Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dumping Diet Coke

My friend Eleanor has been trying to convince me to stop drinking diet soda. Very bad for you, she says, worse than the hi-test. I know I should listen (she's a nutritionist), but I look forward every lunchtime to my fizzy Diet Coke replete with its caramel, chemical goodness and kick of caffeine. I've tried other drinks midday, but found them wanting.

Last weekend, one of the doctors I attended the Giants game with seconded Eleanor. Stuff's really bad for you, he said. He's also a Republican, which really made me stop and think. If even a GOPer thinks a foodstuff is bad for you, it must be really unhealthy.

So what are the replacement possibilities? I asked myself. Has to have caffeine. Has to taste good. The answer came quickly: cold oolong tea.

I quaffed oceans of the stuff when I lived in Japan 20-plus years ago. Tokyo summers are miserable, hot and humid (in terms of longitude and latitude, the city is equivalent to Atlanta). Hydration is a must. Especially so because I studied the Japanese martial art Kendo, Japanese fencing. Being Japan and having to be tough and macho, of course you wore the same heavy knit cotton gi in summer as in winter. After a hard July practice, you could literally wring it out.

After nearly falling victim to dehydration several times, I took to drinking a liter of cold oolong before practice. It worked like a charm. And I really grew to love the stuff.

So this morning I took several bags of oolong (I had purchased a box from a local Chinese grocery), made two cups of hot tea, let them cool and poured them into a water bottle with some ice cubes. By lunchtime, the ice was melted and the tea was a little warm, but very tasty. And I still got my caffeine fix.

My wife thought I was crazy to boil water and make cups of tea. Connoisseur of sun tea that she is, she put some oolong in a big bottle and is attempting that method to make me a larger batch.

We'll see how long I stay on the wagon, but I'm optimistic this will work.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent!! A much better choice. Tea may even have health benefits.