If you’ve recently come across Sparkling Ice, you may have some questions about the brand. It advertises itself as being a zero calorie carbonated drink that delivers vitamins and antioxidants. The beverage comes in a range of fruity flavors. With its sleek, stylish, colorful packaging, the drink comes across as a healthy, tasty alternative to plain water.
Simply looking at a bottle of Sparkling Ice on the supermarket shelves, it’s pretty hard to determine if the drink is actually good or bad for you. We’ve done some digging! Here is everything you need to know about the beverage before you start guzzling it down every day.
What is Sparkling Ice?
Sparkling Ice is a carbonated flavored water beverage. According to their company website, the beverage boasts zero carbs and zero sugar. It’s a fairly cheap beverage, usually costing around $1 per bottle. But what is actually in the beverage to give it its flavor and color? Let’s find out!
What are the Sparkling Ice Flavors?
Sparkling Ice comes in a wide range of flavors.
There are 18 classic flavors:
- Black Raspberry
- Grape Raspberry
- Black Cherry
- Cherry Limeade
- Kiwi Strawberry
- Orange Mango
- Pomegranate Blueberry
- Fruit Punch
- Coconut Pineapple
- Classic Lemonade
- Strawberry Watermelon
- Lemon Lime
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Pink Grapefruit
- Peach Nectarine
- Crisp Apple
- Ginger Lime
- Coconut Limeade
There are also a range of flavors with added caffeine:
- Triple Citrus
- Cherry Vanilla
- Black Raspberry
- Blue Raspberry
- Orange Passion Fruit
- Strawberry Citrus
Is Sparkling Ice Good for You?
Let’s take a look at an ingredient list for the Black Raspberry flavor. It reportedly contains:
- Carbonated water
- Natural Black Raspberry Flavoring with other natural flavorings
- Blackberry Juice from Concentrate (3%)
- Acid (Malic Acid)
- Black Carrot Concentrate
- Preservative (Potassium Sorbate)
- Sweetener (Sucralose)
- Vitamins (Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Biotin, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12)
Based on this list, it’s easy to see at a glance that there are a lot of added ingredients that sound a little suspect. First of all, despite being “natural,” the beverage does contain a lot of flavoring.
It also contains the sweetener sucralose, which we’ll discuss in more detail shortly.
Finally, we will also discuss all of the added vitamins in the drink.
Good For a Keto Diet?
Based on the ingredient list, we can safely say that Sparkling Ice is safe for those on a Keto diet. Because the beverages contain no carbs and no regular sugar, you can add these drinks to your routine without affecting your Keto diet plan.
About the Sucralose Content
Instead of using regular sugar, which can pack on the calories, Sparkling Ice uses an artificial sweetener called sucralose. This artificial sweetener is also commonly known as Splenda.
There has been a lot of debate about the safety of sucralose over the years. A few studies have raised concerns about the sweetener’s effect on blood sugar, cut health, and weight.
Sucarlose is made from sugar and, through a chemical process, is made to be calorie free.
In most cases sucralose has been shown to have little effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. However, some studies have shown that this can depend on the individual and the amount of sucralose your body is used to.
One study shows that people who weren’t used to eating sucralose experienced significantly heightened blood sugar and insulin levels.
If you aren’t used to eating sucralose, you may find that Sparkling Ice has a negative effect on your body’s blood sugar.
Our guts rely on healthy bacteria for our digestion and immune system. One study showed that sucralose may affect this bacteria, causing complications for your digestion and overall gut health.
Another study suggested that while sucralose doesn’t encourage weight loss, it can lead to a small amount of weight gain.
Based on the research into sucralose, it’s best to proceed with caution. Nevertheless, the FDA considers it to be safe, so it’s unlikely to cause serious damage to your body.
About Food Coloring in Sparkling Ice
Sparkling contains food coloring to give it that bright, bold color. Like sucralose, there is inconclusive evidence out there about the safety of food coloring in food. Some studies have shown that these artificial dyes can cause negative side effects, including hyperactivity, cancer, and an increased risk of allergies.
Depending on which color drink you choose, you’ll be dealing with a different type of dye. Currently, there are six FDA approved dyes. Some have been shown to cause allergies, especially the yellow dye.
Is Sparkling Ice Really Zero Calories?
Lots of people wonder if it’s possible that Sparkling Ice really is zero calories. After all, there seems to be a lot of ingredients added to it!
If you were skeptical about Sparkling Ice really being a zero calorie drink, you were onto something. As of January 2020, Sparkling Ice was forced to update their nutrition information and state that their beverages actually contained 5 calories. Apparently, this change was because of a change to the serving size per bottle.
As Sparkling Ice explained on their website, the minuscule calorie count is due to the Malic acid, juice content, and colorings.
Is Sparkling Ice Hydrating?
Because Sparkling Ice is primarily made of carbonated water, it will help to keep you hydrated.
However, if you chose one of the caffeinated options, be aware that caffeine is considered a diuretic, which may cause you to urinate more frequently. Nevertheless, it won’t increase your risk of dehydration.
Is Sparkling Ice Rich In Vitamins
While you may see the many vitamins listed in Sparkling Ice’s ingredient list and assume that this means the beverage is actively healthy, unfortunately, most drinks with added vitamins don’t actually do much for your body.
We examined Vitamin Water and found that most of the added vitamins in that beverage didn’t have a significant effect on the body — especially as most people already get enough of the vitamins that are added, making them meaningless! Read all about that analysis in our post here.
While few studies have been done on Sparkling Ice’s vitamin content, it’s likely that the same issue exists with this beverage.
How to Use Sparkling Ice
Sparkling Ice can, of course, be consumed on its own, however it does make a pretty good cocktail mixer! If you’re planning on hosting a party or simply whipping up a special drink this weekend, try substituting your regular mixer for a Sparkling Ice. While Sparkling Ice isn’t exactly healthy, its low calorie count means that it's probably healthier than most sugary mixers.
Important Things to Know About Sparkling Ice
Most of us know that caffeine is a great way to give yourself a little energy boost. Nevertheless, caffeine does come with some health dangers. As Healthline points out, too much caffeine can cause anxiety, insomnia, digestive problems, addiction, rapid heart rate, and more.
Sparkling Ice contains 70mg of caffeine per can. The daily recommended maximum is 400mg, so keep this in mind if you also drink coffee and tea throughout the day.
Sparkling Ice beverages do have expiry dates on their lids and labels. Usually, they have a nine month shelf. Avoid drinking a Sparkling ice that has passed its expiry date to avoid unpleasant side effects!
What Are Some Healthier Alternatives to Sparkling Ice?
If you like the sound of a fruity carbonated beverage but aren’t sure about Sparkling Ice because of all of the additives, why not try making a more natural and healthy version at home? Simply take sparkling water, and add berries, lemons, or other fruits for extra flavor!
Based on our research, we think it’s safe to say that Sparkling Ice isn’t exactly healthy.
That being said, it’s not the worst thing you could drink either. If you are in the habit of grabbing a bottle of Coke every day, by switching to Sparkling Ice, you’ll automatically reduce your daily calorie intake by around 140 calories!
Nevertheless, with all of its artificial ingredients, it’s probably best to avoid drinking Sparkling Ice every day. Instead, try swapping it for regular sparkling water with added berries for the same taste!