Is the Viral ‘Healthy Coca-Cola’ Worth the Hype?

When you consider a trendy new drink, you may think a canned matcha latte or the whipped dalgona espresso of early pandemic instances. However, the newest stylish drink entails low cost seltzer and a pantry staple—balsamic vinegar. These are the solely two components, together with ice, that TikToker Mandy Jones, who bought the tip from her Pilates teacher, says you have to whip one thing up that tastes like a extra wholesome glass of Coca-Cola. While the concoction does look similar to Coca-Cola, we’re skeptical about the style and the way wholesome it really is.

While everybody’s style buds are completely different, Miranda Galati, MHSc, RD, Owner of Real Life Nutritionist, stories that “Sadly, this drink does not taste anything like the real deal. It tastes as you would expect—like vinegar in sparkling water.” The style is topic to your personal opinion, so attempt it for your self if you happen to’re skeptical. What isn’t up for a lot debate is how wholesome this different is.

“It is healthier than Coke (most things are), and vinegar does have health benefits, including lowering blood sugar, reducing cravings and even improving longevity,” says nutritionist Jennifer Hanway. Noom Coach Kendra Gutschow, RDN, LD says it might additionally assist decrease ldl cholesterol, act as an antioxidant and assist digestion. 

“Balsamic vinegar is made from grapes, which are high in polyphenols and thought to have numerous health benefits such as improved circulation,” says Erin Hendriks, MD at Salvo Health. “Vinegar has also been shown in some studies to improve blood sugar levels and help avoid spikes that may happen with meals.”

However, it’s value noting that balsamic vinegar is a bit increased in sugar than one thing like apple cider vinegar, notes Hanway, so she thinks it’s higher utilized in a salad dressing than a beverage. You even have to make sure you’re not utilizing a balsamic vinegar that has added sugars, warns Gutschow. Consuming straight vinegar can be identified to erode tooth enamel and irritate the esophagus on account of its low pH, which is why it’s important to combine it with a good quantity of seltzer, notes Gutschow.

As for the seltzer a part of the drink, it’s a great “low-sugar carbonated beverage alternative,” says Gutschow. However, not everybody reacts the similar to seltzer. Dr. Hendricks notes that some folks could expertise “bloating, gas or reflux symptoms from the carbonation in seltzer water.”

If you genuinely get pleasure from the style of this drink, it could be worthwhile, however in any other case, it’s not a helpful swap. “There’s nothing particularly nutritious or health-promoting about this drink,” says Galati. “A ‘healthy swap’ is only helpful if it’s a swap you’re going to want to keep making. If this drink satisfies you in the same way that soda does, it might be a good choice. But if this drink doesn’t taste good to you, you’re likely to return to your regular soda habit in no time.”

If this drink doesn’t show you how to kick your Coca-Cola behavior, it’s value exploring different alternate options. “It’s important to have plenty of healthy options to stay hydrated and avoid added sugars. Regular soda is loaded with added sugars, which can contribute to weight gain, diabetes and systemic inflammation,” says Dr. Hendricks.

Gutschow enjoys a flavored seltzer—sans balsamic vinegar—when she’s craving carbonation. She notes that it’s additionally a fantastic software to assist wean your self off of soda. “Seltzer water can also be a great way to cut back on sugar from juice or other sweetened beverages. Adding 1⁄2 seltzer to those beverages and gradually increasing the percentage is a strategy that works well for many people who want to decrease soda in their day,” says Gutschow.

Galati suggests specializing in water as your fundamental supply of hydration. For a bubbly different, she suggests “adding a splash of juice, muddled fruit or flavor drops to your sparkling water instead of vinegar. A fun option for summer is to keep pureed fruit in ice cube trays in your freezer and add those to your sparkling water.”

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