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As far as drinks are concerned, it’s very rare that I drink anything over than fizzy. I know it’s bad for me, my teeth, my insides, and my bank balance, but hot drinks, squash, water and fruit juice just don’t suffice. So, over the next few days I am going to release a number of opinions based on my favourite fizzy drinks, called ‘Trilogy of Terror’ because I’m aware of just how addicted I am to them, and how much they cost me! First up is Pepsi Max, which, I have to say, is my favourite of all fizzy drinks. I usually drink about a litre of the stuff per day, and have done so since its release by Pepsi in 1993.
Pepsi Max was initially released as a way of making diet drinks fashionable, the idea being that ‘living life to the Max’ is being as outrageous as possible in life, and that this drink helps promote that madness and popularity. The adverts containing a group of young teenagers partaking in radical extreme sports help to promote the image although the idea of being healthy is popular anyway nowadays, and so the drink helps promote itself in being one without sugar and calories.
---So, what exactly is it?---
Well, Pepsi Max is a cola that unlike Pepsi Diet, which, unsurprisingly is also made by Pepsi, manages to regain a lot of its cola-like sweet taste that you find in full-sugar colas, despite the fact that it contains absolutely no sugar and very few calories. It is, in effect, an alternative to Pepsi Diet, but with a much nicer taste, one that is much fruitier and juicier, and not as bland. It comes in 330ml cans (priced at around 55p), 500ml bottles (which are around 75p), 1.5l bottles (about 99p) and 2l bottles (around £1.29). Depending on how much you drink depends on which size I would recommend, as you do have to take into consideration that the drink can go flat within a couple of days and needs to be consumed fairly quickly.
Fizziness – 9/10 Providing you don’t leave the bottle for days on end, the fizziness of the drink usually stays at a consistently high level. Initially, the drink isn’t too fizzy that it’s difficult to drink, and it also takes a long time for the carbonated substance to become just coloured vegetable water, certainly longer than its Coca-Cola rivals, whose drink tends to flatten out only a few hours after opening, and is too fizzy to drink at first.
Flavour – 10/10 If someone told you that the flavour was made from vegetable extracts, you might well be put off the idea of trying a glass but the flavour of cola is unique, a subtle fruitiness that fizzes in your mouth as you swallow, and leaves a tingling on the teeth. Most desirable and very more-ish.
Packaging – 8/10 The packaging for all the Pepsi products had a radical change in the late 90’s when the original drink, which was at its peak in the 80’s was beginning to lose its credibility with the youth age range, one of the main target areas for sales. Hence, the packaging has been recently updated, and is very flash – a combination of blue, black and red, which has been well designed to appeal to today’s youth.
Thirst-quenching factor – 7/10 When you first drink a glass, your levels of thirst go down quite considerably, but, because the drink causes you to expel it from your other end almost as soon as you’ve drunk it, it doesn’t actually hydrate your body, meaning that you’re still thirsty after drinking it, which isn’t good for you, especially in the summer.
Health rating – 3/10 As well as not hydrating your body, the acids in cola (it has an average pH level of between 3 and 4) rot your teeth, and can cause your stomach acid to become over-acidic. This means that too much can be very bad for you. All colas can also colour your teeth a very distinctive dark-yellow colour, as can tea and coffee if you over-indulge, so be warned.
Price – 7/10 The Coca-Cola range is generally much higher in price than good old reliable Pepsi, and so this is why I’ve given it such a high rating. However, it doesn’t score full marks because there are a lot of supermarket-brand colas, which are a lot less expensive (for prices see above). There are rarely special offers or reward schemes as you might find with other brands on Pepsi either, so it isn’t entirely good value.
Overall rating – 9/10 You may well notice that my marks don’t entirely add up here, but in my opinion, the taste outweighs the other factors when looking for a drink, and the taste really can’t be beaten as far as I’m concerned. Pepsi Diet does offer an alternative low-fat cola taste if you prefer the slightly less-sugary version of diet colas, but in my opinion, Pepsi Max just can’t be beaten on the cola front. It may be a little dearer than other colas on the market, but if it’s taste and quality you’ve after, than it has to be the drink you go for.