I stopped drinking Coca Cola in high school when I was working on a small freight ship. I’d have to de-rust it. To do that, I would take a phosphoric acid solution and put it in a windex bottle, and then walk around the metal ship and spray rust spots with it.

It was usually windy, so phosphoric acid would blow into my face and mouth. The first day I did that, I had a Coca Cola on my lunch break, and realized that I could right away, and would forever, be able to taste the phosphoric acid in the Coca Cola (it’s why you can put pennies in Coca Cola to clean them). Now that I’d tasted it direct, I could taste it in Coca Cola.

It’s the distinct difference between Pepsi and Coca Cola tastes.

So I switched to Pepsi (still just as bad for me, but less smacking me upside the tongue with the phosphoric acid), and would drink 6-8 cans a day, sometimes more. I never quit until 2008, when my cardiologist banned me from it due to the fact that I have a heart defect that is not well served by goosing things with stimulants of any kinds (none of the good flu medicine for me, no caffeine, no big doses of chocolate, etc etc).

Reading this link (found via Marjorie Liu) makes me somewhat glad I have been off the stuff for 3 years now. What happens to your body when you drink a can of Coke:

In the first 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavour, allowing you to keep it down.

20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (And there’s plenty of that at this particular moment.)