Crystal Light Drink – Side Effects, Nutrition Facts, Alternatives

Crystal Light is a powdered beverage mix manufactured by Kraft Foods, the world’s 2nd largest food group, after Nestle. Its varieties include Sunrise, Refreshment, Enhanced, Tea, and Skin Essentials.

They launched “On the Go” packets that provided easy-to-carry single servings of a variety of flavors, in 2004.

Kraft Foods has about 65 manufacturing plants in Canada and the US, and a vast network of eighteen distribution centers. Kraft posted North American revenues of approximately $20 billion in 1999.

On July 2, 2015, Kraft Foods completed its merger with Heinz, creating Kraft Heinz Company – the 5th-largest beverage and food company in the world.

As a result of this deal, the management of Kraft Foods and Heinz have announced that they expect to realize about $1.5 billion in annual cost savings by the end of 2017.

Nutrition Facts And Ingredients

This beverage contains –

  • potassium citrate (a potassium salt of citric acid);
  • sodium citrate ( the sodium salt of citrate with alkalinizing properties);
  • citric acid (one of the most common food additives in use today);
  • magnesium oxide (a type of magnesium that is less soluble than several other forms of supplemental magnesium);
  • aspartame (a questionable sweetener used in many foods and drinks);
  • lemon juice solids;
  • natural flavor;
  • soy lecithin;
  • acesulfame potassium (a calorie-free sweetener up to 200 times sweeter than table sugar);
  • yellow 5 (a food coloring approved by the Food & Drug Administration);
  • artificial color;
  • BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole, a food preservative that is used to preserve freshness).

It also contains 60mg of caffeine per 16 oz bottle.

Is Crystal Light Bad For You?

This beverage contains many food additives which negatively affect your health. These food additives include:

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Citric Acid

Citric acid is a food additive commonly used by manufacturers in candies, soft drinks, sauces, marmalades, and even in gummy bears.

Depending on the location and how it is produced (commonly using sulfuric acid), many researchers believe that the product might still contain mold which is not filtered out completely during the manufacturing process.

Due to this, the entire digestive system can be irritated, leading to damage to the mucous membrane of the stomach. Also, the respiratory organs, the eyes, and the skin can be affected by the consumption of foods and beverages with citric acid.

More importantly, there are questions about what part this food additive plays in acid reflux in infants who eat jarred baby food, preserved with citric acid.

Potassium Citrate

It is a food additive usually found in soft drinks, ice creams, and candies. Potassium citrate is considered as GRAS by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration starting 1977.

Even if this food additive is regarded as GRAS, some people experience side effects, including -diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, difficult breathing, confusion, nervousness, irregular heartbeat, tingling in the hands, weakness in the legs, or shortness of breath.

Aspartame

This artificial sweetener is used worldwide as a sugar substitute in a variety of drinks and foods, like – sugar-free chewing gum, cereals, table-top sweeteners, and non-alcoholic beverages. It is up to 200 times sweeter than table sugar and is low calorie.

Aspartame can cause side effects, including – headaches, dizziness, digestive issues, seizures, changes in mood, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

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Moreover, even if scientific studies do not confirm a strong association between Parkinson’s disease and the consumption of foods and drinks containing this artificial sweetener, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports hinting that diet soda consumption may lead to considerable increase in sings and symptoms associated with Parkinson’s.

More importantly, there are reported cases of depression, low brain serotonin (a chemical which works as a neurotransmitter) levels, and other emotional disorders which have been associated with aspartame consumption, and are commonly relieved by stopping the intake of foods and drinks with aspartame.

Acesulfame Potassium

Acesulfame K, also referred as acesulfame potassium, ace K, or E950 (in the European Union), is a heat-stable artificial sweetener approved by FDA in 1988 to be used in different foods and drinks, such as – chewing gums, instant powder drinks, or soft drinks. Moreover, it is used as a “flavor enhancer.”

Acesulfame potassium contains methylene chloride, which has been shown to cause mood problems, nausea, impaired kidney and liver function, some types of cancer, autism, and eye problems.

Caffeinet

It is one of the most frequently ingested alkaloids worldwide. Caffeine is present in tea (especially green and black), coffee, energy and soft drinks, cookies, or chocolate. This stimulant affects the human body in numerous methods.

For instance, caffeine disrupts normal digestion and may promote dehydration. In addition, it changes the gastric juices and body temperature. Moreover, consuming foods and drinks containing caffeine can really cause trouble regarding sleep and changes how attentive you are.

Furthermore, it acts as a potent stimulant on the central nervous system, increasing your heart rate, on average, 15 minutes after ingestion. More importantly, if you are consuming more than 300 mg of caffeine a day, you are more likely to need to micturate more, that, in turn, can make you lose calcium.

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Soy Lecithinf

It is a mixture of naturally occurring fatty molecules, which are derived from the processing of soybeans. Some of the more commonly recognized adverse effects linked with consuming foods and drinks containing soy lecithin, include – diarrhea, bloating, mild skin rashes, diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea.

Alternatives

Healthy alternatives to this type of beverages include – water, coconut water, and caffeine-free teas.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2259267/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19999796

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