Now, that's the logic, and it's a sound logic, go explain that to people every time you are drinking water in a pub and they go: "ehm, uh, you don't drink?". Which, by the way, if not explained properly can seem like you are a recovering alcoholic, if explained properly will make you sound like a food/diet nazy.
Anyway. You shouldn't be surprised if people react incredulously when you're not just deviating from the social norm but opting out of entire categories. "I only drink water" is no different in that regard than "I'm a vegan" or "I only eat raw food". It's a perfectly fine preference, but you're going to be an exception and exceptions tend to stand out.
I'm German but don't like beer and feel rather dispassionate about football (or "soccer" to Americans). It used to take some explaining when I was younger (i.e. teens and early 20s) but at 30 I find that barely anyone cares about it -- simply because they've learned that they don't have to agree with everyone about everything to be friends.
: Except die-hard football fans who can't imagine anyone not at least enjoying the sport or uber-machos who think drinking beer is a requirement for being a man. But those traits tend to be obnoxious enough on their own.
On the other hand, 100% of us drink alcohol, and so far the only people I've met who are my age, from the US, and don't drink are recovering alcoholics and people whom I've later discovered are extremely anxious and worried about the possibility of feeling "out of control" (which is a totally valid reason not to drink).
People react that way because they take your statement as a moral judgement.
Even subjective "preferences" such as "I like soft-drinks" have logical consequences, or implicit decisions associated with them. I.e. "I am fine with hurting my long-term health because I enjoy the immediate rush of soft-drinks." Not every can live their lives in a completely evidence-based, logically-optimized way.
On alcohol and drinks in general, even at 30, I think people still care, especially the ones you meet for the first time. Simply put, not drinking alcohol may signal a bad past (alcoholism), or being a potential nut job (diet nazy or gym pumper on steroids). This is actually useful information in social interactions, so I do understand why it is so widely used. On the other end, being vegan is so much accepted and so common and fashionable right now that the signal you get out of it is rather poor, so it's used less to pre-select or to make quick judgments.
You say useful and understandable, I say shitty and judgmental.
By the way, how are you finding life in Munich as an Italian? I've been thinking about moving after I complete my degree, so I'm quite interested to see what other people's experiences are in that regard.
I'd sure appreciate it if you didn't spread that hateful FUD in this setting. There's quite a wide range between sedentary and 'gym pumper on steroids', please be respectful to those who choose to occupy a different place on that continuum than you.
Some people like the taste of soda or the effects of alcohol. That's the logic, and it trumps the fact that "useless" calories are being consumed. We aren't rational automatons.
Or people could just stop being so nosey and judgemental. Option 1 is easier though.
(this isn't the case in the US, where it can refer to pretty much any canned sweetened drink - Coca Cola / Sprite / Dr Pepper / etc)
Regarding alcohol: I kind of understand the skepticism about people who don't drink. Drinking usually puts you in a more honest, less controlled, and less guarded condition, which makes drinking with other people almost a trust exercise. Not drinking at a pub is kind of like bringing your sword into a gathering where everyone else agreed to leave theirs' at the door.
All these comments like "you're not respecting social norms" feel kind of offensive. And now this sword straw man.
Sorry, but not drinking simply makes me not drunk. I'm never "more honest" and "less guarded" when I'm drunk (that's why I don't like it - I fight the drunk state of mind every time).
Alcohol might be a tough one to kick. It's so intertwined with social life I don't see it going away anytime soon.
I think it would be easy to think that soft drinks are going out of style if you're living in a tech bubble (like I probably am), but when you get outside of this circle you can see the massive amount of soft drinks that are still being consumed.
Obviously, the second part of that strategy is to create a range of products to cater to the kids like us not drinking their syrup.
A can of Coke has 33g of sugar.
(1) a can of coke varies in volume based on different places in the world. 330 ml in europe, 355 ml in north america.
(2) Sweetness of a can of coke varies by country. 10.6g sugar per 100ml in France, 11g sugar per 100ml in USA, 12g sugar per 100ml in Canada.
A canadian can of coke is 355ml and 42g of sugar, per the label printed on it.
