In moderation, IZZE is not terrible for you—it’s a healthier alternative to soda or processed fruit juice. However, the sweet, sparkling beverage does contain fructose, calories and some arbitrary ingredients. That’s why water is still the best choice.
IZZE was founded in 2002 and based out of Boulder, Colorado. From its inception, the company’s goal was to offer health-conscious fruit juice and sparkling water blends—and they wanted to use product sales to help strengthen struggling communities.
A flavorful drink that tastes great and gives back? It sounds too good to be true... so is it?
First, let’s take a look at the label. An eight-ounce serving has somewhere between 87 and 107 calories per serving, depending on the flavor. The 12-ounce serving contains around 130 to 160 calories, also varying by flavor. That’s not drastically less than other juice drinks and carbonated beverages.
The label also states that the beverage includes a fruit juice blend, which is filtered water plus juice concentrates varying by flavor. However, along with that fruit juice comes a hefty amount of fructose—up to 25 grams in some flavors of IZZE. Fructose is fruit sugar, and it is generally considered better for you than sucrose or glucose. But even though it occurs naturally in fruit, it’s just as damaging as other sweeteners when used as an additive, particularly in such high servings.
Overconsumption of fructose can lead to digestive issues, including cramps, flatulence and diarrhea. Longer term side effects are more concerning. Studies have indicated that overconsumption of fructose may cause obesity, hypertension, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and even increased odds of developing gout.
IZZE also claims to be gluten-free, preservative-free and completely vegan. The label states that the beverages include a fruit juice blend (filtered water—plus juice concentrates that vary by flavor) along with sparkling water, citric acid, vitamin B, vitamin C and something or another simply titled “natural flavor.”
At a glance, the ingredients don’t seem that bad. But “natural flavor” is concerning because it could refer to any number of things. The US Code of Federal Regulation states that the term “natural’ or “natural flavor” can be used as blanket terminology to refer to almost anything that is approved for use in food, as long as it is derived from a natural source. While that may sound promising, "natural flavors" are almost always processed in a lab and contain between 50-100 other ingredients. For reference, “natural flavors” are also found in Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
And speaking of Pepsi—that’s who now owns IZZE Beverages. In 2006, PepsiCo purchased the company. IZZE fans initially panicked, concerned that the soda conglomerate would change the ingredients or production. However, it’s been almost a decade and the IZZE remains very much the same. PepsiCo let IZZE stay at its Colorado headquarters and has not made any noticeable updates to its product or distribution process.
So, even though IZZE isn’t that bad for you, it’s not all that great for you either. It’s not a significant source of nutrients—and in fact, this was the basis for a class-action lawsuit which was initiated in August of 2016. The defendant claims that IZZE misrepresented their product as comparable to real fruit, when in fact, it offers no more nutritional value than soda.
The suit has not yet been settled, but it raises some valid questions about who is drinking IZZE and why. While this particular drink is technically healthier than soda, you should never rely on fruit juice or sports drinks for your nutrition. A healthy diet can only come from a blend of key food groups in the right quantities.
Possible short-term side effects
Possible long-term side effects
- liver disease
Ingredients to be aware of
- healthy alternative to soda