coca-cola for breakfast?
October 9, 2004 10:08 AM   Subscribe

Pips and I were just discussing Coca-Cola. More specifically, the concept of having it for breakfast. She's a high school teacher and says that for half her students breakfast is a bag of Doritos and a Coke. I also used to have a boss who would drink a liter bottle of the stuff before arriving at work every day and finish another in the course of working and another who would have one regularly at 8am to start the day. Now, I understand the craving for caffeine and I even enjoy the occasional Coca-Cola myself, but the idea of soda pop before lunch, I find, quite frankly, disgusting. Any breakfast Coke-heads here? How and why, I'm just wondering?
posted by jonmc to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (42 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Morning coke drinker, representin'.

I typically drink a 24 oz bottle of diet decaf coke on my ride to work, have 1-2 more over the course of the day, and then another 1 in the evening. If it's a hot day, I throw 1 or 2 in a cooler in the car for the ride home (jeep, top down, 45 min. commute). That's the best coke drinkin you'll ever know.

As to the a.m. drinking, I guess the best answer I can give you just tastes good. An ice-cold refreshing beverage is good anytime of day or night, and if this is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

btw: a liter of regular coke before work? That's an awful lot of sugar.
posted by luser at 10:15 AM on October 9, 2004

I never saw anyone drink Coke in the morning until I moved to the South. Down here, it's almost as common as sausage biscuits and grits.

I personally can't stand colas.
posted by mischief at 10:23 AM on October 9, 2004

Diet Coke addict here. When I get up, I usually start with a big ice cold DC. I am known to drink juice at all times of the day and the coffee starts when I get to work. But the morning DC is nice and cool on the throat and gives me the little kick of caffiene to make it to the gym.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 10:24 AM on October 9, 2004

Drinking coke for the caffeine is ridiculous. A 12 ounce can has 34.5 mg compared to 135 mg in an 8 oz cup of coffee. You're getting high off the sugar, which is medically dangerous.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:26 AM on October 9, 2004

I ususally have a can of cocola for breakfast. I've got a hormone disorder that tends to leave me a little nauseated in the morning, and a soda calms my stomach. If I'm feeling particularly queasy though, I'll have Sprite or ice water.
posted by headspace at 10:27 AM on October 9, 2004

Never even considered it before I visited the US some years back and saw it being done, but now I find it's the only hangover cure that even remotely works for me. (Full-fat coke, caffeinated).
posted by punilux at 10:28 AM on October 9, 2004

I sometimes drink a can of Diet Coke right when I wake up; the fizz fixes me in "awake" mode somehow and is particularly refreshing if I'm having a groggy transition from sleep. It's not really the caffeine, it's the fizz and the cold and the chemical-clean aftertaste.

I'll have a cup of coffee right after, too.

Whatever gets you through the day...
posted by pomegranate at 10:38 AM on October 9, 2004

In high school I did something like this -- it wasn't a daily thing but I did freqently choose Doritos and Dr. Pepper for breakfast. And the thing is, yeah, sometimes I felt a little funny, but it really didn't seem that different from having toast and OJ.

The summer before my senior year I wised up about a lot of things, and not only stopped doing the soda/crap chips for breakfast, but swore off cola altogether and mostly avoided soda. I do drink cola now and again at this point, but for breakfast it would probably make me ill... and Doritos make me ill period.

I think when you're younger your body can eat just about anything and do well enough.
posted by weston at 10:41 AM on October 9, 2004

Response by poster: Oh, yeah. I'm not objecting to anyone doing it. I just remember my visceral response on seeing my boss guzzling one at 9am. It seemed odd somehow, like having a cheeseburger for breakfast. But then again, I love eating eggs and sausage for dinner, so perhaps it's all just cultural conditioning as to meal appropriateness. But I don't ever recall having such a reaction before.
posted by jonmc at 10:42 AM on October 9, 2004

What's the difference between having a cup of coffee with sugar and a Coke in the morning ... besides the bubbles??