A uk can of coke is 330ml and 35g of sugar.
Eg. USA has a 12oz can with 39 grams of sugar. UK has a 330ml can with 35 grams of sugar. (They aren't required to provide more precise accounting and so that 35 or 39 are rounded figures). These are close to the same.
Of course, if one is using 'coke' generically, there are many that have more than 40 grams. A 12oz can of A&W root beer is at 46 grams, as is a 12oz Mountain Dew.
I.e. "4 grams of sugar per 100ml of coke"
Also unit dosage for virtually all consumers is the unfortunately somewhat variable can.
39 g is far more representative of the overwhelmingly likely sugar consumption in the US than any per ml measure, and far more useful when discussing diets.
assuming you're in your 20s now... don't worry, by age 35 there's less explaining and less criticizing.
I was probably getting close to alcoholism myself and felt touchy around people that didn't drink (well, only the ones that announced it every chance they got, but then it feels like a judgement not a statement). I drank every day basically (and not ONE beer either), but when I went to moderate myself it wasn't too difficult; now I drink less than a handful of times a month.
I have a colleague who completely avoids alcohol. No particular reason for it other than one day he decided to do it because his friend wanted to do it. His friend didn't keep it up, but he did for ~30 years now. I have nothing for or against alcohol and I like some drinks now and then (mostly avoid beers, just don't like the taste).
I have to respect this guy that he keeps it up so long, even though he has nothing to gain or lose from it. I would have figured at least one day, what the heck, it's not a big deal, not doing anything bad or anything. But he decided he won't drink, so he doesn't. Mad respect.
Why do you feel a need to explain it? I've never had any reaction at all with 'no thanks, I'm good'. You don't have to say 'I'm on a diet' 'I don't drink' 'that crap will kill you' or anything else. Just no thanks. If someone does ask about your water, say 'I'm taking it easy' or 'I'm good'. Or get a club soda and lime.
Right now, there's too much "health noise" surrounding sodas, because they make so much money and so many people like them. We can't get a good "health signal" to "health noise" ratio to tell if these have healthy and/or unhealthy outcomes when we drink them. And so many of us just avoid them.
I also have friends who don't drink, including some when I was at university (a high time for most people's blood alcohol levels) - few people cared. Though my one suggestion to you is to drink something other than water, even if it's just club soda. Aside from anything else, getting something that costs money will likely make the pub staff friendlier.
Why are you so preoccupied with what people think about you?
Just get a glass of water. If they ask, say you don't drink. That will be the end of it. Trust me, you're not the only one. Many people don't drink soda/alcohol/etc.
> go explain that to people every time you are drinking water in a pub
That's like going to a whorehouse and saying you're abstinent. Of course people are going to give you weird looks.
Don't go to establishments that primarily serve alcohol. If you're going out with friends or co-workers, go to a establishment where the primary focus is on food. Then get yourself a glass of water.
Most people hate making decisions, including where to go. So speak up and tell them where to go.
I leave in Munich, Oktober Fest... a small beer here is 0.5L and you have biergartens everywhere. You definitely can push to go to restaurants or cafes, but the reality is just that many times you'll find yourself in an establishment that serves primarily alcohol.
You can go out only to sport, music, outdoor events. But then you'll hardly meet the same number of people and you'll restrict yourself to certain specific group where average is usually above 40.
I've heard that you eventually get used to them or even prefer them, but I've never gotten to that point.
Shrugs, public opinion and media's opinion is just that opinion not fact so is (to me..yay my opinion) irrelevant.
Nothing is safe in huge amounts but I'll take aspartame over sugar as the risk of diabetes is known.
On the other hand I think most people know drinking Cola is not good for your health.
Apparently being healthy is frowned upon for anyone who doesn't need it (semi-)professionally.
Then I started cutting back on pop so as not to experience caffeine withdrawal. Within a few weeks, I was down to one can a day. After two months, I lost 10 pounds, almost all because I stopped drinking so much pop.
It's pretty amazing how many calories and sugar pop has and how negatively it affects your body.
