Let’s Dish: Water or Soda?

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by Amy Flanigan on June 24, 2009 · 28 comments

I hate water. Not the kind you swim in or use to wash your car with, of course. No, I’m talking about the kind you drink. And what’s the recommended dose these days, like the size of Lake Michigan? It’s brutal.

For the longest time, I wouldn’t drink anything other than juice, going through gallons of it a week. But unfortunately, it’s gotten even worse. Now I’m on the soda pop bandwagon – that’s something I never thought I would say. But if there was a Pepsi Anonymous meeting somewhere, I would attend, looking for help. “Hello. My name is Amy. And I’m a sodaholic.”

Growing up, soda was always considered a special treat in our house. We only got it when my grandparents visited, or when we got the ultimate fast food reward! Years later, I was astonished when I saw my Dad go through can after can of Diet Pepsi every day. Then the curse hit my sister. And now me.

Honestly, I don’t even like soda. It never quenches my thirst, and it even gives me heartburn. But… it’s better than water.

I’ve tried to enjoy water. Really, I have. Tap water, sparkling water, flavored water, water with lemon… trust me, I’ve tried. But alas, I’d rather be dehydrated, with a headache. Or reach for my Diet Pepsi.

If a glass of water and a can of soda were both sitting in front of you, which one would you reach for?


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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Kairi August 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I am a Sodaholic. I crave soda everyday and i was wondering is there an easy way to stop?


Amy August 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I don’t know. I’ve been able to cut way back, but still enjoying it moderation with pizza, burgers, etc. It started to give me headaches, so I was sort of forced to or be miserable. If you can go without it for a few weeks, your body will stop craving it so badly. It’s getting past those first few weeks that’s tricky. Wish I could be more helpful, sorry!


Amiie April 21, 2010 at 5:27 pm

They both are good drinks. I LOVEE water…But sometimes its good to have some SODA…i LOVEE BOTH DRINKS..Water and Soda Rock! ..if i had to choose two drinks for the rest of my life i would Choose WATER and SODA!..


Sarah Caron June 26, 2009 at 8:20 pm

I used to be a total sodaholic too. Growing up I drank it endlessly. Then I hit college and it became an endless circle of Diet Coke drinking. But I have discovered in the past few years that I absolutely love water. LOVE it.

Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t love it and doesn’t appreciate that I rarely purchase drinks anymore at the grocery store since it just doesn’t occur to me.


Julie June 25, 2009 at 9:55 pm

If my only choices are water or soda, my definite pick is water. I don’t hate soda… I actually enjoy a root beer every now and then. But I can’t remember when the last time I had one was and soda is never on my grocery list unless we have company.

I don’t know what it will be like for the kids. At 5 and 3 I don’t think either of them have tried it yet, and that’s ok with me.


Lora June 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Amy, thanks for coming out on one of your vices. I think everyone needs a few. (read: my excuse for all the chocolate I grab when I need a lift.) As for the water/soda thing, I am not all that fond of plain water but will take a Propel or G2 over reaching for a soda most of the time. I think I just didn’t have it in the house for a month or two, then found I didn’t need it. Ahhh, if only that were the case for chocolate.


Rachel June 25, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Ohhh Amy. I totally feel you on this.

Because my parents always had diet soda in the house, that was my beverage of choice. In college I would drink about 6-7 diet pepsis a day. Even though I had an Alhambra thingy in my dorm and drank water, I enjoyed Pepsi much more.

Between going on Weight Watchers and getting type 1 diabetes (which by the way, drinking soda did not cause me to get type 1…that’s a different post altogether), I knew I needed to cut back on my diet soda intake because the stuff makes me crave carbs like mad. Sucks, because juice is the worst thing for me to drink as a diabetic, and I too just get sick of drinking water. It’s just not fun.

Crystal Light has been a decent alternative – mostly the peach iced tea. Iced tea in general (black and green) has saved my ass from consuming a huge bucket of diet pepsi. I do drink water throughout the day and we’ve become friends, but not besties.

Although I’ve cut back, I will never ever be able to cut soda cold turkey. One poster mentioned that diet soda just goes perfect with pizza, cheeseburgers, mexican food, etc. and that’s so true. Water or iced tea with pizza? That’s just wrong and gross.

