How I kicked my Coke habit
September 28th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
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Holy crap, did I used to drink a lot of Diet Coke. Not just a can or two at lunch and one with dinner. Not just a pick-me-up in the afternoon or the tail end of a droopy morning. More like two liters a day at the very minimum - sometimes four.

Had the end times come and yea and verily the East and Hudson rivers risen up and swallowed New York, I could have easily lashed together a raft of the empty plastic bottles I'd amassed in my recycling bin since the last trash day. First port of call: wherever they're keeping the rest of the Diet Coke. And I'd probably have to fight for it.

I can spot a Diet Coke addict from across the room. At the first sip of one freshly poured or popped, there's a barely perceptible sigh and slump; their itch has been scratched.

A casual drinker will simply slug, quench and continue about their normal activities, but the Diet Coke freak cannot be so nonchalant. They'll pause for a moment, sinking in and surrendering to the sweet fizz. Then comes the surreptitious scan of the premises to ensure there's easy access to more.

For many, it's less enjoyment than appeasement of a bubble-hungry little beast within. It's a physical need with definite emotional underpinnings, bordering on addiction. While the root causes of that are a matter of great debate among healthcare professionals who claim it's tied to everything from caffeine dependence to chasing an ever-elusive high triggered but not satisfied by artificial sweeteners like the aspartame in my precious Diet Coke, that meant jack to me over the course of the twenty or so years I spent trying to kick the habit.

Frankly, I didn't care to give much mind to experts, friends and partners who suggested I cut back a tad, citing expense, lack of storage space, late-night convenience store pilgrimages and (in an anonymous, locally-postmarked letter later traced back to my roommate) concern over "Where does the caramel coloring go?"

One boyfriend went so far as to ask me, on the eve of our anniversary meal at a high-end Manhattan restaurant, "Would you mind not ordering a Diet Coke at dinner tomorrow night?" I refrained from ordering one (not on his account, but because I opted for the restaurant's notable wine pairings), but not from pointing out the tables around us with Diet Cokes upon them. There, it came in small glass bottles for fanciness' sake. I was clearly not alone in my obsession.

We take care of each other, the Diet Coke addicts of the world. My grad school roommate and I had an unspoken pact that even if we were running late to campus in the morning, we'd take five minutes to stop off at the local convenience store and stock up for the day - me with a well-iced fountain cup and her with a two-liter that she'd swig from throughout the day, even after it reached room temperature. Gross, but her devotion paid off; she married the cashier who sold us our fix every day.

After that came a boss whose office I dared not enter for a long meeting unless I came bearing a cold bottle for her, a friend who'd also show up at parties with the requisite wine for the host - along with a two liter of Diet Coke for her own personal consumption, and my now-husband who I adored on his own merits, but even more when he started stocking Diet Coke for me in his own fridge. Bad habits appreciate the heck out of company - and I'd justify it by noting that I didn't smoke, drink to excess, do drugs or bungee jump - but it was time to quit.

It was, in fact, quitting time for a long time. I was sick to death of the expense, the hauling of bottles, the financial support of a company with which I had some serious ethical issues and perhaps more than anything, the feeling that I had no control over this particular area of my life.

It seems like such an insignificant thing, but there's an inherent anxiety to any addiction. I wasn't going to go all foamy-mouthed and twitchy on the floor, but I felt tremendous stress if I didn't know there was another bottle or can close at hand. If I knew I'd be staying over, I'd show up at a friend or boyfriend's home with a supply so I'd be assured a cold one in the morning, and keep bottles stashed in office desk drawers just in case the vending machine ran out.

My attempts to quit were a running joke with friends, but truly, it hurt - both physically and psychically. I shook and worried and my head pounded. I'm an exceptionally friendly person (or at least I try to be), but I was crabby and short with people I love and I'm convinced it wasn't just the caffeine. That, I could get anywhere. There is something specifically in Diet Coke that pushes buttons in me that others might simply be missing. Lucky them; this was humiliating.

And then the Sodastream happened. I'd wanted this magical machine for ages, but couldn't justify the counter space or the purchase price. It is simply a carbonation device - screw a specially fitted bottle of plain tap water onto a nozzle, press a button, and release. Some people choose to augment the water with flavored syrups, but as it turns out, I'm a purist. Who'd have guessed?

