My mom didn’t let me drink Capri Sun as a kid. At the time, Capri Sun was sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, and it seemed just as bad as any soda. Today, it has been reformulated to be a bit healthier. But is Capri Sun still bad for you?
Is Capri Sun Bad for You?
1. What Is Capri Sun Made Of?
|Capri Sun Drink||Ingredients|
|Capri Sun Juice Drink (Wild Cherry)||Filtered Water, Sugar, Pear And Cherry Juice Concentrates, Monk Fruit Concentrate, Citric Acid, Grape And Apple Juice Concentrates, Natural Flavor, Mushroom Extract (To Protect Quality).|
|Capri Sun 100% Juice (Fruit Punch)||Apple, Grape And Cherry Juices From Concentrate (Filtered Water, Apple, Grape And Cherry Juice Concentrates), Citric Acid (For Tartness), Natural Flavor, Mushroom Extract (To Protect Quality).|
|Capri Sun Roarin’ Waters (Fruit Punch Wave)||Filtered Water, Sugar, Citric Acid, Stevia Leaf Extract, Natural Flavor.|
- Capri Sun is free of artificial colors. Many “juice” drinks have artificial colors. Since such dyes seem to cause behavioral issues for some children, I’d consider it positive that Capri Sun doesn’t have any.
- Capri Sun uses mushroom extract as a preservative. Many preservatives like sodium benzoate, BHA, and potassium sorbate are controversial for potential links to cancer or other issues. But Capri Sun uses a natural preservative from mushrooms instead.
- Most Capri Sun products have real fruit juice (from concentrate). Most people would like to know they’re drinking real fruit juice rather than just flavored sugar water. Capri Sun Roarin’ Waters don’t have real fruit, but the other drinks do.
- Some Capri Sun products have natural zero-calorie sweeteners. Starting in 2022, the “Fruit Drink” is partially sweetened with monk fruit. Similar, the Roarin’ Waters product line has stevia. These natural zero-calorie sweeteners seem better than sugar or artificial sweeteners, but they may not be totally harmless.
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2. How Much Sugar Is in Capri Sun?
3. Does Capri Sun Count as Water Intake?
Capri Sun is mostly water by volume, so for many purposes, it would count as water intake. Capri Sun can aid in hydration. However, Capri Sun also contains sugar and other ingredients that are not healthy when consumed in excess, so it should not be your only beverage.
It should also be noted that Capri Sun doesn’t really have electrolytes. The Capri Sun products I checked only had about 15mg to 25mg of sodium per pouch. Gatorade has more than twice as much sodium. So Capri Sun is not a sports drink, and it’s not specifically formulated to assist in rehydration.
That said, for many purposes, yes, when you drink Capri Sun, you are consuming water along with the other ingredients. So Capri Sun does generally count toward your total water/fluid intake.
4. Does Capri Sun Have Caffeine?
Capri Sun does not have caffeine. It is not an energy drink. It is not advertised as providing caffeine, and none of the ingredients have caffeine naturally. Capri Sun should not keep you awake.
Caffeine is an interesting ingredient because it has documented health benefits, but it can also be bad in many cases. Studies show it may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s… But it’s habit forming, and too much can disrupt sleep.
In any case, Capri Sun is caffeine free!
5. Is Capri Sun High in Sodium?
6. Does Capri Sun Make You Gain Weight?
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7. Is Capri Sun Healthier Than Soda?
Let’s compare Capri Sun with the most popular soda in the world, Coca-Cola. First, let’s look at some basic nutrition facts:
|Capri Sun Juice Drink (8 fl oz)||47||7g||20mg|
|Coca-Cola (8 fl oz)||93||26g||30mg|
In each 8 oz serving, Coca-Cola is much higher in sugar and calories. Coke is also slightly higher in sodium. So in terms of the nutrition facts, Capri Sun looks healthier than Coke.
Next, let’s compare the ingredients of Capri Sun and Coke. Unfortunately, Coca-Cola has caramel color and sodium benzoate, which have been linked to potential carcinogens, and phosphoric acid, which may lead to osteoporosis and tooth decay.
On the other hand, Capri Sun’s ingredients are relatively clean: No artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners, no controversial preservatives. The only really “bad” ingredient in Capri Sun is the sugar.
Now, if you want to be strict about it, Capri Sun still has empty calories from sugar—so, neither drink is totally healthy. That said, Capri Sun strikes me as significantly healthier compared to Coke.
8. Is Capri Sun Healthier Than Kool-Aid?
Now let’s look at Capri Sun vs Kool-Aid. We’re comparing the pouches, so Kool-Aid Jammers and Capri Sun, actually:
|Kool-Aid Jammers (1 pouch)||70||16g||30mg|
|Capri Sun Juice Drink (1 pouch)||35||5g||15mg|
Here you can see, Capri Sun is lower in calories, sugar, and sodium. So Capri Sun looks like the winner in this regard—but what about when looking at the ingredients?
Honestly, Capri Sun ingredients look better than Kool-Aid, too. Capri Sun has sugar, but aside from that, it’s mostly just juice concentrates, natural flavors, and mushroom extract. But no artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, or questionable preservatives like found in many Kool-Aid products.
Meanwhile, Kool-Aid Jammers have sucralose and artificial colors along with the high fructose corn syrup.
So, it seems that Capri Sun is a bit healthier than Kool-Aid. However, keep in mind: There are many product lines by Kool-Aid and Capri Sun. The comparison may look different depending on the specific products you compare.
9. Is It Bad to Drink Capri Sun Every Day?
10. Why Was Capri Sun Recalled?
In August 2022, about 5,760 cases of Capri Sun Wild Cherry Flavored Juice Drink were recalled. A cleaning solution was suspected to have accidentally gotten into the product, and several consumers complained about the taste.
The “by used by” date on the affected products was July 25, 2023. Only the Wild Cherry flavor was affected. You can read more details here.
11. Is Capri Sun Vegan?
Capri Sun is generally considered vegan. It has no milk, egg, meat, honey, or other animal ingredients.
However, most Capri Sun products are mostly likely made with sugar that was filtered with animal bone char. Therefore, some of the most strict vegans would avoid it.
If you want 100% vegan Capri Sun, you can choose Capri Sun 100% Juice. It doesn’t have added sugar, so you don’t need to worry about bone char.
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