However, I do notice that Coke in the morning goes better with the Southern US.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:43 AM on October 9, 2004

I was having 2 cans of diet Dr. Pepper for breakfast every morning for a long time (maybe 2 years). I quit doing that mostly because I realized I didn't like the taste so what other reason could I have needed it? Caffeine most likely. The first few days after quitting I did have a mild headache.

Anyway, I don't see the difference between having a coke or having a coffee, especially if you're the type who likes a little coffee with their sugar.
posted by substrate at 10:47 AM on October 9, 2004

I always found drinking coffee in the morning disgusting. Actually, I'd say drinking it anytime is nasty.

That being said, I settle for low acid apple juice (or regular apple juice watered down) in the mornings. I rarely, if ever, eat breakfast. I suppose if you're talking about the first meal of the day, yeah, it's often coke and a hamburger for me. My body wants the day to start at 1 pm and end at 5 am and that's that.

Wait... my breakfast lunch (brunch?) is exactly what jonmc's boss ate. Perhaps his boss and myself should meet one day? :-D

I don't know what the headaches people experience from quitting a soft drink habit are coming from, but I've done weeklong stretches without the stuff here and there, and I never experienced those sorts of problems. Actually, I felt a bit better. I went back to the stuff because I like the taste, though. Of course, I only drink about 8 cans of soft drinks a day and a double big gulp pepsi slurpee (occasionally), so perhaps I'm in the minority.

However, last time I went to the dentist, the dentist assumed I was a heavy coffee drinker (note: I don't drink coffee) and wasn't all that surprised when I said I "only" drink soft drinks and slurpees. Lots of work to get my mouth back into shape. Although, that isn't all that different from when I didn't drink much in the way of soft drinks. I probably just have shitty teeth.
posted by shepd at 11:00 AM on October 9, 2004

In the morning I drink either a coke or a diet coke. It's a 50/50 split. I drink it partially for the caffiene and partially because I do not really like hot drinks much. Coffee or tea would be too hazardous anyway; my brain does not fully engage until about 9:30 but I need to be at work by 8:00. By sticking to cola, I've probably prevented many serious burns in the morning.
posted by contessa at 11:01 AM on October 9, 2004

Mt. Dew and Donut Gems were my high school breakfast of choice
posted by Mick at 11:30 AM on October 9, 2004

I've drank Diet Coke in the morning for 15 years or more. I used to get the oddest looks, but it's more accepted now. And it's not as a breakfast substitute or the caffeine, I just like it. For what it's worth I've never drank coffee except to try a sip once or twice. Diet Coke is my cuppa tea. ;-)
posted by deborah at 11:36 AM on October 9, 2004

This Cockeyed bit may be of interest.

from the site:

1 cup of black coffee, 25 calories.
1.3 liters of soda, 513 calories.
posted by mwhybark at 11:38 AM on October 9, 2004

I drink a can in the morning. I used to drink a 20 oz bottle, but that really is too much... the can is just about right. Why?
It tastes good. The taste itself just wakes me up. I also like the slight caffeine boost vs. the major caffeine *jitterjitterjitter* that anything with more caffeine gives me.

I also tend to eat a pretty healthy breakfast; cereal and milk or natural pressed cereal bars and yogurt, etc. I think Coke is the one thing I consume regularly that really isn't good for me.
posted by SpecialK at 11:45 AM on October 9, 2004

I don't know if this helps explain a bit about why these students are eating junk food for breakfast and washing it down with soda, but I've regularly seen (especially in my old, relatively poor neighborhood) a mother and toddler waiting for a bus or walking down the street, and the toddler lugging a can of Coke and a Twinkie, or a baby with orange soda being poured into its bottle.