It is all about the glass shape, most people will assume you are having vodka soda.
drinking coke and pepsi contains no health or nutritional benefits - you ideally dont drink them ever (drink water or at least the diet version)
I've innovated - ask for lemonade cut with soda water. Fizzy lemonade!
Same goes if they think you're a food/diet nazi. Who cares? It's your body. They shouldn't be so judgmental of your life choices, especially something as personal as how you decide to fuel your body and stay alive. And if they are judging you, in my experience, it's usually because they're working through their own issues and would rather it not be pointed out how unhealthy their choices are, and they want you to join them in their maybe-not-so-great decisions.
Totally disagree, nobody cares if you have 2 beers vs 8 beers.
Unsweetened ice tea is a great flavorfull beverage with no calories and caffeine...
Admittedly, this is "Boozy Britain" though.
The 'I don't drink' part comes across to insecure people as judgemental or superior, so drop it.
They're not asking you for your convictions regarding alcohol / tobacco, they're asking you if want some / have a lighter they can use.
At any rate, you can answer why when they ask you why.
Despite their love of beer, I think that my health consciousness weighs on them... makes them feel a little guilty. Consequently, they make little comments about my lack of drinking. Harmless stuff, but my guess is that they're actually expressing disappointment in themselves.
I especially notice that when new people are with the group, the core members feel that they have to point out and explain that I only order water. So there's obviously some tension and discomfort there.
Right around when I got this, "Gold Peak" appeared in the supermarkets and that is so sweet it is sickening.
Companies are pure capitalistic enterprises that respond to market demand right? Right?
Just like apps are designed to be "engaging", ie. trigger the brain patterns where it will desire to return to the app, sodas are very much the same.
You can imagine if meth or other addictive drugs were legal thst they would be in our drinks (which is the exact history of Coke). Modern food engineering is about maximizing consumption, even at the detriment of those consuming.
I find it amazing that people think asking why you don't drink is acceptable, no one stops drinking for fun.
Tea also has the added benefit that if you make it per glass it forces you to get away from the computer for a few minutes. Plus the aromas and flavors are, in my opinion, more numerous and pleasant than all the sugary drinks out there combined. Tends to be noticeably cheaper too :)
You'll easily find half a dozen different teas you like ranging from the classic black teas to exotic varieties that taste like supermarket sugar drinks (like strawberry lemonade - one of my favorites at teavana). The latter usually require less a 5g bump of sugar to bring them to the level of retail drinks.
Try a craft beer or have a glass of wine.
A drink a day is good for you anyway.
Don't go to pub.
Pub: A public house where beverages, primarily alcoholic, may be bought and consumed.
That strikes to me as a fair compromise: we'll go to a place I don't like. I won't make a single comment on it, and in fact I'll be cheerful and happy, but in return you won't ask me to do the thing I don't like.
I went thru that back when I was young (once you have a herd of kids, you won't have time for adult socializing, so that kind of solves itself).
Anyway at least for an introverted young guy, I got way more than enough socializing at the gym (get drunk while lifting hundreds of pound weights, what could possibly go wrong LOL?) and hiking club (open container laws are enforced in our parks, maybe not all countries). I also met people at non-credit night classes while learning some carpentry, Japanese, cooking, religion, philosophy, history, whatever looked cool I'd sign up for ... I would imagine its much easier for young people now with online event organization for meetups and conferences and maker spaces.
I wonder how much people drink at maker spaces. I would imagine drunken table saw and metal working machine operators don't live very long. They seem to produce things and the injury rate seems low, so probably not very much.
Things get complicated if you're in one of those situations where friends work and socialize together. Super awkward, will never go back to that again. "Never cross the streams" - Ghostbusters
If one doesn't fancy drinking and if situation allows for this (i.e. they have a voice while discussing where to gather, not just invited to pre-agreed place) - at least they should suggest their friends to gather somewhere else. Some place that's not about drinking.
That is, if the place is still a subject of discussion, "Aw, guys, you know I'm not fond of drinking - how about some other place? I know a good cafe nearby..." is certainly not awkward.
And, well, sometimes it's not a bad option to decline sometimes, too. Depends on a particular company.