If you are like me, you have spent too much time in the supermarket aisle trying to find ready to mix drink packets that do not have any artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are well known for being a migraine trigger. So, if drinking more than a sip of something with artificial sweeteners can leave you with your head throbbing, nauseous, burning up, and unable to tolerate any light, sound, or smell, then you probably try to do everything to avoid artificial sweeteners.
To avoid fake sugar may sound easy for those who have not tried to find products without them. For example almost every single type of mainstream gum has artificial sweeteners. Many types of mints and candy are the same way. When you go out to eat, you sometimes will get the surprise headache later because that coffee drink or baked good had artificial sweeteners in it. Not to mention how much money I have wasted after returning from the grocery store to learn that the food I picked up had artificial sweeteners listed in the fine print. It is expected in low calorie diet type products or products with the obvious label saying that it contains Splenda or other sweeteners. But, who expects it in a high calorie food like almonds? Dark chocolate almonds to be exact, so also who thinks dark chocolate almonds is going to have not one, but two different artificial sweeteners? To avoid artificial sweeteners is tedious and frustrating!
One of the current popular trends is the little ready to go drink packets, that are easy to put in your purse or backpack, that you add to water for a drink on the go. These are actually a great idea and can be very convenient. They are nice for a mother on the go or for someone like me with medical issues that sometimes require electrolyte replenishment and increased hydration while at school or shopping. It is very helpful to have little packets of these drink mixes at your fingertips without always having to lug a bottle around with you at all times. But, to find these drink packets without any artificial sweeteners is no easy task. At your average grocery store they may not even have any of these drink packets without artificial sweeteners. Recently Gatorade came out with Gatorade in packet form, so this may not hold as true now as it did a few months ago. And thank you Gatorade for not making your packets contain artificial sweeteners! I hope that more brands may follow their move. Even the PowerBar packets contain artificial sweeteners. It seems odd that even powder teas (with no sweetener at all) are not offered in packet form. Powder tea doesn’t have sugar in the jar form, so why should it need it in the packet form? For a quick pick me up, powder tea in packet form would be convenient. Then, it could even be expanded to add fruit flavoring without any artificial sweeteners. This is the same thing with coffee flavored drinks in packets; many of them have gone to adding artificial sweeteners.
There are a lot of attractive looking packets that either makes water flavored, into a sports drink, or flavored teas, but they all have artificial sweeteners in them. Some of these would come in handy for me as a jolt of caffeine on the run without having to spend a lot at the coffee shop or as a sports drink on a hot day. Although, you have to look very hard and the products can be difficult to find, there are a few drink packets that do not have artificial sweeteners. One is the Gatorade powder in a packet mentioned before. Another one that is one of my favorites is Alacer’s ElectroMix. It is lemon-lime flavored with no sugar, no calories, and no sodium. It tastes great and is a great source of electrolytes. If you want sodium replenishment as well that can be added. Another favorite is Clif’s Clif Shot electrolyte packets. I like the Cran-Razz flavor; it kind of smells like cotton candy and tastes great. It is also nice because some of their packets have caffeine and they are 92% organic. Clif’s Luna brand also has a line of electrolyte drinks that look great and come in packet form. Luna has Lime-ade and Pink Grapefruit flavored drink packets. It is only 80 calories per serving and is 80% organic. Accelerade also makes sports drink powder in packet form. PowerBar does have their electrolyte powder in the packet form of what is sold in their canisters that doesn’t have artificial sweeteners in it, but this is different that what can be found in your grocery store in the stick shaped packet (versus the square packet) with the other sports drinks. The somewhat unfortunate thing is that for some of these larger packets they are made to be used with larger amounts of water. This can sometimes be inconvenient, but you can use a larger bottle of water or save some of the powder for later.
If you are looking for a non-sports drink version, there is not much out there. I have found a product that tastes good by Celestial Seasonings. They are called Zingers to Go. Some of them have green tea in them, so they are caffeinated. They are calorie free and made out of 100% natural ingredients. Some of my favorite flavors are Blueberry Splash and Peach Delight. The downside is that I have only found them once or twice at stores. They can be very hard to find. But, I really like the idea behind this product and wish that more companies would make products like this.
There are also some vitamin supplement forms of the ready to mix drink packets. Including the Emergen-C and Ester-C drink packets. The Jones Soda Company also has their own packets, 24c, which is also sold in bottle form like Vitamin Water. I personally have tried some of these vitamin supplement packets, but do not rely heavily on them, because they are a vitamin supplement. Therefore you have to be careful how much of them you ingest. They are like vitamins in pill form, you have to use them as directed and not to take/drink more in a day than what they label directs. But, they are still a nice thing to have on hand to use as needed. This is the same for the electrolyte supplements, and that you need to make sure to only use them as directed. So, as of now I am only aware of one ready to go drink packet without artificial sweetener that is not considered a supplement. Which this demonstrates the need for more products in this category that do not contain artificial sweeteners. Also, that there is a need for the available packets to be easier to find and that you do not always have to order them online.
For the companies that think that they won’t make any money, if you put the product on the market in varieties the public is interested in, it will not matter that they may contain a few calories. It is better than the alternative migraine or other health repercussions. It is similar to how regular soft drinks or juices still sell very well even with the diet alternative. These mixes can have the same opportunity if approached correctly. There are non-artificial sweeteners that dissolve in water that would make a good drink. The few products that do exist have demonstrated that fact, which is something that some people point to as a reason for the lack of drinks packets without artificial sweeteners. Or, better yet have tea or coffee based packets that don’t require an added sweetener, which will also cut down on calories. In the future hopefully there will be more convenient and healthy choices to make an easier drink when on the go.