Caron Butler’s Drug-Like Withdrawals & How Drinking Soda Can Hurt Your Game

By Joe Haefner

When I coached JV, the players’ health habits were terrible. They would eat chips and drink soda before every game. Unfortunately, they didn’t know any better. I believe it is our job to at least educate the players on this.

Recently, I read an ESPN article about Caron Butler’s symptoms when he stopped drinking soda.

“I was going through withdrawals,” Butler said on “… Honestly, those first two weeks without the Dew [were] the roughest two weeks of my life. I’m talking headaches, sweats and everything.”

If that doesn’t convince you that this can affect your health and your play, read this study done by the Nutrition Research Center where it states,

When somebody drinks a Coke watch what happens…

  • In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
  • 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
  • 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
  • 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
  • >60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
  • >60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.
  • >60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.

Hopefully, this makes you think twice before you down a soda before the next game.

Look at the ingredients of your drinks and avoid the ones with high fructose corn syrup.

Instead, drink some milk, water, and/or squeezed juice.