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The Soda Situation - Succulent Drinks w/o the Sweets? 467

Ticron asks: "Like most of you, my job and lifestyle revolves around drinking lots and lots of caffeine - usually in the form of soda. I've been trying to cut back on my sugar intake lately, and am interested in what some of you drink that isn't loaded down with the sweet stuff. Diet drinks have little to no flavor, and fruit punches have almost (sometimes more!) sugar than sodas themselves. Is there anything out there that maintains the convenience of a canned drink, but without all the sugar?"
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The Soda Situation - Succulent Drinks w/o the Sweets?

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  • by davevt5 ( 30696 ) * on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:55PM (#15290137) Homepage Journal
    I write this as a suck down the sweet sweet taste of Diet Dr. Pepper. Did you know it tastes more like regular Dr. Pepper? I'm sure you have heard that, and from the sounds of it, you don't agree. I tried diet sodas on and off but, like you, I found them repulsive. Then with nothing else in the house (other than water, YUK!) I committed to finishing the case of diet that I bought. By the time I finished consuming it I honestly couldn't tell it was diet. It was as if a switch in my head went off. Ever since then regular sodas syrupy and too sweet. So, while I cannot recommend an alternative, I do encourage you to give it another try. And if you're like me, you'll stop consuming 1/2 your daily caloric intake from soft drinks. (8 sodas X 110 calories each = poking new notches in belt)

    Bonus, it does/n't cause cancer! FDA Reviewing Italian Aspartame Study []

    • Diet cherry is a decent drink, and if you get stuck drinking diet coke, add some lemon juice to cut the after taste. Eventually you will get hooked enough that you can drink it straight.

      You have to get over the hump and drink diet crap for a few weeks to get enough in you to turn that switch on.

      They also have low-cal add-ins that you dump in a drink, so you can add your own flavor to diet coke or diet 7 up if you want. Not great, but a lot of variety.

      For non-caffinated, try koolaid or some of crystal lite
    • by sconeu ( 64226 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:33PM (#15290385) Homepage Journal
      Diet Coke with Splenda has all the sickening sweetness of regular Coke.
      • by jon787 ( 512497 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:42AM (#15290762) Homepage Journal
        Diet Coke with Splenda has all the sickening sweetness of regular Pepsi.

        There I fixed it for ya
        • We all taste this stuff differently, or so it appears. I find that diet coke with splenda tastes very much like normal diet coke, except without the aspartame aftertaste, which is the only thing that ruins normal diet coke for me (at least in terms of flavor - I'm kind of scared of aspartame.) For those who haven't already tried it, it's quite good. However, it also features caffeine, and for those trying to reduce their caffeine intake, it won't help.

          For those people, I suggest a non-caffeinated tea, m

      • Do not imbibe such a foul, unwholesome concoction, dude. It may be sweet, but it has no bite whatsoever --- in fact, it tastes like somewhat sweet, soapy water. Nasty all around.
      • } Diet Coke with Splenda has all the sickening sweetness of regular Coke.
        "Actually, they both taste like malted battery acid. Let's go for a milk."
    • by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <> on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:46PM (#15290459) Homepage
      I'm not sure why this is, but I found that after swapping regular soda for diet, I had a slight reduction in my weight but it didn't last. I guess my body found some way to compensate for it, perhaps by eating more of other things.

      But I did hear that soft drinks in general tend to lead to bloating. Someone more knowledgeable than I should take that ball and run with it.

      I think overall, with a sedentary lifestyle and compulsive urges to snack, the programmer fight against obesity is a pretty difficult one, unless there is some positive incentive (like a girl) involved.

      However, it's interesting to note that I lost huge amounts of weight - about half of my total fat - when I vacationed in the Philippines for three weeks. Smaller food portions and having a temporary girlfriend who cared about me and wanted me to lose weight really helped. Her secret was that she did it in an affectionate and teasing way, which I responded to, instead of the usual punitive reaction of Americans. This is why there are so many men looking for Filipina wives!

