Many drinks are advertised as “healthy” based on having zero calories or zero sugar… But Spindrift takes a different approach. It does have a little sugar—because it has real fruit. Surely, Spindrift seems like a very natural drink. But does that mean it’s healthy?
Spindrift is a low-calorie, fruit-flavored sparkling water that is widely considered healthy. It does not have any artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, processed sugar, or mysterious “natural flavors.” With 17 calories or less per serving, Spindrift may be a good choice for weight loss.
Below, we’ll explore whether Spindrift is good for hydration, whether it’s ok to drink it every day, and more. I’ll also explain the controversy around “natural flavors” and whether Spindrift is healthier than LaCroix.
Is Spindrift Good for You?
Here are the 13 questions we’re going to cover on Spindrift nutrition. Click to skip ahead to any of them—or just scroll down to read it all:
- What Ingredients Are in Spindrift?
- Is Spindrift Good for Hydration?
- How Many Calories Does Spindrift Have?
- Is Spindrift Good for Weight Loss?
- Does Spindrift Have Artificial Sweeteners?
- Does Spindrift Have Sugar or Carbs?
- Does Spindrift Have Alcohol?
- Does Spindrift Have Propylene Glycol?
- Does Spindrift Have Caffeine?
- Does Spindrift Have Electrolytes?
- Is It Ok to Drink Spindrift Every Day?
- Is Spindrift Healthier Than LaCroix?
- Is Spindrift Vegan?
1. What Ingredients Are in Spindrift?
Let’s start by looking at what Spindrift actually has in it. Here is a table showing all Spindrift ingredients by flavor. I’ll share my analysis below the table:
|Raspberry Lime||Carbonated Water, Raspberry Purée, Lime Juice.|
|Grapefruit||Carbonated Water, Grapefruit Juice, Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, Hibiscus (For Color).|
|Blood Orange Tangerine||Carbonated Water, Blood Orange Juice, Tangerine Juice, Citric Acid.|
|Half Tea and Half Lemon||Carbonated Water, Lemon Juice, Brewed Black Tea.|
|Mango Orange||Carbonated Water, Mango Puree, Orange Juice, Citric Acid.|
|Lime||Carbonated Water, Lime Juice.|
|Cucumber||Carbonated Water, Cucumber Juice, Citric Acid.|
|Lemon||Carbonated Water, Lemon Juice.|
|Pineapple||Carbonated Water, Pineapple Juice, Citric Acid.|
|Pink Lemonade||Carbonated Water, Cherry Juice, Lime Juice, Lemon Juice, Hibiscus For Color.|
|Strawberry Lemonade||Carbonated Water, Strawberry Purée, Lime Juice, Lemon Juice.|
|Lemon Limeade||Carbonated Water, Lime Juice, Lemon Juice.|
Here are my takeaways about these ingredients:
- Spindrift has very minimal ingredients. I consider this a good thing. Many beverages have long lists of chemical-sounding ingredients. Many of those ingredients may be harmless, but it’s easier to trust a product that’s simple and minimal like Spindrift.
- Spindrift has real fruit juice. Each flavor has between 3% and 10% real juice. That’s low enough that the sugar content shouldn’t be a concern for most people, but it adds some real fruit flavor and phytonutrients. Not bad!
- Spindrift is free of added sugar. Spindrift doesn’t have all the empty calories and carbs usually found in sugar-sweetened drinks. Below, we’ll look more closely at Spindrift for weight loss and Spindrift carb content.
- Spindrift is free of artificial sweeteners. Most artificial sweeteners like aspartame come with possible health risks, such as potential connections to cancer and heart disease risk. With Spindrift, you don’t have to worry about that.
- Spindrift has no artificial colors. Many drinks these days have artificial colors. Such dyes are controversial for safety, particularly being linked to behavioral issues in many children. I’d consider it positive that Spindrift doesn’t have any.
- Spindrift doesn’t have added electrolytes or caffeine. These are neutral points, really. Unless you’re losing a lot of fluids, you usually don’t need extra electrolytes. Caffeine has pros and cons, but it’s certainly not something everyone wants.
Overall, Spindrift’s ingredients look very “clean.” It is rare today to find a packaged drink that actually avoids pretty much all sugars, artificial sweeteners, sodium, and other processed ingredients. So, nice work in that regard, Spindrift.
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2. Is Spindrift Good for Hydration?
Spindrift is a fine choice for hydration. The only ingredients it has besides water are carbonation, a small amount of real fruit juice, and (in some flavors) a natural color or citric acid. So there isn’t much you need to worry about over-consuming.
However, Spindrift may not be the optimal choice if you are acutely dehydrated or at risk of dehydration. In such a situation, you may want to use an oral rehydration solution like Pedialyte, or at least a sports drink like Gatorade (or Gatorade Zero).
