Watch: cartoon about man's withdrawal from his addiction to Coca Cola

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8 cans of coke a cola. 39 grams of sugar per can equals 312 grams of sugar, that’s 0.687842 of a pound of sugar or 11.0055 onces in a day. WTF!


Yep, that was me, too. Way back when, I would drink up to four liters/day of diet Coke or Pepsi, and then wonder why I had frequent arrhythmia. If I missed my fix, I’d get soul-destroying, incapacitating, medication-resistant migraines. I kicked by finally going cold-turkey on the soda, while at the same time regulating my caffeine intake over a month or so by taking gradually-diminishing amounts of No-Doz pills. Now I have a cup of coffee in the morning, and stay away from caffeine the rest of the day. That stuff will destroy your life.


I feel sooooo much better when I’m caffeine free.

This video was beautifully done, almost too much so for its topic.


That animation was stunning.

My deep, dark confession: I love caffeine-free Diet Coke. And Pepsi.


I drink caffeinated tea and coffee all day until the evening. I won’t touch soda. That stuff is poison. It also tastes revolting.

Animation was stunning.

People who tell their kids they’ll burn in hell are monsters. But I’m not clear what that has to do with soda consumption.


Great animation.

I had a similar habit: up to 12 cans of Dr Pepper a day. I quit in June of 1998 because I was a broke college student and couldn’t afford to drink that much of my food budget. I had no idea what I was in for. Two weeks of blurry vision and migraines later and I had made a firm decision to be off caffeinated drinks forever. I still eat some chocolate and occasional coffee-flavored ice cream, plus a rare decaf latte now and again, but never a caffeinated soda. I even try to avoid coffee beers. We all have our demons. Nothing tastes the same as a freshly opened can of Coke, but I haven’t succumbed. Caffeine-free versions really do suffer from the missing ingredient, it adds a unique bitterness.


ahh the joys of caffeine withdrawal.
i weaned myself off it completely at one time after ditching cold turkey with the first migraine.
i quit drinking 2+ cokes a day after that. it isn’t the soda/sugar it is the caffeine.


OK. I had a similar high school problem too. Albeit, it was not-as-bad as this narrator’s. But here’s what I never understood:

Coke is about 35mg of caffeine per serving. Coffees can vary a lot but at the low-end they start about 130mg and go up from there. Using 200mg for coffee as an average though (that’s one large Timmy’s), it takes 6 cokes to make that one coffee but unlike the coffee, the cokes would be spread out. I’m not advocating for teenagers drinking either but as a society, we don’t think as much about the 1 coffee versus the 6 cokes though. What makes it so much worse?

So is it:

  1. the mix of caffeine and sugar in colas?
  2. the constant feed of drinking colas?
  3. some other rotgut in the colas?
  4. something else?
  5. all of the above?

PS: Caffeine amounts based on numbers from this site:
Which isn’t all that different from what I found on back in the day


I had/have this same addiction. I believe it’s the sugar / caffeine combo. If I drink just one Dr Pepper or Coke, I don’t get a headache - but that’s only around 40 to 50mg!. If I miss that can, by noon I have a headache.

But even though I think the sugar and caffeine work together somehow, I have found the solution to withdrawal is caffiene pills. A 100 mg caffeine pill in the morning and no headaches. For some people, maybe you need 200mg. Do that for a week and then start cutting your pills into halves or quarters and work your way down to 75mg, 50 mg, 25 mg. At 25mg for a week or two, you’re ready to go cold turkey, no migraines.

You would think a similar thing would be possible with soda cans - get yourself down to one can and you should be ready to quit. But that’s, first of all, incredibly challenging. One can leads to two cans, and maybe I’ll just have another with dinner since I already had two today, and so on. And second, it doesn’t seem to work - at least for me.


I’ll ask you the same question I have for the video’s narrator: Why not taper off?

It ain’t the fall the kills you; it’s the sudden stop at the bottom. Did you consider going down the stairs?


A standard ‘cup’ of coffee is supposed to be 6oz. A “large Timmy’s” is 16oz? and that is more than one ‘cup’ of coffee. According to this chart, 12oz of Folgers (or a basic bog standard drip) is 60-80mg of caffeine so umm yes one can of Coke is one cup of coffee if you are going strictly by the caffeine content.
And quitting 8+ cups a day cold turkey is going to give you some fucking painful headaches.


Worked great for me, many years ago. 75% - 50% - 25% and done. No pain at all.


Tapering down works for me too. Otherwise, it’s not much easier to quit than tabacky, and maybe even more painful.


No biggie but FYI there’s an issue with the embed tag for Vimeo videos on the blog interface ( The video isn’t centered properly. Not sure if this is the person to notify? @codinghorror @orenwolf

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for BB issues proper tell @orenwolf

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I quit coke as a teenager after a period of unlimited access at work. The “high” I was getting from my brain’s reward center along with warm shivers and watery eyes were warning enough and I had unhealthy habits enough already.

I don’t know much about this guy but some of the slides from this UCSF lecture (2009?) on sugar science are pretty interesting:



That was exactly the way I kicked caffiene. I have the same problem regulating the amount of soda, so the easily-calibrated pills did the trick.


I see where you’re going and I do appreciate the answer. If what “a coffee” was as standard as you say, it makes sense.

But I still don’t think it answers the question because coffee can vary way more than coke can and as can human perception of what a “serving size” is. For most people, it’s whatever’s in the beverage-sized holder. On the same list you sent me, the only thing listed at 6oz is a coffee flavoured yogurt. Also, Folgers and Maxwell are definitely on the weak end of that spectrum. I’d be with you if I thought that’s all people drank or that they were as aware of comparing serving sizes as well as you are.

So, 200mg is kind of a median value in a really inaccurate comparison system, to be sure. If you asked my Mum or my Dad if Starbucks coffee had as much caffeine in it as Folgers, they’d probably think so. They also probably couldn’t tell you what a serving size is except it’s the size of whatever cup they like.

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At 1h29m, I will take your tl;dw crib notes as I have heard similar speak in the past of the issues around fructose. Particularly, the doc Sugar Coated comes to mind (

I’m guessing then the suggestion is that it’s just a two-prong problem then: caffeine (enough) and fructose (like 1000 extra calories or more per day for multiple cans).

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