Is Zevia Good Or Bad For You? Explained

Zevia soda

Craving for low-calorie sodas? Zevia sodas are ZERO calories AND do not contain any artificial sweeteners and toxic chemical substances! 

Zevia does seem to erase the worries about drinking sodas and counting calories, isn’t it? But then, are Zevia sodas good for your health? Sodas do not have any nutritional value, so they will not exactly improve your health.

But, is Zevia bad for you? Well, the short answer is ‘No, if consumed in moderation‘.  

Interested to know the long answer? Read on.

What are the ingredients in Zevia soda? 

The ingredients in most of the Zevia sodas are Stevia leaf extracts, carbonated water, tartaric acid, some natural flavors, and citric acid. Some of the Zevia sodas also contain caffeine along with these ingredients.

But more on the caffeine-containing sodas later. Now let’s dig into the primary ingredients and their benefits and side effects. 

Stevia Leaf Extracts

Stevia leaf is commonly known as sweet leaf or sugar leaf, denoting its taste. It is 200 times sweeter than your regular white sugar, but (wait for it!) for ZERO calories! 

Experiments have yielded results that stevia helps in lowering insulin, glucose levels, and bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol. 

FDA has approved stevia as safe. Sometimes, sugar alcohols are added to stevia in food products and this can cause bloating and diarrhea in some people. 

Another downside to stevia leaf extracts is the taste. Having a licorice-like flavor, it has a mildly bitter aftertaste; and so, might not be loved by all. Some people however might enjoy the slightly bitter taste and so it boils down to personal preference.

Lastly, stevia should be consumed in low amounts, if taken daily. As the stevia dose in Zevia is sufficiently low, it will not be harmful to you. 

Fun fact: Zevia probably got its name from Stevia and the fact that it has zero calories!

Carbonated water

Being a soda, the primary ingredient is bound to be fizzy, bubbly, carbonated water. What exactly is carbonated water, you might think. Nothing more than some good ol’ water, carbon dioxide under pressure, and sometimes sodium and a few minerals. 

There is no evidence that carbonated water is bad for your health. Instead, it can improve digestion by bettering swallowing ability and reducing constipation.

We can safely say carbonated water is pretty okay to consume. 

Tartaric Acid

Tartaric acid is an organic acid found mostly in tamarinds and grapes. It has many health benefits including boosting immunity, and protecting your body from several life-threatening diseases because it’s a rich source of antioxidants. 

A note of caution: Consumption of tartaric acid in large quantities can cause paralysis or even death. 

Zevia uses a very little amount of tartaric acid in its sodas for a slightly tangy flavor, and so you need not worry about the cons of this ingredient. 

Natural flavors

The natural flavors in Zevia sodas are derived from certain herbs, spices, and plants. Natural flavors are often more expensive than artificial flavors but have a lower risk of being harmful to your health. So, in terms of flavoring as well, Zevia has maintained its natural theme!

Citric Acid

The last ingredient is citric acid which is also added for a sour flavor. Citric acid is normally found in citrus fruits like oranges, grapes, and lemons. This is full of antioxidants and helps improve immunity. 

One of the rare cons of citric acid is that it might cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma symptoms. However, the amount of citric acid in Zevia sodas is minimal and will not cause such symptoms in all likeliness. 

Does Zevia have caffeine?

Yes, some flavors of Zevia like Cola, Dr. Zevia, Mountain Zevia, and Cherry Cola contain caffeine.

Now, caffeine can be addictive. So, it’s best to consume caffeine-containing products in moderation. While caffeine boosts memory, decreases fatigue, and lowers the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and liver cancer; it can also increase blood pressure, blood sugar, and lower bone density (the last one particularly happens in women).

Which Zevia flavors are caffeine-free?

Out of a total of fifteen amazing flavors of Zevia sodas, the following eleven are caffeine-free – Creamy Root Beer, Ginger Root Beer, Ginger Ale, Cream Soda, Black Cherry, Grape, Caffeine Free Cola, Orange, Lemon Lime Twist, Grapefruit Citrus, and Strawberry. 

If you don’t prefer caffeinated drinks, then go for these Zevia sodas. 

Does Zevia have aspartame?

No, Zevia does not contain aspartame. While aspartame is a low-calorie sweetener, Zevia only uses organic Stevia leaf extracts as its sweetener. 

Reports suggest that aspartame may affect the immune system and affect the cells of body organs like the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys. 

Does Zevia have phosphorus or phosphoric acid?

Zevia sodas do not contain phosphorus or phosphoric acid. 

Phosphoric acid is a colorless, odorless liquid added to sweetened beverages for a tangy flavor and to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria in such sugary solutions. While the mineral phosphorus is naturally found in the human body and aids in several bodily functions; too much of it or phosphoric acid can trigger heart disease and lead to bone loss. 

If you are trying to cut down on phosphorus intake, then Zevia sodas are a good choice for you. 

Does Zevia have sugar or artificial sweeteners?

Zevia does not contain sugar or any artificial sweeteners. The only sweetener in the Zevia sodas is Stevia. 

Does Zevia have erythritol?

Yes, Zevia contains Erythritol. But first, we need to know what erythritol is and why it is added.

Erythritol is a low-calorie sugar alcohol that occurs naturally when wine and cheese ferment; and can also be manufactured artificially by humans. Now, stevia is very sweet to consume on its own; and so, some type of filler is added to stevia leaf extracts. This filler is often erythritol.

Zevia doesn’t need to state which fillers it uses in its sodas. It can label them as natural flavors. It has been found out that the filler in Zevia sodas is erythritol. 

