Drink This!

The Top 38 Diet Sodas—Ranked!

What if I told you that the most popular weight-loss product in America was scientifically proven to actually make you fatter?

Drink This!

The Top 38 Diet Sodas—Ranked!

What if I told you that the most popular weight-loss product in America was scientifically proven to actually make you fatter?

It’s true. The name of that product: Diet soda.

In fact, daily diet soda drinkers grow 2 ½ more inches of belly fat each decade than those who don’t drink the stuff, according to a recent study. Even if you’re consuming fewer calories, you may still gain weight thanks to diet soda.

“Diet drinks cause insulin to be released in your gut because their artificial sweeteners are sweet like sugar, and that actually prevents weight loss,” Miriam Jacobson, RD, CDN, told us. “Insulin is your body’s primary fat-storage hormone, so it will have the body hold onto any extra fat.”

Diet sodas also harm the immune system because their acidity causes havoc with our gut bacteria. And the caramel coloring in many sodas contains an artificial form of phosphorous that’s been shown to leach calcium from our bones.

But while every diet soda is bad for you, some are clearly worse than others. The team at Eat This, Not That! took 38 brands into our Food Lab, and pored over the ingredients of the most popular diet sodas in America. Read on to discover where your favorite cola landed—and discover our surprising #1 pick, which might become your new go-to. And lose weight the right way thanks to Insanity trainer Shaun T, Maria Menounos, Padma Lakshmi and more using these FREE 50 Best-Ever Weight Loss Secrets From Skinny People!

How We Ranked Them

diet coke

First, we measured the amount of artificial sweetener in each soda, paying special attention to aspartamane, the most pervasive sweetener. The low-calorie sugar alternative, made by joining two amino acids with an alcohol, is 180 times sweeter than sugar—and the subject of controversy. Some researchers claim to have linked aspartame to brain tumors and lymphoma, but the FDA insists the sweetener is safe for humans. At Eat This, Not That!, we recommend you limit your consumption. And given the public’s interest in limiting their aspartame intake (see Diet Pepsi), we gave demerits to diet sodas with high aspartame counts.

Then, also docked points for high levels of ingredients you wouldn't expect in your beverage—like vegetable oils and tree bark—and gave high marks to new brands with more natural blends.

And now, without further ado (or should we say, a Dew)…The Top 38 Diet Sodas—Ranked!

38

Diet Mountain Dew

diet mountain dew

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 50 mg sodium

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Concentrated Orange Juice, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Citrus Pectin, Potassium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness), Aspartame, Potassium Citrate, Caffeine, Sodium Citrate, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Gum Arabic, Sodium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness), Calcium Disodium EDTA (to Protect Flavor), Brominated Vegetable Oil, Yellow 5.

There's flame retardant in your Mountain Dew. That soda with the lime-green hue (and other citrus-flavored bubbly pops) won't keep your insides fireproof, but it does contain brominated vegetable oil, a patented flame retardant for plastics that has been banned in foods throughout Europe and in Japan. Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, which acts as an emulsifier in citrus-flavored soda drinks, is found in about 10 percent of sodas sold in the U.S. “After a few extreme soda binges – not too far from what many gamers regularly consume – a few patients have needed medical attention for skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders, all symptoms of overexposure to bromine,” according to an article in Environmental News. Don’t do the Dew: It’s the Worst Diet Soda in the World!

37

Tab

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Natural Flavors, Phosphoric Acid, Calcium Saccharin, Potassium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Caffeine, Aspartame.

Introduced in 1963—for people keeping “tabs” on their weight—TaB was Coke’s first calorie-free soda, and the first to draw outcry because of its artificial sweetener. Between 1997 and 2000, the FDA mandated that saccharin-containing products carry a label warning consumers about the risk of cancer, due largely to the development of bladder tumors in saccharin-consuming rate. Saccharin still isn’t in the clear. One recent study funded by Purdue and the National Institute of Health showed that rats with a saccharin-rich diet gained more weight than those with high-sugar diets. Eat This, Not That!’s official stance? Avoid. By the way, sometimes, fat isn’t bad: click here to discover the essential list of the 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss!

36

Fresca Original Citrus

fresca

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Citric Acid, Concentrated Grapefruit Juice, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Sorbate, Potassium Benzoate and EDTA (to Protect Taste), Aspartame, Acesulfame Potassium, Acacia, Natural Flavors, Glycerol Ester of Rosin, Brominated Vegetable Oil, Carob Bean Gum.

