It’s about time modern chemistry contributed something valuable to our lives. Look, I love soda. I’m aware of how plainly awful the content of refined sugar is for us, but as hard as I’ve tried, I could never drink a diet soda. The horrid aftertaste that was symptomatic of any of the artificial sweeteners was just too much to take. Well, a while back I tried a sip of my fiancé’s Coke Zero. There was still that familiar bite, however it was noticeably less severe. Though not overwhelmed by the drink, I was encouraged by the thought that whatever the Coca Cola company was doing was definitely a step in the right direction. Then I noticed there was a Sprite Zero. I tried it and thought that was a little more like it, as the citrus flavor seemed to lend itself to masking most of the rudeness that had been inherent of the artificial sweeteners. Ok, so now there are two zero-calorie drinks that I not only can stomach, but after drinking them for an extended period, I could actually enjoy because of the fading frame of reference that was their non-diet counterparts. Naturally, I wondered what was going on. The primary sweetener in these drinks, as well as the rest of the diet sodas that I wouldn’t drink to stay alive in the desert was still aspartame, so what gives? Well, a quick glance at the ingredients indicated the presence of an extra component that was included in the recipe of only those soft drinks that I found palatable: Acesulfame Potassium. Ovulation Tests. Armed with this new knowledge, I began looking for anything new and improved with this miraculous agent on the supermarket shelves. I am happy to report that I have discovered a number of other once-cherished brand names that currently offer a pleasantly drinkable counterpart inclusive of Acesulfame K. Among those that I’ve tried are Pepsi One, Diet Mountain Dew and Fanta Zero Orange. Next up on the list are Diet Fresca and Vault Zero. The “thanks but no thanks” award in this category goes to Sierra Mist Free, as not even the inclusion of a drop of dewy-sweet sweat shaken from the hips of Shakira herself would encourage me to ever again imbibe this viciously rank brew…. Not to mention my complete spiritual aversion to their cosmically unfunny ad campaign.
Oh, and contrary to some very near-sighted reports of differing “fact”, I’m down three belt buckle holes since May. True story.