Guess The Food: Lurking Sugar

 I think one of my absolute least favorite things that food producers do is when they shroud what is essentially sugar or salt in bogus nutritional hype. It raises my blood pressure. I think it might be my single biggest pet peeve in the food processing world (and that says something).

This product, which you will be guessing, is a quintessential example of this. Before I started reading labels on food products I used to buy and drink this stuff all of the time! To be honest, I still occasionally drink it because I like the taste of it, but the difference is that now I imagine I’m drinking a Coke instead of something healthy.

Let’s dig in so you can see the problem and also hopefully guess the “food”!

Sugar City

There is really nothing to this thing except two things: sugar and random vitamins.

So it’s important to know, before we go on, how much sugar 32 grams of sugar actually is.

It’s this much:

It’s about a quarter of a cup of sugar. If I gave you this bowl of sugar and told you to eat it, you would probably be grossed out which is why it upsets me SO much when producers hide this kind of sugar content in their products.

To be clear, this is almost exactly HALF the sugar that you get in the same amount of Coca-Cola, but it’s still a lot. When people drink Coke, I think they know they are drinking sugar. I’m not sure that’s true for this product.

The only other thing on the nutritional label really is some vitamins. And the important question to ask is if the vitamins make up for the sugar.

It might look like a lot of vitamins, but let’s put this in perspective:

  • One baby carrot (about an ounce) has four times as much Vitamin A as this entire product.
  • Pretty much anything you eat during the day that is green, orange, or red will give you as much Vitamin C as this.
  • Two eggs will give you more VitaminB12.

I could keep going but the truth is that these are small amounts of vitamins and if you are eating even a halfway healthy diet, you are getting all of these vitamins and more.

The Ingredients

Sorry for the blurring! Let’s get to the ingredients.

Reverse Osmosis Water: A fancy name for filtered water. Ever use a Brita? There ya go.

Crystalline Fructose: A fancy name for sugar. It’s actually 5% sweeter than high-fructose corn syrup.

Cane Sugar: A less fancy name for sugar.

Citric Acid: A common additive to make foods slightly sour or acidic.

Magnesium LactateA mineral supplement added to many foods.

All of the vitamins are pretty self-explanatory. That’s how they get the vitamins. They add them in.

Natural Flavors: The mystery of the food world. Nobody knows!

Modified Food Starch: An emulsifier that keeps all the ingredients from separating.

Sorbitol: A sugar substitute. No idea why this is needed.

Guess the “Food”!

This one might be pretty easy for some people, but I mainly wanted to highlight the crazy sugar situation.

In any event, leave a comment! Can you guess the “food”?!

31 comments on “Guess The Food: Lurking Sugar

    1. Nice call Matt! The fact that you got the flavor is impressive because I intentionally photoshopped the wrapper color. Haha.

  1. vitamin water? Plain ol water quenches the thirst and tastes better in my opinion!
    they pretend like it is good for you. sure it is

  2. Vitamin Water! Based on the label coloring, I think it is the “XXX” flavor. I like Vitamin Water, but only as a less-bad substitute for soda (half the sugar is significant), not as a replacement for regular water.

    1. Yea… it kind of is. I like it when the Extreme Couponing shows get this for free… like… who would want 100 of these even if they are free?

  3. The first thing that popped into my head was Vitamin Water but I never even had it or looked at the contents.

  4. I don’t drink cokes, I don’t drink fruit juice, basically I drink water, tea and coffee, why would someone actually drink vitamin water? Take a multivitamin and drink a glass of water if you’re looking to get some vitamins. Want flavor? Add lemons, cucumbers, mint, anything. That’s just wrong on so many levels.

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