Coke plugs cycling in calculator that works out calories cancelled per can

07/11/2012 Health & Fitness

Coca-Cola’s Work It Out Calculator is either a great excuse to do more cycling (or jogging or other exercises that the sugared-water manufacturer recommends) or a load of fizz, bang, codswallop. You decide.

The online database works out how much of a certain exercise you’ll need to do to burn off one of its teeth-dissolving drinks (51 minutes of vacuuming anyone?) The calculator was developed in cahoots with Dr Greg Whyte, director of science and research at the English Institute of Sport and director of CRY Centre for Sports Cardiology. He’s also a former research manager at the British Olympic Medical Centre, and has worked as a consultant physiologist to various Olympic and professional sports.

Now, you can either drink something healthy – such as a bottle of water – or you could gulp down a can of caramelized pop and then fire up the calculator to work out how to neutralise the unnecessary calories you’ve just taken on board. For example, a 139 calorie can of Coke could be counteracted with 26 minutes of moderate cycling. (You’d probably need to do a stage of the Tour de France if you plump for a large cup of Coke in a fast-food outlet).


Perhaps more useful are the downloadable PDFs of recommended activities, with text written by Dr Whyte. The one for cycling contains sound advice, including keep your bike clean. Surprisingly for a self-help document of this type, there’s no admonition to wear a helmet when cycling, although the photo library pix all feature women wearing helmets.

Dr Whyte says there are lots of benefits to cycling:

  • It’s a low-impact form of exercise, which means it’s suitable for most people of any age, even those who are injured or overweight.
  • It helps to burn fat
  • It strengthens and tones the legs and bottom
  • It raises your heart rate and improves cardiovascular fitness
  • It can help you achieve and maintain a healthy eight.
  • A healthy eight of what? Oh, typo alert, Coca Cola meant to say ‘a healthy weight’.

    Anyhow, the last bit is dead right:

    “Cycling makes you feel good and can give you a buzz, especially if you enjoy riding fast!”