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Cola with ice cubes and lemon

Cola , also called kola , is a caffeine and carbonated soft drink .


Coca-Cola , one of the most famous cola brands
Various brands of cola available in Germany

The pharmacist John Stith Pemberton is considered to be the inventor of cola . In 1886 he developed a recipe for a syrup and sold it mixed with soda water under the name Coca-Cola .

Advertisement for regional cola production in Yurimaguas , Peru

In addition to Coca-Cola , numerous other brands were created . The best-known among them is the Pepsi- Cola, also from the USA . In addition, brands that were popular at least for a time also developed in Europe , such as Afri-Cola , which has been produced in Germany since 1931 , the Club-Cola and Vita Cola that originated in the GDR , and Vivi Kola, which was launched in Switzerland in 1938 . In Italy there is chinotto , which looks similar to cola, but tastes clearly bitter.

The consumption of the drink, especially the brands Coca-Cola and Pepsi , was and is in certain regions again and again the expression of a Western worldview (cf. for example the well-known cocktail Cuba Libre ). Local brands dominate in some countries that have traditionally been skeptical about the US. Inca Kola from Peru is now being marketed in large parts of South America by the Coca-Cola Group. Tukola is a Cuban brand that is also sold in Italy . In India , Pepsi and Coca-Cola were banned from 1970 to 1993, as the two brands resisted listing the ingredients in their products.

In 2002 Mecca-Cola came on the market as a "non-western" alternative. The cola, which originated in France, is aimed at Muslim consumers. The manufacturer claims to be transferring part of the proceeds to charity.

Recipe and ingredients

Kola nuts in the
Ouagadougou market
Cola syrup sinello

Cola originally contained the caffeine- rich kola nut and the extract from the leaves of Erythroxylum species. For the production of Coca-Cola , however, was no longer Since 1902 cocaine-containing type Erythroxylum coca used but Erythroxylum species, their caffeine content - similar to guarana ( Paullinia cupana ) - is particularly high and therefore preferred for the production of soft drinks are used .

At first, however, cocaine was often deliberately added to the drink: “Around 1885, the American pharmacist Pemberton added cocaine together with caffeine to a drink called Coca-Cola, which was offered as a panacea. In 1891 at least 200 reports of cocaine intoxication were available and 13 deaths were known. By 1903, 1 liter of Coca-Cola contained around 250 mg of cocaine. In 1914, the addition of cocaine to beverages and non-prescription drugs was banned in the USA, and strict narcotics regulations were issued for cocaine in European countries ”. After the addictive effects of cocaine had gradually got around, in 1902 the manufacturer switched to only adding non- alkaloid extracts from coca leaves as a flavor.

In addition to the kola nut, today's cola gets its typical taste from the ingredients vanilla , cinnamon oil , clove oil and lemon , although the lemon content in Germany is different than in the USA . Occasionally, hyssop , mazis blossom , calamus tincture , coriander oil or distilled lime oil are mentioned as components of a cola recipe.

In addition, it usually contains caffeine and phosphoric acid , but above all carbon dioxide and sugar , which are dissolved in the main constituent water . Citric acid used to be an important ingredient in cola ; Nowadays, phosphoric acid ( E 338 ), which is in the form of orthophosphoric acid due to the degree of dilution , is characteristic. The phosphoric acid is partly responsible for the typical cola taste and has an emulsion-stabilizing effect . The caffeine content of cola drinks can be achieved by adding caffeine-rich plant extracts or chemically produced caffeine. The caffeine content in cola beverages is typically 10 mg / 100 ml less than that of brewed coffee or black tea. However, there are exceptions such as Jolt Cola , Afri-Cola and Fritz-Kola with a significantly higher caffeine content. A content of 25 mg / 100 ml is achieved, for example, by fritz-kola , afri cola 25 and premium cola. According to the Federal Gazette, “lemonades containing caffeine” may contain a maximum of 32 mg / 100 ml caffeine in the Federal Republic of Germany .

Cola gets its characteristic dark color from the additive E 150d ( sugar color ). The different types of water and sugar are responsible for the fact that cola tastes different in all regions of the world. Cane sugar is used in Asia, beet sugar in Europe and corn syrup in the USA .

Since the mid-1980s, almost all manufacturers have also offered light products that contain aspartame and acesulfame instead of sugar . Caffeine-free variants (“children's cola ”), non-colored Crystal Cola and White Cola as well as special flavors (e.g. cherry , vanilla , lemon ) are less common . The Peruvian Inca Kola , which is mainly made from the lemon bush , is bright yellow .

Health aspects

Excessive consumption of cola is considered unhealthy, primarily due to the ingredients phosphoric acid and sugar. It is debatable whether one can develop diabetes mellitus and obesity through excessive consumption of cola . Regular cola consumption can damage the teeth and lead to tooth decay due to the phosphoric acid and sugar they contain, especially in children . Brushing your teeth immediately after consuming the cola can be particularly harmful, as the recently attacked tooth enamel can be scraped away even further by the toothbrush .

Normal orange or apple juice with 100 percent fruit content without additives has a sugar content similar to that of cola; the fat in normal-fat milk even has a significantly higher calorific value . However, this is more of an argument not to give children large quantities of fruit juices or milk instead of consuming cola without worries.

American researchers found in a study that cola consumption in older women (but not in men) correlated with low bone density in the hip. It is speculated that Cola could be the cause. A detrimental function on the growth of the bones can also occur especially in female adolescents . Phosphate plays an important role in the organism, above all it is a basic building material of the information carriers DNS and RNA as well as the biological energy carrier adenosine diphosphate or adenosine triphosphate . An excess of phosphate could therefore possibly influence the body chemistry and would then affect all organs or cell types.