My husband presented me with one of these for Christmas, and I appreciated the novelty. It makes a comical little honking sound upon operation, and one can opt for everything from a mild sparkle to a riotous, nose-tickling rush of bubbles. I began drinking a glass or two of carbonated water a day, then three or four or more and it wasn't until I tripped over an unopened bottle of Diet Coke on the kitchen floor one day that I realized I hadn't bought any for weeks.

I have no idea how I was released from diet cola's hold, but I opt for seltzer or water in or out of the house every time now. I haven't supplanted the caffeine or the sweetness with anything else, and the most I'll adulterate the sparkling water is by adding a dash or two of Fee Brothers peach or celery flavored bitters or a dash of Tabasco sauce, because I have really odd flavor issues. I'll chalk it up to a fizz addiction which is - lame, I admit, but I'll take it.

Tallied up, that's a savings of (with New York City pricing) $850 a year at the very low end of an estimate and a cool grand or more if we're figuring in taxes and bottle deposit - not to mention the 400 or more plastic and metal containers I'm no longer chucking willy-nilly at the planet. That's pretty darned cool to me.

I certainly don't mind if folks around me are having a Diet Coke and a smile. I just won't be chilling out with them - for now.

soundoff (650 Responses)
  1. NickyP

    What it's called is an eating disorder. Don't make cute about it. Seek professional help. You have a problem.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  2. timmy

    i pee in u cok!lol!

    September 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  3. Isis

    I'm a total addict, and I've tried kicking the habit several times. A few years ago I had to stop drinking caffeinated soda, so at that point a totally stopped, but after about a month or so, I slowly backslid. Now I'm back up to 4 cans or so, but Diet Coke (Decaffeinated), so I'm pretty sure isn't not the caffein, since I'm still just as hooked on it. I try to reduce it once in a while, but it never lasts... It's funny, this author pretty much describes me, including the worry about where my next one will come from

    September 28, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  4. Bill

    If Coke gets tight with China, that will break my addiction in a hurry.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  5. Cokaholic

    OMG! Hello fellow Coke addicts! Now I don't feel so alone. For me as well as many others above, it's REAL Coke, not diet. i hate anything diet! And, there is nothing better than a Mexican Coke which has real sugar. I have been trying to cut down because I'm tired of being bloated and it makes me gain weight in like a milisecond. I cut down once and lost several pounds immediately. But I went back due to stress. And I'm back on full force now (again due to stress). I don't buy it at home now, but I just end up stopping by the convenience store on the way home to get a can for dinner (gotta have a can - hate the bottles, they go flat). So I still have it but just end up spending more since I don't get the case. I am trying ;) But there is nothing better than that dark, caramel colored goodness. I also justify by saying i don't smoke or drink alcohol. Damn, the Coca Cola monkey is on my back for sure!

    September 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Amelia

      You are my soda-soulmate! Real full calorie Coke in a can or certain places from the fountain. I have been known to drive across the city for a perfect fountain Coke.The heart wants what the heart wants.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
      • Cokaholic

        I agree that nothing beats a great fountain Coke! But it's really hit or miss. A lot of places really skimp on the syrup and it doesn't taste good. You have to have a good syrup to CO2 ratio. Nothing worse than a bad fountain Coke with not enough syrup, or not enough CO2 (when there's hardly any bubbles). But if I find a place with a good fountain Coke, I am their number 1 customer!!!!

        September 28, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  6. Koolaid-Man

    I'm addicted to sugar free koolaid. Tastes great and not terrible for you! I get my energy from working out and getting enough sleep at night. And yes I have a high stress job, family and always on the go but I make sure to manage my time the best I can.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  7. mavsfan93

    you cant get addicted to that sh*t! People just love the way it tastes, and are too careless to drink something else. Soda is extremely bad for you!

    September 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  8. dman

    What a sad story. No, sorry, I mean what a booooring story. If you have problems weaning yourself off soda I suggest you stay far away from Lay's potato chips.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  9. Ben

    What the heck is Soda? I have heard of pop before, is this same thing?

