Fat-Burning Soda Could Be the Makeover It Needs -- But Does It Work?

soda cansPoor soda. Soda has been getting a bad rap lately. Soda gets blamed for making people fat, diabetic, and generally unhealthy. And New York City's Mayor Bloomberg has outlawed giant sodas. Is it any wonder that soda suddenly has an inferiority complex?

Now soda companies seem to be trying to reinvent themselves -- or at least give their products a bit of a makeover. In fact, the biggest two have just introduced new concepts, both very different from each other, but both trying to come across as healthy-ish. Let's see how well they're pulling it off.


First up, there's "Pepsi Special," a fat-blocking version of the soda that contains dextrin. Dextrin is a carbohydrate that seems to help reduce body fat and cholesterol levels according to some studies. But it's also been known to cause tummy-aches and gas. Anyway, Pepsi Special is only sold in Japan so far, so you'll have to go far out of your way to sample it. But I'm not a fan of "pleasure" foods that masquerade as "healthy" foods in general. It sounds like Japan will be classifying Pepsi Special as a sort of nutritional supplement-type food.

And in the other corner we have the Coca-Cola calorie counter. It's ... not actually a product sold in stores. It's on Coca-Cola's UK website. You plug in the Coke product you just consumed and they tell you how many calories you now need to burn off -- and how you can burn them. For example, a can of regular Coke has 139 calories and you'll need to do aerobics for 22 minutes to burn them off. (Okay, but are those killer Jillian Michaels aerobics or are those "hiding at the back of the room and just barely moving" aerobics?)

So! Fat-burning soda or burning fat? I think it's kind of cool how Coke puts the calories in context so it's not just a number -- and then you can make a choice based on that info. But I think people will be more tempted by the fat-burning soda. I wonder, if Pepsi Special hits it big in Japan, could it move here and become the new green tea? Er ... maybe not.

Do you like either of these healthy soda ideas?


Image via nicoleleec/Flickr

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