My Week Without Dr Pepper

Dr Pepper, DP, a pepper, the devil’s syrup, whatever you want to call it, I’m addicted to that beautiful brown fizzy liquid. And, really, there’s no way to rationalize how much of it I drink… The average American drinks about 44.7 gallons of soda per year, which is roughly about 15.5 ounces of the stuff per day. In all my glory, I drink a little more than double that average – sitting pretty at a nice 36 ounces of my beloved Dr Pepper throughout each day. Occasionally I’ve wondered if I’d be able to stop my soda intake and substitute it all for water. And I’m really not too sure. So what better way to find out than to torture myself for a week and actually do it? Here’s my log of my week without Dr Pepper (or any soda for that matter).


  1. Cannot drink ANY Dr Pepper for a week. No exceptions.
  2. Must drink at least 36 fluid oz. of water each day.
  3. Cannot drink coffee or energy drinks. Cannot eat energy bars. No substitutions of caffeine.
  4. Must update my journey for my lovely readers often.


Friday, October 16, 2015.

5:18 p.m.

So far, I’ve felt pretty in control of my choice. I got water at lunch after literally having my cup under the Dr Pepper spout, but I decided I was better than that – old habits die hard.  Interestingly, I am already developing a headache, truly not sure if this is because I am stressed about work or because I am without my coping mechanism for the world. My little fizzy companion. I’ll keep an update on my headache and whether or not it strengthens.

I’m also kind of ridiculously tired. I got 8 hours of sleep last night, which is the equivalent to winning the lottery for a college student. I don’t know what’s wrong. Maybe it’s the lack of caffeine…? Oh no. I hope not.

I’ll check in after my next meal. And after I drink some more WATER.


7:32 p.m.

I came up to the soda machine and my mouth literally got ready for the sweetness it knew it was going to have. Then I filled my cup with water and I think a little part of me died inside. Worst of all, my friend got Dr Pepper. Yes, I would classify this as cruel and unusual punishment. It looked SO RIPE.

In case you were wondering, soda is ripe when it’s really sweet – oftentimes this occurs when the syrup in the machine is new. Usually it’s darker and fizzier. To give you a reference point, soda would be classified as unripe when all that comes out of the spout is seltzer water. And if you’ve ever experienced this, you know pain.

I have stayed strong thus far and have drank my 36 fluid oz. of water today. I’ve honestly drank more water today than I probably have in weeks. I’m so gross. But I’m going to get less gross each day!

The headache has gotten a little better, I don’t think it’s due to soda withdrawal. At least not yet…  But while it may not be my brain that’s begging for it, my tongue is in complete crave-mode.

I’m also still so very tired, but I must go on.

Will report on the morrow or if a serious craving comes along.


October 17, 2015

1:17 p.m.

The night went along pretty well as there were no serious cravings. Although, I did get a snack from a little eatery on my campus and I had to tear my eyes away from the soda case. It was weird to eat a buffalo chicken sandwich without my trusty doctor. But, I did it!

I worked this morning (I work at a café) and there is a soda case there as well. My eyes stole glances at the bottles in there. But, alas, I only sipped water. No fizz.

To be honest, this only drinking water thing continues to get harder. The more of it I drink, the harder it is to go down! It’s beginning to get kind of old. Having water used to be so nuanced to me. It’s weird that it’s normal now…. But, I’m sticking with it! Hoping that once I get over the hump, water will begin to go down like, well, water.


October 18, 2015

11:37 a.m.

Let me be the first to admit that last night was very difficult.

I was out getting pizza with some friends and what do you drink with pizza? Soda, obviously. But, no, I was being strong. I am doing this. Then, everyone orders soda and I’m last to order. It’s so hard to stay strong, the menu is looking at me with all the options and, if I wasn’t sweating, it felt like it. The waitress had gone over the drink choices just prior too. I was salivating at the thought of getting some Dr Pepper in me.

She asked, “And what could I get for you?”

Dr Pepper, Dr Pepper, Dr Pepper…. “Water.”

I had done it! I was still Dr Pepper free. BUT AT WHAT COST! Was I happy?

Eh. I mean, I’m happy I made the better and healthier choice. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t ridiculously envious of everyone else though. But, I’m getting through. I’m doing it.

I’ll continue to strive to keep my life watered down, in the best way possible.


11:41 p.m.

There were root beer floats in my dining hall today. If that’s not torture, I don’t know what is.

Moral of the story: I had a bit of one… BUT! The root beer we have has no caffeine and it was not Dr Pepper! Still, I am ashamed.

Hopefully, to make up for it, I am trying to drink the correct amount of water for myself to be a well-functioning human being – about 72ish fluid oz. I’m not quite hitting the target yet, but I’m getting close. Maybe water-drinkers will know: does there ever come a point where I don’t have to go to the bathroom constantly? Or is that just going to be part of my life now?

I have realized that I feel more awake more quickly, which I’m thinking might be due to my water intake. If that’s the case, I definitely want to keep drinking a higher amount of water. I really am feeling much better with my energy level and ability to focus. I’m super interested to test my awareness in class this upcoming week to see if I notice any change in there too.

This little stint of three days of furthered water drinking has definitely opened my eyes. And my urethra, apparently.

Please don’t condemn me for my moment of weakness! Ice cream AND soda? If you could’ve said no, you are a far greater person than I.

Will report tomorrow!


