Is Poppi Bad for You? The Facts Behind the Trend

You may have noticed a new health-conscious drink popping up on your social feeds recently. Promoted by celebrities and wellness influencers, Poppi is a prebiotic drink that claims to offer a wealth of benefits, from supporting digestion to improving your gut microbiome. It's gaining traction amongst those seeking a healthier alternative to sugary drinks and traditional sodas.

But is Poppi good for you, and should you be drinking it? In this article, we’ll take a critical look at the facts behind this trending drink so you can make the best choice for your unique health needs.

Is Poppi good for you?

ADVERTISEMENT

Poppi soda can be good for you if consumed in moderation, as this drink contains prebiotics and apple cider vinegar, which may support gut health. However, it still contains sugars, so it should be enjoyed occasionally.

The rise in popularity of Poppi in the health and wellness sector has been largely due to the health claims made by the company, various health influencers, and celebrity endorsements. By combining apple cider vinegar, agave inulin, and natural flavors, Poppi has positioned itself as a healthier alternative to sugary sodas in a highly competitive beverage market.

Having a low sugar and low calorie content is definitely a plus side to Poppi, and it contains healthier alternatives to the high fructose syrups often found in regular sodas. Coupled with its gut-friendly ingredients, Poppi may potentially be a better substitute for other fizzy drinks. However, while individual ingredients like apple cider vinegar (ACV) and agave inulin may be associated with potential health benefits, more comprehensive research is needed to validate the health claims for the drink.

The health and wellness world is awash with products that promise miracles, so it’s vital for consumers to consider the potential benefits and possible risks associated with these well-marketed commodities.

What is Poppi soda?

Poppi is a prebiotic soda that’s heavily marketed as a healthier option than traditional fizzy drinks and high-sugar beverages. While most regular soft drinks are loaded with artificial ingredients and vast amounts of sugar, Poppi focuses on more natural ingredients that claim to influence gut health.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is one of the key ingredients in Poppi, and meta-analyses of the most current research have shown that it may have favorable benefits for cardiovascular health, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels.

Instead of artificial sweeteners, Poppi uses the natural sugars of agave inulin to sweeten the drink. Agave inulin, derived from the Agave tequilana plant, is also a prebiotic that may help to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

ADVERTISEMENT
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one can of Poppi Prebiotic Soda (360 ml, Classic Cola) contains the following:
Calories
25.2 kcal
Protein
0 g
Fat
0 g
Carbohydrates
6.98 g
Fiber
2.16 g
Total sugars
5 g
Sugars, added
3.96 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

Does Poppi work?

The main selling point of Poppi is its claim to improve digestive health through the inclusion of ingredients like prebiotics and ACV. You may have heard of probiotic benefits, but prebiotics are a type of fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut and may promote a balance between beneficial and harmful bacteria in the gut microbiome.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used as a traditional remedy for ailments such as infections and insect bites as far back as 3300 B.C. It has more recently intrigued the scientific community for its potential benefit to digestion, gut health, and immunity. However, much of the research into those specific areas is inconclusive, and the studies conducted on fish can hardly be applied to the human body. More definitive and robust research is needed to establish firm conclusions on the benefits of apple cider vinegar for overall digestive health.

Key ingredients in Poppi

As with any product that comes with bold health-related claims, it's important to break down what’s actually inside. Let’s look at the ingredients to understand if the Poppi health claims can stand up to the hype.

IngredientKey facts
Apple cider vinegarACV is known for its potential to aid digestion, support weight management and cardiovascular health, and improve blood sugar levels. It contains acetic acid, which has antimicrobial properties.
Agave inulinAgave inulin is a type of prebiotic fiber that comes from the agave plant. It may support gut health by feeding the beneficial bacteria already living in your gut.
Natural flavors and fruit juicesNatural flavorings and fruit juices offer a refreshing taste without the need for artificial additives. These natural ingredients, such as orange, strawberry, and lemon juice, may offer small amounts of some vitamins and antioxidants, adding to the drink’s overall health profile. However, it is by no means an antioxidant-rich soda.
Calorie and sugar contentEach can of Poppi can typically contain around 20 calories and 4–5 grams of sugar — significantly less than regular sodas, which can contain up to 150 calories and 39 grams of sugar per can.

Are there any benefits of Poppi prebiotic soda?

Let’s take a closer look at the reported benefits of Poppi and whether they stand up to scientific scrutiny.

