Veganism is an ever-trending dietary lifestyle that many have chosen to undertake for a host of reasons, whether that be animal welfare, health, ethics, or all of the above.
While going vegan is a step in the right direction towards positively nourishing our bodies as well as caring for our environment, there are still a few things that might confuse us on our journey – especially if we are just starting.
Knowing which foods and drinks are fully vegan and cruelty-free comes with experience but let us start you off by answering an all-important question on everyone’s lips – Is Sprite Vegan?
We have all the details you need to know to get to the bottom of this topic, so stay tuned for some interesting facts.
So, What is Sprite?
For those that are unaware of what exactly Sprite is (you never know?) let us explain what kind of beverage this is.
While many of us are familiar with soft drinks and sodas, many may never have tasted them before, so before we break down whether the sprite is vegan or not, it makes sense to talk about what this is and where you would find it in the first place.
Sprite is a clear, fizzy, lemon-lime flavored soda, which is commonly linked with similar drinks such as Coca-Cola (aka coke), Fanta, or Mountain Dew.
It is a hit with many who love the taste of lemonade and prefer a lighter, more refreshing soda with a milder taste – and then there is Sprite Zero, but we will get to that a little later.
Sprite is a drink that has been found all over the world since 1961, and if you are vegan or are thinking about going vegan, it may be worth knowing if this is an option for you or not.
There are many foods and drinks out there that many people believe are vegan, but once you look into the ingredients, it proves not to be – and vice versa, so on that note, let us delve into the exact ingredients in Sprite to answer our question.
What are the Ingredients in Sprite?
- Carbonated Water – This is the basis of many soft drinks and is otherwise known as sparkling water, which is a drink all by itself. It is made by dissolving Carbon Dioxide gas under high pressure.While some carbonated water contains extra additives it is worth knowing that this just means they have added sodium bicarbonate or sodium chloride – not animal-derived. However, as a vegan, it is always good to delve into any ‘additives’ in other foods and drinks that may be listed, because you never know.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup – While High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) has a similar consistency to honey, it is good to know that it is not derived from bees, but is in fact sometimes used as a substitute for honey when the nectar is in low supply in the USA. Honey is not vegan, given that relies on living creatures to provide the goods – but HFCS is. HFCS, as the name suggests comes from corn starch and is made by processing the starch into a syrup, followed by the addition of enzymes to change the fructose into glucose – the sweetness in layman’s terms.
- Citric Acid – Derived from citrus fruits, this acts as a preservative and as a flavoring in many foods and drinks including Sprite.
- Natural Flavors – So, is Sprite vegan? Well, ‘Natural Flavors’ are listed similar to ‘Additives’, and when it comes to being vegan, these are the two you should watch out for, as either of them could be sourced from animals, but in this case, it is not. Pheww! The purpose is generally to provide extra flavor to food or drinks, but not necessarily add any nutritional benefits.
- Sodium Citrate – ‘Citrate’ is similar to citrus and citric indicates that this comes from citrus fruits, which is correct. This acts as another preservative and keeps your Sprite lasting longer than a fresh juice or smoothie for instance.
- Sodium Benzoate – This is widely used as yet another preservative, which is commonly listed as E211, so watch out for this number in future foods and drinks to identify the ingredient. This is a sodium salt of benzoic acid, so don’t worry this is also vegan!
How Healthy is Sprite?
While a good proportion of vegans choose to live this lifestyle for health reasons, there may be times when you want to treat yourself too – aside from the incredible vegan deserts that exist these days, and if this for you means grabbing a bottle/can of Sprite, then it is interesting to know just how healthy or unhealthy this is, as well as asking is Sprite vegan.
Let’s break down the health effects:
Carbonated Water – The major nutrients here are carbohydrates as well as sodium, both of which the body needs in moderation, but excessive carbonated water can lead to tooth decay.
High Fructose Corn Syrup – Too much HFCS can also lead to tooth decay, as well as weight gain, but this is of course at an extreme consumption level.
Citric Acid – While naturally derived citric acid (coming from the fruits) has some health benefits, allowing the body to absorb nutrients faster, the citric acid used in Sprite and many foods and drinks are manufactured and trigger symptoms if you are sensitive to MSG.
Natural Flavors – These natural flavors may contain MSG and as mentioned earlier this ingredient is mainly for extra flavor rather than added nutrition.
Sodium Citrate – When this is sued as medicine it works well as a blood anticoagulant, but in this case, it provides electrolytes, which aid hydration in the body.
Sodium Benzoate – Too much of this ingredient can lead to allergic reactions such as triggering asthma or hives.
A common phrase we might have all heard during our lifetime is ‘everything in moderation, and in this case, it rings true. Although Sprite would not be the healthiest choice of drink, it is not the worst either, and the fact that it contains 100% natural flavors, no caffeine, and can be bought in a new smaller sized bottle, means you can enjoy this worry-free. If choosing to drink Sprite, just be sure to enjoy it as part of a balanced diet.
And the Answer is:
The great news is that Sprite IS vegan, and while it contains just six ingredients, we have established that all of these ingredients including the additives and natural flavors present are indeed vegan. On top of this is also reassuring to know that when it comes to the manufacturing and production of Sprite, none of the aspects of this involves any use of animal derivatives or byproducts.
It is worth knowing that although Sprite is vegan, there are a variety of other drinks that may not be, so if you are leading a fully vegan lifestyle and are worried about this, be sure to check the ingredients carefully – which leads us to our next point. What about Sprite Zero?
What about Sprite Zero?
It is always better to be safe than sorry, and while we already know that Sprite in its original form, is fully vegan, can we say the same about Sprite Zero – the low calory version? Sprite Zero contains some slightly different ingredients including Potassium Citrate, Potassium Benzoate, and Aspartame (the artificial sweetener), so it would not be uncommon to want to clarify if this drink is also vegan.
The quick answer is YES, Sprite Zero is also vegan and despite the difference in ingredients, none of these is derived from animals either, which puts out minds at ease. Still, with that being said it is best to check thoroughly before you commit to a new food or drink item.
On an out final note, let us recap a little about what we have learned when it comes to the topic ‘Is Sprite Vegan?’. We have learned that it is important to look closely at the ingredients listed, after all these are more than just what goes into your body, these will uncover the source, whether that be a byproduct of an animal or directly derived from animals.
This world-famous lemon-lime flavored drink, which has been satisfying the cravings and refreshing the palettes of many over the years, is one that we can rely on when it comes to being vegan and that is something we can be happy about. To make your Sprite experience even better, make sure to look out for the new Sprite clear bottle, which ensures that the bottle is made from 100% recycled materials, which is a bonus if you are all about protecting the earth that we live on.
Being vegan is not just about what you eat, but it is about being conscious of the impact that the food or drinks have on the community and the environment too, so in knowing that you can opt for a better choice, then why not do your bit for the world, while enjoying a satisfying vegan soda.