    September 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Flamongous

      Generally speaking, folks from the south say soda or sometimes soda pop and folks from the north say pop.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
      • Brian

        Slightly wrong. No one in the Northeast says pop.

        September 28, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
      • Alyssa

        Yeah, nobody in the North calls it pop. Soda is typical. I New England it's even called tonic. Pop is a mid-western thing.

        September 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
      • Cody from Bama

        Southerners say "Coke" to refer to any sugary carbonated drink. If you say soda anywhere south of Kentucky and east of Oklahoma you will be pegged "not from around here" in an instant. Pop seems to be a midwest/parts of the northeast thing. And Soda is the go to everywhere else in this country.

        September 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
      • Stewart Gilligan Griffin

        I think you have this backwards, I grew up in Massachusetts, it was always called soda...

        September 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
      • Merit

        I'm from the Midwest and grew up saying, "pop." But my friend from Chicago calls it soda, so now I'm used to that and don't call it pop anymore. But I remember how dumb it sounded to me when I first heard him say 'soda' and now I'm that person to others lol both feel bizarre to say now. Can't we get a national word for this?

        September 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
      • Cokaholic

        I'm from Chicago and we say pop. However having lived in many other parts of the country (especially east coast) I have learned to say soda or people look at my like I'm a hick. So i say it, but it makes me cringe… It's POP!!!

        September 28, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • txwtch67

      You must be a northener. We call it Soda, as in Soda Water, pop is nowhere to be found in the name. Pop is a sound. Pop is the sound of my rice krispies but i don't call my cereal snap, crackel and pop, I call it rice krispies. I call Soda Water Soda, end of story.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
      • Alyssa

        Soda Water, as you mean it, is called seltzer around these parts (New England). I agree though that there is no "pop" associated with it.

        September 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
      • txwtch67

        I'd also like to add that pop is a smack. "as in I just popped you one on the shoulder". Just like that cheesy red headed guy on the Hawaiian punch ads. So say pop, but beware heheh.

        September 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
      • Descartes@Alyssa

        Isn't it called "tonic" in NE?

        September 29, 2011 at 7:11 am |
  10. Stacy

    I love soda and it took a long time for me to realize that I'm actually addicted to the carbonation, so drinking seltzer water or club soda satisfies me just as much as drinking a diet coke. My husband was a serious Dr. Pepper addict for years. Shortly after we were married, I convinced him to at least switch to diet Dr. Pepper and over time he's managed to quit drinking soda almost altogether, typically no more than one a day.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  11. Jake

    I kicked my Diet Pepsi habit by switching to Pepsi Max! Great stuff.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  12. cd

    I read the first paragraph and felt an urge. I had to force myself to read a few more paragraphs before getting up to get a Diet Coke. Before I reached the end of the article, I had opened a cold can and let out a sigh.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  13. Adam

    Here's a hint: STOP BUYING SODA.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  14. Devon

    Why are the only survey options based on the premise that a sodas are addicting? I love Diet Coke, as do many friends, and yet I don't feel even remotely as helpless as you describe yourself to be. Sit down, open a can, and get a hold of your life in ways where there are real issues.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • robert

      You may not feel the urge, but a lot other people have a borderline addiction. It is also a proven carcinogenic, and it increases glucose levels to people in general, so it may not have calories, but it causes the damaging effect of increased insulin levels. It is also proven to increase the total caloric intake in humans. Do your research on peer reviewed medical journals and do not lie to yourself. Good luck.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  15. Todd

    I don't care for Soda/Pop in general. But my wife was addicted to Pepsi. It drove me nuts... Partially because of the extra expense on something so unhealthy but mostly because when I helped her bring up the groceries I was always left with a heavy bag filled with Pepsi that I needed to lug up, and the weight save could have allowed me to get 4 more bags in hand.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  16. brookdalebill

    I was hopelessly addicted to real Coke, now it's even worse with Diet Coke.
    I'm promiscuous, too.
    Almost any "painted" diet soda will do.
    I don't like the lemon-lime ones for some reason.
    After I drink the gallon or so in the house, I'll quit.
    This time I really mean it!

