Drinking too much Snapple?
February 13, 2011 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Am I going to overdose on Snapple?

When I moved to the US I had tremendous trouble deciding what my primary beverage would be (yes, I need one). I don't drink soda, unless it's an emergency. Orange juice is way too sweet (looking at ya, Minute Maid), and apple juice isn't my thing. After some market research I decided to settle for Diet Snapple, and haven't looked back since.

The problem is: I drink a LOT of this stuff, as I used to drink a lot of ice tea back in my country. With an average consumption of 8-10 bottles a week, I'm starting to worry if this is eventually going to kill me. As I said above, I only drink the 0-calorie diet version, so I think I'm ok and my family won't have to go for an intervention, but I definitely would like to hear from the hivemind.
posted by dcrocha to Home & Garden (28 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can you explain how you think it's going to kill you? I'm pulling a blank here.
posted by Nomyte at 9:47 AM on February 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

What flavor? 0 calories? Does it have an artificial sweetener in it?
posted by box at 9:47 AM on February 13, 2011

Response by poster: @Nomyte Maybe there's some ingredient in the formula that will harm me if ingested in super large quantities.

@box Diet Snapple - Peach. Do not know whether it has artificial sweeteners or not. Apparently the label doesn't say anything.
posted by dcrocha at 9:52 AM on February 13, 2011

I love Diet Snapple and drink maybe a bottle every couple of weeks. 8-10 a week seems excessive, even though it's diet. I agree that diet is probably better than full sugar Snapple but all that aspartame can't be particularly good for you either and the jury's still out as to whether it's actually bad for you. Try to cut out both sugar and artificial sweeteners for a while -- you might be surprised by how your tastebuds realign and plain cold water starts to become refreshing again.
posted by peacheater at 9:52 AM on February 13, 2011

I used to drink Diet Coke as my primary drink, for about 10 years. I usually drank about 10 cans per week, and despite the fact that it had no calories or sugar, I started to be concerned about all the chemicals I was ingesting. I don't like coffee and still needed a morning pick-me-up, so I started drinking green tea. I still have Diet Coke as a "treat" during weekends, but mainly now I have green tea in the morning, and will sometimes have red tea or herbal tea (no caffeine) in the evening after dinner. I feel better about drinking tea because I know that it's nothing but plant matter steeped in hot water. No artificial ingredients. So you may want to look at tea, or even iced tea if that's what you were drinking before. It's pretty easy to make it without a mix by just steeping a more concentrated version of the tea with a bit less hot water than needed, and then adding ice cubes.
posted by LaurenIpsum at 9:54 AM on February 13, 2011

The label pretty clearly says that it contains aspartame, if I recall correctly.
posted by peacheater at 9:54 AM on February 13, 2011

Are you talking 20 oz bottles? There are people who drink 8-10 per day.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:54 AM on February 13, 2011

There are two peach flavors in the Diet Snapple line.


posted by Houstonian at 9:56 AM on February 13, 2011

Response by poster: @roomthreeseventeen I am talking 16oz bottles, 8-10 a week.
posted by dcrocha at 9:56 AM on February 13, 2011

The only thing in Snapple that is a potential problem is the aspartame, and I'd bet 8-10 aspartame-containing drinks per week is on the low side of the national average. There are all sorts of conflicting studies on whether aspartame is bad for you. I tend to think it's probably not that great, but I'm sitting here sucking down a Diet Coke, so. At least it's not cigarettes.
posted by something something at 9:59 AM on February 13, 2011

Response by poster: @Houstonian I'm talking the second one: Diet peach tea.
posted by dcrocha at 9:59 AM on February 13, 2011

Well, there's caffeine overdose and water intoxication, though you're not going to get either of those things drinking 8-10 bottles a week.

It looks like the sweetener might be sucralose and/or aspartame. Some people believe that you're not consuming anything near a dangerous amount. But then, other people believe that any amount might be harmful.
posted by box at 9:59 AM on February 13, 2011

8 or 10 a week seems low to ms. You are fine.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:00 AM on February 13, 2011

I'd worry more about staining your teeth. Maybe drink through a straw?
posted by ALongDecember at 10:06 AM on February 13, 2011

Why don't you just drink iced tea, like you did back in your country?
posted by dunkadunc at 10:09 AM on February 13, 2011 [6 favorites]

Well this study just came out about aspartame.

