I have a little Diet Pepsi problem. By this, I mean, my consumption is upwards of ninety six ounces a day. At work. At home, I might drink one or two, but at work I have access to the soda fountain on Labor and Delivery and the refrigerator in the doctor’s lounge, and I just continuously drink Diet Pepsi. I have a forty ounce mug which is hospital standard issue for patients for WATER, not Diet Pepsi. I fill it and empty it at least twice a day, once in morning clinic and once in afternoon clinic. I justify it like this:
I need energy. Caffeine provides necessary energy for me to make it through my grueling clinic schedule. I have to wake up early and it does NOT agree with me. I am not a morning person. Not even with caffeine but caffeine does seem to help wake up my brain, just a little.
It’s diet, after all. It’s not like I’m consuming sugar all day (although there are plenty who maintain that artificial sweeteners may be worse for us than sugar). Drinking large amounts also keeps me from EATING all day, which I had definitely rather not do. I drink when I have the urge to snack.
It’s not coffee. According to my gastro doctor, I’m not allowed coffee because it aggravates my reflux and my esophagitis. I’m sure you wanted to know that. He says, however, that it is not the caffeine that is the problem, but some other compound in the coffee. So other caffeine is OK. I am also not allowed tomato products, citrus (so no Mountain Dew), chocolate (which mandate I ignore) or alcohol, which I do avoid because it disagrees with me in more ways than one. So I have my Diet Pepsi all day long.
I’m not addicted. I don’t think. On weekends, my caffeine/Diet Pepsi consumption is not nearly as heavy as it is during the week, as I have no forty ounce mug and no fountain. And yet, on the weekends, my head doesn’t hurt and I don’t feel like I’m withdrawing so, hey, it must be OK. These are my justifications. I have analysed them and I feel that they have validity (of course I do). So I will continue with the insane process of consuming nearly one hundred ounces of Diet Pepsi per day. And I’ll feel damn good about it.