Does Zevia contain maltodextrin?

No. Maltodextrin is often used as a sweetener in beverages. The problem with Maltodextrin is that it can cause a steep rise in people’s blood sugar levels and is particularly dangerous for people with diabetes or insulin resistance. 

Does Zevia have carbs?

No! Zevia sodas contain zero carbs!  As Stevia leaves do not have any carbs, Zevia sodas also are completely carb-free. 

Is Zevia gluten-free?

Yes, Zevia sodas are gluten-free! Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It helps food items to retain their shape. Often, consumers avoid gluten-containing products if they are allergic to gluten. 

Is Zevia BPA free?

BPA or Bisphenol A is an industrial chemical used to make some specific types of plastic.

Zevia claims that its soda cans contain very low amounts of BPA. They assure that the BPA level in their sodas is 2000 times lower than the FDA accepted level. 

BPA is harmful to the human body as it can increase blood pressure, cause brain damage and affect children’s behavior. It can also lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. 

Is Zevia better than diet soda? 

Yes. Diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose (called Splenda). These sugars are likely to increase blood sugar levels. 

Zevia on the other hand is sweetened naturally and might even be able to lower blood pressure. So Zevia sodas are a better alternative to diet sodas. 

Is Zevia bad for your kidneys?

The key ingredient in Zevia sodas is stevia. Now stevia increases the speed at which the body ejects water and electrolytes through urine. As the kidneys are responsible for filtering and creating urine, researchers initially thought that long-term consumption of stevia could damage kidneys.

Recent studies, however, have concluded that stevia might help prevent kidney damage and in fact, it has been found out to reduce cyst growth in kidney cells.

Is Zevia bad for your teeth?

Yes. It can damage your teeth as Zevia sodas contain acids like citric and tartaric. 

In the case of conventional sodas, artificial sweeteners also decay the teeth. How?  

Sugar present in the traditional sodas combined with the bacteria presents inside your mouth forms an acid that erodes the enamel of your teeth. So, every sip of highly sweetened beverages rots away the tooth enamel. 

Fortunately, stevia leaf extracts present in Zevia sodas are tooth-friendly as they do not produce acids that damage the enamel. This ensures that Zevia sodas do not have the effect of sugar on tooth decay. 

Is Zevia bad for diabetics?

Not at all! Several studies have investigated the effects of Stevia on diabetic patients. The results are that Stevia significantly lowers blood sugar levels and is therefore absolutely suitable for people with diabetes to consume as a sugar substitute.  

Is Zevia bad for weight loss?

Zevia will not lead to weight gain as it has zero calories. If you are trying to lose weight, Zevia sodas will not particularly help you with that, but again, they will not make the process of losing weight difficult. 

So Zevia is not exactly bad for weight loss and neither is it good for weight loss.  

Is Zevia bad for IBS?

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a gastrointestinal disorder. The symptoms of IBS include bloating, cramps and diarrhea. Often artificial sugars, caffeine, and carbonated beverages act as irritants and trigger the symptoms of IBS. 

Now, while a natural sugar like stevia is safe in its pure form; if mixed with additives like erythritol, it can cause IBS. Zevia sodas have stevia mixed with erythritol. So, it might act as an irritant. Also, it is a carbonated drink and can cause bloating. Some of the Zevia sodas contain caffeine, another gut irritant. 

So, it’s best for people with IBS to stay away from Zevia sodas. 

Is Zevia safe during pregnancy?

If consumed at low doses, stevia leaf extract found in Zevia sodas will not pose health risks for pregnant people. But, consuming a high dose of stevia or consuming it for a long time can cause certain problems by increasing the workload on kidneys, bladder, and heart. This will worsen common pregnancy problems. 

So, Zevia soda is safe during pregnancy as long as consumed in low quantities and once or twice a month. 

Is Zevia keto-friendly?

Yes, Zevia is good to consume when you are following a Keto diet (low in carbs, but high in fat). Stevia does not have any carbs as the active ingredients in it cannot be processed by the human body. 

So Zevia sodas also do not contain any carbs and are keto-friendly.  

Is Zevia vegan? 

Yes. Zevia is a self-declared vegan brand.

Vegan foods do not contain any products derived from animals. Zevia sodas contain plant-derived substances like stevia and natural flavors from cherry, ginger, orange, lemon, grapefruit, and so on.

Is Zevia hydrating?

All Zevia sodas contain stevia and some of them contain caffeine. Both stevia and caffeine are diuretics, that is they make one urinate quickly, thus dehydrating the body. But this does not mean that Zevia will dehydrate you very fast. It will retain most of the fluid; just not as much if you drank the same amount of water. 

So Zevia sodas are hydrating; only not matching the level of water. 

Is Zevia soda acidic?

Yes, Zevia sodas are acidic. All the flavors contain citric and tartaric acids and their pH is less than 5.5. So, Zevia sodas fall within the acidic range.  

Does Zevia soda have side effects?

Yes. Sadly, Zevia sodas have some short-term as well as long-term side effects. The short-term ones include digestive problems and the long-term ones include teeth decay, diabetes, and weight gain. Studies however suggest that the possibility of diabetes and weight gain is negligible. 

Is Zevia harmful?

Zevia sodas do not provide any nutritional value to your body. So, they are not beneficial. 

Zevia sodas are not unhealthy, harmful drinks when consumed in moderation. However, drinking them frequently and daily can be particularly harmful to your teeth. It’s best to drink these vibrant flavorful sodas in a moderate amount and then you can enjoy them without worrying about any possible side effects.


Anand Srinivasan
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