Staying hydrated is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. However, some people prefer a little flavor in their drink instead of plain drinking water. That’s why low- to no-calorie flavored water products can be a great way for some people to ensure proper hydration. One popular flavored water brand, Propel®, can provide refreshing fruit-flavored beverages while adding little to no calories or sugar to your day.
However, flavored water can sometimes contain sweeteners and other ingredients that may not be safe for those following a low FODMAP regimen. Let’s learn a little more about Propel® and if you can enjoy this water product in your daily routine without digestive distress.
What’s in Propel®?
According to the Propel® website, there are four different beverage products that they carry. Let’s find out what ingredients are in each of these products.
- Propel® Vitamin Boost: This newer product from the flavored water company boasts 100% of the daily recommended value of vitamins B3, B5, B6, C, and E, as well as the same electrolytes found in the original Propel® flavored water. It comes in three different flavors: peach mango, strawberry raspberry, and apple pear. Other ingredients include water (of course!), cane sugar, citric acid, natural flavor, salt, purified stevia leaf extract, and added preservatives for freshness.
- Propel® flavored electrolyte water: This original Propel® flavored water product contains B vitamins as well as vitamins C and E as well as 160 milligrams of sodium and 40 milligrams potassium per 12-ounce serving for electrolyte replenishment. Other ingredients include water, citric acid, natural flavor, salt, the sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium, as well as preservatives for freshness. This drink comes in eight fruity flavors such as watermelon, kiwi strawberry, and grape to name a few.
- Propel® powder pack: For portable Propel®, these powder packs allow you to mix the Propel® electrolytes and vitamins to plain water at your convenience. It comes in six flavors and contains 210 milligrams of sodium and 65 milligrams of potassium for electrolytes per packet. Other ingredients include sugar and sucralose as sweeteners, silicon dioxide (typically found in mineral water), as well as similar preservatives and vitamins found in the Propel® flavored electrolyte water.
- Propel® unflavored water: Unflavored Propel® simply contains water and added electrolytes.
FODMAPs and Propel®?
When it comes to Propel® water products, you can be pretty sure they are FODMAP friendly. This is because the sweeteners used in such products, which include cane sugar, stevia leaf extract, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, and sugar are all considered low FODMAP in the servings listed below (according to the Monash University app):
- Stevia powder: 2 teaspoons
- Raw or white sugar: ¼ cup
There are no stated serving sizes on the Monash University app for sucralose and acesulfame potassium, but they are considered safe for most people on the low FODMAP diet. However, consume in moderation since research shows that sucralose may alter gut microbiota and could trigger digestive symptoms in some people.
Outside of sweeteners, the added vitamins and electrolytes are FODMAP friendly. And when it comes to natural flavors, according to the Food and Drug Administration, a natural flavor is any flavoring added to foods simply for flavor value and not for any nutritional value. Also, it’s an ingredient whose flavoring compounds are derived from:
“spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof”
It is unknown whether these natural flavors will impact those with digestive conditions, so just consume in small amounts and see if you tolerate such additives. The Propel® unflavored water option should be safe for just about everyone.
Take home message
For most people following the low FODMAP diet, Propel® water products should be safely consumed. If you prefer a refreshing drink without artificial sweeteners of any kind, then try infused water with lemon or limes, or beverages like LemonAID. This digestive drink contains soothing, natural, low FODMAP ingredients like lemon juice, pure cane sugar, ginger, mint, and cilantro, to name a few.
-written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD of LighttrackNutrition.com