Everyone’s heard of Pepsi – but far fewer people have any idea how the famous cola-flavoured drink actually got its name.
Pepsi traces its roots back to 1893, when it was named “Brad’s Drink” by its inventor Caleb Bradham, a pharmacist in New Bern, North Carolina.
Then, it was designed to help people struggling with their digestion, which gives you a clue as to where the later name comes from.
The drink started growing popular, and Bradham decided it was time for a rebrand. After a false start with “Pep Kola” – doesn’t quite roll off the tongue – he eventually settled on Pepsi-Cola.
And the Pepsi bit? That comes from the medical word for indigestion or heartburn, which the drink was initially designed for: dyspepsia.
Many readers will probably have experienced it at some point, but here’s a crash course in the symptoms. Dyspepsia is when you get acid reflux from your stomach. It can also involve inflammation of the gullet, a stomach ulcer, or even stomach cancer.
The name could also be linked to Pepsin, the enzyme found in all of our stomachs that helps us with our digestion.
It’s all a far cry from Kylie Jenner’s famous Pepsi commercial from a few years ago, or the many other glamorous stars that have helped sell the drink over the years.
People were understandably surprised when they learned the real reason for the name on social media.
One person said: “I was today years old when I learned that.”
"I had no idea," said another.
Now manufactured by Pepsico, the fizzy drinks now have 50 percent less sugar in them than in previous years, as part of a health drive in the industry.
A two-litre bottle of Pepsi will now have 91g of sugar, reduced from 213g. The classic Pepsi, which comes in a blue can, will now have 4.55g of sugar per 100ml.
In a statement on its website, Pepsi says: “We have worked hard to make sure our new classic Pepsi maintains the great taste that people expect while removing sugar and calories.”