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

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the healthy-ambrosia dept.


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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If first you don't succeed... (4, Insightful)

davevt5 (30696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290137)

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 []

There is a saying I go by. (0)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290173)

I don't want to get used to diet because I know it sucks.

Just drink carbonated water or something.

Re:If first you don't succeed... (1)

StuffMaster (412029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290212)

Indeed, I lost my taste for sugar a long time ago, and I never look back (although I still drink 3 soft drinks a day - horrible for my teeth, I know).

You've got to train your brain to like what's good for it. As in, no frivolous sugar, no white bread, no useless carbs, etc.

Diet cherry coke, diet coke with lemon (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290220)

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 drinks.

Re:If first you don't succeed... (1)

Usekh (557680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290362)

This is very true. I stuck to diet drinks for a few days and one day yeah they started tasting normal. Then I drank a no-diet version and my body suddenly remembered what it really should taste like :(

Splenda - not NutraSweet(tm) (3, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290385)

Diet Coke with Splenda has all the sickening sweetness of regular Coke.

Re:If first you don't succeed... (1)

Trouvist (958280) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290407)

Looking down at the Dr Pepper I just finished myself, it is 150 Calories. And 13% of my Daily carbohydrates. That means 6 more and I'm set!

Re:If first you don't succeed... (4, Insightful)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290459)

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.


Re:If first you don't succeed... (1)

gid (5195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290470)

I personally like the taste of diet sunkist and diet mt dew. I like the real stuff better, but if I only buy the diet stuff, I find I don't drink quite as much, and seeing as how caffeine and artificial sweeteners probably aren't the best for yout anyway, it works out. It's also easier on the wallet--this also works out great since I'm cheap.

Started working out and cut out the high sugar sodas over a year ago, and I'm by far in the best shape of my life.

uhhh (2, Insightful)

viperstyx (578360) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290138)

how bout coffee...

Re:uhhh (1)

twilight30 (84644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290159)

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 (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290321)

coffee is good for your every day coding runs... but power programmers on a mission drink multiple shots of straight up espresso.

Re:uhhh (1)

Baddas (243852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290559)

I find that 5mg dex and 100mg of modafinil keep me right on that perfect balance for about six hours

Re:uhhh (2, Interesting)

notanatheist (581086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290384)

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'

I like my women like I like my coffee (1)

zephc (225327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290598)

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.

Water (2, Insightful)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290140)

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.

Er, no (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290200)

Tap water tastes fucking gross, and they slowly whittle down the standards for it without telling anyone. Plus, uh, how many times do they clean the pipes? Oh? And the "last leg" into your home? Never, you say?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Yes, I know Penn and Teller found some idiots who couldn't tell the difference between bottled/storebought/filtered and tap. Good for them. In unrelated news, I don't taste a difference between the various wines. Others can.

And what the fuck is up with fluoridation? Yeah, let's mix a poison in people's water and hope there are no harmful side effects.

I will agree that milk is awesome. I drink over 2 US gallons of skim milk a week. Good stuff.

Re:Er, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15290293)

Here in Washington DC, the tap water contains A) Lead, B) Pipe cleaner and C) Jet fuel, in addition to the fluoride. It's about on par with Mexico City for tap water hazards.

Re:Water (1)

Netochka (874088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290531)

Yeah, seriously, I find water to be by far the most refreshing drink. And most offices have water coolers, so it's free too, so you don't have to worry about the tapwater, like that other guy (although that's BS anyways, most tapwater is perfectly fine for drinking unless you're living in some developing country).

Re:Water (1)

TellarHK (159748) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290552)

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.

No flavour? (1)

PopeOptimusPrime (875888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290143)

Are you kidding, diet drinks are much sweeter than their sugar counterparts. The difference is that diet drinks have a very slight aftertaste (I no longer notice) and less "bite" than regular sodas. In related news, aspartame has been cleared as not carcinogenic by the FDA.

Re:No flavour? (1)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290209)

You can cover up the aftertaste with another NNS (non-nutritative sweetener) with a longer/different sweetness profile.

The problem isn't the level of sweetness, its the KIND of sweetness, and the sweetness profile created.

Actually, I suspect that most diet drinks have less CO2, as NNS are much more expensive than sugar, and the sweetness maskes the acidity of the CO2. Therefore they don't have the bite that the regular versions have.

Coffee? (4, Informative)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290147)

Coffee. Black.
Tea. Black || Green.

Easy, convenient, and zero sugar.

