What Happens In Your Body When You Eat Top Ramen

ramen gatorade mouth to anus

Most of the time, we hear about avoiding processed foods because they’ll make us fat. But a new video of what happens in your body when you eat Top Ramen and Gatorade vs. homemade noodles and drinks gives us a whole new reason to avoid it: We can’t even digest it properly.

TEDxManhattan 2011 Fellow Stefani Bardin‘s video, below, shows what happens in your body when you eat processed foods vs. homemade versions of similar foods, using a tiny “M2A” (that stands for Mouth to Anus, and it’s trademarked, mind you) LED/camera capsule. The project looks at two subjects eating two similar meals: one composed of processed foods (gatorade, ramen, and gummi bears); the other of homemade versions (hibiscus drink, homemade broth with noodles and gummi bears made of juice). What happens to the foods is drastically different; possibly because, as Bardin puts it, Top Ramen is made to survive armageddon, while homemade noodles are made to be eaten.

Warning: It’s best to watch this video after you’ve eaten your breakfast.

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    • Meghan Keane

      That video was so terrifying. But also, it definitely worked. Don’t think I’ll be drinking Gatorade anytime soon.

    • kenny

      I found this very interesting. Would like to see more…the video mentions 32 hours of footage.

      Has more footage been released? Will it be?

    • Judy Griffin

      Wow, this could really make an impact on people. Great to see intelligent studies like this being initiated that show results and in an understandable manner.

    • cheri

      more more more…we want more video :)….that is awesome!!! my kids thought this sooo cool…what a great idea!! can you post more of the video???? pleeeeEEEEEASE!!!!…lol thanks for sharing

    • Diane Hamar

      I would love to see them do this same study on dogs. This was amazing.

    • Maureen

      Would other store-bought pasta have the same result? (’cause it looks I’m going to have to learn to make noodles:)

      • ae

        good question– i was just wondering the same thing. in essence, i guess my question would be, how processed is processed? are my barilla noodles from the grocery store as processed as these? if so, are there any alternatives to eating foods that typically are pacakged but are common in meals? [obviously, all while still eating actual whole foods like fresh veggies/fruit, etc.]

      • Racheal

        i need to know this too!! ah! I’m glad I don’t even like Ramen! now I now why! my body is smart!

    • Amelia

      Enlightening! Kudos!

    • Camille

      Would you please send me the recipe for the healthy alternative to Gatorade. There is a group of us who work with athletes. Also advise what literature we can pass on to these athletes.

      • Brian

        Coconut water.

      • Marsha

        That healthier alternative to gatorade is hibiscus tang. I buy it for my 3 year old in a little reddish-pink bag with a zip top. I don’t know where to get it other than the local dry goods store in my area called Bi-lo. The are like an Ollies but they sell food. I’ve seen tang sports drink mix in stores though.

      • Dawn

        The US Olympic Committee commissioned a study about the best post workout snack for their athletes. The winner? Milk. Chocolate milk and raisins, actually. The combination is supposed to be ideal in the way it replenishes electrolytes and helps to build muscle. The study is published, but I don’t have the link handy just now. I’m sure you can find it, the Dairy groups use it in all their literature. Nevertheless, milk is an ideal substitute for Gatorade in many applications. It’s healthful, and easy to get.

      • nm

        that was just a hibiscus drink, probably tea.

    • Tash

      Scary! :-(((((

    • Tiffany

      Why haven’t we used a camera like this in the fight against Crohn’s Disease and other GI diseases? As a person who’s had Crohn’s Disease for 19 years I was literally just thinking yesterday why hasn’t there been a study with a camera to swallow to help in finding a cure!!

      • Melissa

        Tiffany, There has been! It just isn’t widely used yet. I have been a Crohn’s patient for 25yrs and new things are being used all the time. If you are interested you should talk with your doctor.

    • Mark Anthony

      brb guys, I’m gonna go eat a raw package ramen right now!… what!? it’s for science!

    • Melissa

      I have a few problems with this video. I have been a Crohn’s patient for 25 years and have just a little over 2 feet left of all my colon. Most of my food is processed and out of my body within 25 minutes to an hour. It would have been best to see each person’s video using both processed and whole foods. The problems I have is that 1) We all digest differently 2) You can still see red on #2 (so you see colors in the GI tract, ok!) and 3) This video makes it look like you process whole foods better but if you look closely the time for the video on the right ends up being at least 10minutes ahead. This is a start but seems so one sided and against all non-homemade foods from the beginning.

      • Lisa

        ^ Good points – I totally agree.

        I’m a foodie from way back, organic-only for 15 years, mostly vegetarian (from childhood until recently), mostly whole foods. Lately I’ve been on homemade primal diet focusing on local/homegrown, which I grow in my backyard in brooklyn bc that’s how for realsies I am about health food, and I STILL think this video is wack.

        It comes off pretty biased, and despite being produced by Eyebeam/TED, it looks and sounds like crap. Not a pun, and obvs the pill cam footage isn’t going to rival Avatar, but the animation at the beginning is pointless (we all know which end the food goes in/comes out and logic can fill in the between parts), the carnival music seems ill fitting, and her halting VO sounds condescending.

        You can’t educate people while talking down to them, and it helps to make your point not look totally ridiculous with an amateur seeming video.

        It’s an important message, despite that not having been shown anything compelling here.

    • Rita

      I’m sure we’ll start eating better when homemade noodles (or healthier versions) can be had for the same price as a package of Ramen (about 20 cents). Same with Gatorade. It’s less than $1.00 for a big bottle of Gatorade vs. $2.00+ for a small carton of coconut water. When people are struggling to pay the mortgage and have to choose between bills and food, Ramen wins every time.

    • Susie Cassens

      Would be great to see the process of bile acid creation and connection between vagus nerve and damaged epithelial cells.Art & Science do need to reconnect after centuries of separation.Scientists disect and Artists put the puzzle back together.Coming together of left-brained and right-brained thinkers which is long overdue:)

    • HealthyHanna

      I can’t stand the money excuse. Paying the mortgate and bills does not mean you have to eat garbage. Cut other bills. Cable? Internet? Clothing? Entertainment? – Nothing is more important than what you eat. You’ll be so glad you cheaped out on your food when you’re hooked up to chemo for your entire old age. Hey, at least you had cable!

      • Andrea

        I eat pretty healthy, but you’re comment is not very acurate. We were very broke for quite some time and it is a lot more expensive to eat fresh and healthy. It is much cheaper to eat junk. We didnt have cable, internet, cell phones etc and I bought clothing for my self maybe once a year at that time. Ramen was 10 cents a pack and would be a meal when fresh fruit and veggies cost a lot more. Like I said we eat healthy now, but when we had no money to buy much then I was just happy we had any food. There are many many people who do use the excuse that they have no money, while posting on their new IPhones haha but dont lump them all together please.