The pink can, the funky lettering. Yes, I'm that old. And I used to be addicted to the stuff. Not only was it loaded with caffeine, it was sweetened with saccharin! My friend Julie and I used to make our way to the convenience store on the first floor of our building twice a day for a Tab. Saccharin dates back to the late 1800s when a laboratory researcher accidentally (?) tasted something sweet on his finger and figured out that it was the substance he'd been working on that day in his lab. It got tested further in the lab and then didn't take long to be brought to the commercial market by the Coca-Cola company as a no-sugar drink for those who wanted to keep "TABS" on their weight. It has, of course, had a checkered history since then--linked to cancer in laboratory animals, warning labels here and there, then warning labels dropped--but you can still find it in the pink packets on restaurant tables everywhere and it sneaks its way into products like toothpaste, candy, cookies and even medicine. You can even still buy it, but it seems to have kind of a cult following at this point. I ended my relationship with Tab, moved on to Diet Coke for a few years before figuring out the Aspartame might be as bad or worse than saccharin. Then about 15 years ago I stopped drinking soda altogether.
Count that among my good decisions in life, even though it seemed like a sacrifice at the time. If you're a soda drinker and want to/need to do something to improve your health, consider a few things:
- Phosphoric acid in soda weakens bone and rots teeth
- Excessive artificial sweeteners just make you crave more sweets
- Caramel color is purely cosmetic, and is actually chemical and tainted with carcinogens.
- High fructose corn syrup, derived from corn, increases body fat, cholesterol and triglycerides, and also makes you more hungry.
- Food dyes are associated with impaired brain function, hyperactive behavior, difficulty focusing, and lack of impulse control.
Is it really worth the potential damage? For me, the answer was no. I still enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning, and then it's water, seltzer with a drop of essential oil, or my Minerals & Antioxidants drink for the rest of the day. I still keep tabs on my diet....just no TAB. Cheers!