Long, long ago, in a previous century, a soft drink company decided to launch a diet drink targeted toward women. Before this, only one other sugarless diet soda had been released. But this new product was from the mighty Coca-Cola. They weren’t 100% sure that the world was ready for a sugarless version of Coke, so they didn’t use the term “Coca-Cola” in the name — just in case the new soda turned out to be a bust.

Coca-Cola introduced the new drink, “TaB”, which helped ladies keep “tabs” on their calorie intake, in 1963. It became an immediate hit. I had my first TAB sometime in the late 1960s. That was the good old days when your diet drinks had sodium cyclamates (before being banned by the FDA as carcinogenic).

I drank TaB because TaB was for “beautiful people,” as their advertising proclaimed. The catchy theme song announced:

TaB, what a beautiful drink.
TaB, for beautiful people.
TaB, you’re beautiful to me.
Sixteen ounces has just one calorie.
TaB, what a beautiful drink.
You’re good and sugar-free.

You can see several decades of classic Tab commercials in the video below. What memories these bring back!

I became a loyal TaB drinker after graduating from college. It was the only soda I would purchase. Back then, I would buy it in 16-ounce bottles and the girly pink carrying case. Later, I bought it in the two-liter bottles and poured it into my own TaB glass with the womanly curves. (I still have that TaB glass!) I showed product loyalty through the Saccharin warning labels, past the introduction of Diet Coke, and remained true to my brand right through the newest recipe re-formulation that added Nutrasweet.

TaB has been my drink of choice for over thirty years. If thirsty, I never bothered with water. I would joyously reach for my beautiful drink for beautiful people. Since I am not a coffee drinker, I start every day with my TaB to get my morning pick-me-up. I end my day with a TaB. In between, I’d reach for my beloved TaB four or six more times. Sometimes more. At 46.5 grams of caffeine per can, I was chugging back 372 grams a day.

I was going through life WIRED!!!!

Some studies indicate that consuming more than 300 mg caffeine per day can give you the “caffeine jitters.” And other nasty side-effects happen with too much caffeine: irritability, sleeplessness, even anxiety.

Often, when I couldn’t get a TaB, I’d go through the intense headaches of caffeine withdrawal. And, boy, would I get crabby.

As part of my new journey, last week, I went semi-cold turkey on my TaB. I have cut back from my 8 per day, down to one. And, yes, was I crabby, irritable, and aching from headaches. But the withdrawal passed pretty quickly.

Now, I have my one TaB in the morning. For now, I’m sticking to that. I’ve had a longer relationship with TaB than any man in my life. I still need to jump-start my day with my beautiful drink.


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