A Drink for the Manly (not the Mathly)

Have you heard of Dr. Pepper 10? It’s a new soft drink hitting test markets across the US, whose claim to fame is that it has only 10 calories. Therefore, it is “manly,” and “not for women….”

Here’s one of the commercials, which positions the product for action-loving, monster-killing tough guys by saying, “Hey ladies, enjoying the film? Of course not! ‘Cause this is our movie, and this is our drink! It’s only 10 manly calories…”

I don’t get it. I don’t get how kind of dieting but not quite is manly. Why can’t these manly men drink a normal soda and then burn off the calories playing football and slaying dinosaurs? I don’t get why Dr. Pepper would initiate this ad campaign, which makes their drink unappealing to all women, and not-so-manly men. But most of all, I don’t get the math!

The bottle I picked up clearly displays four numbers, which just don’t add up.

  1. Front and center the bottle cheers “10 Bold Tasting Calories.”
  2. Underneath it says “Per 8 Fluid Ounces.”
  3. Off to the side the label states there are “20 Calories per Bottle.”
  4. It is also printed that there are 20 fluid ounces per bottle


Let’s do some manly math.

  • 10 Calories ÷ 8 Fluid Ounces puts 1.25 calories in one fluid ounce.
  • 1.25 calories x 20 Fluid Ounces per bottle = 25 calories in a bottle

I’m not sure which part is wrong, but all the parts definitely aren’t right. There aren’t 10 calories in this drink, or even 20, but, it appears to be, 25. It’s strange to me that they would put so much emphasis on the 10 calorie thing, which clearly doesn’t apply to this bottle, or to any bottle! There’s 10 calories per 8 fluid ounces, and Dr. Pepper is never sold in 8 ounce containers. Cans are 12, bottles are 12 or 20, soda fountains usually don’t have 8 ounce cups either. You cannot buy a Dr. Pepper 10 and drink only 10 calories, (unless you carefully split it with your he-man buddy).

There is one more interesting surprise that comes with Dr. Pepper 25. Maybe because the label is occupied with calorie contradictions, it fails to include any obvious mention of the caffeine boost. There’s a ton of caffeine in here! 4.2 mg per ounce. That means 84 mg in the bottle, where a normal Dr. Pepper would have only 68. That’s a sly 24% increase, unbeknownst to the common consumer. I guess manly men are doped up on caffeine. Just not to their knowledge…

The one thing I know for certain about this drink, is it is NOT for woman. Maybe because women can count, and don’t get as easily distracted by challenges to their manliness. Girls, don’t be offended at what may feel like a sexist ad campaign. Be honored that you weren’t dragged into this nonsense. Manly men, enjoy your new soda! Just don’t think about it too hard, it’ll make your head hurt.

UPDATE: It appears the folks at Dr. Pepper read my blog. The math now seems to add up.

One thought on “A Drink for the Manly (not the Mathly)

  1. I came across your blog due to a similar math inconsistency on a bottle of Diet Mt. Dew – it claims that it contains ten calories per 20 ounce bottle. On the nutritional information label, the "per bottle" value does also show ten, but the "per 8oz" actually says zero.

    Initially that seems entirely incorrect, but the way these figures are usually represented is that "if the value is below a certain threshold, then it's close enough to zero as makes no difference, so we're just going to put zero down". Fine, I get that. It's the same way with sugar – "if there's less than 0.5g per serving, then we're going to say it has no sugar". It's totally deceptive, but I'll let it go.

    But if there's ten calories in a 20 ounce bottle, mathematically there has to be approximately five calories in a ten ounce serving. How then can you figure that the first eight ounces have "zero", yet if you drink two more ounces then suddenly you have consumed five calories?

    It isn't possible for the larger portion to have less calories than the smaller portion… unless the drink is non-homogeneous! Just pour it into a glass and skim out the two ounce portions that have all the calories! BAM! 16 ounces of zero calories!

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