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April 2, 2011 12:51 PM   Subscribe

Is there a quick and easy way to tell if the soda I am drinking is diet or not?

I loves me some diet cherry limeades from a certain fast food establishment. They're made with diet Sprite, sugar free cherry syrup, and lime juice.

Having worked at said establishment in the past, I know that while you do try to make diets diet, accidents do happen and once in awhile you'll send someone driving off with a full-sugar drink when they asked for diet.

I've grown accustomed to the taste, to the point where I can't immediately tell if it's diet or not. Consuming 32 ounces of a sugary soda drink is not something I'm super keen to do regularly. Is there a quick and easy test I can do with my drink to discover if it's actually diet? Do Mentos fizz up with any diet drink or just Diet Coke?
posted by almostmanda to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I love that drink too....mmmmm. You can use a glucose test strip such as Tes-Tape.
posted by iconomy at 12:54 PM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

non-diet soda is a lot stickier on your lips
posted by planet at 1:23 PM on April 2, 2011

This is sort of subjective, but usually the bubbles go down quicker in diet drinks. They act more like seltzer bubbles, where full-sugar bubbles act a bit more like beer bubbles.
posted by gjc at 1:23 PM on April 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

A sugary drink will leave a sticky residue on whatever it touches. A diet drink tends not to do that. Probably the quickest test would be to wet the palms of your hands with a little of the liquid, rub them together, and see whether your hands feel unpleasantly sticky.

The sugar in the lime juice might just throw things off a bit though.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:39 PM on April 2, 2011

There is a particularly flatter taste for me and it's usually a little bit sweeter.
posted by duddes02 at 1:40 PM on April 2, 2011

A can of diet soda will float in water...while regular will sink.

That's what I gathered from the internet.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:46 PM on April 2, 2011

My wife is diabetic and she can taste it instantly when they give her sugared soda. I suspect you'll know it if you get cup full of sugar and you are not used to drinking the sugary stuff.
posted by COD at 1:47 PM on April 2, 2011 [4 favorites]

I drink a lot of diet soda, and sometimes I can't tell if what I have is diet or not. If I'm with someone who's drinking a non-diet soda, I'll take a sip of that to make sure we each have the right thing, and the non-diet soda always tastes definitely not diet.

If you typically drink diet drinks, order order one, and can't immediately tell whether it's diet, it's probably diet. If it's sugared, your reaction will likely be more along the lines of "whoo boy, that's not diet."
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:17 PM on April 2, 2011

I get that mistakes sometimes happen, but I wouldn't think they would happen often enough to impact your health or your weight...or to justify purchasing/carrying around glucose test strips with you. That would totally do the trick scientifically, but would feel obsessive to me. I think it's important to balance your desire not to ingest a bunch of sugar with not getting overly focused on things like this.

I agree with trying a sip of someone else's not-diet drink if you're really concerned; I can easily tell the difference between the two as well. Or try double-checking with the server when they give you your drink - "This is diet, right?" - just as an extra precaution.
posted by LizzyBee at 2:30 PM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Regular soda leaves a vile crust of sugar on my teeth after about 10 sips. Diet soda does not.
posted by elizardbits at 3:20 PM on April 2, 2011 [3 favorites]

If you typically drink diet drinks, order order one, and can't immediately tell whether it's diet, it's probably diet. If it's sugared, your reaction will likely be more along the lines of "whoo boy, that's not diet."

Yes. I often patronize the same establishment and order the same drink, and have sometimes worried about this - but I'm almost positive that's only because I drink regular soda so infrequently that I forget how distinctive it is. Whenever I do drink a sugared soda, I'm immediately overwhelmed by the sugariness, so I assume that would be the case for my diet cherry limeades.
posted by something something at 3:31 PM on April 2, 2011

Best answer: Ask someone else to try a sip. If they are not diet drinkers, they will make faces.
posted by freshwater at 4:52 PM on April 2, 2011 [6 favorites]

Seconding freshwater's comment. It sounds kinda silly, but it's by far the most effective technique I can think of. I used to drink diet soda all the time because that's what my parents kept in the house. Sometimes I would be unable to tell the difference when I was at a restaurant unless I had both diet and regular to compare. When I went to college, I stopped drinking the diet stuff entirely. And now I can tell instantly if it's diet soda. Someday the diet sodas will get rid of those funny tastes, and this won't work anymore, but until then...
posted by ErWenn at 7:29 PM on April 2, 2011

My admittedly ineffective method is "did that just give me a giant migraine? Guess it was diet."
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:19 AM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

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