So Amy my darling, I completely understand your dilemma. But you are so healthy by exercising all the time, that really I don’t think diet pepsi will be the cause of your demise. Enjoy it! xoxox


Ethan June 25, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Water is to wash with … at least once a week. Pepsi is to drink, cold, warm, flat, ironed, with a pizza chaser. Diet Pepsi has fewer bubbles than Diet Coke, and I’m a firm believer in the “evening out theory.” No, not having an evening out, but rather than two cans of diet coke with no calories evens out a medium pizza with 300 calories. (What you read on the box is a lie.)

Then there are the bubbles. Bubbles in Pepsi allow the molecules of hamburger, ribs, and pate to separate and flow through the system, contrary to the globules that the folks at Liptor want you to believe. Those are scouring bubbles and clean out arteries all the way through exhaust pipes. That’s why old people are always complaining about their chairs making funny noises.

Again, dirty? Water. Enhancing a meal? A six-pack of Pepsi.



Michelle June 25, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I used to drink tons of soda, but it started giving me migraines (took a while to figure out that was the cause, but by process of elimination…)

Anyway, a friend suggested mixing seltzer and cranberry juice together. I drink it all the time now – it has the fizz and sweetness, but none of the bad ingredients. Well, I guess it still has some sugar, but nothing like what soda has.


Mel June 25, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Coke, baby!!


Jennifer June 25, 2009 at 12:16 pm

LMAO! Ok…ok…Paul, you win!

In case any of you readers think he’s exaggerating…well, not by much.


Paul, again June 25, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Jen, I question your “one soda a day” theory, and have some data to support my question.

You see, Amy, her sister, and her dad are all soda drinkers, but will not drink a full can in a sitting. They’ll open a can, take a drink, and place the rest in the fridge. As the “foodies” continue to nosh and prepare the next meal, the cans get sipped, moved around, sipped, moved again, and sipped.

As the cans are moved around, some of them get lost in the food shuffle.

By noon, there are five or six open cans of soda in the fridge. And each time one goes to the fridge to take a sip, they discover that their original can is not where it should be, and all of them are half flat. So you hear this coming from the kitchen: “Which one of these is mine?”

My BIL has discovered a secret: He twists the tab on his can to maintain identification of his can in the fridge.

Me? I just drink out of whatever is open and closest to my hand when I open the door.


Jan Winning June 25, 2009 at 9:03 am

“when I saw my Dad go through can after can of Diet Pepsi every day. ”

must be genetic….your uncle is the same….except…except..after years of my haranguing him for it, he has quit cold turkey…The cost was getting out of hand, and that’s one way of reaching Bob. The other was the amounts seemed to be increasing…and he was drinking the nonsugar, which meant chemicals..and that can’t be good. So he is now drinking water and seems to be none the worse.

He goes through lots of high pulp orange juice, which I buy by the gallon. I think he needs to be hydrated…maybe that is genetic…but at least it is healthy.

For me…I like water…water with lemon, fizzy water…I’m good for that…and always I am up for a nice Chardonnay or Merlot….oh yes…then there’s the single malts….*grins*

First thing in the morning..has to be coffee…..


Jay June 25, 2009 at 11:02 am

To quote my good buddy Arnold, “Zoda iz four beebees. I drink Beeer.”

Actually I drink both diet soda and water. The “high test” regular sugar sodas give me a headache. I get the whole bone density argument, but agree that everything in moderation is the best policy.

At one time water was the cheap and the “free” alternative to a diet soda, but now everyone has gone off the deep end with bottled water. Just good old tap water is fine for me. Add up the cost of a 16 oz bottled designer water to equal a gallon, and it’s more than the cost of a gallon of gas!


Jennifer June 25, 2009 at 10:47 am

After reading everyone elses’ comments, many of which made me laugh, I see that wine and beer are options. Hmmm….can I change my answer? And, the bone density thing I was talking about – read what Beth said. :o)


Jennifer June 25, 2009 at 10:41 am

I, unfortunately, am like my sister when it comes to water – really can’t stand it. A while back, my grandmother told me water made her gag, and I read above my uncle is also “inflicted”, so maybe it is genetic. I do, however, limit myself to one diet soda (have to admit I’m a Pepsi over Coke gal) per day (if that). One of the biggest “problems” with soda is that it decreases bone density – have you ever seen what happens when you pour soda over an oil stain in your driveway or pour it over a corroded car battery? Well….

