If you want a carbonated beverage but need to manage blood sugar levels, or just want a healthier alternative than diet soda, Sparkling Ice drinks are a great option.
Some links on this post are affiliate links. I appreciate your support!
Sparkling Ice is a front runner for a healthy(ish) drink since its ingredients have changed. If you need a carbonated fix that's not soda, this is it!
Sparkling Ice is flavored, carbonated water, designed to be a soda alternative.
It outperforms soda from food coloring to nutrition, ingredients, natural flavors, and more. It uses the artificial sweetener sucralose to keep it low carb, and though it may not be zero calories like diet sodas, drinking 5 calories per serving is worth what you get in benefits.
6 Sparkling Ice Benefits
Like diet soda, Sparkling Ice products have zero carbs, but unlike diet soda, Sparkling Ice has added benefits!
Benefit #1 - Added vitamins and antioxidants.
Every bottle of Sparkling Ice has 15% of the daily value of these vitamins and antioxidants:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D 3mcg
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Pantothenic Acid
Benefit #2 - No high fructose corn syrup!
Benefit #3 - They use fruit and vegetable juices for color, not artificial food dyes.
Benefit #4 - The classic product line is caffeine free! They do have a caffeine line, but it has completely different packaging so there's no way to mistake one for the other.
Benefit #5 - All products are sweetened with sucralose as opposed to aspartame like most diet sodas. Sucralose has side effects as well, but it's a better option over aspartame. More on this later.
Because of the 1% juice content, Sparkling Ice drinks do contain added sugar, but in a trace amount. This is why they're able to claim "Zero Sugar" per the FDA's regulations.
Benefit #6 - Low calories! Each drink is only 5 calories.
What's Bad About Sparkling Ice?
Some of what you see online claiming Sparkling Ice is bad is due their previous formulation that used food dyes and other toxic ingredients. Many, like Frank Lipman, take issue with their sweetener.
Sparkling Ice is sweetened with sucralose, whereas Diet Coke, several Coke drinks, and many sugar-free products are sweetened with aspartame.
Both artificial sweeteners are approved by the FDA. Both have multiple studies that conclude "safe" and "unsafe" use for different health conditions. This means your current health will determine reactions, just like every food you eat.
As a note, sometimes artificial sweeteners can cause negative effects like headaches, diarrhea, or other bowel irritation with short-term use. (1) If you experience these symptoms after consuming artificially sweetened products you should monitor your intake and consult your doctor.
Aspartame is associated with more complications related to health conditions other than diabetes, which makes sucralose the better option.
Will Sparkling Ice Raise Blood Sugar?
Evidence shows that the sucralose in Sparkling Ice will not raise blood glucose levels.
Researchers in a meta-analysis looked for trends in glycemic impact from artificial sweeteners. They concluded that current evidence shows no trends in elevated blood sugar levels, but variations did occur based on health conditions. (2)
One study suggests that excessive and long-term consumption of sucralose can affect insulin and glucose responses, but their findings are not definite. The researchers suggest further investigation. (3)
Is Sparkling Ice Good for Weight Loss?
Some artificial sweeteners are not metabolized like sugar so they can aid in weight loss. Sucralose is one of these sweeteners.
A meta-analysis (4) of 24 studies concluded that swapping "low calorie sweetener options for their regular-calorie versions results in a modest weight loss and may be a useful dietary tool to improve compliance with weight loss or weight maintenance plans."
However, switching to Sparkling Ice from regular soda doesn't guarantee a weight loss. You'll need to use other weight-loss practices if that's your goal.
Sparkling Ice Ingredients
A few notes about their ingredients:
- The green tea extract used in the classic product line does not contain caffeine.
- Their products are Kosher and Gluten Free.
- They aren't vegan due to Lanolin in the vitamin blend. Lanolin is a by-product of sheared wool.
- Their drinks used to be colored with dyes but now they use natural sources thanks to customer feedback.
- If you see sediment floating, it's pulp from the fruit juice - completely normal.
Is Sparkling Ice Healthy?
Health is relative to each person, so depending on your current health and goals Sparkling Ice can be a healthier option than soda, even diet soda due to aspartame's numerous associations with health complications as mentioned above.
Sparkling Ice is a good choice if you're wanting to:
- transition from soda.
- consume less sugar.
- combine efforts in weight loss.
- manage blood sugar.
- enjoy a carbonated beverage.
Of course, these aren't the only reasons to drink a Sparkling Ice - It all depends on you.
Flavors from the Classic (caffeine free) line are:
- Grape Raspberry
- Black Cherry
- Berry Lemonade
- Black Raspberry
- Fruit Punch
- Cherry Limeade
- Strawberry Watermelon
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Kiwi Strawberry
- Pink Grapefruit
- Peach Nectarine
- Orange Mango
- Coconut Pineapple (personal favorite)
- Classic Lemonade
- Lemon Lime
As you can see, the offerings are either lemonade or fruity flavors. But even though they don't have deep flavors like Root Beer, Coke, Dr. Pepper, etc., they certainly satisfy on the carbonation front.
Sparkling Ice +Caffeine
Sparkling Ice has a caffeine product line with 70 mg of caffeine in each serving. For reference, recommended daily intake of caffeine is 400mg for adults and 200mg when pregnant.
In the chart above you see that Sparkling Ice has more caffeine than sodas and tea, but less than coffee and espresso when the serving sizes are matched.
Sparkling Ice caffeine comes from natural sources "like coffee beans and green tea extract" as stated on their site.
The only difference between Sparkling Ice and Sparkling Ice +Caffeine is the caffeine. The vitamin blend, natural colors, low calories, etc. are all the same.
+Caffeine has 7 flavors:
- Cherry Vanilla
- Black Raspberry
- Blue Raspberry
- Watermelon Lemonade
- Orange Passion Fruit
- Strawberry Citrus
- Citrus Twist
Where to Buy
Sparkling Ice is widely available in the drink aisles of retailers everywhere. You can purchase individually before committing to a whole pack, or you can buy a whole pack of one flavor, or grab a variety pack.
You can't buy directly from the Sparkling Ice site but you can purchase from their store on Amazon.
The last product line is a "Cocktail Inspired Hard Seltzer" called Sparkling Ice Spiked. This line has 1 to 2 carbs depending on the flavor. Their flavors are:
- Strawberry Citrus Smash
- Lemonade Refresher
- Cherry Lime Chiller
- Grapefruit Splash
- Strawberry Margarita
- Mango Mojito
At 120 calories these drinks don't qualify as "low calorie" but they are zero-sugar and sweetened with sucralose like the other drinks.