If your social media feed looks anything like ours, you’ve probably noticed those eye-catching cans of probiotic sodas adding a burst of colour to snapshots of picnic feasts and party drink stations. With the rise of the sober-curious movement and new research highlighting gut health’s impact on digestion, mood, and disease prevention, it’s no wonder these delicious, low-sugar drinks have become some of the trendiest beverages of the moment.
Here’s everything you need to know about probiotic sodas and where to buy them in Canada.
What’s the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?
Probiotics are a natural part of your body, made of good bacteria and yeast. It’s normal for good bacteria to exist harmoniously with bad bacteria, but sometimes things like an infection can create an imbalance in your system. Adding more probiotics to your diet can reduce the amount of harmful bacteria, which improves gut health.
Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres and compounds that promote the growth and activity of beneficial gut bacteria. In other words, they act as a food source for the good bacteria in your gut and prebiotics help probiotics grow.
Check out this list of some of the best probiotic-rich foods to add to your diet.
Is probiotic soda good for you?
As much as we love enjoying a classic soda, many popular options are high in sugar and don’t have any nutritional value. On the other hand, probiotic sodas naturally contain fibre. Many brands are made with natural juices, low sugar, or good-for-you ingredients like apple cider vinegar, making them a healthier substitute for people still craving a bubbly afternoon pick-me-up.
Can you drink too much probiotic sodas?
Like most of your favourite beverages, it’s best to enjoy probiotic soda in moderation. Drinking too many cans of probiotic soda (or consuming large doses of probiotics in general) can cause uncomfortable digestive symptoms like gas, bloating and stomach cramps. Because probiotic sodas contain carbonated water, individuals who experience acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) might notice that consuming probiotic soda worsens their symptoms. The combination of carbonation and acidity in probiotic soda can have a similar effect to other fizzy beverages like sparkling water or regular soda.
What’s the difference between kombucha and probiotic sodas?
Kombucha is a bubbly and fermented drink made from tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast, while most prebiotic sodas have a base of carbonated water with added plant fibres and botanicals. Prebiotic sodas aren’t fermented. Kombucha contains natural prebiotics, like kefir and kimchi, making it a healthier alternative than your average soda. However, some kombucha drinks have high amounts of sugar per serving, so if you’re watching your sugar intake, be sure to read the labels carefully.
Read on for some of our favourite prebiotic sodas that are available in Canada.
Cove Gut Healthy Soda
Cove Gut Healthy Soda transports you back to the favourite flavours of your childhood. Available in grape, lemon-lime and orange, these delightfully sweet prebiotic sodas contain zero sugar and are naturally sweetened and coloured. Butterfly pea flower lends its magic to the grape soda, and turmeric helps create a vibrant shade for their orange soda. Pair Cove Gut Healthy Soda with cottage cheese pizza toast for the ultimate pizza party throwback.
Geez Louise is a Canadian women-owned prebiotic sparkling water brand changing the game with elevated flavours like grapefruit basil, passionfruit rosemary and cantaloupe mint. In all honesty, they taste as good as your favourite canned cocktails and canned mocktails, making them an ideal choice to bring to your next dinner party.
Rise Better Soda
Rise, the popular Canadian kombucha brand, has expanded its repertoire to include prebiotic sodas. Hailing from Montreal, this beverage company introduces three seriously delicious all-natural soda flavours, including cola, orange and lemon-lime. The vintage cola will pair perfectly with chips and nacho cheese dip for family movie night.
Olipop is a collection of sparkling prebiotic tonics with an impressive selection of 14 distinct flavours. Whether you’re craving the sweetness of strawberry vanilla, the zing of watermelon lime, or the tang of tropical punch, you’ll have a blast trying them all to find your favourite.
If your kid loves root beer and vintage cola, be sure to pick up a few cans of Thirsty Buddha prebiotic soda to add to their lunchbox for the first day of school. And with two grams of sugar in each can, you’ll feel good about making it a regular addition to the grocery list.
Crazy D's Sparkling Waters
Indulge in the timeless delight of a vanilla cream soda without the sugar rush. Packed with eight grams of prebiotic fibre, Crazy D’s Sparkling Waters has no added sugar and is completely flavoured with all-natural ingredients.
Poppi sets itself apart in the prebiotic soda market with one key ingredient: apple cider vinegar. In addition to natural sweeteners and fresh fruit, with 10 flavour options, you will surely find a few that will keep your taste buds and gut happy.