According to Chinese medicine, you shouldn't drink icy cold things pretty much ever, but they're especially bad for you in winter. I am enough of a Westerner that I quite enjoy a nice cola with lots of ice and a wedge of lime, and one reason I am anxious for it to warm up is because I am tired of not indulging in said beverage. I am a big ol' cheapskate and I can't stand paying a lot of money to burn up fossil fuels to heat my house to 70 F, so I keep the thermostat at around 65 F during the day and just wear lots of clothes. This saves on heating bills but means the only way I can drink an icy cola without darn near freezing to death is if I drink it in while I'm lying in a very warm bath, which I do from time to time, but only if I take a bath early in the day, because I don't like drinking caffeine after, say, 5 p.m.
Actually I try to avoid caffeine as much as possible. I only drink decaffeinated tea and coffee. Many people find this odd but I just don't like stimulants. Revving up is not what my personality generally needs.
My cola is preference is Coke, the real thing, but I find Diet Coke with Splenda a thoroughly acceptable substitute for the real thing. I remember when Diet Coke was invented: it was 1982 and I was a sophomore in college, and I thought dc was the best thing EVER! I drank a lot of it, for years, and then I quit for even more years because I didn't want to drink artificial sweeteners anymore. I do that with beverages; I give them up for a while. I didn't drink hot Dr Pepper at all in the 1980s, and then I started again around 1993; I didn't drink tea for a while but now I drink it a lot; currently, I'm trying to drink less coffee. That would be easier to do if I could drink Diet Coke instead, which I started drinking again last fall after I heard about this Splenda stuff, which supposedly isn't so bad for you and tastes more like real sugar. I don't know about how healthy it is, but I do know it tastes better, and that somehow helps me believe it's not as deadly as that aspartame stuff.
Wayne disapproves of my fondness for Diet Coke. He claims that Diet Coke is the ultimate gateway drug, because it has so few consequences: you can drink it and feel almost virtuous because it won't make you fat or give you cancer as quickly as cigarettes, but make no mistake, he argues, it's a drug! And drinking Diet Coke will lead to much more severe substance abuse, just you wait! I point out that I started drinking Diet Coke almost 23 years ago and still have yet to develop a more serious substance abuse problem (unless you count chocolate, and I don't); alcohol is the only recreational drug I ever use, and I try not to indulge in that too often. He claims I'm just fooling myself and that someday it will wreak havoc on my life; look what it did to one of its most noted spokeswomen, Whitney Houston! And I think of the last photo I saw of poor Whitney and I sort of don't want to argue any more.
So if you ever hear that I've ended up in rehab after beating the shit out of my celebrity husband, you'll know that Diet Coke is the substance at the root of all my problems. But it won't happen for a few more weeks because it's still too cold to indulge in it regularly.