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View Full Version : Iced Tea versus Soda, does it really matter?



sdfilmcritic
03-24-2005, 03:38 AM
I realized this morning upon visiting a fast food drive-thru the only options they have for drinks to go with the meals is soda and iced tea. In your opinion is there any difference health wise between ordering one drink versus the other?

Soda is bad for you because of the carbonation and the sugar. Most brewed iced tea drinks have caffeine in it, which is also bad for the body, but it doesn't have sugar or carbonation.

Insert your opinions here.

Drince88
03-24-2005, 04:05 AM
As far as "better for you", I'd think iced tea would be better than regular pop, strictly due to the sugar (assuming you're not getting sweet tea, then that comparison goes out the window, but I'm not sure if fast food places in the South, even, carry sweet tea). The caffeine content would depend on how they make it (and is it totally watered down or not).

With iced tea, though, unless it's the middle of summer, some places don't go through that much and so it can sit around for a while - and I'm sure I've had some that has been around more than a day. That, and some times it's so strong you need to cut it half with water, and other times it looks like the splashed a little coke in with water, it makes me hesitate to get iced tea at fast food places.

(Though I drink diet, so the sugar argument goes out the door, though I'm sure it's better for me to not drink the nutrasweet.)

I know at McDs you can get bottled water (though not necessarily as part of the "meal").

sdfilmcritic
03-24-2005, 04:20 AM
With iced tea, though, unless it's the middle of summer, some places don't go through that much and so it can sit around for a while - and I'm sure I've had some that has been around more than a day.Now I'm afraid to visit the restaurants and fast food joints in Louisiana. (That's where you live, right?) The food handling laws in California don't exactly allow food and drink to just sit around all day and night like that.

Drince88
03-24-2005, 04:32 AM
Now I'm afraid to visit the restaurants and fast food joints in Louisiana. (That's where you live, right?) The food handling laws in California don't exactly allow food and drink to just sit around all day and night like that.
I don't think I've had iced tea in fast food places since moving here - I used to live in Portland, OR -- and I don't think it's just sitting around all day - it's in the metal container thing with the spigot at the bottom. Those generally aren't chilled. I'd be surprised if even California required iced tea to be kept at a specific temperature (closed, yes). I'm also really picky about the freshness of my tea and don't DARE try to sell me iced tea you made from a powder!

And if you do visit the New Orleans area, the only "acceptable" fast food place for a visitor to eat at is Popeye's! We have too many great places to eat. (Though I'm not even sure if there's a Popeye's in the Quarter - there might be a McDs, on Canal, though)

sdfilmcritic
03-24-2005, 04:59 AM
{singing} Gotta love that chicken at Popeye's!

kadiehl
03-24-2005, 09:00 AM
I would think that regular tea would be better for you than a pop. But if you add sugar to your tea (like I like to) then you are defeating the purpose and might as well have gotten a pop.

Lani
03-24-2005, 09:37 AM
In all honesty, neither soda nor iced tea is very good for you:

Soda: The carbonation supposedly leeches calcium from your bones, so it's not very good for women. Unless it's DIET soda, there is an INCREDIBLE amount of sugar in just one serving of soda. And the "medium" soda at most fast-food joints is closer to 2 or 3 servings of soda. Basically, soda is just a vehicle to get liquefied sugar into your system fast. Diet soda isn't nearly as bad in that respect, although most of them have caffeine, which isn't good.

Iced tea: Loaded with caffeine. Not good for you in that respect, because it does NOT count toward your daily intake of water because the more you drink, the more diuretic components you are putting into your system (read: makes you pee more).

Advertised or not, most fast food places WILL give you a cup of water. Ask them to get you a large-size cup full of ice and water. Yummy! You can ask them to put in a slice of lemon if they serve such things.

Some places also have a plain-soda (carbonated water) tab on their soda dispensers. If you like soda because you like the carbonation, you can ask for bubbly water. In a tall glass with lots of ice, club soda is absolutely yummy. And while it's carbonated, it has no caffeine and no sugar. AND no artificial sweetener to keep you psychologically hooked on the sweet taste.

PS: By iced tea, I'm assuming you mean fresh brewed, not sweetened iced tea. As yummy as those are, they are just as full of sugar as soda is.

marktips
03-24-2005, 09:57 AM
A note: Root Beer is the only thing approved by dentists because it wont destroy your teeth. It lacks the acids of soda (particularly citrus flavors) and the staining power of tea/coffee (which have weaker acids).

ericles
03-24-2005, 10:18 AM
I didn't know that about Root Beer. I've got a different take on this, I enjoy a cup of coffee every morning, or tea-black or herbal - what's up with hot tea? Is it still the fact that if I put sugar in it it's still not good.
I guess I know that already - hard to give up a cup of coffee/tea in the am!

Question - Some of the ladies on the office use Splenda....I've always used real sugar, not Equal or Sweet & Low. Something about that stuff doesn't seem right to me - if I'm gonna have sugar at least it should be real ;) anyway - is splenda any different from Equal or Sweet & Low?