    September 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  17. M. Kay Smith

    You know you have a Diet Coke addiction when you wake up after four days in a coma (after heart surgery) and your first thought is: I haven't had a Coke for four days – I've kicked the habit. But they allow Coke in the hospital to help clear your head of anesthesia. Yes, I'm back at it.

    September 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  18. Jorge

    I am a Coke Zero addict after quitting regular coke, 1 can a day and on weekends Rum and Zero

    September 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  19. Erin

    For some reason, I was born without the ability to burp. So when I drink soda my chest feels like it's going to explode and it hurts so bad, but I don't burp! I love Mtn Dew and it depresses me that I can't drink too much soda...but after reading this, maybe it's a good thing!

    September 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  20. DCaddict

    After going through withdrawals during my first trip to Europe (Coke Light is NOT Diet Coke people), I now take 12 packs along with me when I travel...sad yes, and so is the fact that I'm drinking a diet coke as I read this.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  21. RG

    I gave up soda when the prices shot up. I switched to "diet "sports drinks", only to switch to Mio water enhancer. I no longer lug home tons of soda bottles, and recycle only a little bit every month

    September 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  22. jamieson

    I used to have a horrible sodastream addiction. 15 years of complete addiction. Then I discovered Diet Coke. I am finally kicking the sodastream habit.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • JohnDorian


      September 28, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  23. Chef Axxgrinder

    luckly i don't drink diet soda, however i can consume about 12-15 cans of pepsi a day if i fel the need, im addicted to the carbonation more then the caffeine. and when your in a kitchen for 8 hours a day and get no meal time a can of soda is a quick lunch.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  24. MEastridge

    I know first hand about it. I currently drink about 15 cans of regular Coke a day (sometimes more if I am bored or stressed out). I have put on weight and I never feel well. But, I don't believe the ending of her story. There is no way I would be able to drink water and be content. I don't drink juice, water, milk or other sodas. I get the most terrible headaches when I try to quit or go without one for a couple of hours. I know I need to stop but can't.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • r0n77

      Kicking the habit isn't easy. Try this. Start by cutting back on the most important soda you need to have each day, whether it's with breakfast, lunch, your break time, whatever. The one you crave the most. Just delay that one soda by a half an hour, then the next day 45 minutes, etc. Do that for a week. Then move to the next most important soda. You have to wean yourself off, but you have to start with the most important one. Don't start with the weak cravings, you'll only reinforce the strong cravings.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • cc

      you can do it!!! i used to drink more coke than breathe air- it was soo good. my recycling bin was bright red with shame at the end of the week.
      we got a sodastream, and i am just effing bonkers over it like OP here. it's all of the awesome fizz without the syrup. i still have a couple cokes a week- but it's much better than several cokes a day.
      here's the other cool part: once you start drinking sodastream seltzer you can stop feeling guilty about drinking coke- for price reasons, health, whatever- and just drink 70 bazillion glasses a day BECAUSE NOW IT'S GOOD FOR YOU. FTW.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  25. Serious Person

    I am a Diet Dew addict. I limit myself to two cans a day as cans are smaller. I wish I never started. I have noticed when I try to workouts aren't as good. I suspect the caffeine even in just the two cans helps. Anyway, the difficult workouts always send me back to the Diet Dew.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  26. Heather

    I also have a soda stream, but didn't think the diet version tasted like diet coke enough. I preferred the root beer. For about 3 months I only used the sodastream, but then the CO cartridge ran dry & I keep forgetting to exchange it. Oh well. I need a diet coke. Now.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Guy Incognito

      Go to a home brew place and get them to set you up with a 20 pounds CO2 tank, regulator, hose and attachments (to attach to standard plastic PET bottles). That sucker will last you 4 years before you need to refill it. SodaStream is a rip-off.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  27. CindyYouWho

    I stopped drinking all soda six years ago after being diagnosed as diabetic. I drink water – plain old tap water. I feel better and look better. (I used to drink a six-pack of coke or pepsi didn't care which a day beginning with breakfast.)

