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).
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