Crystal light gallon mix

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The Pros and Cons of Crystal Light Drink

Crystal Light is a brand with a wide range of drinks with a variety of flavors.

Image Credit: ediebloom/iStock/GettyImages

Crystal Light is a brand with a wide range of drinks in a variety of flavors. The drinks have low or no calories and sugar and no fat. However, they don't contain any nutrients either.

One of the greatest selling points for Crystal Light, also commonly known as Crystal Lite, is that there is something for just about everyone. There are several flavors for you to choose from, and some contain caffeine.

You can either get Crystal Light in powder form that's available in two sizes, on-the-go and pitcher size, or in a ready-to-drink liquid formulation. You simply add either the powder or the liquid to the water of your choice and enjoy.

Crystal Light and Weight Loss

For every 8-ounce glass of a Crystal Light drink from the classic line, such as the classic orange flavor, you get about 5 calories. That makes Crystal Light a good alternative to sodas and other beverages loaded with calories and sugar, although plain water is the best. Replacing sodas, juices and other calorie and sugar-laden drinks with Crystal Light may help you lose weight.

Adding Crystal Light to your regular glass of water is akin to drinking flavored water with the same lack of calories. That certainly makes the process of drinking water a lot more fun for many people. This can help people to manage their weight since thirst is often misconstrued as hunger. Perhaps the only problems you might have to worry about in this case are increasing water intake side effects.

The typical nutritional profile of a Crystal Light drink makes it seem that you're virtually taking in nothing. There are few to no calories (depending on the flavor), no fat, no cholesterol, no carbohydrates, no sodium and no protein, but there are also no nutrients besides those in the water. So you can increase your daily water intake with flavors from Crystal Light drinks.

Aspartame and Artificial Colors

There are two main ingredients in Crystal Light that have sparked controversy, one more than the other: artificial colors and aspartame. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared both to be safe, there has been quite a bit of research both for and against these ingredients.

In case you'd like to avoid both additives due to the controversy surrounding these ingredients, you can try Crystal Light Pure, a cleaner version of Crystal Light that contains neither artificial sweeteners, flavors nor preservatives. Sugar, dried corn syrup and stevia leaf extract are used in Crystal Light Pure instead of aspartame, and natural colors like black tea are used to replace artificial colors.

Artificial Colors in Crystal Light

Crystal Light uses a variety of artificial colors in its drink mixes, including yellow 5 and red 40 in its Liquid Tropical Coconut Drink Mix; red 40, yellow 5 and blue 1 in its Lemon Iced Tea Drink Mix, Peach Iced Tea Mix, Liquid Mango Passion Fruit Drink Mix and Liquid Lemon Iced Tea Drink Mix; and yellow 5 in its Lemonade Drink Mix.

The FDA claims that color additives used in food are completely safe when used according to their guidelines. However, the FDA admits that there are some allergic-type reactions to color additives such as yellow 5 (also known as tartrazine), which can cause itchiness and hives, although it is rare.

A study published in in the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine claims that artificial food dyes may cause allergic reactions; behavioral problems in children, including attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); neurobehavioral disorders; and autoimmune disorders.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, an FDA panel concluded that there just isn't enough evidence to show that artificial food dyes cause or add to behavior problems, such as distractability and hyperactivity, in most children.

The panel did note, though, that some children with ADHD might be vulnerable to food colorings and other food additives. The panel went on to point out that the additives are not toxic to the nervous system, but that certain children have an intolerance to them.

More studies and research need to be completed on how artificial food dyes affect consumers' health.

What Is Aspartame?

You'll rarely hear of the artificial sweetener aspartame sold by its technical name. Instead, it is more often sold under the brand names Equal, NutraSweet and Sugar Twin, according to the FDA. Aspartame is an ingredient in several Crystal Light drinks and drink mixes, including Crystal Light Lemon Iced Tea Mix, Crystal Light Lemonade Drink Mix and Crystal Light Peach Iced Tea Mix.

Aspartame is made up of two components: phenylalanine and aspartic acid. Both of these are amino acids that occur naturally in nature. Your body actually produces aspartic acid all on its own, whereas phenylalanine is one of the nine amino acids that your body needs to get from your diet for healthy functioning.

Aspartame is known to be many times sweeter than sugar: times, in fact, according to the FDA. This means that you don't need to use a lot of it to sweeten a food or beverage.

The expected daily intake, according to the FDA, is about 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. There isn't terribly much of it in diet sodas and other products, so you're not likely to go over the recommended daily intake.

Phenylketonuria is a condition caused by having too much phenylalanine in the body, according to the Mayo Clinic. Phenylalanine is commonly obtained from foods like fish, eggs, meat and dairy products. It also happens to be one of the ingredients of aspartame. Since people with phenylketonuria aren't able to properly digest phenylalanine, aspartame can prove to be highly toxic for them.

The Mayo Clinic recommends limiting your intake of aspartame (which contains phenylalanine) if you have tardive dyskinesia, an anxiety disorder; a sleep disorder; or other mental health conditions or if you take neuroleptics, which are medications that contain levodopa (Sinemet, Rytary) or monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

Sours: https://www.livestrong.com/article/the-pros-cons-of-crystal-light-drink/

Stop drinking soda, they say. Drink more water, they say. Problem is, not everyone actually likes to down H2O by the bottle-full.

