Prebiotic Sodas Side by Side on beige and teal background
Nutrition

Are Prebiotic Sodas For Real, and Which Should You Try?

The trend of prebiotic sodas has been bubbling for a while—but are they necessary for improving gut health?

Fast Facts

  • Prebiotic sodas can improve digestive health by increasing the amount of healthy bacteria in the gut.
  • You don’t necessarily need to drink prebiotic sodas, as most prebiotics are found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

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Eating healthy isn’t always easy. Whether your love language is fast food, sweets, or greasy pizza, finding nutritious alternatives that keep you full and satisfied can be challenging. 

Many people are looking for the ultimate “cheats” where they can still indulge in their favorite foods but in a healthier way.

Prebiotic sodas are a new trend in the health and wellness industry that piqued the public’s interest. Many say these “healthier” sodas are better than “regular” sodas like Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

But are they really a healthier alternative? Let’s find out.


About the Expert

Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD/LDN, is a registered licensed dietitian and nutritionist and the Director of Nutrition at Body Beautiful Miami. She’s practiced as a nutrition coach for nearly three decades.


What Are Prebiotic Sodas?

According to Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD/LDN, a registered licensed dietitian and nutritionist and the Director of Nutrition at Body Beautiful Miami, a prebiotic soda is a “carbonated beverage that contains prebiotics. These sodas come in flavors that mimic traditional soft drinks like cola, lime, orange, and more.”

To understand the benefits of prebiotic sodas, you have to understand what that term means. 

Prebiotics are particular types of plant fiber that help “good” bacteria grow in your gut. (1

“Prebiotics are a source of food for your gut’s healthy bacteria–they feed it,” Gomer says. “They are carbohydrates that your body can’t digest, so they go to your lower digestive tract where they act like food to help the healthy bacteria grow.”

Prebiotics are found in the following foods: (2)

TRUST YOUR GUT

Are Prebiotic Sodas Healthy?

The short answer is yes—prebiotic sodas can be healthier than regular sodas. “[Prebiotic sodas] are lower in sugar than traditionally sugar-sweetened drinks because they are sweetened with sugar substitutes,” Gomer explains. “They also contain a variety of other ingredients, including apple cider vinegar, herbs, botanicals, and minerals.”

Aside from prebiotic sodas, there are other “health” focused sodas, like healthy seltzers, sparkling waters, club sodas, and adaptogen sodas. Newer gut health drinks like R’s KOSO’s, a traditional Japanese drink, are gaining popularity as well

If you’re looking for a sugar-free option—you might want to look past prebiotic sodas, as these can contain a few grams of sugar. Sugar-free sparkling water may be a healthier option as they’re sugar– and calorie-free. (3)

Who Should Buy Prebiotic Sodas?

Anyone who wants to improve their gut health may wish to try prebiotic sodas. Prebiotic sodas can contain inulin, a type of prebiotic fiber. 

Aside from the gut health benefits of inulin, this prebiotic fiber may provide additional health benefits, such as: (4)


But can you expect to get these results from drinking prebiotic sodas? We aren’t 100% sure.

“The true question is if sodas–and the prebiotics in them are truly going to have those beneficial health results,” Gomer says.

Let’s make it clear—you don’t actually need to drink prebiotic sodas to be healthy. A healthy, balanced diet will likely get all the prebiotics you need to support your gut health.

As we mentioned, prebiotics can be found in many foods you’re likely already eating, including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

“Along with the fiber naturally found in these foods, there are tons of other benefits nutritionally, including vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (those are the plant chemicals) that are known to prevent stroke, improve cholesterol, prevent heart disease, diabetes, and weight management,” Gomer explains.

Despite the benefits of prebiotics, not everyone should take them. 

“Those with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and those following a low FODMAP diet should not consume inulin-containing products,” Gomer says. “Additionally, some folks may have a sensitivity to inulin–gas and bloating–from consuming these products.”

So are prebiotic sodas worth it? They can improve gut health, but as mentioned, they aren’t a must-have to add to your diet plan—so including them as a small part of your personal gut health plan is entirely up to you. 


The Best Prebiotic Sodas You Can Buy

POPPI Sparkling Prebiotic Soda

  • Contains the prebiotic agave inulin
  • 25 calories or less per can
  • 5g or less of sugar per can

 

Easily one of the most popular brands right now, Poppi’s prebiotic sodas help boost your digestive and immune health and may even help improve your skin. The sodas don’t contain any artificial flavors and are non-GMO Project Verified. The prebiotic soda comes in various tasty flavors that emulate popular soda brands, such as Classic Cola, Doc Pop, Orange, and Root Beer. Fun fact: Poppi is a verified Shark Tank brand.

OLIPOP Prebiotic Soda Pop

  • 9g prebiotic fiber per can
  • Under 50 calories per can
  • 2 to 5g of sugar per can

 

Another popular prebiotic soda many flock to is Olipop. The brand’s sodas come in various popular flavors, like Cherry Cola, Classic Root Bear, and Orange Squeeze. Offered as a 12-pack, these are the first clinically-backed digestive health beverages that can benefit the gut microbiome, digestive health, and metabolic function. These sodas are non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, Paleo, and keto-friendly for our health-conscious folks. These drinks also have no artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or preservatives.

MAYAWELL Bubbly Prebiotic Soda

  • Contain 5g prebiotic fiber organic agave
  • Less than 40 calories per can
  • 4g of sugar per can

 

Mayawell’s prebiotic soda contains inulin that’s sustainably sourced and non-GMO. Some prebiotic sodas can leave a funny aftertaste after each sip, so Mayawell has considered that by creating a drink that uses organic ingredients, such as agave. If you want to mix things up, the brand recommends using this prebiotic soda to make mocktails, cocktails, or other mixed drinks you like. You can choose from various flavors like Pear Lime, Pineapple Mango, and Raspberry Cucumber.

Vina Prebiotic Soda

  • Contains the prebiotics apple juice concentrate, apple cider vinegar, inulin, and acacia
  • 25 calories or less per can
  • 5g or less of cane sugar per can

 

Aside from prebiotics, these Vina sodas contain trace minerals such as lithium and magnesium to support your health. The brand offers flavors like Pomegranate, Cherry Pop, and Lime Lemon. You can order these drinks as singles or create your own variety pack—allowing you to mix and match your favorite flavors. And if you don’t like to drink prebiotic sodas straight, these can easily be mixed into your favorite alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. These sodas are certified USDA Organic, gluten-free, and vegan.

Wildwonder Prebiotic Juice Drink

  • Contains 5g prebiotic fiber, including Chicory root and Jerusalem artichoke
  • 35 calories per can
  • 6g of sugar

 

These sodas from Wildwonder contain both prebiotics and probiotics to support your digestive health. They contain 1 billion colony-forming units, or CFUs, of vegan probiotics. Offered in five tasty flavors, such as Guava Rose and Mango Gold. These drinks are non-GMO, USDA Organic, and vegan. These beverages are a great add-in to alcoholic drinks or as an alternative for our sober friends. Some of the additional ingredients found in these sodas include ginger, turmeric, rose, and various fruits. This brand has also been covered on Shark Tank.

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