Re:Coffee? (1)

foundme (897346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290237)

Couldn't agree more!

Here's my routine:

8am: black coffee
10am: water
12pm: tea (with lunch)
1pm: water
3pm: black coffee

Re:Coffee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15290346)

i bet your breathe smells like ass and your teeth are brown as mud. i know mine does and mine are. :) 227664 (0, Offtopic)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290503)

ok. I helped you enter the code. It was my only attempt which did NOT print back to the log below.

And apparently I closed a door, or opened a door. And once I got a little grid.

And 01100110 is ascii for f. 01100110 backwards is 01100110, wich is also F.


Is this one of the Stanford-esqe Games? Or are you just a fan of Lost? Wait, you're in New Zealand? Or Malaysia? And what is "Cross-correlation rate restraints".

Dang. HELP ME OUT HERE. 227664 (1)

Random Destruction (866027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290547)

Yeah really, I tried this before and got four keys in different orientations with numbers on them. Subsequent attempts left me with my numbers being copied below.. wtf? 227664 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15290587)

i think i speak for all when i say this, if you don't tell us what this is all about, we will stop entering the numbers soon!

i've been folowing this thing for about a week now, and found an anime site [] discussing it in detail as well.

Re:Coffee? (4, Interesting)

hazem (472289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290437)

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.

Lots of... (1)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290151)

Fort Garry Dark Ale []

Re:Lots of... (1)

detritus` (32392) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290344)

Hehe, you must be a pegger... i dont think anyone outside of manitoba has even heard of FG, let alone had to drink it :)

Coffee (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290152)

Get some good coffee and a French press. A nice, mild roast shouldn't need sugar but has enough caffeine to keep you up.

Compromise (1)

SeaDour (704727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290154)

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.

Re:Compromise (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290375)

Coke C2 is dead. Coke C2's not pinin'! Coke C2 has passed on! This coke product is no more! It has ceased to be! Coke C2 hass expired and gone to meet 'is maker! Coke C2 is a stiff! Bereft of life, Coke C2 rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch Coke C2 would be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! Coke C2 is off the twig! Coke C2 has kicked the bucket, Coke C2 has shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-COKE PRODUCT!!

Ok... I may have gone a bit far there with the dead parrot sketch, but according to Wikipedia, its going out... []

Coke Blak, however is another option

Re:Compromise (1)

gid (5195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290532)

crap, and I liked that stuff... stupid fat americans.

-- gid

Re:Compromise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15290557)

I personally love soda and as a college student live on it. And I too hate diet stuff... tastes sooo bad. But I have heard that people adjust to drinking diet. After a while you just dont taste it.

And also, Coke C2 is excellent. Im not sure they're making it anymore (its dissapeared from stores in NY suburbs) but when cold it tastes exactly like regular Coke. Cold is key though... warm it starts to taste funky.

Chaser Energy Drinks (2, Informative)

Doytch (950946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290155)

They have a free sample too []

Its hard (1)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290156)

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 such a place, buy a electric kettle and don't feel embarrased. Water bottles by the 24 pack are also economical or just have a water dispenser filled by someone local. Hang in there and you can do it.

Re:Its hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15290257)

Soy milk (actually, not that bad)

Unless it comes from a soy titty, it's actually "soy juice" - but then no one would drink it.

Iced tea (1)

sumirain (868444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290555)

If you have access to a refrigerator, you can make a jug of iced tea. Brew it with hot water but use a few more teabags than you would for the same volume of hot tea. Don't put it straight into the fridge while it's hot - let it brew until it cools to room temperature before refrigerating, or it is likely to go cloudy. This has a set-up time of about two hours, but is then handy for days. (or the rest of the day, i guess, if you drink THAT much tea.)

The 2-qt plastic jugs with a rotating lid work really well. So does brewing with Earl Grey teabags or throwing a peppermint herbal teabag in with the bunch of regular ones.

Soy milk? (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290618)

Where exactly do you find soy milk that isn't loaded in sugar?
Seriously. Check the label sometime.

Sparkling Mineral Water (3, Informative)

jbrader (697703) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Sparkling Mineral Water (1)

DSP_Geek (532090) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290478)

Crystal Geyser, available either in plain or fruit flavour (no calories). You can get a flat of 28 bottles at Costco for six and a half bucks. Can't beat that with a stick.

Re:Sparkling Mineral Water (1)

notanatheist (581086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290483)

San Pellegrino tastes like ass. What, are you french or something? I'd rather drink iodine treated water from a stream! For now I'll stick with my under the counter filtration system.

err...? (1)

jannesha (441851) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290164)

Have you tried tea?