I'm not a particularly healthy eater, myself, but I'm pretty horrified at the number of babies and young children being fed soda for breakfast. They're learning it at an early age.
posted by majick at 12:39 PM on October 9, 2004

Response by poster: majick, pips does teach in a poor neighborhood in the south bronx, so that might explain part of it, but my boss was a middle class guy. And I love my sugary cereal for breakfast but the coke thing isn't for me. So I dunno if the sweet tooth is the whole answer.
posted by jonmc at 12:47 PM on October 9, 2004

When I think of early morning coke in the South it conjures up an image of gentility and serenity. When I think of it in the North, I think of consumers crushed under the heel of an evil corporation. I don't know why that is.

Anyway. The Summer 2004 issue of Gastronomica has an article called "Black Magic: Old Coke and the New South." It's an interesting article with myriad fascinating tidbits: Mix it with tobacco to sooth bee stings. Cleaning bumpers, relieving congestion. The stuff does every thing.

And they drink it for breakfast. Asked what differentiates Nortern and Southern women Helen Ellis is quoted "First thing that comes to mind:Coca-Cola for breakfast. I can't imagine hauling myself out of bed at 6:30a.m. without knowing that little red can is waiting in the fridge. . . . coke for breakfast. It fuels Southern women." Sela Ward, who was once a spokesperson for Pepsi: "I drank Coca-Cola for breakfast. Pretending to like Pepsi was probably my first acting job."

In addition to curing all that ails you Coke is, of course, a wonderful marinade, glaze and an ingredient in many delicious cakes. Try the recipe in Gastronomica. Or if you don't have the patience to bake a cake try this one. Empty a bag of peanuts into a can of Coke. Drink the Coke and then enoy the deliciously soggy peanuts. I'm going to have to try that soon.
posted by stuart_s at 1:22 PM on October 9, 2004

jonmc, I'm with you -- the idea of Coke for breakfast is revolting. (Not condemning, just describing my reaction.) And I have Southern roots; mischief's reference to sausage biscuits and grits made me drool and long for a huge helping. I'm glad I didn't get exposed to the Coke-in-the-morning thing. And Doritos? Now, that's starting your day off wrong, wrong, wrong. Shame on those parents.
posted by languagehat at 1:37 PM on October 9, 2004

Eating wasn't a ritual in my family when I was a kid. We rarely sat around the table together at fixed times of the day. Instead, when each individual family member was hungry, he fixed himself something and ate it then. I never learned to associate particular foods with times of the day. Now, I continually gross-out my wife by, say, eating soup for breakfast.

I don't drink a lot of cola, but when I do, I drink in whenever.
posted by grumblebee at 2:20 PM on October 9, 2004

My name is floanna and I'm a diet coke addict.

I've been saying for years that I'm addicted to diet coke (I don't like normal coke as it's too sickly) but I'm not addicted to the caffine element. If I get the chance I'll buy the caffine free variety but it's not so freely available. When I'm thirsty I'm more likely to go for a dc rather than water or juice as I find it more refreshing, so therefore, my first drink of the day will be a glass of the usual. I very rarely drink coffee and will only drink tea in the morning if I have enough time and even then it's usually after I've had my fix. Throughout the rest of the day I'll have several cans/500ml bottles and if I go without it I get major cravings. One day I'll get in touch with Coca Cola and force them to spill the beans on the addictive element damn them!

Coca Cola in general has caused a great divide in my home with a Pepsi drinker as it's branded as evil. But then that's another greate corporate debate for another time. Maybe.
posted by floanna at 3:07 PM on October 9, 2004

I drink a coke (C2, actually) first thing in the morning. Or a Red Bull if I really need help.

The reason? Because I can't stand coffee.
posted by mmoncur at 4:13 PM on October 9, 2004

I am with floanna. I drink DC as a rule. I drink beer, DC, water and tea, and that is pretty much it.

I will have to add my support to the "not too much caffeine" camp, and the "briskly refreshing in the morning" camp. I will also add that for anyone who is interested, the Diet Cherry Coke is apparently hopped up on goofballs, and makes both me and my best friend loopy and nuts.
But we are both grad students and found this state of consciousness keenly advantageous for paper-writing and article-reading. So we stock up on it in our offices now.
posted by oflinkey at 4:38 PM on October 9, 2004

Pain Filter

I used to drink a coke every morning with breakfast. And two at lunch. And one in the afternoon. And two with dinner. And bonus- one right before bed.