If you are really trying to re-hydrate yourself, you may want a beverage with added electrolytes. And Spindrift does not have added electrolytes.
But yes, Spindrift is about equally hydrating as water. It is mostly water, after all. Spindrift can count as “water intake” for most practical purposes.
3. How Many Calories Does Spindrift Have?
Spindrift has between 2 calories and 17 calories per serving (12 fl oz). This means even the highest-calorie flavor of Spindrift only has about 1/8th the calories found in a soda like Sprite. The lowest-calorie flavor of Spindrift is Cucumber, with only 2 calories per can.
All flavors of Spindrift are low in calories—but there are still big differences between the flavors. Here’s a table showing the calories in each flavor of Spindrift:
|Spindrift Flavor||Calories (in 12 fl oz)|
|Blood Orange Tangerine||12|
|Half Tea and Half Lemon||5|
Now, let’s get practical and discuss what this amount of calories might mean for weight loss.
4. Is Spindrift Good for Weight Loss?
One of the reasons people choose low-calorie drinks like Spindrift is to aid with weight loss. But many low-calorie and zero-calorie drinks don’t work quite as expected.
But Spindrift avoids the artificial sweetener issues. So, is Spindrift the real deal for weight loss?
Spindrift is a good choice for weight loss. For every 12 ounces of sugary soda or juice you replace with Spindrift, you will consume 100+ fewer calories. That change alone could cause significant weight loss over time, even without changing anything else.
Replacing high-calorie drinks with Spindrift is almost the same as replacing them with normal water. The calorie content of Spindrift is very minimal, as covered above.
But remember: The key to weight loss is your overall diet and calorie balance. One drink choice won’t make or break your diet. If you switch to Spindrift but also eat extra snacks, you could cancel out the impact and stay stuck in a weight loss plateau.
5. Does Spindrift Have Artificial Sweeteners?
Spindrift does not have aspartame, sucralose, or any other artificial sweeteners. Spindrift doesn’t have sugar or stevia, either. The flavors in Spindrift come solely from fruit juice.
This is one of the most appealing things about Spindrift. Many zero-calorie flavored waters have artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose. Although those sweeteners are FDA approved, there is controversy about their long-term health impact.
Here are a few of the concerns with artificial sweeteners:
- Studies show consumption of diet drinks with artificial sweeteners was linked to three times higher risk of stroke and dementia.
- There’s evidence that rodents develop cancer when exposed to aspartame over their lifespan.
- Research has linked aspartame to weight gain and increased appetite.
- Sucralose seems to be a migraine trigger for some people. (source, source)
- Sucralose and other artificial sweeteners may increase insulin resistance through multiple mechanisms.
- A breakdown product of acesulfame K (acetoacetamide) may damage the thyroid. (source)
If you want to read more, you can start with this page from U.S. Right to Know.
Overall, the science around the long-term health impacts of artificial sweeteners is not fully known. But it’s awesome when a product like Spindrift can help us just avoid all the uncertainty by not using them.
Side note: Erythritol, monk fruit, and stevia seem to be healthier zero-calorie sweeteners. But there are still uncertainties about how the body reacts to them long-term. It’s great if you can avoid them, too, with a simple drink like Spindrift.
6. Does Spindrift Have Sugar or Carbs?
Spindrift has 0g to 3g of sugar per serving, depending on the flavor. The total carbs are 0g to 4g per can of Spindrift, depending on the flavor. All these carbs come from real fruit juice, not added sugar or other processed carbs.
Instead of sugar or high fructose corn syrup, Spindrift simply has small amounts of fruit juice, between 3% and 10% juice in each flavor.
Here’s a table showing the carbs and sugar in each flavor:
|Blood Orange Tangerine||3g||2g|
|Half Tea and Half Lemon||1g||0g|
Spindrift could even fit into a keto diet. When it comes to the very low-carb flavors like Cucumber, you could drink them basically all day and still fit the requirements of most keto diets and other strict low-carb diets.
- Can Diabetics Drink Spindrift? Spindrift is generally suitable for diabetics, as it does not contain many carbs. It also avoids the potential problem with diet sodas, that they may worsen carb sensitivity over time by using artificial sweeteners. (source, source)
- How does Spindrift not have sugar? Spindrift does have a small amount of natural sugar from fruit juice. But most flavors are only 3% to 10% juice, so there is not much sugar at all compared to most sweetened drinks.
7. Does Spindrift Have Alcohol?
Spindrift’s “Spiked” product line contains 4% alcohol by volume, from fermented cane sugar. All other Spindrift drinks are non-alcoholic.
Spindrift Spiked flavors are based on the normal Spindrift flavors, but they have another added ingredient: Alcohol from fermented cane sugar. This raises the calories significantly, up to about 82 to 95 calories per can.
