The Pros and Cons of Crystal Light

Crystal light is the fruity, yummy powdered drink that adds flavor to water while keeping the beverage low-calorie. This is meant to be a healthy alternative to other similar powdered drinks that pack in the sugar and calories like Kool-Aid. The question is, is crystal light truly a healthy option, or is it as bad for you as the rest?

Crystal light is especially popular because of its variety of flavors, which allow you to choose the powdered drink mix you like best. From Crystal Light Lemonade drink mix to Cherry Pomegranate to Raspberry Lemonade, there's a fruity flavor for everyone. The tea flavors are also tasty, reminiscent of a pitcher of iced tea on a hot summer's day.

You can buy on-the-go packets to pour into a bottle of water whenever you're craving a little fruity goodness, or you can buy bottles of pre-made Crystal Light. There are also pitcher packets, which are portioned out to make 1 2-quart pitcher of Crystal Light. Here's a variety pack of on-the-go drink mix packets to have a bit of everything.

Crystal Light Variety Pack

This liquid drink mix was created in the early '80's and has been a popular on-the-go beverage ever since. It currently comes in Classics, Tea, With Caffeine, and Pure. Crystal Light Pure is meant to be a natural version, made with no artificial sweeteners, preservatives or colors. It contains dried corn syrup, cane sugar and stevia instead, along with natural coloring like turmeric. The "With Caffeine" variety is ideal for a fruity alternative to an energy drink or cup of coffee.

What Are the Ingredients in Crystal Light?

A classic Crystal Light drink mix's ingredients are citric acid, potassium citrate, sodium citrate, aspartame, magnesium oxide, and maltodextrin, which are mostly preservatives, flavor enhancers, and artificial sweeteners. Along with these key ingredients, it has small amounts of natural flavorings, soy lecithin, artificial colors, acesulfame potassium, and butylated hydroxyanisole. As for nutritional information, a 1/2 packet serving size has 5 calories, 35 mg of sodium, and no sugar, carbs, fat and protein.

Overall, whether or not Crystal Light is bad for you depends on your definition. If you're watching your sugar, carbs or calories, it's a good drink choice, since it has very low amounts of all of these. However, if you're focusing on consuming natural, unprocessed ingredients, this fruity drink mix is not for you. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to health problems like diabetes, heart disease and weight gain, and some feel that this cancels out their benefits. Like with many things, Crystal Light is likely fine in moderation, but probably shouldn't be enjoyed with every meal.

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