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Is Pepsi okay?

I don't ordinarily drink pop but once in a while I go wild at a restaurant and order one, or try to. I don't want regular so generally the choice is limited to a diet cola (I SO wish we could get brewed unsweetened ice tea up here—Calgary, Canada—but that doesn't seem to be happening). Often when I say "Diet Coke" the response is "Is Pepsi okay?" It's not as I dislike the aftertaste.

My questions:
1. How many people have a preference vs. how many really don't care? Could also be regular Coke vs. Pepsi, 7-Up vs. Sprite, whatever.

2. What low-cal, non-alcoholic, cold drink can you suggest for times I just want something other than the water I usually get at Pepsi places? I sometimes go with cranberry-and-soda or oj-and-soda; anything else?

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  1. The only "soft drink" I drink is the brown stuff, either coca-cola (diet, zero or normal once in a while), when eating out, on the rare occasion I order it and they say "pepsi ok?" I say yes no problem.

    I can't stand the 7-up, sprite or other citrus type soft drinks, they taste too sweet and ordinary.

    The other soft-drink I drink is Ginger-Ale, but I think I only drink this when flying, so, 3, 4 times a year.

    Other than that, I order water, and depending on the mood, can be sparkling or flat.

    Max.

    1. I prefer Pepsi over Coke when I am drinking the sugary kind.
      But I prefer Coke Zero over any other diet pop, and cannot just substitute for what's there.
      So it's water w/lemon for me, in those cases.

      1. Hot tea with a glass of ice. Make your own iced tea...

        I order this way on airplanes: can't stand the canned ice tea.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cathy

          Exactly my suggestion :) My preference is diet pepsi though...

        2. Some people are very particular about their cola choice (Coke or Pepsi), others not so much. And that goes for fully leaded (corn syrup and caffeine) to sugar free/cafeine free. Unbiased research seems to indicate that people prefer the first sip of Pepsi, but after drinking a whole glass, prefer Coke (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepsi_Ch...) yeah, i know wikipedia...etc.

          )

          I can tell the difference, pepsi is sweeter, coke has more of a bite. At least to me, and I prefer coke, which is a problem as the father of a good friend of mine works for pepsi (I am allowed in the house, but only under duress.) But most restaurants serve one or the other. If I really want a cola, I will drink pepsi, but often don't finish the glass, I always finish off the coke... but for the most part have cut consumption down tremendously from a couple of years ago, especially since I can't stand the aftertaste of diet sodas of any kind, including coke zero.

          1 Reply
          1. re: KaimukiMan

            "Unbiased research seems to indicate that people prefer the first sip of Pepsi, but after drinking a whole glass, prefer Coke"

            Malcolm Gladwell covered this in one of his New Yorker pieces (so it's not just Wikipedia). Pepsi is a bit sweeter than Coke, so the first sip is more appealing, but yes, it gets a bit boring after a while.

          2. Mexican Coke. Have not yet tried Pepsi Throwback, which like Mexican Coke is made with cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup, so I cannot speak to the aftertaste. Probably worth a try. Pepsico also markets a brand called "No Fear," with variants "No Fear Motherload" and "Sugar Free No Fear." Re. the latter, I would think that if one were truly fearless, one would scoff at the risk of diabetes. But who am I to doubt Pepsico's marketing geniuses.

            9 Replies
            1. re: erikschwarz

              "Mexican Coke. Have not yet tried Pepsi Throwback, which like Mexican Coke is made with cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup ..."

              _________________________________________________

              You might want to check that assumption.

              From a recent study on HFCS:

              "The study also raises questions about the accuracy of nutrition label reporting by
              manufacturers. When testing the Mexican Coca-Cola that lists “sugar” on the ingredient list, for
              instance, the researchers did not detect any sucrose (traditional sugar) but rather found near equal amounts of fructose and glucose, results which suggest the use of HFCS."

              Source: http://www.foodpolitics.com/wp-conten...

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Interesting. The tests sampled only Mexican Coke obtained in East L.A., so I wonder whether the results would be uniform across samples from all bottlers. I would hazard a guess not. Likely the recent spike in demand for Mexican Coke has led to some production with fructose rather than sucrose.

