Recommend sugar-free sweet drinks that don't have that "diet soda" aftertaste

I’ve recently decided that I need to cut sugary drinks out of my diet for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I’ve started noticing that my urine smells like cotton candy and I’ve been having tingling and hot feelings in my feet, which I understand to be pretty good indications that I’m at best prediabetic. (I’m calling my doctor on Monday to make an appointment.) Secondly, I’ve realized that the sheer number of calories I’m consuming in sugary drinks, while my body could easily handle it when I was younger, is extremely excessive at this stage of my life, and it’s no wonder I’m so overweight when I’m drinking damn near a pound of sugar every day. I’d like to cut as much of that sugar out of my diet as I possibly can.

I’ve been in the habit of drinking a lot of sugar over the course of the day. Typically I’d start the day with a Coke or an energy drink, and over the course of an eight-hour shift at work I’d drink a half-gallon or so of soda or fruit juice that’s just as sugary, and then I’d have a few more after I got off work. That needs to stop. That being said, I don’t think I could bear just drinking plain water all day without getting bored and craving something sugary. I want to be able to enjoy something that tastes sweet without getting all that sugar.

I can’t stand diet soda, though. Aspartame has this horrible aftertaste that just won’t go away and I don’t care for it. Same goes for drinks sweetened with stevia. I’d like to be able to have some fruit juice, but most of them seem to have almost as much sugar in them as the soda I’ve been drinking.

Thus far, I’ve been going with V8 (which has some sugar, but the bottle as a whole has less sugar than a can of Pepsi) and with Mio concentrates, both of which I enjoy, but I’d like to be able to have other things as well. (Mio has an aftertaste too, but it’s not quite as awful as aspartame.) Anyone out there have any recommendations?

Good for you. Sugary drinks are SO bad for you.

I drink diet everything, and I don’t recognize the Aspartame aftertaste that folks talk about. That said, have you tried Crystal Lite?

I make a pitcher of the lemonade flavor and plop in a couple of slices of fresh lemon. Also drop a lemon slice into my 40 oz. water bottle that I take to work every day.

Try Diet Coke Ginger-Lime flavor. I made the switch drinking Diet Coke Lime, but they discontinued it and replaced it with the Ginger-Lime. It’s almost as good. This is really the closest-tasting diet cola to the real thing, in my opinion. It wasn’t hard to make the switch.

If that’s not available, try Pepsi Zero Calorie. Not as good as Diet Coke Lime, but not that hard to get used to. I didn’t try this until I weened myself with the Diet Coke Lime, so maybe my taste had already changed.

And, just for reference, I can’t stand regular Diet Coke because of the metallic after-taste.

To me, the drinks with something other than sugar do all taste bad. So I just don’t drink sweet drinks. Or rarely, at least. (No, I have not tried every single one, and I don’t care to.)

I have a sodastream unit that I converted to larger CO2 canisters. I like carbonated water with a squeeze of lemon or lime. Zero sugar, zero sugar substitute.

Taste is a very individual thing. One person might love a certain diet beverage but it might make another person want to hurl.

All you can do is sort out the options based on sweetener and try one of each type for a given flavor. (E.g., try lemon-lime, if you like that, in each category.)

You can try Zevia, it does taste a bit off, but not chemically off like artificial sweeteners. Their tonic water is pretty good with gin.

Here is a Wikipedia article on diet drink sweeteners:

And when I feel like soft drink, I make it with some fruit juice or cordial (Bickfords, I don’t know whether they have that overseas) and topped up with soda water. I don’t use that much of the flavouring so it’s kind of “weak”. Way less sugary than real soft drink which is like drinking syrup, but it’s still sweet and fizzy.
The rest of the time, I have plain water. I got an ice machine. Cold water is way nicer than warm in a hot climate like ours. When you wean yourself off the sugary drinks, you’ll find them pretty revolting if you do have one.

Diet lipton ice tea, specially the mixed berry flavor.

Try the diet sodas that are not colas, sprite, orange, ginger ale.

Coke Zero Sugar is nearly indistinguishable from Coke. Flavor, syrupiness, aftertaste, etc. If anything, it’s a tad “lighter” on the aftertaste than regular Coke. The old Coke Zero had it’s own (totally superior) taste, but CZS is almost exactly like Coke.

Also, Gatorade now has a Zero Calorie line in addition to the G2 low cal/low carb line. The Lemon-Lime Zero tastes great. The Glacier Cherry tastes fantastic. I haven’t tried the Orange, but going by the L-L I assume it tastes exactly like regular Orange.

Seltzer water of your choice with a dash of cranberry juice (not cranberry cocktail). Unadulterated cranberry juice is low sugar and a little goes a long way.

Understand that there is no such thing as an artificial sweetener that tastes just like sugar. If there were, there would be no competition among brands and chemicals.

I really like Zevia. For me, I haven’t noticed it tasting “off” in anyway. That may be because I went from drinking Aspartame sweetened diet sodas to Zevia and other stevia sweetened drinks, so the taste improved.

Snapple Diet Raspberry hides the taste well.

I always though Diet Dr. Pepper tasted the least artificial of the diet sodas.

Ice Tea with Truvia doesn’t really have an artificial taste, it is sweet with a minty hint.

Me, I enjoyed Diet A&W Rootbeer & Cream Soda, but they have that “diet soda” aftertaste.

Seltzer. There’s a great variety of flavored seltzers out there and they’re showing up everywhere.

No sugar, and not sweet, but the carbonation and flavoring gives it a lot of character.

The artifical taste in Diet Dr. Pepper is still too much for me.

Now when you could still get Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper around here, that worked for me. But they don’t distribute it everywhere any more, so the only time I see it is in one of those fast-food soft-drink machines where you have dozens of choices.

I just make up sweet tea with Splenda at home, and take a half-gallon jug of it in to work each week to drink with my lunch. I’ll have the occasional sugared beverage when on the road, but that’s about it.

If you’re a Coke drinker, drink something diet other than a cola. My gateway diet drinks were Cherry 7-Up and Canada Dry Ginger Ale. Don’t drink anything with sugar. If you stick with it, eventually, you’ll get used to the way diet drinks taste and sugar drinks will taste off. Then you can switch to a cola if you like caffeine.

No one I’ve ever met liked the taste of diet drinks immediately. It’s an acquired taste, if you are determined to acquire it.

I use Splenda regularly as a sweetener, to the extent that I carry packs with me when I go out since I can’t be sure that all restaurants have it. I could never drink any no-cal sweetener in the past because of the aftertaste. Splenda - for me, at least - doesn’t have one.

Lots of commercial products now sweeten with Splenda, called sucralose in the ingredients list. My favorite is Arizona Arnold Palmer Lite Half & Half (lemonade and ice tea). It contains some calories because sugar is used for the lemonade, but a zero calorie variety is available.

Yeah, I was going to recommend sucralose (aka Splenda) as well. While it’s less sharp (for lack of a better term) than sugar, I find it doesn’t have an aftertaste like Aspertame does. (And aspertame is better than pretty much all the rest.)

Also, diet sodas all work better chilled. It seems to me that the fizz works better that way.

That said, I would really love it if I found something that either tasted like sugar, or they were able to add back that sharpness I talk about.