I don’t know about you, but after a long day of hard work and play, I like to sit back and relax and crack open a can of Glycerol Ester Of Rosin. The wood resin is added to many fruit sodas to help the fruit-flavored oils mix better with the water. While it’s not necessarily harmful, let us repeat: you’re drinking oil and water, sold to you by Coke. Plus, this one has BVO.

35

Coca-Cola Life

coca-cola life

12 oz, 90 calories, 24 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Cane Sugar, Caramel Color, Natural Flavors, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Caffeine, Stevia Leaf Extract.

If you think you’re doing yourself a favor by opting for Coca-Cola’s sugar- and stevia-sweetened beverage, Coke Life, over the traditional red can, you might want to take a closer look at the nutrition label. Its natural packaging is there to distract you from the cold, hard facts: A 12-ounce can of the stuff contains 24 grams of sugar, which is especially troubling given the recent World Health Organization recommendation to reduce our daily sugar intake to about 25 grams a day to most effectively ward off obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. (A regular can of Coke has 39g.) In fact, the green can packs in as much sugar as you’ll get from downing three Apple n Spice Donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts!

34

Pepsi True

pepsi true

12 fl. oz., 60 calories, 16 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Sugar, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavor, Caffeine, Purified Stevia Leaf Extract

Pepsi’s answer to Coca-Cola Life—also made with pure sugar and Stevia Leaf extract— says it’s “all the fun you love about Pepsi with 30% less sugar than regular Pepsi.” They forgot to add it also has 100% more sugar than you should be drinking out of a can. (Although, hey, at least it has 8 grams less than Life.) Stay “true” to yourself and instead satisfy your craving with one of The 29 Best-Ever Proteins for Weight Loss!

33

Pepsi Next

pepsi next

12 fl oz, 60 calories, 15 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Sugar, Phosphoric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Natural Flavor, Potassium Sorbate (preserves freshness), Caffeine, Sucralose, Citric Acid, Acesulfame Potassium.

If you love Pepsi True—but wish it had more High Fructose Corn Syrup–this is the soda for you!

32

RC Ten

rc ten

12 fl oz., 10 calories, 3 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Citrate, Aspartame, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Potassium Benzoate (protects Flavor), Caffeine, Citric Acid, Acesuklfame Potassium, Acacia Gum, Sucralose

Only the soda companies could blend two evils—High Fructose Corn Syrup and artificial sweeteners—and market it as a healthier choice. The Ten line does just that. “Both Ten and a zero-calorie brand are bad,” Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian, tells Eat This, Not That!, “but for the sake of fewer bad ingredients, the zero-calorie is better.” Especially when it comes to RC: This one has more sugar than the other Tens—and caramel color is the third ingredient.

31

Dr. Pepper Ten

best sodas dr pepper 10

12 fl oz, 12 calories, 2.4 g sugar

**Ingredients: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Aspartame, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Caffeine, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Acesulfame Potassium, Sodium Phosphate.

Shocker: This Ten has more than ten calories! To easily burn off any of these sodas—without spending hours in the gym—don’t miss this list of the essential 55 Best-Ever Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism—Fast!

30

Sunkist Ten

sunkist ten

12 fl oz., 10 calories, 2 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Malic Acid, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Aspartame, Modified Food Starch, Natural Flavors, Acesulfame Potassium, Caffeine, Ester Gum, Yellow 6, Red 40

The artificial colors alone sunk this Sunkist. But you’re also drinking modified food starch—a catch-all term describing starches (derived from corn, wheat, potato or rice) that are modified to change their response to heat or cold and improve their texture. The starches themselves appear safe but the nondisclosure of the chemicals used in processing causes some nutritionists to question their effects on health.

29

A&W Ten

A&W Ten

12 fl oz., 10 calories, 2 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Natural and Artificial Flavors, Aspartame, Acesuklfame Potassium, Malic Acid, Quillaia Extract

Quillaia extract? The best (and worst) part of researching these sodas in the Eat This, Not That! Food Lab is coming across the weird ingredients soda manufacturers (in this case, Pepsi) add to their concoctions. Quillaia is a tree bark, and it helps your root beer foam up.

28

Canada Dry Ten

canada dry ten

12 fl oz., 10 calories, 2 g sugar

Ingredients: Filtered Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Malic Acid, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Aspartame, Natural Flavors, Acesulfame Potassium, Caramel Color.

Our moms used to give us Canada Dry Ginger Ale when we had a tummy ache. Now as adults, we get a tummy ache looking at it. Blame Canada. Their tagline is “Real Ginger, Real Taste” but the main ingredients here are carbonated water and artificial sweeteners.