                If you check the article itself, as opposed to the press release about it from the Childhood Obesity Center, you can make a case for even the East L.A. Mexican Coke. The results of the high-performance liquid chromatography tests show that it has one of the lower deviations from listed sugar content. Pretty much identical to Pepsi, as a matter of fact, though higher than American Coke. The Mexican Coke also had the lowest fructose percentage, save only Gatorade Lemon Lime.

                http://goranlab.com/pdf/Ventura%20Obe...

                Water is still the healthiest beverage, of course...unless it is contaminated. Maybe we had all better stick to Bourbon.

                1. re: erikschwarz

                  Yeah, I have no idea about the scope of the study. I just found it curious.

                  I've bought Diet Coke and regualr Coke in Mexico City, and couldn't really detect a difference except I am almost sure that Mexican has more caffeine than its American counterpart -- but have nothing to base that on except my own head buzz ...

                  1. re: erikschwarz

                    "Likely the recent spike in demand for Mexican Coke has led to some production with fructose rather than sucrose."

                    Soda made with cane sugar, or beet sugar for that matter, is almost always made with inverted sugar i.e. sugar where the bond between the glucose and fructose has been broken through some process. So it's not sucrose, it's glucose-fructose and it's chemically the same as HFCS so a spectrometer couldn't see the difference. And neither can the cells in your body.

                    It doesn't mean they're sneaking HFCS. I suspect it's just a labelling problem. It shouldn't say sugar, but liquid invert sugar.

                    1. re: SnackHappy

                      Interesting re: the glucose-fructose combo for cane sugar.

                      And, totally agree with your statement that "... it's glucose-fructose and it's chemically the same as HFCS so a spectrometer couldn't see the difference. And neither can the cells in your body."

                      1. re: SnackHappy

                        Wow, if this is true, then the media release from the Childhood Obesity Center is rather misleading. The actual study seems to say positive things about Mexican Coke, such as this: "All of the soft drinks, with the exception of the Mexican Coca-Cola, are 58% fructose or above, and the three most popular soft drinks (Coca‑Cola,
                        Sprite, and Pepsi) contained 64–65% fructose." The medial release on the other hand, seems to go out of its way in the other direction: "When testing the Mexican Coca-Cola that lists “sugar” on the ingredient list, for instance, the researchers did not detect any sucrose (traditional sugar) but rather found near equal amounts of fructose and glucose, results which suggest the use of HFCS." Suggests" is a weasel word: the clear implication is that Mexican Coke is a fraud. This seems to be an example of what happens when science meets advocacy. Not that I have any scientific expertise whatsoever. I would not know a chromatograph from a carburetor.

                        1. re: erikschwarz

                          "I would not know a chromatograph from a carburetor"
                          ________________________

                          I would know ... I would know that I would not want to eat either one. :-)

                          1. re: erikschwarz

                            The 'near equal amounts of fructose and glucose' strongly implies the breakdown of sucrose into these 2 simple sugars. While it may have occurred before bottling, I've also read claims that the acidic environment of the bottle can do this as well. It would be interesting to know whether sucrose can be found in any bottled soda, and whether amount depends on the amount of time since bottling.

                            HFCS can be produced in almost any ratio. 'plain' corn syrup is mostly glucose. Fully converted HFCS is 90% fructose. A 55/45 % blend is commonly used in soda because its sweetness mimics a simple sugar syrup. Bakers like a higher glucose version because of the hygroscopic properties of glucose.

                    2. re: erikschwarz

                      One store in my area had cans of Pepsi Throwback for .25 cents each a few weeks ago, my son loaded up on them. Now, that brought back memories...so delicious! My dad worked for Pepsi when I was a kid so we're loyal to Pepsi over Coke in this camp. Nowadays, I have to have a taste for any brown soda but it's always Pepsi if I get a hankering.

                      Gingerale is my favorite soda, Schweppes, if you please, however, I drink and buy club soda &/or seltzer water by the case. No calories and it can be flavored with citus, berries, juices, extracts, etc.