After tasting Sparkling Ice, you may think this bubbly water with zero calories and zero carbs is too good to be true. With 16 fizzy flavors, it seems like your ketogenic diet just got a whole lot more interesting!
But is Sparkling Ice keto friendly? And will you still lose weight on a low-carb diet while drinking Sparkling Ice water?
What Is Sparkling Ice?
According to the company’s website, Sparkling Ice is “water for people who like fizzy drinks, zero sugar drinks, and just darn tasty drinks.” I might add, they’re also for people who like weight gain, but more on that in a minute.
Basically, Sparkling Ice is a replacement for diet soda or plain water on a low carb, low calorie diet – like a keto diet. Sparkling Ice drinks are bubbly drinks flavored with the non-caloric sweetener Sucralose. This ensures this soda alternative has zero grams of carbs.
This carbonated beverage also boasts of health benefits since Sparkling Ice products also contain vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, biotin and antioxidants.
Even though drinks that contain natural flavors and low calories aren’t the best way to absorb these vitamins, especially the fat soluble vitamins listed, the marketing team at Talking Rain Beverage Company would like you to believe otherwise.
Can I Drink Sparkling Ice Water on Keto?
In case the tone of this blog thus far hasn’t quite answered that question, let’s talk a little more about the ingredients. This will help determine if Sparkling Ice is a good option to replace your soda habit.
Even though most people focus solely on the grams of carbohydrates in keto drinks, long term weight loss comes down to the ingredients of the foods and drinks you consume.
While many say you can drink anything with zero net carbs on a keto plan, the real question to ask is which keto-friendly sparkling waters will help you get results. Combing through the ingredients listed on the plastic bottles will help you answer that question more fully.
Sparkling Ice Ingredients:
If you pick up a bottle of Sparkling Ice, you’ll notice a list of ingredients that is far longer than plain water drinks. The ingredients listed on a bottle of Kiwi Strawberry Sparkling Ice include:
- Carbonated Water
- Natural Flavors
- Citric Acid
- Kiwi Juice Concentrate
- Potassium Benzoate
- Fruit and Vegetable Juice
- Strawberry Juice Concentrate
- Gum Arabic
- Ester Gum
- Green Tea Extract
- Retinol (Vitamin A)
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
- Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3)
- Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
- Hydrocholoride (Vitamin B6)
Whew, that’s a long list of ingredients. And I actually chose that flavor because it has one of the shortest ingredient lists. Flavors like Cherry Limeade and Orange Mango list even more ingredients on their labels.
Sticking with whole foods, or even minimally processed foods with only ingredients you recognize on the label, is always the best choice on a keto diet. Still, many of the ingredients listed for Sparkling Ice don’t ring too many alarm bells for this keto pro.
In fact, I was even impressed when I saw green tea extract listed. Not that there are many benefits in such a small amount, but green tea can be a great way to bring down inflammation on a low carb diet – so A for effort!
Whenever the term natural flavors is listed, that’s when a product becomes a little sketchy. Food manufacturers don’t have to tell you what natural flavors are, so that term really could mean anything. When it comes to natural flavors, you’re never quite sure what’s lurking behind that term.
However, the real ingredient boogeyman that stuck out for me is Sucralose.
Is Sparkling Ice Keto Safe?
Most blogs on this subject are wrapping up right about now, telling you that all Sparkling Ice flavors are perfectly keto safe. Many even call this soft drink alternative a great option since it helps fill the quota for your daily needs for certain vitamins and minerals.
Oooh – look at all of that vitamin A that you’ll never absorb from this low calorie drink.
While I don’t love keeping too many artificial sweeteners as part of my low carb diet since they mostly lead to cravings and blood sugar spikes, I’ll splurge on occasion on a keto-friendly sweetener in some recipes.
The problem with Sparkling Ice is that the sweetener used is by no means a keto friendly sweetener. While some food manufacturers try to pass Sucralose off as keto-safe, there are just too many risks that come with this artificial sweetener.
Say Goodbye to A Healthy Gut Microbiome:
One of the biggest problems associated with long term use of Sucralose is it can lead to changes in your gut microbiome. Studies show this sweetener lowers the amount of good bacteria in your body by half.
While you may not think a healthy gut microbiome is a big deal, I promise you – it’s a HUGE deal!
This is especially important when it comes to keeping the weight you lose off for good. Guess what’s needed for long term weight maintenance – a healthy gut microbiome.
Guess what you destroy when you make the switch from sugary drinks to artificially sweetened drinks that come in 16 different flavors – a healthy gut microbiome!
It’s not that drinks with added sugar don’t also destroy your gut microbiome – because they do. However, taking in fewer calories with artificially sweetened drinks isn’t the key to long term weight loss, especially at the expense of healthy gut bacteria.
Sucralose Can Lead to More Inflammation:
Other studies show that Sucralose can lead to inflammation in the body overtime. This inflammation leads to the very health problems you’re trying to improve with a keto diet: obesity and diabetes.
Sucralose is especially bad when consumed with carbohydrates since studies have shown those who order a Diet Coke with their fast food meal gain even more weight from this combo.
While you may think this isn’t an issue since you’re following a diet where you limit carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners commonly lead to cravings for high carb foods.
Even though you have the best intentions of sticking to a low carb diet, your cravings could become too overwhelming when you add diet drinks into the mix.
There’s you and your well-intentioned self going about your day, minding your low carb business, and BAM! All of the sudden you find yourself face first in this obesity promoting combo of highly processed carbs and diet drinks! Even though the artificial sweeteners you had earlier in the day seemed harmless, they ended up sending your cravings out of control.
Will Sparkling Ice Break Ketosis?
Perhaps you’re a diet unicorn and you can get away with ALL of the bad-for-you sweeteners and still lose weight. While I still believe this sweet drink habit will catch up to you at some point, we’re all adults which means we all get to make our own bad choices.
If you choose to keep this Sucralose sweetened beverage in your plan, will Sparkling Ice break ketosis?
Since you’re here, you likely understand the key to weight loss on a keto diet is by avoiding insulin spikes and crashes throughout the day. Insulin is the hormone that regulates the metabolic state of ketosis. When insulin levels are high, stored fat cannot be broken down and used as energy.
With this in mind, researchers published a study in the journal Diabetes Care. In the study they compared subjects who drank plain water versus subjects who drank water sweetened with Sucralose.
The study showed the oral intake of the sweetened water increased insulin levels by up to 50 percent in test subjects. It’s pretty safe to conclude that an insulin spike of up to 50% is enough to kick most people out of ketosis.
Is Sparkling Ice Keto Friendly – The Wrap Up:
The bottom line when it comes to drinks flavored with Sucralose, whether they’re sparkling water drinks, energy drinks, or even alcoholic drinks, is that artificially sweetened drinks aren’t a great idea if weight loss is your goal on a low carb diet.
I personally struggled with losing and regaining the same 50 pounds for decades. One of the biggest mistakes I made during this 20 year weight loss struggle was including diet drinks as part of my plan.
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