As I’ve grown older my diet has changed away from what I used to eat and drink in my youth. One of those changes is my ability to handle sodas, and then diet sodas. I gave up sugared sodas thirty or so years ago in my late thirties. There wasn’t much in the way of diet sodas, but fortunately for me I was able to switch over to Diet Coke, which had been released back in 1982. I didn’t care for the taste all that much, but I didn’t have much choice as I was rapidly gaining weight; my doctor at the time told me to drop the regular Coke habit or basically die young. So with that rather blunt choice I chose to drink diet Coke.
Over the following decades I switched around to various diet sodas as they became available, keeping diet Coke as my fallback soda. The only diet soda I couldn’t stand was diet Pepsi. I just couldn’t drink it. If I went to a restaurant that only served diet Pepsi then I switch to ice water.
Over the last few years I’ve been dropping diet soda consumption to zero. I discovered I was reaching a point of intolerance; I couldn’t handle the taste nor the after effects of consuming it. So I would stop cold turkey, usually for a month or so, then “fall off the wagon” and start drinking it again. After another period of abstinence I picked up a bunch of twelve ounce diet Coke packs (eight bottles to a pack) because a local Publix supermarket had a buy two, get two free sale. So I stocked up and started binging diet Cokes again, usually three or four at a time.
Over the past week I haven’t felt particularly well. I felt tired, wound up napping a lot during the day, and in general felt like I had low energy. I also had a ‘vague’ headache; nothing painful, but annoying. Then I ran down the diet Cokes and stopped drinking any of them three days ago. It was almost magical; my energy slowly returned and the vague headache went away. Right now I’m feeling pretty good.
I think my body is trying to tell me something about consuming diet Cokes, as in, don’t. Since switching back to ice water (you know, ice out of the freezer mixed with water in a glass) a number of little things are better; my mouth doesn’t have this permanent aftertaste, my stomach isn’t bloated, and other minor complaints seem to have just gone. I can comfortably live with my body again.
I’m completely done with the witches brews of diet sodas, especially diet Coke. Ice water, and maybe brewed teas (I used to make pitchers of brewed unsugared tea), are the drinks for me, especially water.