That's why people who love soda and other sugary drinks are increasingly turning to low-cal or no-cal flavored packets and drops like Crystal Light, MiO, and DASANI DROPS to flavor their water (or even vodka sodas at the bar). But can the sugar-saving tactic help you lose weight?

RELATED: 5 WAYS DRINKING MORE WATER CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT

For women trying to wean themselves off of sugary drinks in order to cut calories and sugar, flavor packets really can work like a charm, says Debra Nessel, R.D.N., a certified diabetes educator at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in California. They come in an array of super-sweet varieties—depending on the brand you choose, you can try blackberry lemonade, pear acai, and strawberry watermelon—and are tasty enough to make kicking your full-cal soda habit way less painful, which can slash your daily calorie intake.

RELATED: 5 BEDTIME BEVERAGES THAT CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT

Unfortunately, the reason they’re so tasty is because they’re chock-full of artificial sweeteners that are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, says Nessel. For instance, MiO Original makes things sweet with a combination of acesulfame potassium and sucralose (Splenda), while Crystal Light Classics contains one of the most common artificial sweeteners, aspartame. That’s the same stuff you’ll find in diet sodas. Even more annoying, research from Massachusetts General Hospital shows that aspartame may actually promote weight gain by interfering with healthy gut enzymes.

(Speed up your progress towards your weight-loss goals with Women's Health's Look Better Naked DVD.)

RELATED: IS IT EVER OK TO TAKE A WEIGHT-LOSS SUPPLEMENT?

While the Food and Drug Administration considers all of these sweeteners safe, food manufacturers are working to make some flavor packets more appealing to those looking for a more natural flavor enhancer. For instance, Crystal Light now has a Pure line that uses sugar and stevia, which is considered more natural since it's derived from stevia leaves, for a total of 15 calories per serving and Skinnygirl Water Enhancer contains just five calories per serving from a combo of cane sugar and stevia.

See all the crazy ways people have actually tried to lose weight throughout the years.

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But even though these new flavor packets are more natural, they still aren’t as good for your health or weight-loss efforts as real fruit-infused water, says Nessel. That's because natural flavors from fruit and fresh herbs gives your bod a boost of vitamins and minerals, which fight fat-gain-promoting inflammation and naturally up electrolyte levels (and thus, energy levels). The result: You get some extra help reaching your healthiest weight, she says.

“I routinely encourage my clients to substitute these packaged water flavorings with water infused with any combination of lemon, lime, mint, cucumber, or sliced fruit, especially berries,” says Nessel.

And while those little drops can be handy AF, keeping a pitcher of fruity water in your fridge isn’t that difficult either. You can also buy an infuser water bottle (we like this one from Bobble) and fill it in the morning with your favorite flavors. Then, just keep adding more water to your fruit infusion throughout the day.

The bottom line: Yes, swapping your daily Dr. Pepper for a flavored drop-infused water can save you lots of calories, but to get more bang for your water-sipping buck stick to natural fruit infusions.

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Sours: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/a/flavor-drops-weight-loss/
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Lemonade Iced Tea

I make at least a gallon of this every day. Simple and satisfying. My husband has to have his sweet tea, so this cuts back the calories and stretches those little tubs. For those who don't use sugar substitutes, I have also made it with lemonade flavored kool aid and sugar- the ice cool lemonade flavor goes great in it.

READY IN:5mins

SERVES

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition

  • 3

    regular tea bags (orange pekoe and black)

  • 1

    (1/2 ounce) container sugar-free lemonade-flavored drink mix (Crystal Light, etc.)

NUTRITION INFO

Serving Size: 1 () g

Servings Per Recipe: 12

AMT. PER SERVING% DAILY VALUE

Calories:

Calories from Fat 0 g0 %

Total Fat 0 g0 %

Saturated Fat 0 g0 %

Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %

Sodium mg 0 %

Total Carbohydrate g 0 %

Dietary Fiber 0 g0 %

Sugars 0 g0 %

Protein 0 g 0 %

DIRECTIONS

  • Bring cups of water to a boil. Pour into gallon size pitcher, add tea bags and steep for minutes, to taste. (I have left it overnight before; leave it as long as you like, the longer it steeps the stronger it gets, but 10 minutes is sufficient.).
  • Remove tea bags, and add the lemonade mix. Top with cold water and ice to fill the pitcher. I usually don't have ice, and just chill it a few hours in my fridge.
Sours: https://www.food.com/recipe/lemonade-iced-tea
Crystal Light Liquid Concentrate Blueberry Raspberry Review

Crystal Light: Healthy or Unhealthy?

Crystal Light is a powder meant to be mixed into water to give it a fruity flavor while keeping the drink low or zero calorie.

Prepared Crystal Light comes in a number of flavors, which are similar to fruit juice, sweet tea, or lemonade.

While similar powdered drinks are known to be fairly unhealthy, you may wonder whether Crystal Light is a better choice.

