Diet Coke loyalists across the pond will now have an alternative way to feel like they're healthy while chugging sugar water: introducing Coca-Cola Life, or Coke Life. The new beverage is made with stevia, rather than aspartame (Diet Coke), corn syrup (regular Coke), or cane sugar (Mexican Coke.) It will be sold in Great Britain starting in the fall, but was first introduced in Argentina and Chile last year. It also comes in green packaging, because apparently, green means healthy.
While I am a Diet Coke purist, I take issue with any soda product boasting as "healthy" or "natural." I understand the product I am drinking is doing probably irreversible damage, and I don't need a green can to try to convince me otherwise.
Stevia, the sugar substitute used to make Coke Life, is being pushed as the "natural" ingredient. Still, a natural sugar water is still sugar water. And in this particular case, it is quite sugary water — to the tune of four teaspoons of sugar per can. That is 25 percent of the daily recommended sugar intake for children.
On the bright side, Coke Life will have only 89 calories, rather than the standards 139 in regular Coke. Diet Coke has "zero" calories, but is jam packed with chemicals. So, pick your poison.
Having taste tested all the options, I can say Coke Life is a fine soda, but I am going to stick with Diet Coke. I don't need my sugar water masquerading as anything except what it is: terrible for my health, really delicious, and keeping me very, very awake.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.