    September 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  28. rdzins

    I do beleive there is a level of addiciton there, I am not sure what really causes it or if it is all in your head but for many years I tried but kept going back, I think I am good now, I occasionally will have a soda but it is not that often anymore, I could go through a 12 pack in 2 days. I started seeing my kids want to drink pop all the time and I knew I had to do something about it.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  29. Alex

    Of all the things one can be addicted to, alcohol, meth, crack–I think that diet coke is absolutely nothing. 4 liters a day is too much, not to mention hard on the bladder, but I can't see it interfering with work, school or family life like other addictions do.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  30. Paula

    A story I can relate to! I had drank diet coke since high school. I'm 41 now and have not had a diet coke since July. I stopped cold turkey. I don't drink any carbonated beverages, nor coffee or tea. So no caffeine and no bubbles. It is a hard thing to do. I occasionally want a sip of a diet coke but I know that one sip will mean I am back on the stuff full force. It really is an addiction.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  31. jatalbo

    Diet Coke.... AKA.... Diet Crack!! Can't live without it!!

    September 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  32. Tom

    I really think that a huge part of the addiction is a "carbonation" addiction. I've been drinking plain or flavored carbonated water for several years now. Not only has it completely replaced any desire for a standard sugary soda, but the sugary (or even the diet) kind now makes me feel ill so I completely avoid them. Soda water with a splash of real fruit juice is a tasty and healthy substitute for any standard cola. Look for Le Croix or a number of other soda water brands.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  33. NoRadicalsPlease

    This is clearly an ad disguised as an article, CNN is having more and more of these.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • jeff

      My wife is a diet pepsi junkie. Three two-litre bottles a day, no joke.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • really?

      I like how you call this an advertisement and yet the majority of people posting are ecstatic to know that they're not alone. this is a good article with a good message for a good cause

      September 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  34. GuestColin

    Soda is digusting. I don't know how anyone can stand to drink it at all, let alone this much of it.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Cadiz

      Pretty much how i feel about coffee.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Alyssa

      Isn't it fortunate then your opinions on a topic do not make it true for anybody else.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • GuestColin

      Soda is disgusting in both taste and content. Taste is subjective, content is not. But by all means, continue ingesting food and drink that contain chemicals capable of peeling paint off the wall.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
      • Alyssa

        I'm not arguing that soda is bad for you. It is. But your subjective tastes do not apply to others. It is not "disgusting" for millions of people. And your insistence that your opinion is the only correct one is arrogant and rather douchey.

        September 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Abbey

      It's called everyone is different... It might be disgusting to you, but that doesn't mean it is actually disgusting. You probably consume things that others might think are disgusting. Open your mind...

      September 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • GuestColin

      I'll repeat it again – taste is subjective, content is not. I'm quite certain there's foods either you or I eat, that the other would absolutely despise. I am speaking in terms of content – chemicals and additives. I have quite an open mind, but not when it comes to chemically processed trash.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • GuestColin

      Go take a reading comprehension course.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  35. Ballson Chinn

    Soda is the worst thing you can drinl, especially diet soda. It's simple: just stop drinking it! Stop pretending it's an addiction or making excuses, just f&^%$#ing do it!

    September 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Bob

      Worse thing you can drink??? Talk about brain-washed. You should see what alcoholics' lives are like.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • txwtch67

      Actually I think bleach or liquid drano would be the worst drink in the world, I could be wrong though. I have had some nasty burnt coffee from starbucks before.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  36. 10string

    I am a big-time Diet coke addict for almost 25yrs. At one time as much as 6-8 cans a day. Now a bad day is 4. And it may be personal preference but I can not drink it out of a fountain, or out of plastic. It MUST be from a can (since glass is no longer available) and it MUST be very cold. I am activly seeking to kick the habbit and it is comforting to know i am not alone.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Alyssa

      I don't do diet drinks, I don't like the taste, so Pepsi is my addiction. But I find that I like Pepsi in a plastic bottle better than in a can. Interesting isn't it?

      September 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • usually 2 liter/day drinker

      Cans are more addictive. Try drinking coke or pepsi from a 2 liter bottle warm, you don't drink as much but be sure to keep the cap on the bottle to keep from getting too flat, some flatness you get used to. I used to drink beer that way but found it numbs the brain which soda doesn't do.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  37. Heidi

    I actually had the same diet coke habit and also kicked it with the soda stream. Weird!