      Another interesting fact is that to manufacturer soft drinks down to a price, they cheap out on the ingredients, so a "Coke Light" in the Philippines, while ostensibly the same product as a "Diet Coke" in the US, actually tastes quite a bit different, even a little strange. This probably helped curb my soft drink appetite.

      I think, then, that developing interests outside of the computing realm might actually be the best way to lose weight. Anything that takes you away from the desk and too-available snack foods is probably a good thing.

      Until I return to the Philippines in November, I plan to take up boating, with the hopes that it will get me out on the water and more keen to do things away from the computer and the snack jar. We'll see how well it works.

      After November, well, two months of doing what I did in the Philippines should have me down to fighting trim. That sure will be strange, but I know the Filipinas will appreciate it.

    • by Leibel ( 768832 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @01:05AM (#15290855) Homepage
      Why don't you try drinking a case worth of water and see if it's still yuk by the end of it? You may be surprised. After all, you were with the diet soft drink :)
    • It may not cause cancer. Then again it might, seeing as when aspartame motabolizes in your body it produces methanol and formaldehyde [] (highly toxic in humans and animals). Who cares if it causes cancer (even though it probably does)? Formaldehyde is likely to kill you one way or another.
    • The "I don't like the taste" argument against diet soft drinks is nothing more than a bullshit excuse. If it isn't sweet enough for you, that means you're drinking so much high-fructose corn syrup that your taste buds are desensitized to sweetness. Like a junkie or a drunk who doesn't get the kick/buzz from one hit/drink, you resort to two, and the problem just gets worse.

      I stopped drinking non-diet soda-pop years ago, and now depend on diet cola (Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Faygo, and lime/lemon/cherry/va

  • uhhh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by viperstyx ( 578360 )
    how bout coffee...
    • Totally, man. I'm not a tech geek, but I'm paid to think and write about things (I'm a policy analyst) -- Coffee is a major component of my diet, and now that I've given up smoking, it's now even worse than it was before...
    • Re:uhhh (Score:3, Interesting)

      As long as it's not in exploding cans. Okay, maybe you're not a hot coffee guy so brew up a pot and put it in a pitcher. Toss it in the fridge. A glass of ice, dash of milk, bam!! Iced cofee!! Happy chuggin'
    • Ground up and in the freezer.

      Sorry, bad joke.

      To get back on topic, tried as I might, I cannot stand coffee unless it's "sissified", that is, lots of sugar and milk added. But at that point its like drinking a cup of sweetened creamer packets.
    • Re:uhhh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @01:03AM (#15290848) Homepage Journal
      How bout... nothing?

      Seriously, I have never understood the thing that IT people have for sucking down caffeine all day long. I don't drink coffee -- EVER -- and I rarely drink hot tea. Even when I do drink tea, it's decaffeinated (Tazo Passion is my favorite), or it's the once a week or so that I go to a restaurant and get iced tea. I drink maybe eight cans of soda per week, and that includes the five that I have with lunch, which are usually things like ginger ale. I'm cutting down even on that in favor of Gatorade that I buy in powdered format, mix up at night, and take cold to work in the morning in a Thermos. On random occasions, I'll have a Dr Pepper or a Coke, but by and large, from the time I leave my apartment to the time I leave for lunch, I don't drink anything. The same goes for the time from the end of lunch to about the time when I get home, around six hours later.

      At one time, I drank a couple of cans a day per eight-hour shift, but then about five years ago, I just decided to not do it. That was it. Productivity isn't hurt, and I don't find myself needing another pickup later in the day (or in the morning, for that matter).
      • Re:uhhh (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pbhj ( 607776 )
        >>> "How bout... nothing?"

        Sounds like you're probably dehydrated. You should take on about 30-50 ml per kg of fluid per day to maintain hydration levels. So, 70 kg -> 2.8 litres, admittedly some of that can come from foodstuffs (cucumber is nearly all water for example).

