All Coked Up
Vanilla Coke is back!
You might not have realized that it went away, of course, especially if you eat regularly at Rubio's, the only major food chain to keep it on its soda fountains. But yeah, they replaced it with Black Cherry Vanilla a while back, which was decent but not as tasty. Now plain Vanilla has returned, along with Vanilla Coke Zero (which is basically Diet Vanilla Coke with one additional additive that I can't spell off the top of my head).
But as awesome as it is to have VC back indahouse, what isn't so awesome is the new information printed on the twelve-packs. It seems Coca-Cola is trying to push its flavored corn syrup as a healthy choice for exercisers – at their new "hydration" website, and on their beverage containers, the Coke people are touting the following:
"For years, conventional wisdom said that we need eight cups of water daily for proper hydration. Not so, say new scientific guidelines from the The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science (IOM/NAS). All beverages, including those that contain caffeine, contribute to proper hydration.
If you're not in the mood for water, it's okay to reach for something else you enjoy, like tea or a soft drink. Of course water is always the best choice; it's just not the only one."
Really? ALL beverages? Surely Coca-Cola wouldn't mislead me – they are, after all the makers of Mello Yello, a.k.a. LYT's Most Favoritest Beverage In The Whole Wide World (which also happens to be unavailable in California, dammit!). So I put the theory to the test using my second-favorite beverage. After my weekend workout, feeling in need of hydration but not quite being in the mood for water, I reached for the bourbon.
Whiskey's a beverage, right? But the results were not pretty. Now I was still thirsty, but also had a headache and a stomachache.
Technically, the Coke people aren't lying – all beverages contain water, and therefore, the moment you drink them, you've added water to your body, i.e. hydrated. The problem is that alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, like whiskey and Coke, respectively (or mixed together, for another favorite of mine), also happen to be diuretics, which cause you to urinate out more than you take in.
In other words, Coke can really piss me off sometimes.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.