Improved digestive health

ADVERTISEMENT

The prebiotic ingredients in Poppi, primarily from agave inulin, are intended to promote gut microbiome health by feeding the beneficial bacteria in your gut, helping them to proliferate. In a 2019 review and meta-analysis of controlled trials, researchers found that prebiotics increased bifidobacteria in the gut. However, they did not have any effect on the quality of life for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other functional bowel diseases (FBD).

Weight management

Because of the low calorie and sugar content, Poppi may potentially be a better choice than regular sodas for those on a weight management program that focuses on sugar reduction. A 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis examined the effectiveness of low-calorie and low-sugar drinks as a substitute for sugar-sweetened drinks. Researchers found that they were associated with small improvements in body weight and cardiometabolic risk factors.

It's important to note that reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is a process. It involves eating a varied diet rich in whole foods as well as sticking to a suitable exercise plan. Drinking Poppi should not be considered a weight-loss hack but could be included as part of a healthy diet.

Enhanced immunity

For our immune systems to function properly, we need a healthy, diverse, and robust gut microbiome. The agave inulin prebiotic included in Poppi claims to help the beneficial microorganisms in our gut flourish, which may potentially support the immune system.

One review published in the American Journal of Physiology discusses just how important it is to develop a healthy microbiome right from birth and into early infancy. The early years are crucial to building a strong immune system, and our gut health has even been linked to our neurological development.

However, a 2022 review and meta-analysis of research on how effective prebiotics are at supporting the immune system showed some contradictory findings in many studies. Researchers also discussed the need for further investigations that should include clinical trials with longer periods of observation, particularly in adults.

Poppi soda side effects

Although Poppi is generally considered safe to drink, it is possible that some people might experience side effects, including:

  • Bloating and gas. Fizzy drinks and prebiotics like agave inulin could cause some people to experience bloating and gas.
  • Cramping and diarrhea. Consuming fizzy drinks, especially in large quantities, could lead to digestive discomforts like stomach cramps or loose stools.
  • Allergic reactions. There could be some ingredients, like certain fruits and natural flavoring, that some people might be allergic to. Make sure you always read the label to check for potential allergens before trying the product.
  • Constipation. Drinking Poppi may alter the balance of bacteria in your gut, which could potentially cause constipation.
  • Nausea. The apple cider vinegar in Poppi may make some people feel nauseous, especially when taken on an empty stomach. If you are trying Poppi for the first time, make sure you drink it after a meal.
ADVERTISEMENT

If you have any concerns about the possible side effects of Poppi, it’s best to speak to a qualified healthcare professional before you try it.

Poppi vs. Olipop: which is better?

Poppi and Olipop are both popular prebiotic sodas that claim to support gut health. However, it’s worth discussing some key differences between the two.

PoppiOlipop
IngredientsBlends together various prebiotics, including chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, and kudzu root along with plant fiber.Blends together various prebiotics, including chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, and kudzu root along with plant fiber.
Sugar contentIn general, Poppi contains around 4–5 grams of sugar per canContains around 2–5 grams of sugar per can, depending on the flavor.
Potential benefitsClaims to have health benefits due to the inclusion of apple cider vinegar and prebiotics for digestive health, weight management, and immunity.Puts more emphasis on a broader range of plant fibers and prebiotics, which may potentially offer more diverse digestive health benefits.

In the end, both Poppi and Olipop are natural soda alternatives that claim to be gut-friendly drinks. Choosing between them comes down to personal taste preferences and knowing what’s best for your own unique health goals. Both drinks are offered as low-calorie, low-sugar alternatives to sugar-packed traditional sodas.

Poppi lawsuit: what you should know

You may have seen that Poppi is currently involved in a legal action that accuses the company of false advertising. The lawsuit alleges that the health claims made by Poppi are misleading and lack sufficient scientific evidence.

The lawsuit and publicity surrounding it have brought attention to the importance of investigating bold claims made by food and drink companies regarding the efficacy of their products. The need for transparency and more robust research to support such claims is abundantly clear.

Without adequate scientific research, which should include controlled trials, we should always be wary of products that make strong health claims. Always use your discretion, and if you are in any doubt about a product, discuss your concerns with a qualified healthcare practitioner.

In a market that is crowded with high-calorie and high-sugar sodas that are often filled with artificial additives, Poppi stands out as a reasonable alternative. The individual ingredients, such as ACV and agave inulin, may have potential health benefits, but the overall efficacy of Poppi in actually delivering these benefits needs much more robust research.

Before trying Poppi, make sure you are aware of the potential side effects and keep informed about the ongoing legal issues with the company.

FAQ

Key takeaways:


ADVERTISEMENT

Leave a reply

Your email will not be published. All fields are required.