I've never been a soda person...i can't seem to remember the last time I've even had a sip of soda pop.

Mark Goldhaber
03-24-2005, 05:13 PM
I try to stay away from soda in most cases, since it has a tendency to send me rocketing off the walls if I drink too much of it. I can usually convince the fast food places to give me bottled water instead of a soda. Sometimes I have to pay a few extra cents, but I still think it's worth it.

MrsG
03-24-2005, 08:28 PM
McD's will give you bottled water as part of the "meal deal" for a few cents more. And their ice tea is really pretty good, at least when I've ordered it. When I order iced tea it is usually my only caffeine drink of the day. So I don't consider it bad since I don't add any sweetener.

Lani
03-24-2005, 08:46 PM
Question - Some of the ladies on the office use Splenda....I've always used real sugar, not Equal or Sweet & Low. Something about that stuff doesn't seem right to me - if I'm gonna have sugar at least it should be real ;) anyway - is splenda any different from Equal or Sweet & Low?Splenda is the brand name for sucralose. Sucralose is a derivative of sucrose... sugar. If I recall correctly, they'removed one atom from sucrose, so that it still retained the sweetness of sugar, but removed its ability to be absorbed by the body. This is why for most people, Splenda tastes exactly like sugar (albeit a little sweeter; you don't need as much). There is no bitter aftertaste like you get with other artificial sweeteners.

sleepyjeff
03-24-2005, 11:20 PM
Stay away from artificial sweeteners---they are worse then sugar in the long run. If you just can't have sugar but want sweet try stevia ; it is natural and super super sweet. It tastes good in coffee, cereal, and even on pancakes...but it is at its best when used in tea(both iced and hot). You can't find it in the sweetener/baking section of your local supermarket but you can find it in the fiber section of most pharmacies/health food stores.

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sdfilmcritic
03-25-2005, 01:35 AM
PS: By iced tea, I'm assuming you mean fresh brewed, not sweetened iced tea. As yummy as those are, they are just as full of sugar as soda is.Yes, I am referring to freshly brewed iced tea and not the sweetened stuff. I'm not very big on the sweetened tea drinks, although I'll have them once in a great while.

TrekkieDad
03-25-2005, 08:46 AM
There's a lot of buzz lately about the effects of caffeine, many of them positive, especially for older adults and endurance athletes. Children are another matter, though.

As for the much-ballyhooed diuretic effect: some claim it is no more than drinking the equivalent amount of plain water, others say it's more than compensated for by the amount of liquid you drink to get your "dose."

For most adults, moderate caffeine consumption is not a problem and is often beneficial. Coffee and tea have other beneficial ingredients, as well.

YMMV, but I vote for tea over soda.

Andrew
03-25-2005, 09:38 AM
Apparently caffiene is an effective appetite suppressant, and diet soda has zero calories. Something to keep in mind.

timl33
03-25-2005, 10:39 AM
I realized this morning upon visiting a fast food drive-thru the only options they have for drinks to go with the meals is soda and iced tea.


You can't order lemonade or Hi-C? Those should be available.

sdfilmcritic
03-25-2005, 01:22 PM
You can't order lemonade or Hi-C? Those should be available.Some places yes, other places no. Not every restaurant and fast food joint carries the same inventory. I could go to, let's say, In-N-Out and get lemonade, but I can't from McDonald's.

sleepyjeff
03-25-2005, 07:31 PM
Hey! The McDonalds up here in Portland have both HI C and Lemondade :)

SCUBAbe
03-26-2005, 12:10 PM
Now I'm afraid to visit the restaurants and fast food joints in Louisiana. (That's where you live, right?) The food handling laws in California don't exactly allow food and drink to just sit around all day and night like that.

ummm the drinks do. At OG the ice tea and raspberry lemonade sits out all day on top of the side stations. (salad dressing does to. You just have to trust they are not to busy to keep it iced down.) Sometimes ice was put in it to keep it cool. The main supply is kept refrigerated, but the containers it was served out of was just iced down occasionally. What was worse was when they found all the mold and slime in the pour spouts. They had to be soaked in this chemical, but when I quit they had stopped doing that. As a bartender I had to clean the bar and we really cleaned it well, but we still missed a part in the shaved ice machine thats used for mixed frozen drinks. We just weren't aware that the disinfectant that we put in it nightly was not totally cleaning it. We always scored an A though. :)

Also OG used the old fashion way of washing their bar glasses and when it got busy on weekend nights the bartenders did not change the water...they would just had more soap to the tepid dirty water. When I opened on Sunday mornings the bar glasses hanging up all had a film over them. It was so gross.

(on a side note I don't eat out much anymore. I've seen to much. I have to be away from home to eat out a sit down restaurant now. It's very rare that I will choose to dine out when I can just go home and make something. I also have low tolerance for slow service and 90% of the time thats what we get up here in the AV.)