Cordial, also known as squash, is a highly concentrated, sweet fruit syrup that can be diluted and enjoyed on its own or added to other beverages.
It usually contains about three ingredients: water, fruit juice, and sugar. Some contemporary cordials add ingredients like additional flavors and food coloring, but it remains a simple drink to this day.
Despite being caffeine-free, there are still several reasons not to completely replace your favorite caffeinated beverage of choice with cordial or squash. Read on to learn more about caffeine and cordial.
What’s in cordial?
Cordial is, on average, made up of 30% fruit juice. Some cordials are made up of 50% or more fruit juice.
These are sold as “high juice” cordials and are sometimes thought of as the same as juice, which is not the case.
Cordials are very high in sugar content, even high juice cordial. Fruit juices already contain a natural amount of sugar, and if you check the label of any given cordial, chances are the first ingredient is sugar.
If not, you are likely looking at an artificially sweetened cordial, which can contain unnatural chemical sweeteners like saccharin, acesulfame K, sucralose, or aspartame.
In addition to fruit juice and sugar, cordials often contain spices that complement the fruit they’re flavored with and citric acid.
They can also have added preservatives, though sugar is a natural preservative and high-sugar cordials can stay fresh for a while.
Some cordials have a low juice content, sometimes as low as 5%. These syrups usually have a lot of flavoring ingredients and added dyes for a bright, fruity color.
These flavors and colors can be natural or unnatural, depending on the company that makes the cordial.
Is cordial as bad as a soft drink?
The average cordial has about 3 teaspoons, or about 12 grams, of sugar in every glass—and that’s after diluting the syrup with water.
To compare that with some popular soft drinks, there are 26 grams of sugar in an 8-ounce cup of Coke, 24 grams of sugar in 8 ounces of Sprite and root beer, and 23 grams of sugar in an 8-ounce serving of Dr. Pepper.
So, a sweet diluted cordial may not have the same amount of sugar as soft drinks do, but the syrup itself is highly concentrated in sugar content.
If you drink a lot of cordial, you are still consuming cups and cups of sugar. Weakening the syrup with a lot of water is the best way to keep your sugar consumption low when drinking a regular cordial.
Or, you can opt for one of the no-sugar-added or diet cordials out there, which have fewer calories and less sugar.
Diluting a small amount of squash with water can make it seem quite harmless, but in actual fact, a squash or cordial made with sugar comes with around 3 teaspoons of sugar per glass.
Are caffeinated drinks bad for you?
In fact, some studies have shown that caffeine can increase your capacity and endurance, especially when doing physical activity, and could even lower your risk of developing diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s later in life.
Caffeine may also help with weight loss by suppressing your appetite, boost your ability to remember things in the long term or lower your risk of cancer.
If you are a healthy adult who consumes 400 milligrams of caffeine or fewer each day, you are still within a healthy range of caffeine consumption.
That’s three to five cups of coffee or tea or about nine 16-ounce bottles of Coke.
If you take in more than 400 mg of caffeine, you may be vulnerable to adverse effects like insomnia, nausea, anxiety, migraines, increased heart rate, and frequent bowel movements.
Which soft drinks are caffeine-free?
If you experience any of the above negative side effects of caffeine, you may want to cut back on your caffeine consumption.
You may also have developed a dependency on or addiction to caffeine and are looking for alternatives to caffeinated drinks. If so, cordial is one option. It can satisfy your sugar craving without keeping you up all night.
Which root beer has no caffeine?
Root beer is a sweet and creamy soda made from the root bark of sassafras trees, which smell like vanilla. The only way for a root beer to have caffeine is if it’s added.
Other popular brands of root beer do not have caffeine. These include Mug and Diet Mug, A&W and Diet A&W, Dad’s and Diet Dad’s, and Barq’s Diet Root Beer.
Because companies must add caffeine to their root beer if they want it to be caffeinated, you should be able to find caffeine or a caffeine-derived ingredient on the label of your root beer.
If you see no mention of caffeine, there likely isn’t any.
The world can often seem to run on caffeinated beverages. Drinks like coffee, tea, and soda provide a kick of energy to get you through the day.
However, if you’re looking for an alternative to caffeine, cordial is a sweet, fruity drink with no caffeine.
Its sugar content is generally lower than soft drinks, but it still has a high sugar content from both natural fruit sugars and added sugar, so it’s a good idea to dilute your cordial with a lot of water.
If you are interested in soft drinks without caffeine, there are several options for you. These include root beer, ginger ale, Sprite, and some traditional colas made without caffeine.
No matter your beverage preference, you can find a sweet treat with ingredients that won’t break your diet.