If you’ve recently come across Sparkling Ice, you may have some questions about the brand. It is marketed as being a zero calorie carbonated drink that delivers both vitamins and antioxidants. The beverage comes in a range of fruity flavors. With a sleek, stylish, and 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 may be 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 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?
To answer this question thoroughly let take as an example the ingredient list for the Black Raspberry flavor.
- 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. Despite being “natural,” the beverage does contain a lot of flavoring. It also contains the sweetener sucralose, which we’ll discuss can be problematic in some cases.
Sweetened With Sucralose
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 and artificial sweeteners over the years. A few studies have raised concerns about the sweetener’s effect on blood sugar, gut health, and weight.
Sucralose 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 level. 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 heightened blood sugar and insulin levels. If you aren’t used to eating sucralose, you may find that Sparkling Ice does impact your blood sugar despite being sugar free.
Our gut relies 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.
Artificial sweeteners may impact taste and perception of other sweetened items as they can be over a hundred times sweeter than sugar. There is also a concern for overconsumption of processed foods containing an artificial sweetener as the perception of the item is that it is “healthy” because it contains no sugar.
Based on the research into sucralose, it’s best to proceed with caution. Nevertheless, the FDA considers it to be safe, meaning it is unlikely to cause serious damage to your body.
Colored With Dye
Sparkling contains food coloring to give it that bright, bold color. Like sucralose, there is inconclusive evidence 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 ingesting a different type of dye. Currently, there are six FDA approved dyes. Some have been shown to cause allergies, especially the yellow dye.
Hidden Source Of Caffeine
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.
How About the Other 'Healthy" Claims Touted By Brand
Is Sparkling Ice Good For a Keto Diet?
Based on the ingredient list, we can safely say that Sparkling Ice is safe for those following a Keto diet. The beverages contain no carbs and no regular sugar, meaning you can add these drinks to your routine without affecting your Keto diet plan.
Is Sparkling Ice Really No Calories?
Many people wonder if it is 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 not the only one. As of January 2020, Sparkling Ice was forced to update their nutrition information and state that their beverages actually contain 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 Better Because It is '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, Sparkling Ice is no more hydrating than other drinks.
Isn't Sparkling Ice Better Because Of The Added 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 may not do as much for your body as you are led to think.
We examined Vitamin Water and found that many of the added vitamins in that beverage did not have a significant effect on the body — especially as most people already get enough of the vitamins that are added, making them meaningless! This is because the vitamins are water soluble, if you are an otherwise healthy individual and eating a varied diet, it is likely you are already getting these nutrients. Water soluble nutrients consumed in excess are excreted in the urine. 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
Sparkling Ice can of course, be consumed on its own, however it does make a pretty good cocktail mixer!
If you are 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 adding to your health, its low calorie count means that it may be a better option than most sugary mixers.
Based on our research, we think it’s safe to say that Sparkling Ice does not exactly add to your health but it may not be taking away much from your health goals either. If you are in the habit of grabbing a bottle of Coke every day, by switching to Sparkling Ice, you will automatically reduce your daily calorie intake by around 140 calories! But, with all of its artificial ingredients, it is best to be consumed in moderation.
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!