        In answer to your question ... I think the tea drinking habit is a socialising / work avoidance tactic. One can't sit for 8 hours working without dying of boredom, making a hot drink is accepted as reason to leave your desk / sta
  • Water (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BobPaul ( 710574 ) *
    I know, it doesn't fit the requirements capture (being tasteless) but I would highly recommend water. Tap, preferably because it's cheap, but bottled is good too. If you can get used to it you'll save a bundle and it's a lot healther (and generally more refreshing.)

    Otherwise, my favorite beverage is milk, but that's not very convienient.
    • At least if you read the 10-second health news today: =4146981 []

      Men who drink more than 2 litres of tap-water per day have a 50% increase in bladder cancer.
    • I have a similar problem to submitters, but with two small complications - my roommate has the metabolism of a cheetah on crystal meth, so he keeps plenty of regular soda on hand - and I can't drink water in quantities greater than perhaps a half glass at a time, it gives me the most intensely painful stomach acid short of acid reflux if I have water resting in my stomach for any length of time.
  • Coffee? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gulthek ( 12570 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:57PM (#15290147) Homepage Journal
    Coffee. Black.
    Tea. Black || Green.

    Easy, convenient, and zero sugar.
    • Couldn't agree more!

      Here's my routine:

      8am: black coffee
      10am: water
      12pm: tea (with lunch)
      1pm: water
      3pm: black coffee
    • Re:Coffee? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hazem ( 472289 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:42PM (#15290437) Journal
      I'm fortunate that my company provides free tea and coffee. I don't drink much coffee, but I'm a tea-fiend. I have a liter lexan (Nalgene) bottle and I put 1 "english breakfast" and 1 "earl grey" tea bag in, and pour in about 1/5 liter of boiling water (out of the coffee pot - it has a bypass spigot).

      Let that sit for a couple minutes, put in a spoon of sugar, fill to 4/5ths full with water and top with ice. A great refreshing caffeinated drink. The sugar's not necessary, but it's a small amount and gives it just the right flavor.

      I save tons on the soda I would normally buy.
    • Gulthek notes that tea is pretty quick and lets you select how much (if any) sweetness to have. One thing to note is that green tea is chock full of healthy stuff []. The list of health benefits on that page goes on and on. Of the varieties of tea, green is the least processed which is usually a good indicator that it's the most healthy. Start off by getting some prepackaged stuff just to see if you could like it. If so, then you can start doing your own thing and getting some good-quality stuff [].

      I know y

  • I have found a compromise between diet and regular, and become a fan of Coca-Cola C2. It is essentially 1/2 Coke and 1/2 Diet Coke. Doesn't taste too bad at all.
  • Chaser Energy Drinks (Score:2, Informative)

    by Doytch ( 950946 )
    They have a free sample too []

    • I don't understand the energy drink fad going around, lately. For starters, they are very expensive. Also, do people really understand all the ingredients? Some of them have stimulants beyond caffeine, which is something people need to educate themselves about before drinking a lot of them.

      I know nothing about the drink you linked to. It's just observing people buying $1+ drinks for some percieved benefit is confusing me. If I was going to spend more than $1 for a canned or bottled beverage, I'd go str
  • Its hard to find stuff in the store that doesn't have sugar in it. My tendancy was to think that juice would be the way to go but almost all juices have just as much sugar as a can of coke, if not more. Even the so called "light" juices.

    I've found that drinking more of the following drinks helps:

    *Unsweetened tea
    *Soy milk (actually, not that bad)
    *Make your own juice

    I feel fortunate that I work at a place that serves unsweetened tea and water all day long. It makes it easier. But if you don't work at
    • Where exactly do you find soy milk that isn't loaded in sugar?
      Seriously. Check the label sometime.
    • You're right that fruit juices have all the sugar that soft drinks do, but at least it's naturally-occuring sugar, not the processed stuff. That's good enough for me, and I avoid the caffeine as well.

