25 June 2007

The ultimate diet Coke shootout.

I’m addicted to Coke (the soft drink, not the white powder that you ingest through your nostrils).

I’ve been drinking Coke ever since I learnt how to operate a bottle opener (about the age of 4), and have been regularly drinking the shit at least twice a day for the past 24 years.

When I was in university, I drank Coke as a substitute for coffee – to wake me up in the mornings as I drag myself to the lecture theatres.

During the season of Lent, I abstain from Coke as a form of fasting. So yes, I do like Coke very very much.

The problem, however, is that I’m getting rather rotund and have grown a second chin.

Coke contains loads of calories, which means that the more I drink it, the more of a fat ass I’ll become. This is especially since I’m approaching 30 and my metabolic rate isn’t what it used to be. And so, I’ve embarked on a task to find the ideal alternative low-calorie Coke.

Coke and its sugar-free friends...

Coke contains about 42 Calories (or 42kcal) per 100ml, which is a lot. Let’s see how the alternatives measure up…

Coke Light
Calories: 0.3 kcal per 100ml
Price: between RM1.40 to RM1.70 per 325ml can
Availability: Almost anywhere you can also find regular coke.

Coke Light: It's not shit.

Well, this is the most obvious choice for Coke lovers – it’s by the same guys who make Coke and is easily available. Some places price it at RM0.10 more per can than regular Coke, which is evil.

Unfortunately, it does taste rather different – kinda like a cross between original Coke and Dr Pepper (yuck) but with a very strong artificially sweetened taste. You’ll get used to it eventually though it’ll never replace the real thing.

Diet Coke Caffeine Free
Calories: 0.5 kcal per 100ml
Price: RM4.90 per 330ml can
Availability: Cold Storage supermarkets

Diet Coke Caffeine Free: It's shit

It comes in a golden can and costs an arm and a leg (since it’s imported from the UK). But is it any better than Coke Light? Sadly, no.

Not only does it still have the artificial taste, the absence of caffeine means that it doesn’t give you that extra buzz in the morning – to get you and your bowels going. Don’t waste your money on this rubbish.

Coke Zero
Calories: 0.5 kcal per 100ml
Price: RM4.90 per 330ml can
Availability: Cold Storage supermarkets

Coke Zero: the almost Coke

Now here’s something different! Kinda like Coke Light but with the promise of the original Coke taste, Coke Zero is the real deal and almost tastes as good as original Coke.

There’s only a hint of that artificial sweetener taste, though it’s mostly masked by the other flavours that create that distinctive Coke taste.

Unfortunately, it’s also RM4.90 a can because it’s imported all the way from the UK. But if you’re filthy rich and need a Coke without the calories, this is the drink for you.

Even though Coke Zero tastes fantastic, its high price is bound to turn away even the most dedicated of Coke drinkers. Which means that most of us will still have to settle for the second best product – Coke Light. Sigh.

Of course, there is another evil option: Pepsi Max or Pepsi Light!

Sugar-free Pepsi: As evil as sin, but tastes rather good...

Yes, Pepsi is evil but for some reason, its sugar-free cola offerings are closer in taste to the company’s original full-flavoured Pepsi. I’ve only drunk Pepsi Light or Pepsi Max when I didn’t have any other choice, though I have to admit that I’m quite impressed by the taste.

So I guess it’s down to two choices if you’re on a budget: settle for sub-par Coke Light or drink Pepsi Light/Max and shoot yourself later.


Anonymous said...

Sorry. Coke Light IS shit. Save water, drink beer :-)

your friend across the pond said...

Thats a great mini-review. The actual differences between those variants of Coke have always intrigued me.

Have you tried coffee/tea instead? Even if they require slightly more effort to make (compared to simply flippin a can), they do leave you with a nice and warm feeling inside... better for health too, especially if you go for semi-skimmed milk or small amounts of brown sugar instead.

Ok, boring alert... I'll get my coat.

Quilana said...

Coke Zero is nothing but soda water! Coke Light is just as bad! Nothing beats the real thing - you should just cut down on your intake of the real thing instead of polluting my house with Coke Light cans. ;P


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Anonymous said...

I vote for Pepsi Max - I have been drinking Pepsi Max as an alternative to reg cola and I could not agree with you more that it taste really close to reg cola.
Plus its definitely more manly than Coke Light.