Anti-oxidants are the compounds that protect us from the harmful action of the free-radicals. On the other hand, sugar is one of those things that increases inflammation in our bodies. So, knowing that, this drink appears to be quite healthy, and it therefore naturally catches the eyes of the consumers, especially the fitness junkies.
But with so many "health-drinks" turning out to be full of unhealthy components, you can't help but the question is Bai as good as they claim it to be? We'll analyze the components of Bai and answer some more questions regarding Bai in this article.
Is Bai as Healthy as They Claim It to Be?
Quite frankly, without proper scientific research on any beverage that claims to be healthy no one can 100% say how effective that product actually is, and whether the claims they make are real. So, all we can do is look up the label and see what ingredients are there in the product and in what amount.
Here's what the content of Bai is, according to its label (in the same sequence):
- Filtered water
- Bai proprietary sweetener blend (erythritol, stevia extract)
- juice concentrates (varies as per different flavors)
- natural flavors (can come from anything)
- malic acid
- coffee fruit extract
- fruit and vegetable juice (for color)
- white tea extract
- citric acid
- ascorbic acid (basically, vitamin c)
- sodium citrate
It comes in a 16-ounce bottle (approx 500 ml); of this, 3-6% is fruit and vegetable juice as per the label. The rest of the 94%-97% liquid base I'm assuming is filtered water. The 16-ounce bottle is labeled to be 2 servings.
Nutritional values of Bai are as follows:
- Total 10 calories
- total sodium 70mg (35 mg per serving); 1% of the daily recommended dose
- potassium 180 mg; 5% of the daily recommended dose
- sugar 2 gm
- erythritol 10 gm
- protein 0 gm
- fat 0 gm
- vitamin E; 10% of the daily recommended dose ( in some packs)
- caffeine 70mg (35 mg per serving)
Vitamin C 13.5 mg (in some packs), 100mg polyphenols and chlorogenic acid from coffee fruit extract, white tea extract.
Analysis of Bai's Ingredients
On examining the label of Bai, the low total calorie content, low potassium, low sodium, and no fat content is a positive thing about it. Since it's a vegan product, therefore we can assume the "natural flavors" come from plant sources. Label says there is no artificial preservative, which is again a good thing. It's gluten-free, low calorie, Non-GMO, vegan, and soy-free. Both vitamin C and E are a great source of antioxidants as well.
Bai's proprietary sweetener blend (erythritol, stevia extract)
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols are mostly derived from sugars like glucose but contain fewer calories when compared to sugar. They are also naturally found fruits and vegetables. They are structurally similar to sugar, hence capable of stimulating out sweet taste buds, but cannot be digested by our system and therefore does not deliver a lot of calories. The normal sugar contains about 4 calories per gram, but erythritol, on the other hand, contains only 0.24 calories per gram. Overall, it's a good and safe sweetener.
Stevia, on the other hand, is a plant found in South America. It has absolutely zero calories and is 250 to 300 times sweeter than regular sucrose. It's already being used in many sugar-free sweeteners for diabetics and is a great choice for someone undergoing weight management. It is also pretty safe.
Coffee fruit extract
Coffee fruit is a small berry-like fruit that contains coffee beans inside it. It is quite a rich source of antioxidants. But that's not it, the coffee fruit is also great for your brain's health. Studies have suggested that coffee fruit significantly increases the levels of BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF plays an important role in the growth and maturation of neurons and is also linked with the protection of neurons and the formation of long-term memories
White tea extract
Derived from the tea plant, white tea has some great benefits too. The polyphenols present in tea make tea a great antioxidant. It also helps prevent heart diseases, helps in weight loss, and even helps our immune system fight bacteria.
All of it looks good.
However, a bit disappointing thing about Bai drinks is that they have not mentioned the amount of total antioxidants content in it. Bai claims its products to be an "antioxidant beverage', which is not satisfactory.
According to the FDA, you can only put labels like "high," "rich in," or "excellent source of" in your product's label if the total content of that nutrient is >20% of our daily recommended dose (RDI), and you can put terms like "good source," "contains," or "provides" if the product contains 10-19% of total daily recommended intake of that nutrient. None of these terms have been used on the label anywhere. With just the label of "antioxidant infusion" and "antioxidant beverage" we can't tell how much antioxidant content is there.