  • by jbrader ( 697703 ) <> on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:59PM (#15290160)
    Crisp refreshing and good for you. I recomend Perrier or San Pellegrino which you can also get in various citrus flavors. Some people also like Apollinaris but it tastes muddy to me.
  • by Toveling ( 834894 ) * on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:02PM (#15290183)
    Giving up soda (really, caffeine in general) is really a great thing. You feel better overall, and your waking hours feel much more... Awake. But, I'd also suggest tea. No sugar at all. Iced tea is really refreshing, and you get your caffeine (if you want, unlike sodas there is no taste sacrifice for decafe).
    • I know two very smart and busy people who gave up caffeine. They both say that before they gave up caffeine, they were acutely aware (and appreciative) of the intense caffeine-based alertness, but they never realized that they spent most of the day in a fog, getting little done. Without caffeine, they don't reach the highs they used to, but they get more done because they can actually work for six hours out of their eight-hour work day instead of just three or four.

      Based on their experience, I'm conside

    • by MachDelta ( 704883 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @05:16AM (#15291563)
      Huuuuge agreement with parent here. I used to drink 2-4 cans of coke a day at work and, while it tasted great and was convenient, it was completely unjustifiable in terms of cost... both to my wallet and my body. Best thing I ever did was switch to drinking mostly water. Oh I know, I was one of those "it don't got no taaste" people too. But I really wasn't craving any kind of beverage, I just needed something to nibble on for flavour. Fresh fruit works great, but you can try anything from mints to cereals (avoiding the Count-Chocula stuff, of course). Then just sip on some water throughout the day. You'll get used to it pretty quickly. Its an amazingly easy habit to keep once you train yourself to head for the water cooler instead of the vending machines.

      Just acknowledge that colas and coffees are treats, not meals (and designer waters are plain stupid). Your body will thank you for it.
    • Excellent points have been made by all the previous respondants, I'll just add that even the carbonation is bad for you: it strips calcium from your body.

      I made the switch to water a few years back, and while it took a little bit to get used to, after a couple of weeks I felt much better, was more productive, and had a couple more dollars left in my pocket at the end of every day. I didn't notice a drop in my weight, but I never really paid much attention to that anyway (IMO it's a poor measure of "health",
  • Soda is 100% sweetened with corn syrup, which has been shown to have a direct link to obesity and diabetes. 100% juice juices (not juice cocktails) are naturally sweetened with sugar. Even if a juice has more sugar per serving than a soda it is still better for you as it is real sugar and not corn syrup.
    • Soda is 100% sweetened with corn syrup, which has been shown to have a direct link to obesity and diabetes. 100% juice juices (not juice cocktails) are naturally sweetened with sugar.

      I'm somewhat skeptical about the "shown to have a direct link to obesity and diabetes", but that aside -- the fructose in corn syrup is the same as the fructose in fruit. One is simply a dietary bogeyman of the moment while the other isn't.

      I'd recommend tap water, ice and lemon juice (or a wedge of lemon and lime) but the ques

      • High fructose corn syrup and fructose are world apart.

        When you get fructose from fruit, you're also getting the fiber along with it, and a ton of water....when it comes from HFCS, with a mix of glucose thrown in, it's a whole new ballgame....
  • Coffee or tea are excellent. Both are great hot, room temp, or cold, so long as they are good quality and unsweetened. It's also not hard to find large bottles of good quality tea (Trader Joes is good for this) which you can swig off of like a 40. Personally, I'll drink them from a paper bag, just to make coworkers think. And yes, some will actually ask if it's beer.
  • by junkgui ( 69602 )
    to a good friend of mine called Diet Mountain Dew... Ah... Let me count the ways...
  • I never really liked the taste of diet either. I liked regular Coke, but not most of the other flavors. However, I wanted to cut down on the sugar. I mostly started drinking iced tea with lemon. I also tried the various diet sodas with lemon and like some of them. In fact, I find them quite tasty that way.