October 19, 2015

4:33 p.m.

Drinking water has gotten much easier in just the last day. Also, the bathroom visits haven’t been as regular. Not sure if this is just coincidental or if this means my body is getting more accustomed to the amount of water I’m drinking. Either way, I’m glad I’m not living in the bathroom as much.

The craving for Dr Pepper is definitely getting stronger, especially as people find out I’m quitting it cold turkey. They literally gasp. It’s kind of sad to think that’s how dependent it seems for me! The Dr Pepper still stares at me whenever it’s near me. I wonder when that will stop…

I’m super interested if it’ll taste better or worse than what I remember once I sip on it again. I hear horror stories from people who quit soda and then have it again and can barely stomach it. I couldn’t imagine feeling disgusted by my old friend. But who knows, it could happen.

I’m really impressed with myself for staying as strong as I have and for drinking as much water as I do now. Surprisingly, I’m not as desperate for soda as I thought I’d be at this point. And that’s a good thing. It shows that if you’re having trouble drinking too much soda and not enough water, you could definitely turn it around with just some willpower!


October 20, 2015

10:01 p.m.

As you could probably tell from my late log time, I’ve been having a pretty busy Tuesday. And I am so, so tired. It’s taking every ounce of me to not submit to the Dr or to grab a coffee! I’ve got a midterm to study for tonight and am stressing about other work, but I’m going to keep my promise to myself. No Dr Pepper. No caffeine.

Oh, how I want some though.

I have definitely not drunk enough water today either. Probably only 24 fluid oz. At this point, my body has gotten pretty accustomed to around 48. I’ve actually been drinking more liquid in general now that I’m not drinking Dr Pepper, which is interesting. Not something I would’ve expected. Anyway, it’s definitely noticeable. I am thirsty! Which, who knows, maybe I wouldn’t have even noticed had I been drinking soda still.

Water has become, at this point, something that I think about regularly: when will I get my next cup? I’m starting to want it in a way. Similar to how I always want Dr Pepper. Maybe this is just me trying so hard to drink more of it, or muscle memory, but either way it’s on my mind! I suppose that’s a good thing.

Wish me luck studying… without caffeine… I think a single tear just rolled down my cheek.


October 21, 2015

2:23 p.m.


I’ve been drinking a lot more water today – definitely coming back with some authority since yesterday’s lame showing. 60 fluid oz. so far! If this was a sequel from yesterday, it’d be called: “Water: Back with a Vengeance.” That was lame. Midterms have got me going crazy.

Every time I drink water I am more awake which is really interesting. Soda never really had this effect on me, it seems that soda only ever gave me a slow energy – a kind of energy that kept my eyes open, but didn’t exactly make me want to move around all that much.

And even more interestingly, I haven’t even been craving soda. It’s kind of sad to me, like we broke up and now I’m totally over him!


4:43 p.m.

Check me out, 72 fluid oz.!


9:11 p.m.

84 fluid oz.

This could quite possibly be the most water I’ve ever drunk in a day. It’s starting to go down a lot more easily and my frequent bathroom trips are diminishing. The craving for Dr Pepper is going away too. Still, when I go up to the drink machine, I think about it a bit. But I’m no longer salivating when I get up there. I feel good about myself!


11:49 p.m.

109 fluid oz. of water! I’ve hit triple digits!!


October 22th 2015

4:12 p.m.

The craving is back. And with brutality.

So, I had just gotten done with my classes today and I am really tired and literally all I’m thinking about is Dr Pepper. I deserve it. I’ve gotten through another day. I don’t think there’s been a sadder realization I’ve made in a long time than when I realized I could have none.

I brought my cup up to the drink dispenser and I felt the Dr’s stare. It literally felt like I was sinning by not taking the sacred liquid of my veins. I was disrespecting Dr Pepper by getting the arch nemesis water! But still, I stayed strong and let my unneeded and grandiose feelings get humbled as I sat with some friends and drank my water quietly.

I even went back for another cup of it because after the first one, I wanted more.

Water has got this weird hold on me. I really do feel good about myself when I choose it, but it was tough to do this time.


11:14 p.m.

I’ve just realized that tomorrow will be the final day of the Doug Patrick Soda Purge of 2015!

Will I drink soda again after Friday?

. . .


Will I drink more water at the same time, though?

. . .



October 23, 2015

1:00 p.m.


I am struggling. Soda is within my reach. One more day. That’s all I need to do.

This craving came out of nowhere. Three or four days in I was perfectly fine, but now it’s like I just started! Maybe it’s just because I know I’m so close to the end of this…

I shall stay strong. Water, my enemy and my greatest ally. We will get through this!


11:57 p.m.


I’ve practically done it!


October 24, 2015

2:09 p.m.

The purge has been over for a while now and I still have not had any soda! My craving has definitely subsided in strength since yesterday. Looks like everyone just wants what they can’t have! That’s not to say I’m not thinking about it, though. Because I am. Completely. It’s just, now, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. And I worry that the sweet taste of the Dr may not be as fabulous as I remember. That would definitely create some sort of emotional trauma, I’m sure of it.

Water really isn’t too bad after all.

I’ll have to report back later this evening when I have my first sip of Dr Pepper!


6:13 p.m.

Oh how I missed my sweet nectar. It’s even better than I remember.

I’m happy that I took a week off from Dr Pepper, but I am oh so glad to be back!

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