Nothing beats a cold, fizzy soda. But your favorite beverage is loaded with buzzkill: sugar, artificial sweeteners, dye, and additives.
If you’re looking to cut back, probiotic soda will save the day. This healthy soda alternative touts gut health-boosting ingredients. And, thanks to findings from Purdue University, we now know there might be some truth behind wellness-promoting claims.
Researchers rigorously tested Olipop, a popular prebiotic soda, and found that one can of Olipop per day for 30 days resulted in a boost in beneficial Bifidobacteria, one of the good bacteria that live in the intestine.
Here’s everything you need to know about this buzzy new drink, and a few of the best probiotic soda brands to try.
SHOP PROBIOTIC SODA
What Is Probiotic Soda?
Probiotic soda is a bubbly alternative made with ingredients that aim to support a healthier gut.
These fizzy and fun concoctions deliver classic sweet flavors (think cola and orange cream) and gut-healthy ingredients. Plus, they cut out the sugary junk found in a traditional can of Coke.
Leading brands like Olipop, Poppi, and Health-Ade’s Booch Pop are often lumped together, but it’s important to note each brand relies on different ingredients to boost gut health.
The main difference? Whether they contain probiotics or prebiotics.
Probiotic vs. Prebiotic Soda
Probiotics and prebiotics are two distinct things.
Probiotics are living microorganisms found within fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi, and yogurt. Like a probiotic supplement, probiotic sodas—like Culture Pop—are packed with your daily dose of live probiotics.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are high-fiber foods (like bananas, apples, oats, and wheat) that serve as a food source for the healthy bacteria (probiotics) that live in your gut.
Prebiotic sodas use different ingredients to support your gut microbiota. For example, Poppi touts prebiotic properties, which derive from the inclusion of apple cider vinegar, which can promote a healthy pH balance in your gut, as well as pectin (a type of fiber).
Olipop, another prebiotic, leans on plant-based fibers found in chicory root, cassava root, and Jerusalem artichoke, as well as botanicals like nopal cactus, slippery elm bark, and calendula to feed your microbiome.
Is Probiotic Soda Good For You?
Yes. Generally speaking, prebiotic and probiotic sodas are cut back on sugar and steer clear of artificial sweeteners and refined sugar.
Instead, this healthy soda alternative leans on carbonated water, fruit juices, fermented tea, and plant-based ingredients to deliver flavor and function.
But is a can of prebiotic or probiotic soda a substitute for eating whole foods or using supplements to get your daily dose? No. While these drinks might be beneficial for your gut, they shouldn’t be your primary nutritional source of probiotics or prebiotics.
Your gut thrives on diversity, so be sure to prioritize a variety of whole foods in your day-to-day for a healthy gut. If you enjoy them, probiotic sodas can be a part of a well-rounded strategy to consistently care for your gut.
Just watch your intake. There’s only two to seven grams of sugar in popular probiotic sodas (in comparison to 39 grams in a 12-ounce can of Coke). They might be lower in sugar, but drinking too many can still drive up your daily daily intake.
The Best Probiotic Soda Brands
Ready to make the switch? Here are the best probiotic sodas to try.