Dr. Pepper: The New Water?


Elizabeth Van Liew

Dr. Pepper in Lower Commons

Disclaimer: Neither the writer of this article, nor Hawks Herald, are associated with or paid by Keurig Dr. Pepper. This is merely an article presenting the benefits of the Beverage.

A couple years ago, there was a trend online of people telling others to “drink water”, even if they did not know them personally. It was meant to be a sweet gesture, one of affection and concern for the health of others. Personally, it actually did remind me to sit down and drink a nice, cool glass of water to stay hydrated. I propose, however, that we change things up a bit. Everyone knows to drink water at this point. Drinking water to stay hydrated has been drilled into every child’s head since they’ve come out of the womb, and I find it to be a bit tedious. “Drink water Mrs. Scallion”, “Stay hydrated Mrs. Scallion”, “better hit that water fountain Mrs. Scallion!” I’ve heard this all my life and it is maddening. I would like to think that I can take care of myself, and I find it condescending that strangers feel the need to intrude on my health.

What I would much rather prefer is to be told to “Drink Dr. Pepper.” I know, this sounds crazy. Isn’t Dr. Pepper full of sugar? Isn’t the amount of caffeine unhealthy for you? Why should we be promoting a giant corporate entity like the Dr. Pepper company? Sure, these are all valid criticisms. Dr. Pepper is a soda, there’s no getting around it. However, I propose that the average Dr. Pepper enjoyer will experience an improved quality of life, and that consumption of Dr. Pepper is worth the downsides. First of all, Dr. Pepper may not actually be as bad for you as it’s made out to seem. Yes, Dr. Pepper has a lot of sugar. According to CaffeineInformer.com, Dr. Pepper has about the same amount of sugar in grams per 12oz serving (41g) as Pepsi (41g), Coca Cola Cherry (42g), and Coca Cola classic (39g). While it is a sweet beverage, its sugary taste comes from the flavor, not because they dump more sugar in it than other soft drinks. Additionally, if sugar is a concern, “Dr. Pepper 10” has only 10 calories and 3 grams of sugar! Also, unlike other varieties of sodas, Diet Dr. Pepper and Dr Pepper 10 both retain the same flavor as the original, meaning that anyone can enjoy the taste of Dr. Pepper even if they choose a healthier option.

“But Mrs. Scallion! Doesn’t soda have an unbelievable amount of caffeine? Isn’t caffeine bad for you?” Soda does have a lot of caffeine. According to the University of Utah, there are 41 grams of caffeine in both Dr. Pepper and Diet Dr. Pepper. However, don’t believe every news story about caffeine you hear. According to the Harvard School of Health, “Low to moderate doses of caffeine (50–300 mg) may cause increased alertness, energy, and ability to concentrate”. Folks, if we can’t trust Harvard, who should we trust? Besides Dr. Pepper, of course.

Mainly, however, you should drink Dr. Pepper because it just tastes that damn good. Dr. Pepper makes everything better. When that smooth, mysterious cherry taste hits my tongue I feel elated. What is this magical concoction? This elixir of the gods? I do not know, but I know that it makes me feel better. When I feel down, I always know that the Doctor will cheer me right up. I’m not alone in this opinion, either. When I host my weekly soirees at my domicile, the party gets going once we break out that two liter bottle. Sure, Coke and Pepsi taste good. But nothing excites a crowd like Dr. Pepper. It has just the right combination of flavor, caffeine and sugar to make a beverage that tastes great but doesn’t wear thin. Additionally, it mixes better with other beverages. My fellow Dr. Pepper enjoyers even tried mixing it with milk – I know, a disgusting idea – but it turned out great! It tastes just like an ice cream float. Is there nothing that this miraculous concoction of science can’t do? But don’t just take my word for it. We should trust the wisdom of our elders. A couple years ago, TIME interviewed Elizabeth Sullivan, a woman who was 104 years old when the article was written. Wow! Her secret? She drank Dr. Pepper every day. In response to criticisms of her diet, she said, “Every doctor that sees me says [Dr. Pepper will] kill you, but they die and I don’t. So there must be a mistake somewhere.” I, for one, agree with Elizabeth.

I hope that this article has changed your mind about Dr. Pepper. It is an incredible drink, and one that people should consume more often (though in moderation). So, the next time that you see me, don’t tell me to drink water. Say to me “Mrs. Scallion, you look like you could use a refreshing glass of Dr. Pepper.”


-Mrs. Scallion, PhD.