From what I've heard from different sources, it's NOT just for taste purposes (although I have to admit that it does help in that way). Some people say that the phosphoric acid in the coke has a beneficial effect during the flush. To me, it makes some sense because people will often use things like Ortho-Phos (which is just diluted phosphoric acid) to prepare for a flush and soften the stones. It (the coke) often seems to help me digest the oil/juice mixture. Coke has long been considered a type of "digestive aide". The psychic Edgar Cayce often recommended pure coca-cola syrup for a variety of digestive complaints. It's up to you..... different things work well for different people. The Coke method has always worked well for me. If you DO use it.... do NOT use DIET Coke though because I can't imagine how harmful Aspartame (Nutrasweet) could be on a liver that has been "opened" by the Epsom Salts . That stuff (aspartame) is poison no matter how you look at it. So if you do use it, just use regular Coca-Cola Classic. Good luck.