Top 10 Best Diet Sodas

soda

First, before you roast me for talking about diet soda and exclaim how it is killing me, read this.

Basically, if you don’t drink a ton of it and still maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s not bad for you. Who knew?

I prefer “diet” or “zero sugar” type sodas because of their perceived sweetness without impacting my glycemic index and adding to my overall daily calories. I would even go as far to say that I prefer the taste over traditional, full-sugar sodas. I enjoy a good soda pop but I don’t want to me left feeling like I just ate a bag of skittles.

Lost of love here for Coca-Cola company, and not so much for PepsiCo.
I’m staying with widely available selections in the US and not considering any seasonal or special editions.
Before you ask, yes Diet and Zero/Zero Sugar products actually taste different and are sold simultaneously.

  1. Coke Zero Sugar
    Nickname: CZ
    The number one. This is the best. Even more now than before. Formally known as Coke Zero, they reformulated it last year to taste better and more like Coke (was it less good before?) This is my go-to drink. Don’t think it can ever be beat… until they change it again.
  2. Diet Mountain Dew
    Nothing like regular Mountain Dew. It has it’s own flavor and is pretty much the same as it was back in the 90s when it was made with just NutraSweet.
  3. Diet Dr. Pepper
    Nickname: DDP
    Bitey and peppery just like the non-diet, but somehow better. Recently Dr. Pepper has released Zero Sugar, which I haven’t had enough to make a decision. Does anyone remember Dr. Pepper 10?
  4. Coke Cherry Zero Sugar
    Just like CZ but adds a little twist of cherry.
  5. Diet Coke
    Nickname: DC
    Reminds me of childhood McDonald’s drive-thru trips just to get a large Diet Coke.
  6. Pepsi Zero Sugar
    The best Pepsi, which isn’t saying much.
  7. Mountain Dew Zero
    Not like Diet Mountain Dew, more like regular Mountain Dew, but somehow more caffeine.
  8. Sunkist Orange Zero Sugar
    Nickname: Sunkist
    This one is hard to tell the difference between diet and not, and for orange soda, that’s a good thing.
  9. Vernor’s Diet Ginger Ale
    Nickname: Vernors
    The hardest on the list to find, but seems to keep on living and showing up where I least expect it. Classic vanilla-ginger taste.
  10. Sprite Zero Sugar
    Basically flavored seltzer. Refreshing and bubbly, unlike the syrupy mess that is regular Sprite.
stacked cans of soda

There you have it, the Beard Blog top 10 diet sodas, that no one asked for!

Check out more Beard Blog Top 10s

When You Have a TV Size Hole in Your Heart

broken heart on broken TV

Have you ever been so enamored with a TV show that when it’s over you feel like something is now missing from your life? Me too!

Like any other summer, my wife and I are watching less TV. Entertainment schedulers know this and make less new content available during the warmer months. Because we’re watching less and want to spend more time enjoying the weather, we gravitate towards shorter, less complicated, TV series. Usually sitcoms that are around 30 minutes are the sweet spot because of the usual large amount of episodes available and easy viewing.

This summer we are getting daily doses of Parks and Recreation. Yes, the same Parks and Recreation show that first aired in 2008 on NBC. Having only seen a few episodes here and there we decided to watch the entire series, in order. We’ve done this previously with shows like Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, and Modern Family.

HIMYM cast
The main cast of How I Met Your Mother

Last spring, summer, and fall we watched How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM). All 208 episodes. That show took me by surprise with how witty, heartfelt, and relatable it was. Even a year after completing the watch-through, I stand by it being the best network comedy show of all time. When the show ended, not only were we looking for a new regular show to watch, it felt like something was missing. Over the previous eight or so months, the show was a major part of our lives. When it was gone, there was a hole.

Not all TV shows, movies, or entertainment can make you feel this way. In fact, there’s probably only a few in your lifetime. I don’t think it’s wrong to feel this way either. The creators and actors of the show want you to feel. They write and act it in a way to invoke emotion. Different shows will hit with different people but there was something about the story and characters of HIMYM that imprinted on me. After we watched the entire series I took a long look at my life. Obviously one of those introspections was ”why am I having any feelings about a dumb TV show?” Someday I’ll write about the emotions that came out of this or start a feelings blog where I can really go there.

ron swanson gif
Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) is my favorite TV character to date.

We’re about half way through Parks and Recreation and while I don’t feel this will have the huge impact on me like HIMYM, I’m already dreading the end. These TV shows, allow me to escape for 20-ish minutes and live in their fun-quirky world. The end is always disappointing and never what you think it should be. We’ve even avoided watching final episodes in a series so that we can feel that it’s never really over and we will always have just one more episode. Schitt’s Creek is a great example of this. We’ve never finished it even though we loved the series. Someday we’ll go back and spend time with the Rose’s again.

Parks and Rec is a show that I looked over for many years because I thought of it as a bad spinoff of The Office. While some of that is true, it’s very good on its own. If it continues at its current pace, in my perspective, it will be top-10 best shows of all time. Another someday project is list my top-10 best TV shows of all time.

What are some shows that made you feel this way? We’re always looking for another TV series to add to our summer playlist. Usually we look for something that we haven’t seen the entirety of and has a long run. If you haven’t yet watched How I Met Your Mother or Parks and Recreation, you should.

Additional great TV show recommendations:

Love – Netflix
Seinfeld – Netflix
King of Queens – Paramount+
The Office – Peacock
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Hulu