    My particular favorites are diet Coke and diet Dr. Pepper with lemon. In fact, I REALLY like the latter with lemon.

    When I'm at a restaurant that doesn't have iced tea or lemon, I will mix the diet w
  • by jsimon12 ( 207119 ) <tzzhc4@y[ ] ['aho' in gap]> on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:05PM (#15290204) Homepage
    Do a 50/50 mix of club soda a fruit juice just make sure it is pure fruit juice. Not the stuff with "high fructose corn syrup". This cuts the sugar, still gives some sweet but has no artifical stuff.
  • ... lol.. partly because my name is Joe, but also because I drink LOTS of coffee .. coffee black or with cream and sweetner...
  • Propel (Score:4, Informative)

    by pkmugg ( 924194 ) <dewmigg AT gmail DOT com> on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:05PM (#15290206)
    Propel Water tastes good with very little sugar. It's what I drink.
  • hard to find. The only thing I can think of that comes close is some of the flavored teas that places sell nowadays. One thing that might help would be to find one of those Teavana places in the local mall and try the free samples until you find a flavor you like (and then buy something similar at the supermarket, because Teavana is Not Cheap).

    If you just want sweet and sugar free without caffeine, that's easy: just get some flavored water (I like Fruit2O).
  • I've actually vomited from trying to drink diet colas, but a lot of other diet drinks are alright. For non-caffeinated, diet Sierra Mist is at the top of my list. And recently I've been drinking a lot of black cherry Fresca, which doesn't taste nearly as bad as regular Fresca. For caffienated (I quit a little over a week ago), I've found that diet Code Red Mountain Dew is pretty tasty. For real caffeine, I used to drink one diet Rock Star every morning, but it took some adjustment before the nastiness went
  • Try The Switch []

    It's carbonated juice. It's pretty good, and it satisfies the craving for the fizzy soda thing while still being as healthy as juice. It's a pretty good mix.

    I'm not shilling for the product, I just like it.
  • And loads of it !

    I drink about 2 1.5 litre bottles of carbonated water a day.

    aperently its not only good for my health, but its also good for my dental hygene
  • 1. Coffee
    2. Diet Dr Pepper
    3. Coca-Cola Zero

    Diet Pepsi is kind of weak, and Diet Coke is, by the company's own admission, not even supposed to taste like Coca-Cola.

    And, although I've never resorted to it, I've heard that caffeine is available in pill form.

  • No caffeine, but these have got some major sweetness going on, like kool-aid made with double the sugar-flavor mix. []

    Meanwhile, I also like Diet Code Red from Mountain Dew, it is pretty flavorful and highly caffeinated, althought not available in some markets, like mine, oh how I dream of diet code red.

    You could go with one of those diet energy drinks like diet red-bull or diet amp or diet rip-it. HIghly caffeniated and zero cal.

    Of course you are going to get all kinds of
  • Just MacGyver yourself up an energy drink. Take a thermos of orange juice or something, grind up a caffiene pill or two into it, and let it sit. Bam, energy drink.

    Now, I never said that this was a good, safe idea. It -might- work. Don't blame me if you go into convulsions.
  • I usually like to drink iced tea with a little bit of sugar added. That way you can control the amount of sugar you intake, and get a little bit of a caffene buzz as well. I also add a hint of lime if available as well...
  • What I do is boil a large container (I normally make 2-3 these days, to keep some at home) of tea and you can bring it to work. I normally use the normal lipton packets, about 6 of them for half a gallon or so, and maybe like 10 of them for a gallon or a gallon and a half. The key thing is that you boil the water and then let it cool down a little before you add the tea bags. This way the tea will not be bitter, if you add it when its still hot, it will come out bitter. This has let me stop drinking soda al
  • fruit punches have almost (sometimes more!)

