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Crystal Light Alternative Without Aspartame [Healthy Options]

Last updated on June 26th, 2022

Crystal Light Alternative Without Aspartame

I’ve been enjoying Crystal Light but I only recently noticed that it contains aspartame.

I wanted to drink a zero-calorie fruit iced tea drink mix powder without aspartame.

So, I looked around for an alternative, and here’s what I found.

True Lemon Water Enhancers are a good alternative to Crystal Light and do not contain aspartame.

True Lemon Water Enhancer is sweetened with stevia which is a small plant that grows like a small herb bush.

The juice is 150 times sweeter than sugar and contains zero calories.

In this article, I will explain whether Crystal Light has aspartame in it, what artificial sweetener is used in Crystal Light, whether True Lemon is better than Crystal Light, and whether Crystal Light is as bad as diet soda.

Does All Crystal Light Have Aspartame in It?

Does All Crystal Light Have Aspartame in It

Crystal Light is a popular drink mix that comes in individual sachets, is easy to make, and has zero sugar.

However, is it sweetened with aspartame?

Crystal Light does contain aspartame.

Aspartame is the primary sweetener used in Crystal Light to replace sugar.

However, they sell 4 different varieties of flavors, and the Blackberry Lemonbabe drink mix does not contain aspartame and instead is sweetened with sucralose.

Here’s a table that shows all of their drink mix flavors, and whether they contain aspartame or not:

Crystal Light Flavor Does it contain aspartame?
Blackberry Lemonbabe No
Pomegranate Green Tea Yes
Peach Mango Green Tea Yes
Sugar Free Lemonade Yes

As you can see, all of the soft drinks mixes that Crystal Light makes other than their Blackberry Lemonbabe contain aspartame.

What Artificial Sweetener Is in Crystal Light?

What Artificial Sweetener Is in Crystal Light

The nutritional label on some sugary drinks contains a bunch of different chemicals, and it’s not always obvious what they are, and what they do.

So, I’m curious about what artificial sweeteners are used in Crystal Light.

The artificial sweetener used in Crystal Light is aspartame.

However, Crystal Light sells 4 different flavors of their drink mix.

One of their artificial flavor, the Blackberry Lemonbabe is sweetened with sucralose instead of aspartame.

There are a range of other interesting ingredients in Crystal Light that to me looked like artificial sweeteners, however, they are used to preserve the powder, such as acacia gum, and sucralose acetate isobutyrate (soaib).

Here’s a full list of the ingredients of one of their drink powders that contains aspartame:

Crystal Light Pomegranate Green Tea artificial ingredients:

  • Maltodextrin
  • Citric Acid
  • Potassium Citrate
  • Instant Green Tea
  • Malic Acid
  • Aspartame*
  • Acesulfame Potassium
  • Contains Less Than 2% Of Natural Flavor
  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
  • Magnesium Oxide
  • Red 40
  • Blue 1

*Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine

My overall impression of the ingredients in Crystal Light is that most of them are artificial and it contains no natural flavors or sweeteners.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, as I’ll cover in the topic of whether Crystal Light is better than diet soda.

However, they are a good option if you’re trying to cut down on your calorie intake.

However, many people prefer a more all-natural option such as True Lemon’s drink mix powders.

Is Crystal Light As Bad as Diet Soda?

Is Crystal Light As Bad as Diet Soda

Since both Crystal Light and diet soda are sugar free, you may be curious about whether one is better than the other.

As a general rule, Crystal Light and diet soda are virtually the same.

The main difference is that diet soda is carbonated, however, this does almost nothing to its nutritional levels.

Diet sodas and Crystal Light primarily use aspartame as the sweetener so that they both contain zero calories and zero sugar.

Aspartame has been deemed safe by, as well as, the FDA.

Coca Cola is the largest producer of sodas in the USA, and sells double the sodas of the 2nd biggest company PepsiCo.

They say that in their diet sodas they use aspartame, however, they also offer diet sodas sweetened with Splenda.

Splenda is a sucralose based artificial sweetener.

So, whether a diet soda contains aspartame, Splenda or some other artificial sweetener depends on the individual diet soda brand.

However, both Splenda and aspartame have been deemed safe for consumption.

The major drawback is that they are heavily processed involving a complex set of chemical reactions.

