A look at SodaStream Syrup Ingredients:
SodaStream states that their beverages contain 60% less sugar than Coke, or any other regular soda [355 ml.], however of interest to parents of young children should be the fact that Sugar is listed as the first ingredient on a SodaStream regular syrup bottle.
A serving size of SodaStream syrup is listed as 10 ml. and that same amount of syrup actually contains 9 g. of sugar [that’s 2 teaspoons]. As well, there is 25 mg. of sodium in that 10 ml. of syrup.
NOTE: A recent article published September 2012 in the Winnipeg Free Press, entitled Parents urged to limit kids’ caffeine consumption, tells us that Canadian Guidelines say that children who consume 1 or more 355 ml. sweetened soft drink are 60% more likely to be obese.
Furthermore, children who fill up on soda pop don’t get the vitamins and minerals they require from healthy sources, such as milk, putting them at risk for nutritional deficiencies. In fact, children who drink too much soda pop may miss getting the calcium they need from milk to build strong bones and teeth.
NOTE: Another recent article published September 18, 2012 in the Winnipeg Free Press, entitled Brittle bones for Canada’s aging junk-food generation, declares that food that is high in fat and sugar robs the skeleton of the building blocks it requires to grow and remain strong to ward off degenerative conditions like osteoporosis.
A high fat diet of junk-food and sugar [regular and diet soft drinks] blocks ingested calcium from being absorbed, so it excretes it in the urine. Furthermore, the article states that 1,600,000 Canadian children are obese or overweight.
That would be 1 in 4 children who face increased risk for osteoporosis, premature joint wear and other skeletal conditions that can rob them of their health.
SodaStream sodas may contain less sugar than regular soft drinks [355 ml.], but does that in fact make their sodas a healthy alternative to milk, no sugar added fruit juice or water? Parents will have to make that decision themselves.
In the past few years both Coke and Pepsi have made strategic decisions to purchase bottled water companies, and fruit drink companies because of changing consumer demands. Consumers are moving away from carbonated soft drink beverages to pursue a healthier lifestyle.
NOTE: SodaStream made a deal with Kraft in July, 2012 to add Kool-Aid flavours to their Sodas, and they will also be partnering with Crystal Light drinks.
Another blurb from the “Dish Sodalicious” article, tells us that SodaStream offers reduced calories, reduced carbohydrates and reduced sodium. “What’s not to love?” That is one of the questions the article asks of its audience.
But a quick glance at the SodaStream syrup bottles at Unicity Walmart [Winnipeg] revealed that they contained virtually no vitamins or minerals, but were made up of sugar/sucralose [carbohydrates] sodium and colour/dyes. Some varieties even contain caffeine.
A Rundown on the Ingredients in some SodaStream Syrups:
SodaStream Cranberry Raspberry Syrup:
This syrup label states that it has 7% apple juice, 3% raspberry juice, 2% cranberry juice and 1% elderberry juice but it also contains carmel colouring, 13 mg. of Splenda [Sucralose] for an 8 oz. glass, and 6 mg. of sodium.
There are a host of artificial colours that are also listed on the label, specifically red no. 40 dye, red no. 3 dye, and blue no. 1 dye.
Note: The label on the Cranberry Raspberry syrup bottle at Unicity Walmart [Winnipeg] lists only artificial colour, and does not specify the colours by number as the American SodaStream web site does.
Health Canada still allows food companies to simply list “colour” if they so choose, without specifying the particular number. Back in 2010 they were considering changing this, requiring all food colourings be identified by number but this has yet to happen.
Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks an article written by Sara Kobylewski for The Center for Science in the Public Interest, specifically mentions Red No. 3 dye as being risky to human health.
The article states that in 1990 the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] identified Red No. 3 dye as a thyroid carcinogen in animals. It should also be noted that Red No. 3 dye is banned in external cosmetics in the United States, but the FDA still allows it to be used in food and ingested drugs.
California has lobbied that foods containing Red No. 3 dye should come with a cancer warning.
Furthermore, the article states that Red No. 40 dye can increase behavioural issues and hyperactivity while Blue No. 1 dye has been found to be toxic in rat and mice studies and also resulted in a hypersensitivity reaction.
Interestingly, much of the processed food in the United Kingdom and other European countries no longer contain chemical dyes like Red No. 40 dye.
SodaStream Cola Syrup:
Contains carmel colouring, caffeine, 8 g of sugar and 10 mg of sodium.
SodaStream Cherry Cola Syrup:
This syrup also contains caffeine, 8 g of sugar for an 8 oz. glass, and 25 mg of sodium. The Cherry Cola also contains Splenda [sucralose].
Neither the Cola Syrup nor the Cherry Cola Syrup list the amount of caffeine for a serving size of syrup.
NOTE: The recent September 2012 article in the Winnipeg Free Press, entitled Parents urged to limit kids’ caffeine consumption, says that Canadian Guidelines recommend preschoolers get no more than 45 mg. of caffeine per day.
In fact, the article reminds us that caffeine is defined as a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system, and so it is wise to keep consumption of caffeine to a minimum, especially in younger children.
The article says that it does not take a large amount of caffeine to produce negative effects in children, in particular jitteriness and nervousness, upset stomach, headaches, difficulty concentrating, just to name a few.
Although as consumers we don’t know the amount of caffeine found in a SodaStream soda, the fact alone that any of the syrups contain caffeine should be a concern to parents and those trying to live a healthier lifestyle.
Information on Regular Flavour SodaStream Syrup Bottles:
SodaStream regular syrups contain sugar not high fructose corn syrup [according to their web site].
The company makes an Energy Drink that does contain fructose and dextrose.