In a specialist article published in 2009 by scientists from the University of Ioannina , several case studies are listed in which excessive consumption of cola had led to a serious potassium deficiency with the result of fatigue and muscle paralysis, including cardiac arrhythmias . It is believed that the potassium deficiency is caused by an interplay of the ingredients glucose, fructose and caffeine. Limiting the consumption of cola while taking potassium supplements at the same time usually leads to rapid and complete recovery. One death was reported in New Zealand in 2012, probably due to a potassium deficiency caused by excessive consumption of cola (7-10 liters daily).

As home remedies for diarrhea , cola and salt sticks are suitable to compensate for both the loss of fluid and nutrients, but lemonades should be diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 1. Cola is unsuitable in severe cases of diarrhea.

A study by Stiftung Warentest (06/2016 issue of the magazine test ) showed that only 4 out of 30 cola drinks performed well in the test. Only sugar-free varieties were among the winners. The poorly rated colas contain too many pollutants and too much alcohol .


The popular belief that cola is bad for the stomach is not true. The phosphoric acid in cola is only sufficient to detach fibers from meat, but the stomach is protected by mucous membranes and the gastric juice there is also significantly more acidic than phosphoric acid.

Mixed drinks

Well-known mixed cola drinks include Spezi ( cola mix ) and cola beer . A hand-made mixture of red wine and cola becomes cola red , but also calimocho ( corruption to cold pussy or KaMu ), red Colaschoppen , Korea , Arabs , Colera (corruption of the disease cholera ) or Fetzi (in Vienna, there also less often Rebel blood , allegedly also Cola Rup or Cola Roid, with a higher proportion of wine called Bonanza ).

Cola rum (in Vienna Rüscherl ) with white rum based on a well-known brand Bacardi-Cola, with Cuban rum Cuba Libre and Cola brandy (in Vienna Baucherl because of the bulbous brandy / cognac swivel, rarer Frackerl, in some northern German regions) are also popular Charly, in the Rhineland Topsi, in the Bodensee-Oberschwaben Peng region , in Bavaria among other things Hütchen or Schwarzer ), in the Balingen, Reutlingen and Tübingen region also known as Bacola .

A mixture of Cola and Kölsch is known as a bastard in and around Cologne , Cola with Altbier Krefelder . In southern Germany and Austria, Cola is also often mixed with wheat beer (wheat beer) and regionally called Neger , Mohr or Colaweizen (other variant: see Goaßn Maß ), now often also diesel , such as the mixture of Cola with Pils beer in Hanover and the surrounding area . Another name for cola-beer mixes in different regions of Germany is (a) dirty . In the Hessian area, cola is also mixed with apple wine, i.e. with Ebblwoi , which consequently results in KE (Kola Ebbler) or Schwarz- Spritzter . Mixing cola and vodka, whiskey or corn is also common. Cola is also part of numerous cocktails and long drinks . Best-known examples are Long Island Iced Tea and Cuba Libre .

Fruit-flavored cola, especially cherry, lemon or orange flavor, is also popular.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Cola  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Frank Rumpf: In the shadow of the brown shower . In: Spiegel Online . March 10, 2000, accessed August 7, 2009.
  2. ^ Spiegel Online: Bottles in Flames , accessed on August 7, 2009.
  3. ^ Matthias Streitz: How Allahs Brause came to Germany . In: Spiegel Online . January 14, 2003, accessed August 7, 2009.
  4. 20% for charity ( Memento of the original from October 5, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed October 4, 2017. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Between Myth and Criticism , accessed on August 7, 2009
  6. ^ Wilhelm Fleischhacker: Curse and Blessing of Cocaine . In: Österreichische Apotheker-Zeitung . tape 60 , no. 26 , 2006, p. 1288 ( [PDF; 4.6 MB ]).
  7. Guidelines for sugar confectionery: "The caffeine content of a" Cola "is at least 0.15% and at most 0.25%."
    Günter Klein: Textsammlung Lebensmittelrecht. Behr's Verlag, 2003, ISBN 3-86022-314-3 , guidelines for sugar confectionery , p. 5.
  8. Caffeinated lemonades with more than 250 mg caffeine / l as well as with the addition of taurine, inositol, glucuronolactone and guarana extract. (PDF; 61 kB) BgVV opinion of January 24, 2002.
  9. BAnz No. 46, p. 2170 of March 8, 1994.
  10. Coca Cola GmbH: Ingredients of various products ( Memento of the original from October 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 59 kB), accessed on August 7, 2009 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  11. Focus Online: The Truth About Cola , accessed on August 7, 2009
  12. Focus Online: Cola = Sugar = Diabetes? , accessed August 7, 2009
  13. Focus Online: Light makes you fatter than normal cola? , accessed August 7, 2009
  15. Focus Online: Cola weakens women's bones , accessed on August 7, 2009
  16. Focus Online: Brittle bones from the brown shower? , accessed August 7, 2009
  17. V. Tsimihodimos, V. Kakaidi, M. Elisaf: Cola-induced hypokalaemia: pathophysiological mechanisms and clinical implications , in: The International Journal of Clinical Practice , Vol. 63 Issue 6, pp. 900–902, doi: 10.1111 / j .1742-1241.2009.02051.x (free full text); German-language summary on
  18. ^ The Telegraph: Mother 'died after drinking 18 pints of Coca-Cola a day . In: , accessed April 19, 2012. (English)
  19. Stiftung Warentest: Means against diarrheal diseases . In: , accessed on February 4, 2013.
  20. Tested colas contain too many pollutants and alcohol . In: The world . May 27, 2016, accessed September 15, 2018.
  21. Florian Flaig: Cola dissolves meat, including the stomach? . In: Focus Online . May 1, 2013, accessed August 7, 2009.