Brew it strong. If you like, let it cool or mix it with ice. It's nice with lemon, even without sugar. Or, maybe with honey (supposedly better for you than sugar).

You can brew it in advance - a few litres at a time, and keep it in the fridge...if convienence is your issue.


Give it up. Honestly (5, Insightful)

Toveling (834894) | more than 8 years ago | (#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).

Juices are still better for you (1)

Quarters (18322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290184)

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.

Re:Juices are still better for you (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290280)

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 questioner seems to be simultaneously insisting on sugar while trying to avoid sugar.

Re:Juices are still better for you (1)

Vengie (533896) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290378)

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....

Re:Juices are still better for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15290408)

Fruit juice tends to have glucose in it, instead of 100% fructose. Fructose by itself has been connected to diabetes, because it has specifically causes different effects in the blood. There have been studies that show insulin response is actually different and prolonged when fructose is consumed compared to glucose. 5 [] - I don't know if that article is relevent, but it looks so from the abstract and was returned by a google search for "fructose insulin response". There is a growing comunity of people that are starting to think maybe there is a direct connection between the increased amount of fructose in the diet and the increase in obesity.

Obviously fruit juice still contains fructose, but its definitely a start, if you care about your glycemic response :). You should also be careful because fruit juice is packaged to be deceptive, you have to check the ingredients. I've purchases products that were labeled 100% juice and contained High-Fructose Corn Syrup.

Re:Juices are still better for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15290296)

Except near Passover...

Re:Juices are still better for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15290390)

> 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.

Mod parent up.

I'd also like to point out that real fruit juice contains mostly fructose [] , as opposed to sucrose (recall from Bio 101 that sucrose is basically glucose + fructose stuck together). Anyway, fructose is sweeter than sucrose, and has fewer calories. Furthermore, fructose has a lower glycemic index, which is good news for diabetics.

Re:Juices are still better for you (1)

jonoid (863970) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290616)

Soda is 100% sweetened with corn syrup

AFAIK, Coke is only sweetened with corn syrup in the United States (to save money, presumably). Up here in Canada it is sweetened with real sugar. If you want sugar sweetened Coke in the States you have to either import it from Canada or Mexico.

In New York around the time of Passover, special "Kosher Coke" is made available to the large Jewish community. Apparently, at Passover they are not permitted to have corn, but sugar is fine so the Coca-Cola company produces a batch of sugar-sweetened Coke.

Coffee... Tea... (1)

nuxx (10153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290185)

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.

Let me introduce you... (2, Interesting)

junkgui (69602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290188)

to a good friend of mine called Diet Mountain Dew... Ah... Let me count the ways...

Red Bull (1)

AK__64 (740022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290189)

Have you tried reduced-sugar Red Bull? It probably tastes horrible and is really expensive, but maybe it'll help you break the habit... Could be worth a try.

Try augmenting the diet. (1)

jafo (11982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290199)

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 with about a quarter lemonade or another option. This takes the nasty diet taste away.

However, you mention the "convenience of can beverages", so the routine of doing the squeezing of some lemon sounds like it won't be an acceptable option.


Fruit juice and club soda (2, Informative)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290204)

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.

java joe is what they call me... (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290205)

... lol.. partly because my name is Joe, but also because I drink LOTS of coffee .. coffee black or with cream and sweetner...

Propel (4, Informative)

pkmugg (924194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290206)

Propel Water tastes good with very little sugar. It's what I drink.

Sweet, sugar free, WITH caffeine... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290217) 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).

Try something other than diet cola (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290230)

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 away.

Switch. (1)

Reeses (5069) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290239)

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.

In Britain, (4, Funny)

loqi (754476) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290370)

you buy product shillings by the pound.

Water (1)

scenestar (828656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290246)

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

In order (1)

Foerstner (931398) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290253)

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.

Pure White Powder (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290270)

Here's a better idea: drink whatever you want to drink, regardless of caffeine content. Drink juice. I dunno. Then, take a Nodoz pill.

That's what I do. Why beat around the bush with your caffeine? You know you're an addict anyway. The only reason to avoid Nodoz is a state of denial. (Well, it would be easy to overdose and kill yourself, but that wouldn't be easy to do on accident.)