Spindrift may also be used as a mixer for alcoholic drinks, aside from just the official Spindrift Spiked product line. But no, normal Spindrift does not have alcohol.
8. Does Spindrift Have Propylene Glycol?
Propylene glycol is an ingredient that has caused a lot of stir in recent years. Some “natural” drinks have been criticized and attacked—even with lawsuits—for containing this petroleum-derived ingredient, which is also found in antifreeze and paint.
Propylene glycol is a food additive often used as a solvent in “natural flavors.” Legally, it doesn’t need to be listed as an ingredient. It can just be included in the ingredient “natural flavors.”
Spindrift does not have propylene glycol. Instead of being flavored with “natural flavors,” which may contain propylene glycol, Spindrift is flavored with real fruit juice.
In reality, propylene glycol seems to be quite harmless. There has only been one documented case of propylene glycol toxicity from food—and it resulted from someone consuming a much higher amount than usual. (source)
But in any case, even if you’d prefer to avoid propylene glycol, you still don’t need to worry about Spindrift.
9. Does Spindrift Have Caffeine?
Spindrift does not have caffeine. It is just sparkling water, not an energy drink. It is not advertised as providing caffeine, and none of the ingredients have caffeine naturally. Spindrift should not keep you awake.
That said, if you want a sparkling water with caffeine, you can try Bubly Bounce. It’s pretty delicious, and the ingredients are minimal. However, it’s not flavored with real fruit juice like Spindrift. Instead, it has “natural flavors.” Read more in my Bubly review.
10. Does Spindrift Have Electrolytes?
Spindrift does not have added electrolytes. For all the Spindrift flavors I checked, the nutrition facts label said 0mg sodium. (Sodium is one of the main electrolytes lost in sweat and replaced by sports drinks like Gatorade.)
For a healthy source of electrolytes, I would personally look at BodyArmor Lyte. It’s sweetened with erythritol, which is one of the healthier non-caloric sweeteners.
11. Is It Ok to Drink Spindrift Every Day?
Most people would have no problems drinking Spindrift every day. It doesn’t have any unhealthy ingredients or anything that would become toxic when consumed daily. It’s mostly just carbonated water and a little bit of fruit juice.
Personally, I’ve had sparkling water almost every day for years. It has had no negative effect that I’ve noticed, and I’m in great overall health.
It’s possible that drinking Spindrift every day could be bad for your teeth, due to the combination of acid and (a little) sugar. But I wouldn’t be so sure of that.
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. So even though sparkling water and fruit juice are acidic, they are not necessarily powerful enough to damage tooth enamel.
If you want to be extra careful, here are some tips for minimizing potential tooth damage from carbonated drinks like Spindrift:
- Don’t drink it all day—instead, limit it to meal times, or just once or twice per day.
- Don’t swish it around your mouth or hold it in your mouth for a long time.
- Consider drinking your it through a straw.
- Rinse out your mouth with water after drinking it.
12. Is Spindrift Healthier Than LaCroix?
Spindrift and LaCroix are both considered healthy drinks. Personally, I would be comfortable drinking either of them regularly, from a health perspective. However, they are different.
Spindrift may be “more natural,” in the sense that fruit juice seems less processed than “natural flavors.” Both Spindrift and Lacroix have fruit-derived flavors—but while Spindrift has simple juice, LaCroix has “essences” of fruits.
What is an “essence” exactly? Well, LaCroix has not revealed the precise details of how the “essences” in their drinks are produced. But basically, they seem to be oils from the fruit that each flavor is named after.
LaCroix has also asserted publicly that all of its ingredients are natural, containing no artificial ingredients.
Some consumers still might prefer the “real fruit juice” found in Spindrift, though. It’s simpler to understand, less mysterious, and it seems closer to the food’s natural state.
LaCroix technically has fewer calories than Spindrift, which could theoretically make it healthier… But honestly, they are both so low in calories, that’s really a non-issue.
- Is Spindrift better than Bubly? Bubly has basically the same ingredients as LaCroix—just carbonated water and natural flavors. So again, it’s difficult to say if Spindrift is any healthier or not. Spindrift and Bubly are both considered healthy drinks.
- Is Spindrift the Healthiest Sparkling Water? Spindrift may be “more natural” than other sparkling waters, in that the fruit flavor comes in a form that is closer to its natural state (juice rather than oils). But it’s hard to say whether this is actually healthier or not.
13. Is Spindrift Vegan?
Spindrift is considered vegan. None of the Spindrift product lines contain milk, eggs, honey, or any other animal byproducts.
In fact, Spindrift may be even “more vegan” than many competing products, as many flavored drinks are sweetened with cane sugar that was filtered with animal bone char. With Spindrift, there’s no such contentious ingredients at all.
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