And some people prefer to consume all-natural and organic foods.

A good alternative to artificially sweetened drinks is to drink ones that are sweetened with stevia.

Stevia extract is a natural juice that is ridiculously sweeter than sugar.

But, it also has zero calories.

Is True Lemon Better Than Crystal Light?

Is True Lemon Better Than Crystal Light

True Lemon is the all-natural equivalent of Crystal Light, but is it better than Crystal Light?

On the whole, True Lemon is better than Crystal Light.

Scientific studies have shown that the nutritional quality of food goes down when it is processed.

True Lemon contains zero artificial sweeteners and flavors and as a result, has more nutrients than Crystal Light.

(source: link)

Some people have concerns about consuming aspartame, and therefore, True Lemon is a better option for them as well.

True Lemon sells a range of flavors which are:

  • True Lemon Original Lemonade
  • True Lemon Raspberry Lemonade
  • True Lime Watermelon Limeade
  • True Lemon Peach Iced Tea

All of them are sweetened with stevia extract, which is the juice of the stevia plant. Stevia is native to South America and grows a small bush, with green leaves about the size of your little finger.

If you compare a teaspoon of sugar to a teaspoon of stevia extract, the stevia is 200 times sweeter than the sugar.

Doing some rough math, you would use about 0.05% of the amount of stevia, compared to sugar to get the same sweetening power.

On top of that True Lemon drink, mixed flavors contain all-natural ingredients.

And you can make it just as easily as Crystal Light.

You can add hot or cold water, and make it as strong or weak as you like for a delicious hot or cold beverage.

On top of that, you can add other ingredients to it just as freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice.

You can also mix it with about ¼ of a cup of plain water and use it as a soda syrup.

To make your own soda add a glass of soda water or sparkling water. It can also be used as a snow cone or shaved ice syrup.

Is Using Crystal Light Bad for You?


Is Using Crystal Light Bad for You

Because Crystal Light contains aspartame and other artificial flavors it’s understandable that it might not be that good for you, however, is it safe to drink Crystal Light?

As a general rule, Crystal Light is not bad for you in moderation.

Provided you don’t drink more than one or two glasses of it today and balance it out with other soft drinks that don’t contain artificial sweeteners such as fruit juice, tea, coffee, drinking water, or vegetable juice.

It’s generally not a good idea to consume diet sodas and crystal light on the same day, as it will give you a large dose of aspartame.

A naturally sweetened soda contains sugar.

The amount of sugar in soda means you should only drink one to two cups of water like this per day.

Otherwise, you will be consuming too much sugar.

When you do that consistently it leads to long-term negative health effects such as type 2 diabetes and weight gain.

Therefore, it’s safe to assume that the sweetener in Crystal light is similar to the levels of sugar used in sugar-sweetened sodas like Coca Cola Classic, and Pepsi.

So, Crystal Light isn’t bad for you provided you don’t drink too much of it.

You could for example drink Crystal Light one day, and drink diet soda the next day.

There have as yet been no long-term studies into the effects of consuming a high amount of aspartame, food additives, or other non-nutritive sweeteners every day.

So, in my opinion, it’s best to err on the side of caution and balance it out by consuming it in moderation. And not drinking only Crystal Light instead of water.

Does It Still Count As Water if I Put Crystal Light in It?

Does It Still Count As Water if I Put Crystal Light in It

You’ve likely heard the old adage “make sure you drink 8 glasses of water a day”.

And it is recommended by nutritionists and medical professionals.

But, if you add Crystal Light to water does it count as 1 of your eight glasses of water?

Water with Crystal Light does count as water.

It was generally believed that liquids other than bottle of water did not count towards your daily water intake.

However, recent research has found that liquids like juice, coffee, tea, and soda contribute to your daily water intake.

(source: link)

However, much like sodas, you should not drink them exclusively instead of water because of the high sugar content.

Similarly, you shouldn’t consume Crystal Light exclusively as it contains levels of artificial sweetener that are the same strength as sugar.

And therefore, because it’s an artificial chemical, the long-term effects of consuming a high amount of it aren’t yet known.

So, it’s best to balance it out with other soft drinks during the day.

Such as coffee, tea, and fruit or vegetable juice.