Stop the Bonk with Coca Cola – The Tastiest Tip Ever

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Cannondale Pro Team Bottle from the Tour of California
Cannondale Pro Team Bottle from the Tour of California
Cannondale Pro Team Bottle from the Tour of California
Cannondale Pro Team Bottle from the Tour of California filled with nothing less than Coca Cola!

I love Coca Cola. Especially Cherry Coke. It’s a habit I’ve only had marginal success controlling for months at a time, and it oftentimes hampers my goals for getting in racing shape or even having a successful training session. Drink a Coke right before swimming, and you’ll quickly find that it’s not conducive to a quick, smooth time in the water. I know I’m not alone in my love for soda, and because it’s a horrible habit, I’ve decided to pinpoint one of the amazing benefits of Coca Cola (read as: I know it’s bad for me and I can’t stop drinking it, so I’m gonna pretend it’s helping me even though it’s totally not).

Let me prove my point. If you’ve ever watched a pro bike race, you’ll notice the riders occasionally imbibe a Coca Cola–don’t believe me? A few years back, I picked up a bottle thrown by a rider in the Tour of California. It was still one-third full of brown, carbonated, sugary, cola. Yup, true story.

In all seriousness, Coke can actually stop you from bonking–quickly. Although it’s generally better to have adequate nutrition for your ride to prevent the bonk altogether, if you’re deep past your reserves then soda will get you home–maybe even make you amazingly strong for a while.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating replacing your electrolyte drink with sodas. But if you’re in need of a boost to bring you back from the brink, Coke will give you not only quick energy, but also lift your spirits a little to help you enjoy your trip home. The sugars are a source of ultra-quick energy, and the caffeine will get you moving fast. You can also look for Pepsi Throwback or Mexican Coke in the glass bottle if you’d rather get soda with real sugar.

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But fair warning, unless you bought yourself a 6-pack, the effects of one soda will only last for about 30-40 minutes–and then you’ll drop back to the bonk. So, get home quickly! Although maybe you just keep drinking and ticking off the miles. Heck, I’ve heard of people running the marathon leg of an Ironman with mostly Coke to keep them going. I’m not recommending it, but . . . it sounds like it would either cure you of your soda habit or make running totally worth it. 😉



About Bek 301 Articles
SLO Cyclist's former chief editor and recovering road snob, Bek made sure everything ran smoothly around here. She was also the one who reminded us not to take ourselves too seriously--unless it involves black socks. Black socks are always serious.


  1. Happened across this article and love it. My biking friends know me for putting a small bottle of Coke in my back shirt pocket and drinking about the 60 mile mark. Gives me the kick I need!see ya on the road!

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