27

7-Up Ten

7up 10

12 fl oz, 10 calories, 2 g sugar

Ingredients: Filtered Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Benzoate (preservative), Natural Flavors, Aspartame, Acesulfame Potassium, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor)

Of the Tens, at least this one has no caramel color. But if you’re sipping one, you’re probably also missing some of these 25 Most Overlooked Ways to Lose Weight!

26

Pepsi Max

best sodas pepsi max

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Aspartame, Potassium Benzoate (preserves freshness), Caffeine, Natural Flavor, Acesulfame Potassium, Citric Acid, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), Panax Ginseng Root Extract

Is your 7-11 sold out of Coke Zero, bro? Try this wannabe, which adds extra caffeine ginseng to fool dudes into thinking this is an all-natural energy drink.

25

Mello Yello Zero

mello yello zero

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Citric Acid, Aspartame, Sodium Benzoate And EDTA (to Protect Taste), Acacia, Potassium Citrate, Acesulfame Potassium, Caffeine, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Natural Flavors, Coconut Oil, Yellow 5.

You know when you add some Mentos to a two-liter Diet Coke and the whole thing explodes? (Don’t try that at home.) That’s thanks to the Gum Acacia in the candy, which is also in this soda—it’s a natural emulsifier. Despite it’s weird name, is probably this most natural ingredient in this artificially-colored Zero.

24

Fanta Zero

best sodas fanta zero

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Citric Acid, Potassium Citrate, Aspartame, Natural Flavors, Potassium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Modified Food Starch, Acesulfame Potassium, Yellow 6, Glycerol Ester Of Rosin, Coconut Oil, Red 40.

Just like its full calorie cousin, Fanta Zero is an unsavory blend of oils and artificial colors. Even without its unsettling origin story—the Coca-Cola company created Fanta to profit in Germany, when Nazis forbid the importation of USA-made Coke—this would still be gross. (Speaking of sodas, don’t miss our ultimate list of the Top 32 Regular Sodas—Ranked!)

23

Diet Sunkist

diet sunkist

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Aspartame, Malic Acid, Modified Food Starch, Natural Flavors, Caffeine, Ester Gum, Acesulfame Potassium, Yellow 6, Red 40

What do you get when you combine carbonated water with aspartame and a host of hard-to-pronounce chemicals? This citrus-inspired sip. It gets its alluring orange color from Yellow 65 and Red 40. A Journal of Pediatrics study linked Yellow 5 to hyperactivity in children and Canadian researchers found Red 40 to be contaminated with known carcinogens.

22

Pibb Zero

pibb zero

0 calories, 0 sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Aspartame, Potassium Sorbate and Potassium Benzoate (to protect taste), Artificial and Natural Flavors, Acesulfame Potassium, Caffeine, Monosodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Polyethylene Glycol.

A “spicy” cherry soda found mostly in the South—or in Coke Freestyle machines—Pibb Zero contains propylene glycol, a preservative, thickening agent, and stabilizer, also used as antifreeze to de-ice airplanes, as a plasticizer to make polyester resins, and found in electronic cigarettes. A nutritional zero.

21

Diet Barq's Root Beer

best sodas diet barqs

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate And Sodium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Aspartame, Citric Acid, Acesulfame Potassium, Artificial And Natural Flavors, Acacia, Potassium Chloride.

As with aspartame, Eat This, Not That! also recommends you limit Acesulfame Potassium—aka Ace K—a zero-calorie sweetener that often appears with sucralose or aspartame to create a flavor closer to sugar (it’s 200 times sweeter). Although the FDA does not recognize it as a carcinogen, some experts disagree, and large doses have been shown to cause problems in the thyroid glands of rats, rabbits and dogs. It’s used here to sweeten the root beer, but you’ll also find it in Diet Pepsi, Fresca and Coke’s Zero line. For decadent fat-burners, without the guilt, don’t miss this list of the 25 Best Carbs That Uncover Your Abs!

20

Diet Mug Root Beer

diet mug

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (preserves freshness), Aspartame, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Quillaia Extract, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor)

As with the A&W root beer, the ingredient to worry about here is not the Quillaia tree bark, but rather the caramel color and aspartame.

19

Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry

diet dr pepper cherry

0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Aspartame, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Citric Acid, Phosphoric Acid, Caffeine, Malic Acid, Sodium Phosphate, Red 40

The Cherry version of Diet Dr. Pepper is worse than the original because of the artificial color Red 40, which Canadian researchers found to be contaminated with known carcinogens.

18

Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry Vanilla

diet dr. pepper cherry vanilla

0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Aspartame, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Citric Acid, Phosphoric Acid, Caffeine, Malic Acid, Red 40

Like old school Cherry, the Vanilla also has Red 40—and no actual vanilla.