That's 7x12=94 ounces of coke; No ounces of water. Unless I had the 16 ouncers, but I loved it in cans.

Then I had a kidney stone. Are they related? Possibly.

I will tell you I don't drink coke anymore, drink lots of water, and - yeah, piss quite a bit too. Not from any doctor either; I just don't enjoy it anymore.
posted by filmgeek at 6:02 PM on October 9, 2004

Of course, I only drink about 8 cans of soft drinks a day and a double big gulp pepsi slurpee (occasionally), so perhaps I'm in the minority.

This guy oughta write for a sitcom. That's more than my yearly consumption of soft drinks right there,
posted by dash_slot- at 6:07 PM on October 9, 2004

I'm with punilux--I almost never drink Coke, but back when I was living alone, sometimes I'd get food delivered and they'd throw in a couple free Cokes which I'd stash in the fridge.

The only time I drank them was when I woke up hung over, and then I'd drag myself into the kitchen and drink the Coke and feel much better. It was strange because I never craved Coke, until those mornings when it was exactly what I needed.
posted by hashashin at 6:20 PM on October 9, 2004

I'd no sooner drink a soda in the morning than I'd have a bowl of chicken noodle soup, an ice cream sundae, a glass of sweet tea, or potato chips. And cola...ugh. It is beyond me how anybody can permit such a foul beverage to pass their lips. The smell makes me nauseous -- I assume that if I actually drank it, I would vomit.
posted by waldo at 6:34 PM on October 9, 2004

I'm more disgusted by the fact that they have a bag o' Doritos in the AM with the Coke. Doritos? In the morning? Nice breath for the rest of the day, then.

I used to buy a 20 oz Diet Mtn Dew at 9 in the morning and nurse it till lunch. Now that I'm in Seattle, they've dragged me over to the coffee dark side, but I'm not above the occasional AM Diet Coke.
posted by GaelFC at 6:55 PM on October 9, 2004

I find this irrational perception that there are certain foods that can only be eaten at certain times of the day, and that mixing them up is against the natural order of things or somehow revolting, to be most amusing.
posted by kindall at 8:54 PM on October 9, 2004

Never mind for breakfast - soft drinks (this is what you mean by "sodas", yes?) every day is disgusting. Multiple times even more so.

Google just told me how much 20 fluid ounces is, and now I feel sick.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:56 PM on October 9, 2004

In college, my typical breakfast often included a bag of Cool Ranch (there was no Cooler back then) Doritos and a peach soda, or Mt. Dew if I wanted caffeine. These days I frequently drink iced tea (with or without caffeine) in the morning. If I have coffee, I have it later in the day. After someone else has made it. Like kindall, I find it worthy of giggles to compartmentalize one's life to the extent that certain foodstuffs are only edible after arbitrary points on a clock.

20 ounces seems a lot to you, joe's spleen? It's 1.25 pints or, in a more apt comparison, 2 (American-sized) coffee mugs. Not so much to nurse for an entire morning of working or classes.

1 cup of black coffee, 25 calories.
1.3 liters of soda, 513 calories.

That's nothing close to approaching a useful comparison, because even the most ferocious of soda drinkers don't regularly consume 1.3 liters of soda in the same context and time that coffee drinkers would have one cup. How about this:

Comparison Chart
posted by Dreama at 11:17 PM on October 9, 2004

I can't say that I am surprised, but hearing people talk of drinking all this sugar and shrugging it off as though it's a cute little addiction is frightening to me.

I'm not the complete anti-coke mind you, I have been known to have a carbonated beverage every once and a while. But I tend to avoid it and certainly do not prefer it to plain old juice or water. The "I drink it for the caffeine" argument seems absurd to me, since it contains relatively little compared to coffee. I think it's more a result of the sugar rush combined with a certain amount of the placebo effect. I'm sure that if I gave some of these people a glass water and told them it was a super caffeine drink that they'd start feeling "perkier".