Money quote: "Statistically speaking, those subjects who consumed diet sodas daily experienced a 61 percent higher risk of stroke and heart attack than those who abstained from the low-calorie carbonated beverages. No elevated risks of vascular problems were noted among daily drinkers of regular (sugared) sodas.

Make of it what you will.
posted by Max Power at 10:11 AM on February 13, 2011

There is also research indicating that diet soda is liked to metabolic syndrome, a diabetes precursor. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19918336/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/.
posted by yarly at 10:16 AM on February 13, 2011

8-10 bottles a week of that size doesn't sound like a lot. A day, yes. A week? No.
posted by vincele at 10:22 AM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

There are a lot of aspartame studies that show some health concerns. You aren't drinking tons of it, but it's also a pretty easy chemical to avoid or cut back on, if you'd like. You can get peach herbal tea in bag or loose form and brew your own without sugar or artificial sweeteners, then carry it in a water bottle (non-BPA for extra points!). If you want to add a little something sweet, agave nectar seems a recent favorite amongst the natural foods crowds.
posted by ldthomps at 10:22 AM on February 13, 2011

Aspartame is on my no-thanks list. I'll have a diet soda once in awhile, but it's a rarity. From where I'm sitting, I'd say you drink too much of the stuff. That recent study cited by Max Power was the final nail in the coffin for me.
posted by incessant at 10:55 AM on February 13, 2011

You're not going to overdose on 1.5 16-oz. bottles of Diet Snapple per day.
posted by J. Wilson at 10:59 AM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

My understanding is that they don't really know why diet soda is connected with poor health effects. The studies I've seen don't link it expressly to aspartame. The press on the most recent study says that he scientists think it might be the sodium. I've also heard the theory that diet drinks cause weight gain because they stimulate the same neurological paths as sugar and contribute to overeating patterns.
posted by yarly at 11:16 AM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

There are so many studies on the subject of aspartame it's mind boggling. From what I understand, the end result of each depends on whoever funded the study, either directly or directly. I'll leave it up to you to make up your own conclusions.

That being said, I laugh in the face of 8-10 bottles of anything a week. I'm through that in Coke Zero by Tuesday. If there was an overdose of aspartame to be had, I'd have hit it by now... (yes, I should quit. I'm not going to. I don't smoke, I don't drink... my vice is apparently fake sugar. So be it.)
posted by cgg at 11:17 AM on February 13, 2011

Maybe switch to Honest Tea? No artificial ingredients; just tea and sometimes a bit of sugar. Quite tasty, and it probably has an even lower chance of killing you.
posted by jrockway at 12:13 PM on February 13, 2011

I've had periods in my life where I've drank more than two diet cokes a day, and was never particularly fearful for my health. My mother is a health-nut RN and drinks coke zero like it's going out of style.

I would be more concerned about the money you're spending on all this Snapple (it ain't cheap) and the general low quality/insipidness of the flavor. But if you can afford $15 a week on artificially flavored sugar water, why not? I can think of worse vices.
posted by Sara C. at 12:42 PM on February 13, 2011

I prefer to drink real sugar over aspartame, but I think 8-10 16oz bottles a week are probably on the low side of average especially considering you rarely drink other sugary beverages.

But I would have to nth the question of why you don't just make your own iced tea if you're that worried?
posted by asciident at 3:21 PM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you want to try ice tea again, I recommend that you check out kungaloosh.com. They have an interesting assortment of tea bags that make 1 gallon of ice tea per bag. It's pretty easy to make up a some hot tea, add your own sweetener to taste, pour into a gallon container with enough ice and cold water to make up the full gallon. You will then have enough for a couple of days in just a few minutes work.
posted by metahawk at 7:33 PM on February 13, 2011

Aspartame may be bad for you, but sugar is definitely bad for you. Don't switch to anything that contains a lot of sugar.
posted by shponglespore at 3:34 PM on February 14, 2011

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