What I started doing about a year ago was flavoring my water with a generic brand of fruit punch flavoring. At least then it’s like I’m drinking punch, (without the sugar and no calories), it actually tastes good, and I’m getting the hydration I need.

I’m a runner, and I have found that if I am not hydrated, it is SO much harder to get through a run, let alone any other sort of workout. Besides that, it’s just not good to be dehydrated. I have tried to get Amy to try what I do, but, alas, to no avail.


Steph June 25, 2009 at 9:34 am

I’m a soda drinker, although not in exorbinate amounts. What’s funny is that I didn’t think “shame on you for drinking soda” – I was thinking more “shame on you for drinking pepsi.” I’m a coca cola purist.

And yes, coffee is a must.


Mike June 25, 2009 at 7:32 am

Wine. (Oops, that wasn’t an option, was it.) I like both water and soda. I’ll drink water during the day (2 or 3 glasses) and I’ll have a can of soda with dinner or lunch, depending on how I feel. But if you drink water, don’t drink tap water – it’s got a lot of junk in it that isn’t good for you, at least in the big city. And bottled water is bad for the environment because of the plastic bottles. Get a water filter to put on your tap. We bought a Pür filter a year or so ago.


Jude June 25, 2009 at 9:07 am

H20. With a twist of lemon or lime. From the tap, filtered. None of that Bp plastic bottled-water chemical for me, thanks. Soda? Only if it’s Rootbeer accompanied by its friend Ice Cream.


Paul June 25, 2009 at 9:00 am

I like beer. It has the water and the fizzy. And after about four or 19 of them, I’m very happy that I drank it.

Sometimes I’ll put orange juice in my cereal if we don’t have milk.

I will drink anything at any time. Don’t matter to me none.


Phillip June 25, 2009 at 8:31 am

I like water and soda. I’m a coffee drinker, which at one time, had joined the soda debate. It’s bad for you, no it’s good for you, wait it’s bad for you. Back and forth. I probably should cut back…starting tomorrow.


Tom June 25, 2009 at 8:11 am

Soda has gotten a very bad wrap because parents are letting their 2 year olds guzzle it down and now we have this childhood obesity problem, not to mention all the obese adults. But those same people eat 3 Big Macs a day.

Everything in moderation…


Beth June 25, 2009 at 7:42 am

Soda also has phosphoric acid which can suck calcium from your bones, and then can contribute to broken bones in osteoporosis.


Helen June 25, 2009 at 7:15 am

Water. I can’t remember the last time I even touched a soda.

Amy, this surprises me about you, since I know you’re not a fan of processed foods. It’s so bad for you and has been linked to diabetes, childhood obesity, hyperactivity, and tooth decay. And even DIET soda contains high fructose corn syrup. You shouldn’t be drinking this garbage!


Cheryl June 25, 2009 at 6:55 am

Amy, I’m a soda junkie too, so don’t feel bad. You’re not a alone. Actually, I think I’m even worse than you because I don’t even drink diet half the time.


Lisa June 25, 2009 at 6:20 am

Hm. I would definitely say water, but I understand your dilemma. Some meals just need a soda because water doesn’t match up. Like a burger, tacos, or pizza. You need soda with those. Or a beer.


Nancy June 25, 2009 at 5:58 am

I’m with Melissa on this one. Water is the best. I actually carry a bottle around with me all the time to stay hydrated, but also because I love the taste. Tap water or bottled water. Plain or with lemon. Whatever. It’s all good. Soda is so bad for you, Amy! You need to knock that off!


Melissa June 25, 2009 at 12:05 am

Oh nooooo nononono. This is one way you and I are very different. I LOVE water. LOOOOOVE. Especially Aquafina mmm, though Sparkletts will do at home because they have those 2.5 gallon thingies. Steve and I buy those and go through probably 5 per week – he is just like I am in thinking water rocks.

When I’ve been asked to guess I would say I drink 16 glasses minimum and up to 24 per day, without making myself. And I have always been this way, even when I was a kid. My dad drank soda fairly often, my sister and mom a medium amount, me never. It left such a bad taste in my mouth from the sugars (and of course, particularly at the time, HFCS) that I still wanted water afterward. Yuck.

Just like I said “I LOVE water. LOOOOOVE” …I HATE soda HAAAAATE. Hate.

I still love you though Amy hahahaha. ;)


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