Parts of grievance industry are in full assault against Coca-Cola et al. It is true that Coke can make you fatter. But there is the easy and obvious solution – Diet Coke. I have been drinking around two liters of Coke every day since I was about seven years old. That makes it a whole half century and roughly 36,000 liters of Coke. Around ten years ago, my advancing age overtook my quick metabolism. To cut calories I switched to Diet Coke, then Coke Zero. Problem solved.
I am in my eleventh year of Coke Zero, which means more or less 8000 liters. When I was in the Iraqi desert, I drank little water and mostly Coke. It hydrates well and it is a myth that it doesn’t refresh or that it is unhealthy. The only harm it seems to cause is that I have to pay for it, whereas water would be mostly free, although not always.
If we believe that people are getting fat because of soft drinks sweetened with sugar or corn syrup, we should just get them to switch to calorie free soft drinks. It is hard to break a habit but much easier to substitute one. I didn’t have to give up Coke; I just changed the existing habit.
Drinking mass quantities of Coke has been useful. I don’t get dehydrated. In fact, I credit Coca-Cola with much of my management success. In the classic business book “In Search of Excellence” the authors advocated “management by walking around”. They said that leaders had to get out of their offices and talk to people in the organization. I agree. Drinking lots of Coke reminds me to get off my ass, since I have to go to the bathroom a lot I walk around.
Back when I was in college I had a couple of housemates who were vegetarians. Not only that, they were hostile to the “big food industry” and the reserved a special animus for Coca-Cola, which they identified as a type of devil’s brew. They had several annoying habits. Among them was making mooing sounds when someone ate a hamburger and constantly telling me that Coca-Cola was going to poison me. Since I was in robust health and neither they nor any of their hippie friends (we still had hippies back then) were up to ordinary physical standards, I discounted their advice. When they told me that Coke would kill me, I would ask them when.
I have come to the conclusion that not only is Coke not bad for you, it has positive health benefits. As I mentioned above, you are always hydrated. I run, ride my bike and lift weights and never have to make a special hydration effort. Beyond that, the mild caffeine dose helps keep you alert all day and more energetic, so you get more exercise, so it is better than plain water.
So let’s praise Coca-Cola, at least in the calorie free forms, and encourage its use.