    Agreed. This is why I thought 'What's the use?' when they said that they were going to replace the sodas in many schools with water*, fruit juice, and lowfat milks

    Orange Juice: 110 cal, 1 cup(8fl oz)
    Apple Juice: 120
    Lemonade: 131
    Skim Milk: 90
    1/2%/whole Milk: 104/121/149

    Coke: 105 for 1 cup.

    If a kid's liquid intake is unaffected, he's going to get more calories from the majority of options. Only skim has fewer, while 1% is virtually the same. Heaven forbid
  • You're unlikely to find a regular soda with a noticably reduced sugar content. They're pretty much about all the same, or in some cases, worse. Also, stay away from diet soda! Not only does it not taste as good as the real thing, but any drink containing aspertame or equivalent should be avoided like the plague.

    You were a little vague as to what you really wanted. Are you drinking soda for the caffine, the taste, or both? Here are some suggestions:

    ThinkGeek [] has a nice collection of interesting drinks.

    • Also, stay away from diet soda! Not only does it not taste as good as the real thing, but any drink containing aspertame or equivalent should be avoided like the plague.

      Er, why is that? If you have any solid medical evidence that common artificial sweeteners are dangerous--especially evidence that all of them are dangerous--I'm sure the FDA would like to see it.
  • I mostly drink either water, or coffee with just pinch of sugar in it (just enough to take a little bit of the edge off - less than half a small spoon's worth), But if I have the time, I'll make iced tea, and drink it unsweetened (and I almost always drink that in restaurants). When I absolutely must have a canned fizzy beverage, I usually go for Polar lemon seltzer - not too fizzy, and with just a little bit of lemon mixed in.

    I do have one weakness when it comes to sodas - I like the old-school "real" ro
  • Farmers Union iced coffee ( x ) is my choice. Made from low-fat milk, a reasonably low sugar concentration when compared with other alternatives, and probably the best tasting IC on the market in Australia. (Though, the Pauls "Ice Break" is a close second, Dairy Farmers "Dare" a reaonable third, and the OAK Iced Coffee a distant, but acceptable fourth).

    In my trips to the US/England, I haven't been able to find anything that is reasonably comparable in terms of
  • ...fruit punches have almost (sometimes more!) sugar than sodas themselves. Is there anything out there that maintains the convenience of a canned drink, but without all the sugar?

    I haven't tried it yet, but I saw a cheesy TV commercial last night announcing Ocean Spray's new product: Diet Ocean Spray []. They seem to be marketing this product at diet soda drinkers looking for an alternative.

    At only 5 calories, it probably doesn't have a whole lot of fruit juice. It might be tastier than diet soda, thoug

  • Have you tried Coca-Cola Zero []? In response to people like myself who hate the metalic flavour of Diet Coke, Coca-Cola responded with Zero which tastes exactly like Coke only without the calories. You can find a press release about the product here []. It's fantastic stuff and if they ever come out with a Cherry variation on Coca-Cola Zero, I'll be ecstatic. Give it a try. It may be the solution to your problem.
  • Drink water. It quenches your thirst, is good for you, and is very easily available.
  • Its not as convenient as soda (not available in restaurants, and I can't seem to find it pre-mixed), but I highly recommend Sugar Free Tang. Made to recipe it is extremely close in flavor to the real thing, and its like 30 calories for 3 quarts.

    Granted, I had to invest in a two gallon container (honestly, 3 quart pitchers don't exist), but it was worth it.

    As for the caffeine, nodoz pills replace it just fine for those rare occasions I need it.
  • Enough said ..
  • Try grape or cranberry juice (normal or 'light') diluted 4x or 5x with water. Tastes a lot better than water (not as bland), quenches thirst a lot better than juice (far less sweet), has low sugar content, and keeps you hydrated. ..bruce..
  • for caffeinated, bottle conditioned beer.

    caffeine for those long coding hours

    Bottle conditioned to ferment out every last sugar molecule.

    A refreshing flavour hit that carries all the two of the three vital food groups that a hard working geek needs (caffeine and beer).