    September 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  38. Don

    I'm a recovering Diet Coke user. Used to drink 4 liters a day. Rapid heart beat and dehydration forced me to stop after at least 20 years of drinking it. Glad I no longer drink but an occassional 28 oz.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  39. gary24fan

    I've read this article twice and have I missed something? The title is "How I kicked my Coke habit" but in the third-to-last paragraph she simply states "I have no idea how I was released from diet cola's hold, but I opt for seltzer or water in or out of the house every time now." Is the title misleading or have I totally missed a passage in here? I would not be surprised if it's the latter (sleep deprivation).

    September 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  40. nomoresoda

    i grew up on soda. about 23 years ago i had gained some weight, so went on a diet and work out regimen. as part of it, i stopped drinking soda of any kind (did not want to have sugary taste in my mouth). 6 months after quitting, i had lost the weight and had a soda. disgusting. i have not had a soda since (in a pinch, i have had part of a 7-up, and occasionally use ginger ale as a bourbon mixer). i firmly believe diet soda can be as harmful as normal soda for many people, as it keeps the drinker regularly consuming sugary fluids - the taste impair's one's ability to have a sensible diet - thereby, gain weight.

    stuff is disgusting, and one can only know it if you quit for a while. my kids are 9 and 7 and they have never had a soda, and are fine with it (nor have they had any fast food).

    September 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Shirley

      ugh. great–more boring self-righteous americans on the way! (bring a book)

      September 28, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • txwtch67

      Thinking like that is why the girls at my all girl catholic school got knocked up as soon as possible. One of them married the janitor, had twins and is still married to him 25 yrs later, and she was the valedictorian. Wind up anybody that tight and they will overindulge. You should be teaching your kids moderation and nutritional facts(yes I know DC has none). Haven't you ever SEEN the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Movie? No wait, bad example. nevermind, your right, soda is evil, we are all stupid yadda yadda.

      September 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  41. Guy Incognito

    I've never been an addict but I got into the habit about a year ago of drinking maybe a can a day. Once it became a regular thing I did some research into Aspartame. It's inconclusive but why take the chance? At around the same time I started working in an office near a little Italian restaurant. So I started getting San Pellegrino water with my lunches instead of pop. And I grew to love it. The author is right, it's the bubbles! Then I heard about the SodaStream but was turned off by the cost and the hassle of exchanging cylinders all the time. You only get 60 litres from a $30 gas cylinder. So I did some Googling and found all kinds of DIY options for home carbonation. I found everything I needed at a local home brew store. For a little over $200 I got a 10 pound CO2 tank, a regulator, some hose and some connections. My 10 pound tank costs $20 to refill and will carbonate 500 litres of water! Far more cost effective than the SodaStream. Go with a 20 pound tank and it's even cheaper! It would end up costing you about 2 cents a litre (once you recoup your original investment). I usually drink the water straight but I have a handheld citrus press (looks like a giant garlic press) and will sometimes squeeze and entire fresh lime, lemon, grapefruit or orange into my water. SOOOOOO much better than pop!!!!

    September 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  42. razzor

    Carbonation is actually what you might be addicted to........the gas activates cells that express a gene called TRPA1 and serve as general pain receptors....hence your body relieves a little bit of endorphins every time the bubbles hit your tongue

    September 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Whoa! That is fascinating - and somehow would make a LOT of sense. I'm gonna go find out more - and possibly carbonate everything in the house.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Guy Incognito

      Yup. I love the fizz. Read my post above. I went to a home brew place and got them to make me a home carbonation setup. Costs 4 cents/litre with my 10 pound CO2 tank or only 2 cents/litre with a 20 pound tank (since the cost to fill a 20# is only a few dollars more than filling a 10#). SodaStream costs 50 cents/litre. Which is actually more expensive than no-name brand club soda from the store.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • R Burns

      That might explain why my mouth feels so much better with Coke Zero! I have been diagnosed with Crohn's and my mouth is always swollen and red-but drinking the soda relieves the severe pain. Water seems to irritate it, so for that and several other reasons I'm sticking to the Coke. Thanks for the insight!