The people that are saying that they are drinking it for the taste or the "clean aftertaste" are making me wonder if the coke I've been drinking all these years was really coke. Are you people serious? I can understand that it is a matter of taste, and there's no refuting that many prefer it, but I just can't seem to accept it. I guess I've been doing it wrong.
posted by mrgavins at 11:30 PM on October 9, 2004

Dreama, luser talks of having 24 ounces of diet Coke on the way to work. That would cause me a lot of physical discomfort from gas alone.

A 20oz of Mountain Dew would appear to provide about 10% of an office worker's daily energy needs on its own. If I weren't to nurse it, but to drink it before it went flat, I'd get nauseous from sugar overload.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:36 PM on October 9, 2004

I used to drink what I thought was a lot of coke - 5 or 6 litres a week (these days I don't drink that much in six months), but - coke for breakfast? "only 8 cans a day"? Wow. I guess you sugar-fiends are all in the US, right?

I've mended my ways - water, juice and tea. I feel a lot better.
posted by cell at 5:01 AM on October 10, 2004

I can't say that I am surprised, but hearing people talk of drinking all this sugar and shrugging it off as though it's a cute little addiction is frightening to me.

I still say I'm addicted to diet (no sugar) coke and it is a physical addiction although not as much as smoking is for me. I'm certainly not shrugging it off as a cute little addiction as it's real to me. It's certainly not a 'must drink DC as soon as I wake up' addiction but I certainly prefer it to tea or coffee first thing and I find fruit juices a little too acidy until later in the day.
posted by floanna at 7:27 AM on October 10, 2004

I go through periods where I crave orange juice in the morning instead (a tall glass of chilled OJ is hard to beat, IMO) but usually I do drink a Coke on the way to work. I try to save coffee for the afternoon, because once I start drinking it in the morning I absolutely can't function without it the next day.

What I drink in the morning can vary, but there's no way I could eat some kind of salty snack food first thing. I'm partial to Kellogg's NutriGrain bars lately, and sometimes I'll have an apple or a couple Clementines or something.
posted by emelenjr at 9:21 AM on October 10, 2004

Dreama, i don't think it's just arbitrary to the clock exactly--i agree it's probably culturally conditioned, but it isn't quite that arbitrary. i think it has more to do with when you wake up and what your stomach can handle or what it craves as you progress through your activities. if i tried to eat a full breakfast first thing in the morning, or extremely processed foods like doritos, i'd probably feel sick the rest of the day. but yes, that's just me.

personally, i'm with the people who are saying ick not just to the notion of this doritos-and-a-ton-of-coke for breakfast, but ick for anything on a daily basis. the thought of consuming doritos period outside of an occasional trashy party atmosphere kind of grosses me out. and i love coke as much as the next person, but drinking 8 to 10 cans worth a day sounds, bad for you. but eh. to each his/her own.

i also had no idea this was a regional phenomenon (always figured it was more generational--i can't imagine anyone out of high school/college drinking coke to wake up in the morning; it has a sort of teenage/twentysomething vibe to it to me). and i do agree that the fizzy clinical coldness of diet coke would make it ideal for waking up. it's just too damn cold here to want that over coffee when i first get out of bed, that's all.
posted by ifjuly at 10:11 AM on October 10, 2004

"ick for anything," i meant ick for that particular meal of doritos and coke on a daily basis, regardless of what time of day
posted by ifjuly at 10:13 AM on October 10, 2004

This guy oughta write for a sitcom. That's more than my yearly consumption of soft drinks right there,

Someone has to make up for all the coke you abstainers don't drink. :-D
posted by shepd at 10:40 AM on October 10, 2004

Funny. I had cold pizza and a diet coke for breakfast today. I don't do it often, but it feels damn good when I do.
posted by esch at 8:03 AM on October 11, 2004

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