    Ok, so we can't quite get it in the form of a pizza yet, but our teams of dedicated researchers are working on it day and night.
  • by Richard Steiner ( 1585 ) <> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:22AM (#15290669) Homepage Journal
    Crystal Light makes little one-serving tubes that work well with a 16oz bottle of water, and I have a variety of those sitting in my cube at all times. After I drink my bottle of Mountain Dew in the morning, I hit the water cooler in the break room, fill the bottle with water, and optionally add Crystal Light to the mix. It isn't bad, really. :-)
  • I used to drink the regular stuff too, I thought diet tasted too chemical, and it didn't have a good flavor. Then I went home from college for summer, and my parents had decided to switch to diet soda, and as such that's all the soda there was in the house. I could have bought regular if I wanted, but I decided that drinking the soda my folks bought was good enough rather than spending my own money on more soda. Three months later when I returned to college, I had found that I lost all taste for the regu
  • Water (Score:2, Troll)

    This is a truly excellent drink. It is 100% calorie free. Sodium free too. It is very low on additives and preservatives -- just trace amounts of chlorine (to kill any bugs) and flouride (which actually strengthens your teeth!). You can drink as much as you can stand, without any ill effects -- no caffiene to make you crazy, no fizzy stuff to rot your teeth. If you drink it cold, it's actually calorie-negative! And not only is it cheap, but you can even get it free -- the stuff literally falls out of
  • "Like most of you, my job and lifestyle revolves around drinking lots and lots of caffeine - usually in the form of soda. I've been trying to cut back on my sugar intake lately, and am interested in what some of you drink that isn't loaded down with the sweet stuff. Diet drinks have little to no flavor, and fruit punches have almost (sometimes more!) sugar than sodas themselves. Is there anything out there that maintains the convenience of a canned drink, but without all the sugar?"

    If you need to drink

  • by KingPrad ( 518495 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @12:45AM (#15290776)

    Buy a home soda maker from Soda Club []. It's basically a plastic case around an aluminum CO2 canister. There's a good selection of flavors with near-replacements for the big ones: coke, dr pepper, mountain dew, root beer. You screw the bottle of tap water on, press the button a few times until it buzzes, unscrew it, and pour in a capful of syrup.

    I bought one because the drinks are flavored with Splenda and have 1/3 the calories. The regular ones still have some high fructose corn syrup in. Because you're mixing the syrup and selzter yourself you can adjust the carbonation and sweetness to your taste. I make it quite a bit less sweet and with less carbonation than store-bought, and I've been really happy with it.

    There is also a cost savings argument. I haven't sat down and checked it myself, but it's on the site somewhere. Cheaper or not, I'm glad I don't have to deal with recycling two-liter bottles and aluminum cans all the time. Although I mostly drink the diet mountain dew flavor, it's nice that I can make some root beer, orange drink, or something obscure when I feel like it.

    Anyway, I love the thing. But let me assure you they are not kidding when the warning says to add syrup only after carbonating the water. God help you if you put any syrup in first. You get a real nice soda fountain when you unscrew it to the great and undying hilarity of everyone around.

  • by Lish ( 95509 )
    Not sugary, but as convenient as a can of pop, hmm.
    • V8. Not sweet, and comes in single-serving bottles.
    • Crystal Light. You can buy premixed bottles, or little packets of the mix that are the right size for one typical water bottle. Or, you can buy a big pack of the powder and mix it with water as strong or weak as you like.
    • Grapefruit juice. Can have the added bonus of making the effect of any caffeine you're consuming last longer. Available in single-serving bottles.

    Any of these would make a good pick-me

  • To paraphrase: "I want to drink sugar free soda, but not diet soda."

    I think you're pretty out of luck there.

