On March 26, 2012, Pepsi introduced their latest in a long line of soft-drinks aimed at the health-conscious consumer. According to their press release, Pepsi Next is aimed at, “a segment of consumers who are resistant to both regular, full-sugar cola and diet cola offerings. These consumers love the taste of Pepsi but they don’t believe you can achieve full-flavor taste with a diet cola. The launch of Pepsi NEXT is intended to fulfill this unmet need in the category.”
They say Pepsi Next is “crafted from the right mix of cola flavor and a blend of sweeteners to closely mimic the taste curve of a regular cola.” The marketing draw is 60 percent less sugar. There are 15 grams of sugar in a 12 oz can of Pepsi Next, compared to 40g in Pepsi’s Throwback ‘real sugar’ version, and 41g in regular HFCS Pepsi. While less sugar is certainly a desirable feature, what is not mentioned is the fact that, in the absence of the usual bucketful of sugar (in this case, high fructose corn syrup), the ingredients to attain that trademark Pepsi icky-sweetness need to come from somewhere. In this case, not only does aspartame fill the bill, but sucralose and acesulfame potassium do as well! Now we have a beverage on the market with not one, not two, not three, but FOUR dangerous sweeteners – HFCS, aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium.
Another thing the marketers fail to mention is the whopping 60mg of sodium, compared to 40mg in Pepsi Throwback and 30mg in regular Pepsi. The real irony is the top of the ingredient list actually lists the product as containing ‘low sodium!’ Leave it to Pepsi to introduce a product with not only twice the sodium, but HFCS, aspartame, AND sucralose, and actually have the gall to market it to health conscious consumers.
Here is the ordered ingredient list for Pepsi Next, followed by some potential health complications:
Carbonated water – tap water containing fluoride, among other potential dangerous chemicals.
High fructose corn syrup – promotes obesity and liver damage.
Caramel color – potentially cancer causing.
Natural flavor – can be quite literally anything.
Phosphoric acid – causes tooth enamel corrosion, almost as bad as battery acid.
Sodium citrate – can cause muscle spasms, elevated sodium, and other side effects.
Caffeine – addictive, causes extra wear and tear on the adrenal glands, stress, and other issues.
Potassium sorbate – generally non-toxic, but can cause side-effects to certain individuals.
Aspartame – can cause cancer, mental disorders, headaches, weight gain, and a host of other health issues.
Citric acid – linked to the erosion of tooth enamel. Sodas are certainly not a healthy way to consume this ingredient naturally found in citrus fruit.
Acesulfame potassium – yet another artificial sweetener, could cause cancer and thyroid problems.
Sucralose – causes poor ‘gut health’ by reducing the amount of ‘good bacteria’ in the intestines. Also causes weight gain, among other issues.
So the next time you consider knocking back a Pepsi Next or some other toxic heavily-marketed ‘beverage,’ consider the fact that there is absolutely nothing redeeming health-wise about it.
Drink filtered water instead.