My Secret Coke Habit


Coca Cola ZeroI gave up drinking Diet Coke years ago after watching a piece on CNN about the controversial approval of Aspartame by the FDA and how researchers found a correlation between the use of Aspartame and the rise in the number of in brain tumors in the US.  I don’t know if there was any truth to it, and if you read Wikipedia and many other sources available on line then it seems like Aspartame is safe, but it scared me enough to give it up and start drinking a much healthier beverage – water.

After giving up diet sodas I found that I actually lost my taste for them. The few times I’ve tasted Diet Coke,  Coke Zero and even my  favorite, diet root beer  I found I just didn’t like them anymore and couldn’t drink more than a few sips.

I bring this up now, after all these years (12-15), because I seem to be developing a secret Coke habit, Diet Coke, that is, or Coca-Cola Zero.

Last spring, when the weather got hot I found myself craving Coca-Cola Zero, not on a regular basis but just after long runs when I felt totally depleted and dehydrated.

It took me a while until I finally gave in and stopped at a store on my post-run walk home (I usually make sure I have half a mile walk after a long run), and bought myself a cold, small bottle of Coke (the glass retro bottle).

Excuse me for sounding like a Coke commercial here, but it was amazing.  Although I couldn’t actually finish the whole bottle, what I drank rejuvenated me, satisfied me, and felt as if it was just what I needed.  I don’t know if it was the caffeine, the salt, other mysterious chemicals or all of the above but it worked and since then I have had a Diet Coke (Zero Coke) after many of my long runs.

I kept this new habit of mine a secret until last night when Jessica mentioned something about Coke.  I didn’t keep it a secret because I was embarrassed or because it goes against my belief that natural unprocessed food is better for you (I mean, the gels I use to keep my blood sugar up while running are not exactly natural), but just because it didn’t seem important enough to mention without making it into an issue. But since we were on the subject I decided to come clean. 

Running Update: I ran 56.5 miles this week including a 5K test (completed in 21:26 minutes) and a 23 mile run on Friday. This week I will be running in the Tel Aviv Nike Night Run 10K race.

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Beth @ Shug in Boots
9 years ago

I love it all! Well, Diet Coke and Regular Coke (39g of carbs ;) ) … but I hate Coke Zero. Diet Mt. Dew is a favorite too. I know the aspartame is bad, but dealing with diabetes and not being able to eat gluten, I just can’t help myself with the soft drinks. Although, I am working to at least incorporate some water between soft drinks. That counts, right? :)

Scott K. Johnson
9 years ago

Michael, I am SO addicted to Diet Coke.  I’m almost ashamed to admit it.  But at least wanted to chime in and say that I understand the draw – it’s powerful stuff!

Great job on the running!  Keep it up! 

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