Do you miss the refreshing taste of fruit juices running down your throat and just hitting that sweet spot?
Let’s face it—nothing can ever quench your thirst the same way fruit juices will!
Unfortunately, that would be too much sugar for your ketogenic diet!
But what if we tell you that there’s a way on how you can still enjoy the flavors of your favorite fruit juices without getting kicked out of ketosis?
Yes, that’s possible—all thanks to the low carb and calorie water enhancers in the market today! Crystal Light is one of them.
All you need to do is add these powdered mixes to your water, and you can already enjoy all the sugary drinks you loved pre-keto.
Sounds too good to be true?
Well, you need to read this article to find out!
What is Crystal Light?
Crystal Light is a powdered drink mix formulated to be added to water to produce sweet and refreshing drinks, considered healthier soda alternatives. They are often referred to as water enhancers because of their ability to improve the palatability of water.
Manufactured by Kraft Foods, the product line has expanded to include low-calorie iced tea drinks that are perfect as a workout beverage for athletes and active people.
The Crystal Light beverage Mix is sold in different serving packs—single-serve for on-the-go people, multi-serve packages for home use, and a model designed to be incorporated in soda machines.
Why Drink Crystal Light?
Crystal Light has been famous for lots of good reasons. These include:
Better Tasting than Water
We know that water is suitable for all of us but let’s face it—drinking tasteless liquid can get pretty tiring from time to time.
Additionally, some people can’t tolerate the lack of taste of water. Having a better-tasting alternative (without the amount of sugar that comes with juices and sodas) is undoubtedly an attractive option for these people.
This is the main reason most diabetics or people trying to lose weight or avoid carbs consider drinking Crystal Light. To achieve the desired sweet taste, the company used non-nutritive sugar substitutes.
Some of the non-nutritive sweeteners used are not metabolized by the body, meaning they contain little to no calories per serving and won’t have a significant effect on your body’s blood sugar levels.
Some of us would prefer drinking juices over water because they taste better. However, we can’t drink juice all the time because of the high calories that it has. The excellent news is Crystal Light powder mix is low in calories.
Of course, the number of calories per serving you’ll get will vary depending on the type of Crystal Light product line you’ll consume.
What are the Crystal Light Product Lines and Their Flavors?
Crystal Light already has four product lines. These include:
Crystal Light Classic
The Crystal Light is the OG formulation, meaning this is low calorie and low sugar but uses plenty of artificial ingredients. For this product line, here are some of the flavors that you can enjoy:
- Berry Sangria
- Tropical Coconut
- Black Cherry Lime
- Strawberry Watermelon
- Blueberry Raspberry
- Blackberry Lemonade
- Concord Grape
- Cherry Pomegranate
- Fruit Punch
- Mango Passionfruit
- Pink Lemonade
- Raspberry Ice
- Pomegranate Lemonade
- Raspberry Lemonade
- Strawberry Orange Banana
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Strawberry Kiwi
Crystal Light with Caffeine
Also called the Crystal Light Energy Mix, the powdered mixes under this product line contain around 60mg of caffeine per serving, making it perfect for coffee lovers or people who need an energy boost. Under this product line, these are the flavors that you can choose from:
- Cherry Splash
- Acai Berry Bliss
- Peach Mango
- Tropical Paradise Punch
- Strawberry Pineapple Refresh
- Wild Strawberry
Crystal Light Tea
The Crystal Light Tea product line is formulated to satisfy the cravings of tea lovers. You can choose from the following flavors for this product line:
- Lemon Decaf
- Lemon Iced Tea
- Pomegranate Green Tea
- Peach-Mango Green Tea
- Raspberry Green Tea
- Sweet Tea
Crystal Light Pure
This is said to be the product line that has the least amount of artificial ingredients. In short, it has no flavors, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners. For this product line, here are some of the flavors that you can enjoy:
- Lemon Iced Tea
- Mixed Berry Energy
- Strawberry Kiwi
- Strawberry Lemonade Energy
- Raspberry Lemonade
- Tangerine Mango
- Tropical Citrus Energy
- Tropical Blend
What’s in Crystal Light?
Here are the similar ingredients you’ll find in the label of all Crystal Light product lines:
This is an acid usually found in citrus fruits, but the one used in Crystal Light is most likely artificial.
Citric Acid acts both as a flavor enhancer and a preservative for Crystal Light products.
This ingredient is often used both as a thickener and filler to increase volume and prolong the shelf life of the powdered beverage.
Artificial Food Colors
It’s added to the formulation to give the powder its distinct color, making it more appealing.
Natural and Artificial Flavors
Crystal Light is formulated with a combination of artificial and natural sweeteners, which give the mix its fruity and refreshing flavor.