This article reviews whether Crystal Light is a healthy beverage, and what considerations should be made when deciding whether to drink it.

Nutrition and ingredients

Crystal Light has been available since the early s and since evolved to be offered in several varieties. The current product categories include Classics, Tea, With Caffeine, and Pure.

While the names of most are self-explanatory, one major difference appears to be that Pure doesn’t use artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives. Instead, it uses cane sugar, dried corn syrup, and stevia, as well as natural colors like turmeric or black carrot extract.

The basic ingredients in classic Crystal Light include:

  • Citric acid: a naturally occurring compound used for sour flavor and as a preservative
  • Potassium citrate: a form of potassium that’s also used as a preservative
  • Sodium citrate: a flavor enhancer and preservative
  • Aspartame: an artificial sweetener
  • Magnesium oxide: a food additive used as a drying agent, as well as for color retention and pH modification
  • Maltodextrin: a sweetening, thickening, and stabilizing agent

Additionally, classic Crystal Light may comprise less than 2% natural flavorings, the artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium, the emulsifying agent soy lecithin, artificial colors, and the preservative butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA).

While the nutritional information can differ between varieties, a standard 1/2-packet (2-gram) serving of Crystal Light with the ingredients listed above has the following nutritional composition ():

  • Calories: 5
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Total fat: 0 grams
  • Total carbs: 0 grams
  • Total sugar: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 35 mg

The calorie content of the four main Crystal Light varieties ranges from zero to 40 calories per packet. Most packets contain two to eight servings.

SUMMARY

Crystal Light comes in several varieties, including fruity flavors, teas, caffeinated options, and Pure, which uses sugar and natural flavors and colors in place of artificial ones. All varieties are nutritionally similar.

Health considerations and potential side effects

The artificial colors and sweeteners used in most varieties of Crystal Light, including Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, aspartame, sucralose, and stevia, have sparked some controversy among consumers.

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declares these ingredients generally recognized as safe, some health experts say there’s not enough long-term evidence to comfortably say they’re risk-free for everyone.

In fact, some studies have suggested that artificial colors in foods and drinks may be linked to allergic reactions, behavioral problems in children, and even autoimmune disorders (, , , ).

Aspartame is made of two main components, phenylalanine and aspartic acid, which are amino acids that occur in nature. Some studies suggest that people with a neurological movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia avoid it, as it could amplify their symptoms (, ).

Additionally, aspartame is not safe for people with phenylketonuria, a rare genetic disorder that causes phenylalanine to accumulate in the body, causing neurological damage if left untreated ().

Sucralose, also known as Splenda, is made from sugar in a process that chemically replaces three hydrogen-oxygen groups with chlorine atoms.

While the long-term health effects of its use are unclear, some research indicates it may reduce insulin sensitivity and affect gut bacteria (, ).

Stevia is an herbal, zero-calorie sweetener derived from the stevia plant.

Some experts warn that excess stevia use could trigger low blood sugar and blood pressure levels, as well as that the sweetener should be used with caution among people with diabetes and those on blood pressure medication (, , ).

Finally, artificial sweeteners may trigger headaches and depressive symptoms and increase the risk of adverse effects on the kidneys or heart. Some scientists also suggest that more research is needed to confirm they don’t play a role in triggering type 2 diabetes (, ).

SUMMARY

The most controversial ingredients in Crystal Light are artificial colors and sweeteners. While the FDA generally recognizes them as safe, some claim aspartame, sucralose, stevia, and artificial colors lack long-term evidence and may have adverse effects.

Is Crystal Light healthy?

Although Crystal Light offers a flavorful way to break up your day, it appears that most of its options contain various artificial sweeteners and colors that some people may want to avoid, especially in excess.

These beverages don’t quite fit the bill for being healthy drinks, as they don’t offer health benefits, but there are worse beverages out there.

The Crystal Light Pure option, which uses more naturally derived ingredients, is a better choice, though it does contain added sugar.

As such, Crystal Light could certainly be enjoyed on occasion, but plain water remains the best way to meet your hydration needs.

If you get bored with plain water, you can flavor it yourself naturally with fresh berries, slices of fruit, or cucumber. Alternatively, you could opt for naturally flavored seltzer water.

SUMMARY

Crystal Light isn’t the worst offender when it comes to beverages, but it’s not exactly a health food either. Your best option for hydration is plain or naturally flavored water, leaving Crystal Light as an occasional option.

The bottom line

Crystal Light is a low or zero calorie powdered drink mix marketed as a convenient way to interrupt boredom with plain water and stay hydrated.

The ingredients in Crystal Light vary by variety but are overall a combination of alternative sweeteners, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors.

However, Crystal Light Pure offers powders that use sugar and natural colors and flavors instead, without preservatives.

For the average healthy person, drinking Crystal Light occasionally is unlikely to be problematic. Still, the best way to stay hydrated is to drink plain water, flavor plain water yourself with a few slices of fresh fruit, berries, or cucumber, or choose seltzer water.

Sours: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-crystal-light-bad-for-you

Light gallon mix crystal

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