Dr. Robert Cook - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Robert Cook

Is Squirt Bad For You?



Short answer

Yes, Squirt is bad for you. Like many other beverages in the same genre of soda, Squirt contains known poisons, poses numerous side effects, and lacks nutritional value.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Currently a product of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Squirt Soda is a citrus soft drink which came into existence in 1938 by a college student named Herb Bishop. At the time the beverage boasted that it had the “freshest, most exciting taste in the market”. Squirt claims to be “naturally” flavored but that is far from the case. The only true natural ingredient included in the beverage is the 1% grapefruit juice it contains. Once you delve deeper into the additives that constitute Squirt, you’ll make some alarming discoveries.

The main ingredients of Squirt soda are carbonated water, a concentrate of grapefruit juice and high fructose corn syrup. The effects of sugars and artificial sweeteners on the body are painfully evident now. The quantities of sugar substances cause sharp blood sugar spikes, acute and chronic inflammation, and exacerbate the symptoms associated with diabetes.

If this was the entirety of the poisons in carbonated soft drinks, they would be dangerous enough. Additionally, this citrus soda contains sodium benzoate, which is a known carcinogen. Mice and other lab animals exposed to this widely used artificial food preservative developed cancer during laboratory trials. However, even if your health does not degenerate to this stage, sodium benzoate is also believed to have a disastrous effect on the immune system. Sodium benzoate is tolerable in small amounts, however, in combination with other factors, sodium benzoate can be extremely harmful when consumed excessively. Coupled with artificial food colorings, sodium benzoate is also linked to hyperactivity in children.

Furthermore, Squirt contains a much more contentious product - brominated vegetable oil (BVO). While this sounds innocuous, even healthy with its vegetable connotations, the opposite is actually true. Brominated vegetable oil is known as a highly toxic substance. Pepsi Co and Coca-Cola removed the dangerous emulsifier from their sodas in 2014.

At one point BVO was a banned substance in the United States. Currently, it is no longer banned, though there are strict guidelines on its usage in foods and beverages. The synthetic chemical is banned in Europe and some Asian countries due to its composition. BVO was originally developed as a flame retardant. This means that it can potentially build up in the human body, and cause many different health problems. It has been linked with diseases affecting the autoimmune system, the thyroid, infertility, and some studies show that BVO could cause cancerous cells to develop.

Squirt asserts that the quantities of their preservatives in their recipes are so minuscule that the level of risk is acceptable. But when gambling with your health or the health of your family, why accept any risk at all? There are some obvious side effects inherent to an overconsumption of any soda, such as acidic deterioration of teeth. However, it is the lesser known ingredients, such as brominated vegetable oil and sodium benzoate that can pose a serious safety risk to consumers. 

Possible short-term side effects

  • blood sugar spikes
  • hyperactivity

Possible long-term side effects

  • blood sugar problems
  • cancer
  • inflammation
  • obesity
  • pain
  • tooth decay
  • type ii diabetes
  • infertility
  • autoimmune diseases
  • thyroid problems

Ingredients to be aware of

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

IZZE Sparkling Juice

  • Four-flavor variety
  • No preservatives
  • Naturally sweetened
  • Compact 8.4 oz cans
  • Refreshing fizzy treat
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 04-11-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 04-11-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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