To give the mix its sweet taste, it’s also formulated with different types of artificial sweeteners.
What are the Sweeteners Used for Crystal Light?
Since our primary goal is to determine whether Crystal Light is keto-friendly or not, we must look at the type of sweetener they contain. When doing this, we should keep in mind that different Crystal product lines use different sweeteners.
Sucralose (Crystal Light Tea)
It’s more commonly known as Splenda and is considered the sweetest sugar substitute available as it’s said to be 322 to 1000 times sweeter than table sugar. Since it’s non-nutritive, it isn’t metabolized by the body and won’t have any effect on your body’s sugar levels, so it’s considered safe for the keto diet.
However, there’s one caveat with the use of this sweetener. According to studies, sucralose can inhibit the growth of the beneficial bacteria in our gut and may disrupt our GI health and functions. (*)
Acesulfame Potassium (Crystal Light Tea and Classic)
This artificial sweetener is commonly used in sugar-free beverages and is often listed as Ace-K. It’s also sweeter than sugar—around 200 times sweeter.
As per the FDA, Acesulfame Potassium is considered to be safe for consumption. (*) (*)However, a 500g serving of this sugar contains around 0.5-grams of carbs. This is suitable for a regular keto diet, but it’s not recommended for people on a strict ketogenic diet.
Aspartame (Crystal Light w/ Caffeine)
Also considered a non-nutritive sweetener, Aspartame won’t likely affect ketosis, making it one of the most commonly used sugar alternatives for keto. (*)
However, a 1-gram serving of Aspartame contains 1 gram of net carbs. This is something you need to consider when planning your meals and macros.
Stevia Leaf Extract ( Crystal Light Pure)
Stevia is a natural sweetener that’s extracted from Stevia leaf. It’s one of the most popular sweeteners as it’s considered to be healthier and more beneficial.
The best news is Stevia is considered keto as it has zero glycemic indexes and won’t affect ketosis.
Sugar (Crystal Light with Caffeine and Pure)
Unfortunately, there are two Crystal Light product lines that contain sugar. This is no other than the Crystal Light Caffeine and Pure product lines, so you should avoid these drinks if you’re on keto.
How Many Carbs Are in a Crystal Light?
As important as identifying the drinks’ sweeteners in determining if they can be consumed on keto, you also have to check out the net carbs of each drink. This may vary depending on the Crystal Light flavor you will choose.
Here’s a simple table that can help you to quickly determine the carb content of the Crystal Light of your choice:
Net Carbs per serving
Berry Sangria, Black Cherry Lime, Tropical Coconut, Blackberry Lemonade,…
Strawberry Watermelon, Cherry Pomegranate, Concord Grape, Fruit Punch,…
Peach Iced, Peach-Mango Green Tea, Lemon Iced Tea, Lemon Iced Tea- Decaf,..
Acai Berry Bliss, Cherry Splash, Strawberry Pineapple Refresh, Tropical Paradise Punch
Citrus, Grape, Peach Mango, Wild Strawberry, Pomegranate
Grape, Lemon, Lemon Iced Tea, Peach iced Tea, Raspberry Lemonade,..
Is Crystal Light Keto Compatible?
There are two critical things we need to factor in before we answer this question.
First off are the drinks’ sweeteners. Based on this consideration, only two product lines are suitable for the ketogenic diet—Crystal Light Tea and Crystal Light Classic. This is because the other two product lines—Crystal Light with Caffeine and Pure—contain added sugar.
Second, we also have to think about the grams of net carbs of the drinks and how they would fit in your macronutrient requirements. Most of the flavors contain 1-3 grams of net carbs per serving which is suitable for a ketogenic diet as long as you make sure that you won’t go beyond the 50g daily carbohydrate requirement.
Considering all these factors, we can say that Crystal Light is keto-friendly.
How Bad Is Crystal Light For You?
But we have an even bigger question—is it good for your health? We’re afraid not.
While many people deem it healthy because it has lower sugar and carbohydrate content than soft drinks, we need to look at the quality of ingredients it has.
Unfortunately, it contains too many artificial ingredients – flavoring, colorants, corn syrup, etc.—that may cause adverse effects on our health when consumed in large amounts. (*)
Crystal Light is keto-friendly, but some ingredients in its formulation have been associated with negative health effects.
With all these things considered, here’s our friendly advice: you can drink Crystal Light from time to time, especially when your sweet cravings badly hit, but avoid its consumption as much as you can.
Additionally, make sure that you go for the product line with the least amount of artificial ingredients and one that would fit your macros well. Based on the data that we’ve gathered, your best bet is Crystal Light Pure Flavors that contain only 1 gram of net carbs per serving.