A challenge to try every diet pop available in Microsoft's refrigerators. Furthermore, to attempt to go through a few full workdays, drinking no full-sugar pop.
A few reasons. Admittedly, on some gentle prodding from The Irishman, bringing up the many health benefits of avoiding high sugar intake.
First, the obvious one - sugar, without the matching exercise, is going to immediately translate into fat. While I'd like to gain some weight, I'd prefer it to be thick muscle mass that makes a fine lady swoon, and men cower in fear. I am not overweight, but I could lose 10lbs in fat without any serious detrimental effects on my health (and certainly don't want to gain any at all at my current point).
Second, diabetes. A few friends have pointed out that high sugar intake can lead to risk for type-II diabetes. I don't like drugs, having to see doctors, needles, or having to significantly curtail my diet. Diabetes could mean all of that.
Finally, my Mountain Dew tower just scares me. I'll take a picture soon.
Home time, meals out. This is purely workday. My leisure time, I will have my sugar. I like my sugar, thank you! Also, no caffeine-reduced drinks. I know of no serious health issues around regular caffeine intake unless you take huge amounts (forming a moderate physical addiction), or do not keep hydrated (caffeine is a diuretic). I also like my caffeine.
I got to try a variety of sugar-free pop; as far as I know, the full selection available in my building. I drank everything that had a diet variety, including caffeine-free if there was no caffeinated version.
- Diet Mountain Dew
- Diet Pepsi
- Diet Coke
- Diet Coke Cherry
- Diet Dr. Pepper
- Diet Mug Root Beer
- Diet Sprite
I was going to review these, and comment on the overwhelming taste of aspartame and relative flavourlessness of each of them. But, having just had a second Diet Mountain Dew (after cycling all the pops, where Diet MD was also my first), I realize something. I've become desensitized to the taste of aspartame, in just three days! I hated my first can of Diet Mountain Dew. Loathed it even. But after a few days of drinking these sugar-free drinks, it doesn't bother me much at all.
Still, Diet Coke Cherry comes out on top for pleasantness. Also Diet Mug and Diet Sprite take a prize for being a bit truer to the taste of their sweetened counterparts, but they have no caffeine so are therefore not important to me.
I've done three full diet days, and a few mixed days (it's been a rough week). I'm at the point where it is something I can drink subconsciously as I work.
On a side note, on suggestion of The Irishman and Popple, I gave Coke Zero a try at home (they don't seem to have any at work). I must say, it was the the closest to something I found with any real flavor, and I found myself chugging at it pretty aggressively. It still lacks that distinct boldness that corn syrup provides to a decent pop, but definitely a good substitute if you're going to be drinking a lot.
Given conditioning, one can in a very short time become accustomed to diet pop, even growing to like it.
Given this revelation, am I likely to switch to diet full time? No. However, I am definitely going to find one kind I like enough to drink regularly (the Diet Coke Cherry, I think), and start replacing at least some of my workday's consumption with it. I'm also going to drink a bit of Coke Zero at home, but only for those long nights of Warcraft. Probably with alcohol.