The problem with Nodoz (1)

loqi (754476) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290380)

I used to think this way, but there's an issue I have with Nodoz: it hits you all at once. Whereas you can consume a beverage over the course of half an hour and smoothly transition into and out of the caffeine state, a Nodoz pill hits you fast and hard. Too harsh for me.

Re:The problem with Nodoz (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290436)

Yes, I should have mentioned that. Sometimes it's too harsh but I like the rush of energy too when I'm feeling lethargic. I suppose it's kind of like morphine vs heroin.*

*Heroin's only advantage over morphine is that it hits your faster and provides a "rush" of euphoria.

Fruit Refreshers (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290274)

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 horrible cancer and brain diseases, but if you live in the USA you are probably eating enough GM food that you are screwed anyway, so might as well enjoy it.

Jone's Soda (1)

Mooga (789849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290279)

I'm not sure if any of their pop's have caffeen but Jone's Soda has won awards for best tasting diet soda.
I think that thinkgeek also sells it but I pick it up at Target...

Splenda Enriched Drinks (1)

imstanny (722685) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290281)

Try those drinks, they use splenda sweetener (derived from sugar, no calories)... Pepsi One, Coca Cola Zero. They're actually pretty good; def better than diet.

Improvise. (1)

RoffleTheWaffle (916980) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290282)

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.

Iced Tea with a hint of sugar (1)

sirmikester (634831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290286)

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...

Boil a large container of tea (1)

licamell (778753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290290)

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 almost all the time, and the best part is people from work love it too. Some of the other programmers will drink my tea and then decide to make their own. They normally will end up making and bringing in something different and it's a lot of fun and you get to try new things. Other than that, drinking ice water is great for those late nights as well.

Not always the better option.... (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290295)

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 they offer chocolate milk(1%/157). The only immediate benefit that I can see is that juices have more vitamens.

I'd suggest leaving the diets in there. I drink alot of water, but I like having flavor. I hope they include diet lemonade.

*ok, it's good, but is it any better than the free stuff from the water fountain?

Soda alternative (1)

springbox (853816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290313)

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. Although, you might want to research each ones nutritional content. If you're looking for a caffeine boost without all the extras, then caffienated water might be something to look into. I haven't ever had anything like that though, so I wouldn't know if it's actually bad for you or not.

The healthiest alternative to soda is probably seltzer, although if you decide to drink this I recommend getting a variety with flavor (lemon, lime..) because plain seltzer doesn't always taste so great. I actually enjoy drinking this stuff more than water, and you can buy canned versions that come in a decent sized case at your local food market.

The other obvious choices are coffee or tea. You can buy either in bottles, although unless you make it yourself, you might end up buying something that's about as healthy as the soda you're trying to replace. The only bottled coffee that I like is the Starbucks stuff, but it's not something that I would like to have very often.

Of course, if you're actually thirsty, I've found that just having water is good enough. It might not be as tasty as soda, but (unless contaminated) it's much better for you.

Re:Soda alternative (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290516)

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.

Re:Soda alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15290578)

It's nothing but tinfoil-hattery. There was some FUD going around about how aspartame's metabolites include formaldehyde (or a related chemical; perhaps methanol?), but the FUD-spewers failed (as usual) to point out that stuff like orange juice behaves the same way.

It's like all the yammering about RF exposure and cancer... if there were anything to it, we'd damned sure know it by now.

Crystalline Fructose Laden Water (1)

AnalystX (633807) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290333)

Not as bad or as much as high fructose corn syrup laden beverages. Plus many varieties/flavors can be had from VitaminWater [] . It's light enough to drink by the gallons practically, so very refreshing, but also very tasty. Some of the humor on their site is pretty good too.

Ginseng (1)

pqx (678605) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290336)

Buy some strong, energy boosting ginseng powder/crystals at your local asian market and mix it with tea. The only problem with it is that it makes your libido skyrocket. I'm a girl so it doesn't matter so much, but if you're a guy- be sure to wear appropriate pants just in case.

I'm not much of a soda fan, myself... (1)

jht (5006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290340)

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" root beers that are made with sugar instead of corn syrup. Once in a while I might have one (like about once per month or so) And about 2 Dr. Peppers a year. I really don't like traditional colas at all, so it's not tough to keep away from them.

Iced coffee (1)

RedPhoenix (124662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290349)

Farmers Union iced coffee ( ) 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 taste (usually, way too sugary) - does anyone that has tried Farmers Union, have any suggestions for US-Based comparable alternatives?