      September 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  43. CokeWife

    My husband is a Coke addict. He drinks, no word of a lie, a case of cans per day. I wish I was joking when I say that if he runs out unexpectedly, he freaks his freak. On car rides that are going to take any longer than fifteen minutes, he brings it with him, and typically a six pack. He's accumulated so many Coke Reward Points that, should he cease buying it today, he will still have enough codes to punch in on their web page for roughly a year. The only two beverages that he ever drinks are Coca Cola and coffee. That's it. I've been trying to get him to quit for over three years now. A year and a half ago, his doctor discovered lesions on one of his kidneys. They are benign, but they are still there. Is it from the soda? I can't say for sure. But I can't say that I don't think it could be.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  44. Keyboard Cowboy

    I am a Pepsi addict, at least a two liter a day.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Bill

      Let me guess..... your way overweight??? LOL Tyoical Sugar addict...

      September 28, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
      • Alyssa

        Typical judgmental thin person who has no sympathy for an addiction simply because they're not afflicted.

        September 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  45. Dave

    I hate diet anything,but I am an addict of regular coke I have kicked it for a couple months before but always end up going back and i end up drinking more and more each time..I really HATE the Coke company and I hate I am supporting them.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Britt

      This is exactly what happens to me – it doesn't have to be Coke persay, it can be several different types of soda. Everytime I stop, exactly 3 months on the dot roles around and I crave Root Beer like you would not believe! And Root Beer isn't even a normal "staple" in terms of carbonated beverages I consume! Glad to know I'm not alone!

      September 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Laura

      I, too, am a coke addict. I can quit at will but always go back. The coke with real sugar is the best. The US, I believe, is the only place Coke uses corn syrup and it sucks.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  46. K

    The title is "How I Kicked My Coke Habit" and then she goes on to say "I have no idea how I was released from diet cola's hold ..." I thought she was really going to give some good information on kicking this "addiction"–so much for that! What a waste of a read.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  47. Anomic Office Drone

    I used to drink soda several times each day, and one day I just stared at the can and thought about what I was doing to myself. Since then, I have about 1 soda each month and have switched over to unsweetened iced tea.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  48. iXuocram

    Diet Coke is not bad for you, that's just a public rumor. People always get worried, but there is nothing to worry about.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • NoRadicalsPlease

      Anything artificial in excess is bad for you.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
      • Shirley

        correction: ANYTHING in excess is bad for you. Even water (true life, google it.)

        September 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • cbabakami

      I am a diebetic with midl kid probelm. Reading a health report, I tested my kidney function before and after stopping diet coke (or any soda). There was a marked increase in kidney function and my physician was suprised. I did this check several times:every time I took diet coke, renal function (kidney) was impaired. My strong advise to you people with diabetes(who have metabolic syndrome) and impaired kidneys, do not take diet soda or any carbonated water: Switch to iced tea but better yet plain water. Save your lives and long term kidney damage by following this precaution . I do not have an opinion on healthy people drinking one or two sodas daily but clearly it may be pressing on kidney function and you may not know until it is too late.

      September 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
      • Recent diabetic

        Great solid information.....thx I also experienced rapid heart beats during my caffeine free diet coke addiction and headaches when I hadn't had any for awhile.

        September 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  49. BlackDynamite

    I never got into Diet Soda, but regular soda, about 1 liter a day.

    But I drink Crystal Light now. It taste like Kool-Aid, but you can use more or less mix/water to taste.
    Virtually no calories or sugar. That's what I would recommend. And it should save you some money too!

    September 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  50. queuebert

    I used to go through six to eight liters of Diet Coke a day, easily. I never felt addicted per se, I just enjoyed the flavor, and the fact that despite it being zero-calorie, I truly enjoyed it; I never forced myself to drink it.

    My habit came to a screeching halt when I moved to Japan. They don't have Diet Coke here. They have Coca Cola Zero, which I don't enjoy. So nowadays I mostly drink regular Coca Cola (or, if it is delicious, the seasonal offerings from Pepsi). It is rare (but not unheard of) for me to break one liter per day.

    But I still look forward to my trips back to America, where I indulge to the tune of two to four liters per day, for the short duration of my vacation. I don't feel it was ever a problem for me, addiction-wise, but I suppose I am glad for my health to have cut back so much on overall cola intake.

    September 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
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