Science Questions

Sun, 9th Jan 2005

Part of the show Addiction & Anti-Nicotine Vaccines


Alan asked:

Are fizzy and sweet drinks addictive?


Coca Cola, most other fizzy drinks and cold remedies contain huge amount of caffeine. This is a legal drug that gives you energy and perks you up. This is why taking certain 'flu remedies make you feel more awake and generally much better. These are similar effects to those found when drinking coffee. There are specific receptors in your brain for caffeine. These interact with a part of the brain that uses the reward-chemical dopamine, the same system activated by drugs such as cocaine. Although caffeine and cocaine don't give the same kind of rush effect, both have a common mechanism. It's also worth bearing in mind that tea also contains a lot of caffeine.


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