17

Dr. Brown’s Diet Black Cherry

dr. brown’s diet black cherry

0 calories, 0 sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Cherry and Other Natural Flavors, Malic Acid, Aspartame, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Caramel Color and Artificial Color (red #40)

Another “doctor” prescribing Red 40. If Dr. Brown had a diploma, it’d be from the University of American Samoa.

16

Diet Dr. Pepper

diet dr pepper

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Aspartame, Phosphoric Acid, Artificial and Natural Flavors, Sodium Benzoate, Caffeine.

Eat This, Not That! researchers found the aspartame count, in milligrams, of a Diet Dr. Pepper was 123 mg—the highest of all major sodas outside of Diet Coke. We know it’s likely your favorite guilty pleasure, but keep this Doctor away and instead don’t miss need these 33 Ways to Flatten Your Belly—Fast!!

15

Diet Mug Cream Soda

diet mug cream soda

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sodium Benzoate (preserves freshness), Aspartame, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Yucca Mohave Extract, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor)

Don’t worry too much about the Yucca Mohave Extract—it just makes your artificially-sweetened carbonated water foamy. Instead, wonder: Where’s the cream?

14

Coke Zero

coke zero

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Aspartame, Potassium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Natural Flavors, Potassium Citrate, Acesulfame Potassium, Caffeine.

After years of growth, sales are flatlining for this once-cool new brand, originally marketed as a masculine alternative to girly Diet Coke. But the key to Coke’s Zero’s meteoric rise wasn’t dudes, it was the unique blend of aspartame (58 mg) and acesulfame potassium (31 mg). Suddenly, a diet drink tasted like real Coke! Thing is, it could make you fat like one, too. “Even though diet drinks are calorie-free, they cause insulin to be released in your gut because their artificial sweeteners are sweet like sugar, and that actually prevents weight loss,” says Miriam Jacobson, RD, CDN. “Insulin is your body’s primary fat-storage hormone, so it will have the body hold on to any extra fat,” she explains, adding, “Trying to lose weight by trading a Coke for this is doing the body just as much harm, if not more, because of all the chemicals in the calorie-free version.”

13

Diet Coke Cherry

diet coke cherry

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (to protect taste), Aspartame, Natural Flavors, Acesulfame Potassium, Caffeine

To make this even sweeter than old-school Diet Coke, they’ve added acesulfame potassium to the mix. As for actual cherry…..nope.

12

Diet Coke with Lime

diet coke with lime

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (to protect taste), Aspartame, Citric Acid, Acesulfame Potassium, Caffeine

As with the Diet Coke with Cherry, this one’s made sweeter with Ace-K—and has citric acid, for the tang. Our question: Why not enjoy a Diet Coke with real lime? Health halos aren’t the only tricks marketers pull; discover the ones making you fat by clicking on these 24 Weight-Loss Myths—Busted!

11

Diet Coke

best sodas diet coke

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Aspartame, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (to protect taste), Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Caffeine.

The best-selling diet soda in the world has been losing market share to healthier alternatives, dropping from $4.4 billion in sales in 2005 to $3.2 last year. Meanwhile, tea sales are soaring. That’s because a study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism showed that white tea can simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of fat cells). The tea’s combination of caffeine and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) seems to set fat cells up for defeat. We at Eat This, Not That! love tea so much, we made it part of our bestselling new diet plan, The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Check it out—test panelists lost 10 pounds in one week!

10

Diet Coke with Splenda

best sodas diet coke splenda

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Natural Flavors, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (to protect taste), Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Caffeine, Citric Acid.

After reviewing more than 110 animal and human studies, the FDA decided in 1999 to approve sucralose, aka Splenda, for use in all foods. Sucralose opponents argue that the amount of human research is inadequate, but even groups like the Center for Science in the Public Interest have deemed it safe. Too bad this one’s a bit hard to find.

9

Diet Pepsi

diet pepsi aspartame free

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (preserves freshness), Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Caffeine, Natural Flavor, Citric Acid

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

The soda giant claimed consumer demand—not science—was behind its headline-making decision to remove aspartame from its classic cola earlier this year. They replaced it with sucralose, aka Splenda and acesulfame potassium, aka Ace K. We’re applauding the move—but with one hand only. The other’s reaching for an all-natural beverage, like our #1 and #2 picks. (And we’re not alone: Sales of Diet Pepsi dropped 35 percent in the last 10 years.)

