Have you enjoyed a thirst-quenching beverage lately? I have. It was cool, refreshing and free of calories!
Then I read the ingredients. I was surprised.
Here’s the list with an explanation of each ingredient.
1. Water – You know . . . Hydrogen and Oxygen. It’s good for you.
2. Citric Acid – Naturally occurring acid found in citrus, other fruit and coffee. Traditionally, citric acid was derived from citrus by fermentation process of the fruit sugars. Currently, most citric acid is derived from the sugars of corn or molasses instead.
3. Sodium Hexametaphosphate – This sequestrant, thickener, emulsifier and texturizer is used in a variety of foods. The phosphorus in the additive helps to prevent mineral corrosion (calcium, iron salts, magnesium, etc.). Also used in pet food, teeth whitening products, bath salts, bubble bath, and in factory boiler water (water used to steam foods). This additive contains phosphorus which is an essential nutrient, but when consumed without the balance of other minerals, may affect kidneys, heart and bones. In animal studies, the following effects were reported: pale and swollen kidneys, increased kidney weights, bone decalcification, muscle fiber size changes, hyperplasia and severe skin irritations.
4. Natural Flavoring – Flavoring derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation product. Although these flavorings are derived from natural sources, they are often highly processed and therefore, not so “natural.” There are approximately 500 flavorings which are derived from natural sources.
5. The one ingredient I expected. (Click the link at the end of the article to see what this is.)
6. Ascorbic Acid – An essential vitamin required for normal teeth, blood vessels, and bones as well as a protective antioxidant. (Could this be good for us? Oh wait, there’s more.) Commercial vitamin c is often derived from corn.
7. Potassium Sorbate (Sorbic Acid) – An organic compound used as a preservative and humectant in foods and cosmetics. The chemical was originally discovered in Rowan berry of the Mountain Ash shrubs. While sorbic acid can still be made from these berries, they are now typically made from chemicals. May cause skin irritation; animal studies showed no other harmful effects.
8. Phosphoric Acid – Phosphoric Acid is used to increase the acidity and to add flavor to certain food and soft drinks. It is made from phosphate rock into food grade, medical grade and for use in general industry (as a rust remover/cleaner). May cause tooth decay, tooth erosion, or erode tooth enamel also may cause calcium loss in bones.
9. Aspartame – Created from aspartic acid and phenylalanine and is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. Aspartame remains highly controversial. Opposition stems from concerns of conflict of interest in the FDA the approval process, flaws in the submitted studies, and they way the chemicals break down in the body (including the formation of methanol, formaldehyde and formic acid). In the 1990’s, many companies, especially in Europe, chose to remove aspartame from their private label products. Other countries have considered banning aspartame entirely. Purported health effects include everything from brain tumors, lymphoma, and cancer, fibromyalgia, to headaches, dizziness and insomnia.
10. Acesulfame Potassium – A crystalline sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar and contributes no calories. Approved by the FDA in 1988. This sweetener is “calorie free” because it not digested by the body. It caused tumors and elevated blood level of cholesterol in animal studies. Not enough long-term studies in humans.
11. Pectin – Found in the cell walls of all green land plants. Used as a thickener and stabilizer. Produced commercially by extracting citrus peel, apple or beet pulp with hot acid. May cause allergic reaction in sensitive individuals
12. Calcium Disodium EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) – An acid which is used as a sequestrant or chelating agent (binds metals left in food from processing) and preservative. It is made from formaldehyde, sodium cyanide, and Ethylenediamine. There is much debate as to if EDTA is safe for humans. Long-term human studies need to be conducted to confirm. May be irritating to skin, cause asthma, and kidney damage.
In addition to being “free of calories”, this thirst-quenching beverage is also labeled as “low sodium”.
Less than 140mg per 8 fluid ounces.
Serving size = 16.9 ounces. (Hey . . . wait a sec!)
Perhaps I should have asked: “Have you enjoyed a bottle of highly processed, chemically sweetened, sodium laden, acidic, corn water lately?”
Can you guess what this mystery drink is? Click here to find out.
Next time I’ll just have plain water. I know what water is!