Carbonated water + 100% juice (1)

QuailRider (853479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290395)

Why not make your own carbonated drink: mix Perrier or other carbonated water with 100% fruit juice. Start with a 50/50 mix, and taper to 2/3 carbonated H20 to 1/3 juice as you get used to reduced sugar content. Tastes great, and a lot less sweet than a canned drink. 100% natural. Cranberry juice works best, followed by a mixed berry juice. I'm not a fan of apple or orange for mixing (they taste too acidic for my liking). Make sure you buy 100% juice (it will say 100% on the label), as a lot of bottled "juice" is actually just flavored water with extra sugar added. As a bonus as we enter summer, add a shot of Vodka and a lime slice, and you've got yourself a cooler for a fraction of the cost of buying one at the liquor store. Oh, and ditch the caffeine. Contrary to popular belief, you body will continue to function without the chemical crutch.

Slightly more than Zero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15290411)

If you need sweet and don't hate Coke, Coke Zero doesn't taste like non-diet Coke, but it does have less of that pharmaceutical aftertaste than do many other diet alternatives.

And, as other posts have alluded to* (and/or explicitly said), your body can develop a dependence on caffeine and if you will suffer through the week or so without, you will find that you really don't miss it that much. I used to practically wash down NoDoze with Jolt all day long; now I get by on a cup of coffee in the morning (and I can skip that on warm mornings). And I used to be able to go to sleep two hours after downing 2 NoDoze, but the quality of my sleep is noticably better since I've reduced my caffeine input. So, I don't know if my system was actually dependent on caffeine, or if caffeine was simultaneously causing and ameliorating sleep deprivation.

* my preemptive apologies to any grammar nazis** who catch my dangling preposition

**Does mentioning grammar nazis trigger Godwin's Rule?

Tea.Lots of (1)

fake_name (245088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290417)

Tea. Either black tea with suger (a spoonfull of suger is about 1/6th as much as a can of softdrink) or white tea [] . I don't mean black-tea-with-milk, white tea is a special way of picking and preparing tea that gives a very light, smooth tea when brewed.

It's healthy, and nicely relaxing.

Possible fruit punch alternative: Diet Ocean Spray (1)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290418)

...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, though, and cranberry juice gives a lot of flavor per ounce.

Bawls (1)

Trouvist (958280) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290427)

No, I'm not referencing the testicles you have near the crotch of your legs. I'm talking about the drink Bawls. It has tons of caffeine and not as much sugar. And it tastes like Sprite + Speed.

Coke Zero (1)

gklinger (571901) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290428)

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.

There's not a great solution.... but here's mine. (1)

Jim Robinson Jr. (853390) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290431)

I ran into this about 10 years ago, and with the amount of soda's in my daily diet I was consuming 2000+ calories a day... nutrition-free. Lucky me. Although like most people I didn't care for diet drinks in the beginning, I found a way and now consume diet drinks virtually exclusively. Cold deadens the taste buds (which, coincidently, is a primary reason that American beer is served icy cold). So, my advice is to pick a diet drink that is similar to your normal choice. Ice down a couple of 12 packs until they are just above freezing. Wake up on a Saturday and start chugging. By noon you won't realize the difference. Hope this helps, Jim

What's wrong with juice? (1)

bidule (173941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290432)

Get yourself a quart (or litre) of orange juice. Get a glass and mix apple + grapefruit juices. I haven't drunk soda for years and I certainly don't miss it. Jeesh, what's wrong with you kids?

If you really need a kick, get some 70%+ dark chocolate. This being \. that's the closest to sex you'll ever get. <VBEG>

Coke (1)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290510)

I recommend pure, unadulterated cocaine. It's great for parties as well as programming marathons.

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290512)

Really, I just drink water or unsweetened tea. Much less sugar than soda, and as a bonus, no caffiene.

It's called WATER (1)

BortQ (468164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290597)

Drink water. It quenches your thirst, is good for you, and is very easily available.

Sugar free tang (1)

iamsure (66666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290601)

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.

Beer (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290603)

Enough said ..

Flavored Diet Coke (1)

chad9023 (316613) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290610)

I've never been a big fan of diet sodas, but I discovered that the additional flavors in diet cherry coke and diet vanilla coke (now diet black-cherry vanilla coke) help mask the "diet" flavor that I disliked so much. Now I can happily gulp down 6 in rapid succession, and no longer worry about the calories. Besides, it takes years to develop cancer.

Diluted (4x+) fruit juice (1)

bfwebster (90513) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290612)

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..

I knew there was a market... (1)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15290613)

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.
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