8

Caffeine Free Diet Coke

caffeine free diet coke

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Aspartame, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (to protect taste), Natural Flavors, Citric Acid

Although Eat This, Not That! isn’t against caffeine—it’s proven to boost metabolism and aid weight loss—excessive caffeine screws with your sleep schedule and suppresses functions of key immune agents. And insufficient sleep opens the door to colds, upper respiratory infections and other ills. So if you’re on your third can of DC for the day, switch to this, if you must.

7

Diet Rite

diet rite

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Sucralose, Citric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (preservative), Acesulfame Potassium, Natural Flavors, Acacia Gum, Potassium Citrate

The also-ran in the soda wars—usually a few cents cheaper—surprises us with this formula. It has zero aspartame (yay!) but also zero caffeine, which leaves us wondering, why would anyone drink this. Amirite?

6

Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi

caffeine free diet pepsi

0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (preserves freshness), Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Natural Flavor, Citric Acid

As we’ve said, we’re into caffeine, as long as you don’t overdo it. But why drink a can of chemicals if you’re not even benefiting from the buzz?

5

Diet 7-Up

best sodas diet 7up

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

**Ingredients: Filtered Carbonated Water, Citric Acid, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Benzoate (Preservative), Natural Flavors, Aspartame, Acesulfame Potassium, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor)

What separates this from all the rest? No artificial coloring. Yet it’s still filled with artificial sweetener. Click here for the 20 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet!

4

Sprite Zero

sprite zero

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Citric Acid, Potassium Citrate, Natural Flavors, Potassium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Aspartame, Acesulfame Potassium

As with the Diet 7-Up, the Sprite Zero has no artificial colors. But why settle for artificial flavors?

3

Zevia Ginger Root Beer

zevia

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Erythritol, Reb A (Stevia Extract), Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Monk Fruit Extract

This small company, founded by soda-loving parents who wanted something healthier for their children, distributes a variety of classic flavors, from cola to ginger ale to grape, without using artificial sweeteners or artificial colors. Instead, they’re sweetened with the sugar alcohol Erythritol. “The upside is that sugar alcohols are not as artificial as some of their counterparts in the low/zero calorie sugar industry,” says Smith, “but they can cause gastrointestinal upset like gas a diarrhea when consumed in excess—although some say that erythritol may be better tolerated than other sugar alcohols. The other plus,” she continues, “is that unlike other sweeteners—specifically artificial sweeteners—they are not thousands of times sweeter than sugar, so they may cause less metabolic confusion in terms of sweetness as compared to caloric delivery, although more research still needed.” Brilliantly, this root beer tastes like the real thing—and is clear, because there’s no caramel color.

2

Hint Kick

hint kick

0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients in the Black Raspberry flavor, for example: Purified Water, Black Raspberry, Other Natural Flavors from non-GMO Plants and Natural Caffeine from Coffee Beans

OK, we’re totally cheating here. Hint Water isn’t carbonated, cola-flavored or sold in 64-ounce Big Gulps. But these new flavored bottled waters do have 60 milligrams of caffeine, derived from coffee beans. That’s more than you’ll find in Diet Dr. Pepper (41 mg), Diet Coke (47 mg) or even Mountain Dew (54 mg). So you get all of the pop, with none of the calories—and each flavor is sweetened not with aspartame, but with fruit juice or spice. Try the Lemon Cayenne Hint Kick (and don’t overdo it, since caffeine can dehydrate you), and you’ll never go back to Diet Coke again. And to blast even more fat, don’t miss these 30 Skinny Secrets from the World’s Sexiest Women!

And the #1
Diet Soda is…

Bai5 Bubbles!

bai5 bubbles

11.5 fl. oz. of the Bolivia Black Cherry flavor: 5 calories, 1 g sugar

Ingredients: Filtered Carbonated Water, Bai® Proprietary Sweetener Blend™ (Erythritol, Stevia Extract), Natural Flavors, Cherry Juice Concentrate, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Fruit and Vegetable Juice (for color), Coffeefruit Extract, White Tea Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Citrate.

Founded by coffee guru Ben Weiss in his Princeton basement, Bai5, a new line of all-natural fruity drinks with exotic flavors, is forecast to rack up $125 million in sales this year. We can see why: Their Bubbles line—with flavors like Guatemala Guava, Jamaica Blood Orange and Bolivia Black Cherry—are the definitive Drink This on this list of Not That!s. Sweetened with fruit juice, erythritol and stevia (not aspartame) and powered by 45 mg of caffeine, thanks to the tea and coffeefruit, they’re delicious enjoyed straight-up or as a mixer. Interestingly, rather that beat Bai5, one soda titan joined them: the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, who once only distributed the product, bought a stake in the company this past April. Meet the Best Diet Soda in America!

LOSE UP TO 14 POUNDS—FROM YOUR BELLY FIRST!

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