In today's world, we're all looking for ways to make healthy choices, especially when it comes to the food and beverages we consume. While there are plenty of healthy options out there, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the latest research. That's why we've compiled a summary of some recent news regarding the dangers of sucralose, stevia, other sweeteners, and artificial coloring. We've also included examples of the sports drinks /hydration drinks that have these ingredients. (Spoiler alert, Recoup does not have of the questionable ingredients.)
Sucralose: A Sweetener Under Scrutiny
Sucralose, an artificial sweetener commonly found in diet sodas, processed foods, and other beverages, has been the subject of much debate in recent years. While it's generally considered safe by regulatory bodies like the FDA, a recent study by the World Health Organization (WHO) raised concerns about its potential link to gut microbiome disruption and metabolic dysfunction. The study found that sucralose alters the composition of gut bacteria, a factor that could contribute to weight gain, diabetes, and other health problems. Some hydration drinks with sucralose: Powerade Zero, Gatorade Zero, PRIME Hydration Drinks
California Bans Red Dye 3
In a significant move, California recently banned the use of red dye 3, an artificial food coloring commonly used in candy, soda, and other processed foods. The ban was prompted by growing evidence of the dye's potential health risks, including links to hyperactivity in children and an increased risk of certain types of cancer. Red Dye 3 has been under scrutiny for decades, so it's not as common in beverages, but can be found in many candies and in PediaSure beverage for kids. Examples of beverages with red dye 40, another common, though less controversial red dye: Gatorade Fierce Fruit Punch and Powerade Mountain Blast.
Stevia: A Sweetener with Mixed Reviews
Stevia, a natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant, has gained popularity in recent years as a sugar alternative. While it's generally considered safe, some studies have raised concerns about its potential effects on blood sugar control and fertility. More research is needed to fully understand the long-term health effects of stevia. Some hydration drinks with stevia: Bai, BerriFit, Vitamin Water Zero
What's Erythritol anyway?
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is naturally found in small amounts in some fruits and fermented foods. It is also produced commercially through the fermentation of starch. Erythritol is about 60-70% as sweet as sugar but has zero calories and does not raise blood sugar levels, making it a popular sugar substitute for people with diabetes or those watching their weight.
However, there is some emerging research that suggests that erythritol may not be as safe as we once thought. A study published in the journal Nature in 2023 found that erythritol consumption in healthy adults led to an increase in blood levels of a marker of inflammation. Another study, published in the journal Circulation in 2023, found that high levels of erythritol in the blood were associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. An example of a hydration drink with erythitol: Body Armor Lyte.
What about Regular ol’ Sugar?
Beverages can be a trojan horse for processed sugar. The average boba tea has 38 grams of sugar. I love ginger beer, but most ginger beers have 40 grams of added sugar! That’s why we at Recoup were excited to bring a ginger beverage to life with 0 added sugar. The sweetness comes naturally from the juices and maple tree water. Excessive consumption of processed sugar can lead to a myriad of health problems, including weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day and men consume no more than 9 teaspoons (37.5 grams) per day. A 16-ounce Gatorade contains 30 grams of added sugar, which is equivalent to 7.5 teaspoons. This means that just one 16-ounce Gatorade exceeds the AHA's recommended daily limit for women by 25% and for men by 12.5%. It's not just Gatorade, for most sports drinks sugar is the #2 ingredient behind water. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the amount of added sugar in the beverages you consume and to make healthy choices whenever possible.
Keeping It Clean At Recoup
It should be noted that often times these sugar alternatives are marketed towards women as a “healthier” alternative, making women even more vulnerable to the health issues causes by these ingredients. At Recoup, we're committed to providing healthy, delicious, clean-label beverages that are free from artificial ingredients, fake sweeteners and coloring. We believe that what you drink after a workout or a yoga class should be a continuation of self care, not the opposite! When we created Recoup we wanted to ensure we could deliver a delicious product with the highest quality ingredients. We have continued to up our standards, become USDA Organic certified and Regenerative Organic Certified by the Regenerative Organic Alliance. So swap your sugary sports drink for a Recoup Variety Pack and discover your favorite flavor.
Turn Your Drink Around!
The best thing you can do as a consumer is to read ingredient labels and nutrition facts carefully. This simple act can help you identify potentially harmful additives and make informed choices about what you consume.
Are there any foods you consume regularly that have surprising ingredients? Send us a note and share email@example.com