These Zero Calorie Drinks Promote Weight Gain Not Loss

While consumers are clearly wising up about some sodas and their high sugar contents, the same isn’t necessarily true of various zero calorie drinks.

Unfortunately, some of the zero calorie drinks are just as bad – and are far more likely to lead to weight gain than weight loss.

In particular, many of these drinks are filled with additives, which can make them terrible for you – even if they’re sugar-free or have short ingredient lists.

When it comes to popular brands such as Cascade Ice or Sparkling Ice, they may have zero calories because they’re sweetened instead with sucralose – an additive repeatedly linked to cancer – and are colored with artificial dyes. They also contain preservatives such as potassium benzoate, which can result in additional carcinogens.

Or consider the ingredient list for Propel (in this case, the black cherry flavor): Water, Citric Acid, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Natural Flavor, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Vitamin E Acetate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6).

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How many of those ingredients can you pronounce?

And sucralose isn’t the only nasty artificial sweetener. Other drinks use acesulfame potassium, aspartame, or erythritol, among others. And research shows these sweeteners actually make you more likely to crave sugar and stimulate your appetite – things which are far more likely to lead to weight gain.

And the long list of preservatives contained in many of these drinks is no better, including the following, each of which has their own long laundry list of toxic concerns:

  • calcium disodium EDTA
  • citric acid (as an additive, not the naturally occurring kind found in fruits)
  • potassium sorbate
  • sodium hexametaphosphate
  • sodium polyphosphate
And then there’s the illusive “natural flavors,” which usually means synthetic chemicals – up to 100 of them for each natural flavor. Even better, because these flavors are considered proprietary, companies don’t have to – and as a result, don’t – tell you what’s in them.
And they’re often formulated to trick your body into wanting more, which isn’t exactly the picture of perfect health we may have in mind when we pick up one of those drinks.
And this is the case for pretty much every drink. LaCroix, for instance, states their flavors contain no artificial ingredients, but they also are not under any obligation to disclose exactly what’s in them, so we just have to take their word for it.
“There is no legal requirement to disclose what’s in the natural flavor. So customers have no choice but to believe companies when they say they don’t use artificial additives in their flavors.” ~ The Mysterious Allure of LaCroix’s ‘Natural Flavor’ – WIRED, December 15, 2016
And it’s not as if these types of drinks are hard to avoid. There’s always water – and if you want something else, it’s easy to flavor it yourself with fruit or other ingredients you may have around the house – without any artificial sweeteners or other “natural flavors.”

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