Do or don't do the Dew

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By The Staff

Diet Crack.

That's what I call Diet Mountain Dew - my beverage of choice.

Why you ask? Well, because the drink is so addicting it's like crack. Now, by saying that I am by no means making light of an addiction to crack, or any other drug for that matter. My point is that Diet Mountain Dew is literally like a drug to me. I have to have it! If not, I get migraines, become very irritable and... well... I don't know what else because I have never gone but just a few hours without one.

First thing in the morning, while most people are enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, I always look forward to sipping a cold can of Diet Mountain Dew. And when I say I "look forward to it" I mean that quite literally. I can't wait to pop open that can and take a big ole gulp. It's like a treat to me. An indulgence, if you will. For me, there's no substitute to the Dew.

And it's better in the can. I don't like it from a bottle. I don't know why exactly. Weird, huh? And, it has to be really cold to get the full "Dew" effect. Man, I sound pathetic, don't I?

Well, lately, with the New Year and all, I have taken that first step and acknowledged the fact that I have an addiction to the Dew. I'm trying (well, more like considering) to cut down on my intake of the unusually yellow beverage. I thought about making it my New Year's resolution, but I haven't gone that far yet. I started to get a little panicky at the thought of it, so I have reasoned with myself and decided to try and at least limit myself to a certain number of Diet Cracks a day. No, I haven't decided on what that limited number should be yet. It's a work in progress (I say as I sip from my second Diet Dew of the day).

In an attempt to convince myself even more that I need to stop drinking the Dew altogether, I have been doing some research on the negative side effects Diet Mountain Dew, or diet sodas in general, have on a person. I mean, really, what is that weird combination of carbonated water, citric acid and caffeine doing to me?

For one, Diet Crack, along with its diet drink counterparts, has a great deal of caffeine in it, which is incredibly addictive. Caffeine can disturb one's sleep patterns and make you restless, wired and anxious.

Hmmm... so that's why I rarely, if ever, have a restful night's sleep?

Also, there has been some evidence that the acid load of soda, regular or diet, has an adverse affect on bone health. So, not only is the Diet Dew keeping me up at night but it's also doing damage to my skeleton?

This is more serious than I had once thought.

But, who am I kidding, it only takes one glance at the list of ingredients on the can of Diet Dew to get the hint that it's not good for you. Every time I drink one, I'm ingesting the following: Carbonated water, concentrated orange juice, citric acid, natural flavors, citrus pectin, potassium benzoate, aspartame, potassium citrate, caffeine, sodium citrate, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, gum arabic, sodium benzoate, calcium disodium edta, brominated vegetable oil and yellow 5.

When you can't even pronounce the ingredients, you know you have a problem.

But, I can't imagine going through an entire day without my Diet Crack. For me, and millions of other diet soda addicts in the world, Diet Dew fulfills a craving for sweets while giving me a jolt of caffeine with zero calories. It helps me make it through the day. I literally get a tad bit depressed when I get to the bottom of a can of Diet Dew, just like I do when I finish a really good candy bar. Again, how pathetic do I sound?

I'm a true addict. But at least I'm admitting it. And that's the first step.

For now, I'm not completely giving up my Diet Crack. But, I'm going to desperately try to limit my consumption of the beverage. I've decided that every time I have the urge to drink another Diet Dew I will say to myself, "Acesulfame potassium, sucralose and gum Arabic."

And, when I completely mispronounce most, if not all, of those words, it will be a reminder to don't do the Dew!