Considering this fact, we can't be sure whether it's really a "high" source of antioxidants or not. Because if yes, then why not put that in the label too, especially when everything else seems great about Bai when compared to other drinks?
The bottom line, it does seem better when compared to other drinks, but it may or may not be an as good source of antioxidant as they are being marketed.
What Are the Side Effects If You Replace Daily Consumption of Water With Bai
Overall, the consumption of Bai every day won't cause any acute side-effects for the most part. However, Bai also contains caffeine. One bottle of Bai contains 70 mg of caffeine, which is more than a cup of tea (47 mg on average). So if you are sensitive to caffeine, or if you have any kind of anxiety disorder, you might want to avoid drinking too much Bai.
In general, 300 mg of caffeine per day is considered safe. 4 bottles of Bai (i.e 2L) will add up to 280 mg of caffeine. This is still in the safe range, but it might be enough to agitate some people.
Apart from caffeine, erythritol may exhibit some side-effects too. Even though they are generally safe, too much erythritol may cause diarrhea and bloating.
Another reason to not consume too many artificially sweetened drinks is that consuming too many sweetened food increases your sweet cravings. This could make you want to drink more Bai or other unhealthy sweet foods and drinks. So, if you are on your fitness journey, you might want to limit its intake.
Lastly, replacing water with Bai completely may not be very pocket-friendly. You will have to invest a lot of money each month, considering you'll have to drink at least 4 bottles of Bai each day to complete your daily fluid requirement. So, this might not be a good idea if you are on a tight budget.
Is Bai Antioxidant Infusion Safe to Drink While Pregnant
Antioxidant consumption during pregnancy may result in healthier outcomes. One study showed that lower levels of the anti-oxidant were seen in women who had miscarriage in the first trimester of their pregnancy. In subsequent healthy pregnancies with live births, their antioxidant levels were higher than before.
However, too much caffeine may not be good for pregnant women. WHO recommends you keep your total caffeine intake (i.e. including from tea and coffee) below 300 mg during pregnancy to avoid miscarriage or low birth weight neonates.
Limit your Bai intake with a maximum of 2 bottles to be safe.
Is Bai Safe for Diabetics?
Stevia has zero calories in it.
90% of erythritol, on the other hand, gets excreted from our body as it is. Our body cannot digest erythritol as we don't have an enzyme in our body to break it down. Therefore, it does not result in the sudden spike of glucose that normally happens when we consume sucrose.
Taking all the facts into account, it appears to be safe for diabetics.
Healthy Alternatives to Water and Bai
1. Tea: Any of the tea-- black, green, white, oolong-- all of them contain a good amount of antioxidants. Plus when compared to Bai, tea would be more affordable and you will have the option to control the sweetness (everyone may not want to drink something sweet all day long). Tea is generally considered safe. At higher doses, it may cause some side-effects, like restlessness. To be safe, take no more than 4 cups of tea per day.
2. Fruit infused water: You can create your own flavored water at home with just a jar of water and your favorite fruit. To prepare an infusion, cut some of your preferred fruit and put it in your water container. Let it sit for a while. This will allow the natural juice of the fruits to dissolve and flavor the water. You can prepare a whole jar of such infusion at once, and use it all day long. Some fruits that are great to prepare such infusions are cucumber, slices of lemon, slices of oranges, apple, berries, and watermelon But you can use any fruit of your choice.
3. Coconut water is a healthy alternative as well. Choose the unsweetened, natural coconut water for the best results.
4. Smoothies and juices: You can prepare smoothies and juices at home using your favorite vegetable and fruits. You can even put a small amount of commercially produced juices in your regular water to flavor it. This way you will be consuming very fewer calories from the juice at once.
In conclusion, should you replace water with Bai? No! Despite how healthy it seems, it too has some side-effects that might not make it suitable to consume every day in heavy amounts. Instead of leaning towards one sweet drink, consider adding a few alternatives to fulfill your required fluid intake.
However, after analyzing its composition, it sure seems safe to drink moderate amounts.