aspartame intake and 1,888 lymphomas or leukemias and 315 malignant brain cancers among the participants of the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study from 1995 until 2000. Development of these cancers was not associated with estimated aspartame consumption, refuting a recent animal study with positive findings for lymphomas and leukemias and also contradicting claims regarding brain cancer risk.

  38. Moss Icely Spaceport

    @ Martin x

    "4. He's an ostrich farmer. Out roo shooting. What does this guy have against our Coat of Arms?"


    Aussie coat of arms = An Ostrich and a Kangaroo?

    How about an Emu and a Kangaroo?

    Penguin: Well it's a bird isn't it?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Since when have had an Ostrich on our Coat of Arms????????????

    If you look again I think you find it ia an EMU you goose.

  40. Graham Jordan

    Maybe its me

    But more than one can a day makes my teeth feel like they're disolving.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    @Graham Jordan

    If you have a problem with your tooth enamel that can happen...

    and OJ is just as acidic, so steer clear of that too...

    Or maybe a limescale buildup would fizz but thats good!!

  42. Danny Silver badge


    why I drink pepsi max. Sure the chemicals wont do me any good but all those zeros on the dietary information box cannot be bad for me? surely? mmm caffeine.

  43. Gerard Allwein


    I think in terms of jubs, that would be approximately two...if we're judging by Bunny Gamazon, the Big Texan.

  44. martinX

    OK, it's an emu on our coat of arms

    Hey, I woke up at 3 am with a headache and sore throat and proceeded to post on El Reg. I'm sorry if our $#@#ing emu looked like a ^&%$ing ostrich in my befuddled brane :-S . What's he doing with ostriches anyway? That's un-Australian, Bruce.

    To make up for my mistake, I'm using the Tux the Emu icon.

  45. David

    @ Steve Foster

    "I don't have USG to cup size conversion data, so I can't put that into Jubs."

    You could try asking Wolfram Alpha

  46. Anonymous Coward

    Drink Brawndo "The Thirst Mutilator" instead!

    It's Got Electrolytes!

  47. jsp


    Bzzzt. Wrong. Urban Legend.

    You get nearly all the fluid you need from the food you eat.

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