    I recommend Splenda based soda. I find it much more sugar like than Aspartame based soda. I drink a brand unfortunately named "Waist Watcher". They have a decent selection and taste pretty good but they are also caffeine free so you are out of luck if you are looking for a caffeine source.
  • I know your concerns. For years I was drinking diet coke. More and more and more. I'd go through case after case, just pouring it down my throat. I was having heart palpitations (aspartame), I ate everything in sight and was gaining weight (aspartame, an appetite stimulant, ironically enough), and I kept having to "up my dose" to stay level. I got to the point where, one day, by noon, I'd had four two-liter bottles and I still wasn't at 100%. I realized something was wrong.

    So I went cold turkey. For
  • Water actually tastes pretty good and is refreshing. I used to drink two liter bottle of Mtn. Dew at a time, but now I simply drink water all the time and have a soda once every few months.

    I do like the sound of the Switch mentioned in a post elsewhere - basically real juice, just carbonated.
  • The best diet soda (Score:4, Informative)

    by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @01:03AM (#15290849) Homepage
    Like you, I never cared for diet soda. Then I developed Type II diabetes and had no choice. I soon learned to love Hansen's [] diet sodas. All Handen's sodas use all natural flavorings and no coloring. The diet ones all use Splendra for sweetining, and that's my preferred non-sugar. They have a great taste and zero calories. Alas, they also don't use caffine, but you can't always have everything. If you have to drink a diet soda, I reccoemend theirs. If you don't need a diet soda, try their regular mixtures, they're just as good.
  • I've been trying to cut back on my sugar intake lately, and am interested in what some of you drink that isn't loaded down with the sweet stuff...

    Listen (while this sounds like a flamebait) but for centuries humans have been drinking one drink extensively and all other life forms still do. It's good old H2O. There is nothing that beats it and it is the best drink you can have and it is available readily!!
  • CmdrTaco's drinks - video proof below (I am not kidding!!) 537170629 []

    Video Duration: approx 4 mins 44 seconds.

  • Tea (Score:4, Funny)

    by ajs318 ( 655362 ) <> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @05:19AM (#15291574)
    Get yourself a kettle {NB, this will need a supply of about 10 amps; and if you're outside the UK, it will have to be earthed [if you're in the UK then it already is earthed]}, a filter jug, a china mug {with parallel sides or a temporary narrowing just below the mouth}, a steel teaspoon with the stiffest shank you can find, some teabags and some full-cream milk {not skimmed, not semi skimmed, it must be blue top for the authentic taste}. The milk must be as close as possible to 0 degrees and as far as possible from its expiry date.

    Pour one litre of filtered water in the kettle. This will make up to three cups of tea {a standard mug holds 250ml but you should never empty the kettle completely}. Start the kettle boiling.

    Whilst the kettle is heating up {use the formula: time in seconds = ([100 - T] * 4.17 * V) / P, where V = volume of water in litres, P = power of heating element in kW and T = initial temperature of water}, place a teabag and a stiff-shanked teaspoon in a china mug. This should ideally have a wide base, then a constriction before belling out; this shape works to minimise evaporative cooling losses and hence maintain OST {optimum sipping temperature} as long as possible. Failing that, a traditional, parallel-sided mug can be used.

    The very instant the kettle boils, pour about 200ml. of boiling water, as close as possible to 100 degrees, over the teabag. Leave alone for 15 seconds, then begin mashing the hell out of the teabag with the spoon. Keep going until the tea stops getting any darker. Finally, crush the teabag hard between the bowl of the spoon and the wall of the mug to remove as much liquid as possible, and hike it out. It's biodegradable and can be composted.

    Replace the spoon in the mug {it's acting as a heatsink} and add about 50ml of ice-cold milk to the tea. Stir immediately. Remove spoon and sip gently. Feel sensation as though you are receiving kind words and a hug on a tropical beach with crystal-clear water and silver sands and everything is generally all right with the world or better.

    NB: Add more cold water to the kettle as soon as possible after boiling. This will cool it down, so slowing the rate of heat loss and minimising TTNM {time to next mashing}. Don't keep the filter jug in the fridge, you're already paying to heat it, you don't want to pay to cool it so you can heat it more.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?