Low-priced drink not such a good deal afterall
July 29, 2012 7:44 AM   Subscribe

What ingredient is it in Sobe drinks that consistently gives me diarrhea? [maybe not NSFW, but a bit graphic]

Any time I have a Sobe drink (in the past it has been their Pina Colada flavor, but today it was their Raspberry Lemonade), a couple of hours later I have to camp out in the loo with bowel-clearing diarrhea. I'm thinking maybe it's their artificial sweetener...? (Today I got lucky in that I only drank about half of the 20oz bottle)

A quick Google search for "sobe diarrhea" brings a lot of hits but no definitive answers. Some other people mention being hit with nausea as well, but I guess I'm lucky just to get the big d.

Any ideas as to what the possible suspect ingredient might be? (The only other foodstuff that consistently gives me similar problems, though not as bad, is onions.)

Here's the ingredients of today’s Raspberry Lemonade drink:

  • filtered water
  • erythritol
  • lemon juice concentrate
  • pear juice concentrate
  • natural flavor
  • pectin
  • REB A (purified Stevia extract)
  • potassium citrate
  • calcium lactate
  • gum arabic
  • ascorbic acid (to protect flavor)
  • black carrot juice concentrate (color)
  • lycopene (color)
  • posted by anonymous to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
    Erythritol is a sugar alcohol. It usually doesn't cause as much gastrointestinal distress as some of the other sugar alcohols, but you might just be lucky.
    posted by elsietheeel at 7:49 AM on July 29, 2012 [4 favorites]

    Yes, probably the sugar alcohol, and perhaps you have Fructose malabsorption, which would compound the problem.
    posted by melissam at 8:39 AM on July 29, 2012

    Erythitol. Lots of sugar alcohols can have that effect. Some items that contain them even have warnings to that effect, such as sugar-free gums and candies.
    posted by Kitty Stardust at 8:39 AM on July 29, 2012

    I've been on a low carb diet and if I eat a few "sugar free" candies made with sugar alcohol watch out.
    posted by irish01 at 10:53 AM on July 29, 2012

    I would say it's the stevia. I know it would have that effect on me.
    posted by seawallrunner at 1:36 PM on July 29, 2012

    It's the sugar alcohol, my body rejects it and it's actually pretty common. I had the unfortunate experience with a colon cleanse via energy drink once that had sugar alcohol as an ingredient.
    posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:42 PM on July 29, 2012

    Add my name to the list of people who are shocked at how "effective" a tiny dose of sugar alcohol can be. I had a memorable event that involved eating just three little sugar free Jolly Rancher candies. Yowza.

    And onions are just plain hard to digest. Particularly raw onions. Usually the longer you cook them, the less "trouble" you'll have with them later.
    posted by ErikaB at 8:14 PM on July 29, 2012

    Erythitol and/or stevia. Not uncommon at all.
    posted by desuetude at 11:43 PM on July 29, 2012

    Yup, I came in looking for something ending in "itol" and there it is. Erythitol. Those sugar alcohols have a rep for that kind of thing.
    posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:31 AM on July 30, 2012

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