How Natural is Crystal Light Powdered Beverage Mix?

Crystal Light Pink Lemonade

On the journey from soft drinks to water, many dieters stop at the milestone known as flavored waters. Some dieters opt for relatively low-cost powders that are added to water. One popular brand of flavored powder is Crystal Light.

For dieters interested in healthy weight loss, the word “Natural” are reassuring. Crystal Light touts itself as “NATURAL PINK LEMONADE” in bold letters, followed by a fine print: “Flavor with Other Natural Flavor”.

The Kraft owned brand recently received a warning letter from consumer watchdog group CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) claiming that

Crystal Light’s “Natural” lemonade and iced tea mixes contain several decidedly unnatural ingredients.”

CSPI is threatening legal action. Kraft claims that it is abiding by the law in its marketing and labeling practices.

How to decide who is telling the truth? We tried to look up ingredient information on Crystal Light’s website. If Kraft is not hiding anything, why doesn’t the ingredient list appear on its website? Luckily, the information is available on Fooducate’s app and website:

Citric Acid, Potassium Citrate, Maltodextrin, Aspartame, Magnesium Oxide, Contains Less than 2% of Natural Flavor, Acesulfame Potassium, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Color, Red 40.

As you can see, there is nothing natural about this chemical mix. Kraft’s lawyers and marketers may have covered their legal bases, but from a consumer perspective, there is more than a drop of deceit in this product.

If you must drink sweetened waters, shoot for the ones that are sweetened with stevia or monk fruit. But really, do you taste buds a favor – switch to unsweetened water. Here are some tips.

Want to know if you favorite drinks are natural or not? Get the freed Fooducate app (iPhone, Android)

  • Michele Hays

    Or herbal tea – we’ve started to drink hibiscus tea, which is refreshing, the tea doesn’t need refrigeration until you make it, and I don’t need sweetener to enjoy it.

    • Alyssa B

      I love herbal teas, especially the fruity teas made by Celestial Seasonings. (Peach is my favorite)
      I’ve never had hibiscus tea. I’ll be on the lookout for it next time I’m at the store so I can try it!

      • Erin from Long Island Neu

        Careful with boxed teas! They often use a lot of “natural flavoring” and sneak in other nastiness

    • CeCe

      Sounds smashing! Gonna try it. :-)

  • Mike

    I’ve been drinking shakeology. It tastes great and is all natural. Take a look

  • mitchell

    Why the beep do people need sweetened water thats part of the health problems these days you start with these get addicted and keep using more as time goes on the aspartame in the first three ingredients tells me I would be better off drinking gmo soy milk which both are toxic in their own rights but this is just a lie of natural unlike the soy milk

  • Michael

    Start your day with a shakeology. Best meal of the day. All natural

    • Cactus_Wren

      Your adspam is noted.

  • tess

    You would think “Artificial Color” is a strong argument against this being all natural. How can something be natural and artificial at the same time?

  • Alyssa B

    I usually drink plain water, but I really like the powdered packets made by True Lemon and True Lime when I feel like something different.
    I used to like Crystal Light, but the strong fake flavors and fake sweetener aftertaste and got to be too much when I started eating more real food. (Plus they stain!)

    • CeCe

      Agreed. The aftertaste Sux! Thought I found a winner with the Wyler’s Water Flavor Packets but I discovered the migraine headaches I got were linked to times I drank them! I’m done. Gonna stick to my tried and true fresh squeezed lemon and liquid Stevia when I need a little spice in my refreshment drink life.

  • Wise guy

    This app is quite useful (assuming it isn’t accepting bribes from food companies in exchange for high ratings) but where are the editors of these articles? The misspellings and grammatical errors are simply embarrassing. I have found at least one in every article I read. Please have some professionalism and proofread.

    • Fooducate

      Hi “Wise Guy”, thanks for your constructive, if snide, feedback. We’re sure you mean well.

  • overseaschinese

    One would imagine that US companies/manufacturers lead the world in truth and freedom of choice. All these food products do not show a good leader in any way.

    We are now spoilt.

    Before tea bags arrived in Asia, we were all drinking natural tea in which we can actually SEE leaves; the tea ceremony is still practised in some parts of China. Same thing with these flavoured ‘natural’ beverage. I remember in the past, we drink coconut water out of a REAL coconut. Not in a tetra pak. We drink sugar cane juice freshly PRESSED in front of our eyes. Not in a aluminium can. We drink soya milk that is freshly GRINDED in the morning. Not in a tetra pak.

    We need to get back to the basics. And not be tainted by large conglomerates and its greed for money.

  • John Jay

    where is the science behind this article? I want chronic studies to show me why GMO’s are bad and why crystal light is “bad” for healthy active adults. Science! Not studies done on rats or on people with preexisting conditions