Short answer – Sprite is not the worst drink you can have, but there is no nutritional need for it.
This drink was 1st produced in West Germany in 1959 as ”Fanta Klare Zitrone” and introduced to the United States market in 1961.
In 1994, the brand was relaunched with a new design and a new slogan – “Obey Your Thirst.” In addition, it dropped the words “Great Lemon Taste” from the can.
The drink contains – sodium benzoate (the sodium salt of benzoic acid), natural flavors, high fructose corn syrup (a sweetener made from corn starch), carbonated water, sodium citrate, and citric acid (an organic acid of many fruits).
Sodium benzoate (E211) is a chemical that is used as a preservative in a few types of food, such as – pickles, margarine, soft drinks, jam, and jelly. It is derived from a reaction of sodium hydroxide with benzoic acid, and it is actually the sodium salt of benzoic acid.
E211 is a known carcinogenic additive that, when applied to the skin or eaten, gets transported to the liver, where it is supposed to be expelled in urine, however, the damage gets done before that process is completed.
Moreover, studies show that sodium benzoate can cause damage to important parts of the DNA. Also, it is thought to be one of the main causes of hyperactivity among children.
It is the sodium salt of citric acid. This food additive produces a sour taste and is used to adjust pH balance, prevent certain flavors, cure meats, firm vegetables, and preserve food.
Common side effects of citric acid may include:
- seizure (convulsions);
- ongoing diarrhea;
- severe stomach pain;
- bloody or tarry stools;
- mood changes;
- fast or slow heart rate;
- muscle twitching or cramps;
- unexplained weight gain;
- numbness or tingly feeling.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
HFCS is a sweetener that is produced from GMO corn and has a different chemical structure than natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables.
Beverage and food producers began switching their normal sweeteners to high fructose corn syrup in the 1970s when they discovered that HFCS was not only cheaper to make, but it was also substantially sweeter.
The problems it that consuming too much high fructose corn syrup can lead to osteoporosis, insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
For instance, following over 40 years use of high fructose corn syrup as a cost-effective sweetener in the US market, rates of types 2 diabetes Mellitus and obesity have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More importantly, research shows that rats with access to high fructose corn syrup gained considerably more weight than rats with access to water sweetened with table sugar, even when the rats consumed an equal number of calories.
Although Sprite is caffeine and trans-fat free and contains far fewer chemicals than many other carbonated beverages, it is still suggested to moderate your consumption. Here are a few healthier alternatives:
According to the Harvard School of Public Health (and common sense), plain water is the healthiest drink for human health. For variety, you can add crushed fresh mint or a slice of ginger to a glass of water.
#2 Homemade Sprite
You can make your own soda by mixing a squeeze of lime and lemon juice, sparkling water, and stevia to taste. It tastes very similar to Sprite, but it is free of any food additives. It even contains some vitamin C from lemon and lime juice!
Vegetable juice represents a low-calorie option to get all the health benefits of veggies. You just need to add your favorite veggies. If you prefer a little kick, add a drop of hot sauce and some black pepper. Also, if you want to sweeten your juice, you can add some fruits.
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has excellent health benefits, especially for the gut. It is actually produced by adding a culture of yeast and bacteria to a solution of tea.
#5 Green Tea
Green tea is packed with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants which enhance your immunity. In addition, it is calorie-free. You can enjoy it brightened with a little lemon juice, and drink it cold or hot.
#6 Coconut Water
This naturally sweet drink is rich in electrolytes, antioxidants, dietary fiber, and B-complex vitamins. Coconut water has endless health benefits which range from aiding in reducing blood pressure, weight loss and preventing depression.