I have always been told by my mom that when I feel nauseous, I should drink Coke. I've heard many people say the same.

Is it true that it is good to drink Coke when you're feeling nauseous?

If yes:

  • Under what conditions (what symptoms) is it good to drink Coke?
  • What are the beneficial effects that Coke have on us?
  • @Remi: I am worried there might be a translation issue. A common remedy for rehydrating after vomiting is flat cola or soft drink, which in some regions might be referred to as Coke. Is this what you meant? (While checking on this, I found that practice is itself controversial and hence would make a good question!)
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 14:23
  • @Oddthinking When I say Coke, I mean Coca-Cola (or Pepsi that is a similar drink). To make it clear here is a picture of what I mean with these famous bottles that were given to each US soldier everyday (If I am not mistaken) during WWII. I have never heard about beneficial effect of other soft drinks but if Coke/Cola/Coca-Cola/Pepsi (once flat maybe!) is good, other soft drinks might be good too.
    – Remi.b
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 14:45
  • Please add a notable claim for your question.
    – nico
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 15:39
  • 1
    On two wiki-how here and here they suggest to drink cola. Here, here and here on yahoo posts also.
    – Remi.b
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 16:00
  • 1
    My grandmother believed that Canada Dry Ginger Ale would make you better if you were sick. My wife says that my grandmother probably thought it cured cancer too - however she never explicitly stated that to me. Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


I was recommended to "drink Coke when sick" several times, and it sounded pretty peculiar to me as well, here is what I found wondering on the subject:

Severe vomiting+diarrhea cause you to loose many potential "fuel" (food) that is in your system, as well as causing dehydration.

Moreover, vomiting and diarrhea often result in electrolyte imbalance, which is more important than the sugar loss. And in this case: "Carbonated drinks, including cola, provide inadequate fluid and electrolyte replacement and cannot be recommended" (link, not the best reference though).

Coke also has many acid-like chemicals, that famously destroy your teeth. But on the positive side, these chemicals aid in dissolving phytobezoars (trapped mass in the stomach, that consists of components of indigestible plant material, such as fibers, skins and seeds, which may cause nausea and vomiting):

Coca-Cola alone is effective in gastric phytobezoar dissolution in half of the cases and, combined with additional endoscopic methods, is successful in more than 90% of them.

(resource - thanks, Oddthinking).

So, it is very much dependent on the particular condition, and hardly can be recommended in general.

  • Welcome to Skeptics Stack Exchange! Please provide some references to support your claims.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 23:07
  • Welcome to Skeptics!. This answer is really close to being an excellent answer. Your second point links to some journalist talking about an unnamed paper. If you were to hunt it down, you would find an excellent resource. Quote from that, and you have an astonishing answer backed by good science.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 23:08
  • Your first claim has no references - you need to add some references to support it. In fact, there seems to be evidence it isn't true [Note: That's not a good reference either, it is only a newspaper. It needs following up to the original], so you might like to change it to what can be supported by evidence.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 23:09
  • 1
    Thanks for the feedback. My initial answer indeed was flawed, I made some corrections now. Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 1:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .