SoBe Lifewater is safe to consume but not especially healthy, which is what it is advertised as being.
SoBe Lifewater is a product owned by PepsiCo. SoBe stands for "South Beach". It has up to eight additives, depending on the flavor: erythritol, natural flavors, citric acid, xanthan gum, REB A (Purevia Brand), modified food starch, cochineal extract (for color), and gum arabic.
Only two of these has been shown to have notable negative health effects on humans. Erythritol, or sugar alcohol, in small quantities causes bloating, intestinal distress, and diarrhea in some people and if consumed in large enough quantities, will do so for anyone. So, don't drink several of these a day, or else you will pay for it. However, unlike sugar, sugar alcohols don't cause tooth decay, and xylitol, the most commonly used sugar alcohol, has even been shown to inhibit tooth decay.
The other potentially harmful additive is cochineal extract, contained in SoBe's Yumberry Pomegranate flavor, which is a red dye extracted from crushed bugs. For a very small proportion of the population, it has been found to cause, according to Wikipedia, "occupational asthma, food and cosmetic allergies... respiratory hypersensitivity, and in rare cases anaphylactic shock." While the FDA has ruled it doesn't pose a significant threat to the general population, it must now be listed on labels for the benefit of those who are allergic.
SoBe Lifewater is a competitor with Vitamin Water. Most SoBe Lifewater flavors contain about 100% vitamin C and small amounts of vitamin A, calcium, and iron. Therefore, it doesn't give any special nutrients, and will only benefit you more than water would if you haven't gotten enough Vitamin C for the day. Severe lack of Vitamin C can cause fatigue, mood changes, weight loss, joint and muscle aches, bruising, dental problems, dry hair and skin, and infections. You should consume Vitamin C-containing food and beverages every day.
Xanthan gum, gum arabic, and modified food starch thicken SoBe Lifewater. None of these are harmful.
Stevia (REB A) is a sweetening agent that was recently approved by the FDA but has been found to be safe. Citric acid is also included to increase sweetness, and it can cause tooth decay, abdominal pain, and soreness of the throat if overconsumed, but it is included in low levels in most foods and beverages.
Possible short-term side effects
- intestinal distress
- (very rare) severe allergic reaction
Ingredients to be aware of
- source of vitamin c