I recently learned about Tropicana Probiotic Juice, a new juice product making its way into grocery stores everywhere.
The problem is that Tropicana Probiotic Juice is simply health-washing an otherwise unhealthy product. Let me explain…
I’m a big believer in probiotics and with good reason! Probiotics populate your gut with beneficial bacteria. I believe probiotics were and still are essential in helping me heal my body from the ravages of celiac disease.
But, unfortunately, Tropicana Probiotic Juice is NO GOOD FOR YOUR GUT. Seriously, not good. The idea that putting a few probiotics in a beverage overflowing with sugar is beyond comprehension. It’s what I call health-washing.
In fact, Tropicana Probiotic Juice is loaded with sugar and is terrible for your gut health – quite the opposite of what it was created to do.
Each 8 oz serving contains a whooping 28 grams of sugar to be exact. Twenty eight grams of sugar! Let that soak in for a minute.
Guess what sugar does to your body? Sugar assaults your gut because it feeds the bad bacteria and allows the bad bacteria to grow and proliferate. Any efforts to repopulate your gut with good bacteria by drinking Tropicana Probiotic Juice is completely null and void when such a beverage is mainly stuffed with sugar.
(Plus, sugar is an highly addictive and an extremely inflammatory food. So much for healing your body, right?)
You might be saying, “But there is no added sugar, it’s all natural sugar from fruit.”
While it is true that there is no added cane sugar in Tropicana Probiotic Juice, there is plenty of fruit sugar. Unfortunately for you, fruit sugar responds identically to white sugar in your body. At least when you consume whole fruit, you also consume the digestion-slowing fiber that helps the sugar enter your bloodstream more slowly. Plus, nutrients from the fruit will help to replenish your body’s nutrient bank vs. deplete it.
Studies have shown that a diet high in sugar can cause changes in your gut bacteria. In fact, one study says that sugars (both fructose and glucose) deter good bacteria from proliferating in your gut – which is bad news if you’re looking to create a healthy microbiome!
On top of it all, Tropicana probiotic juice only contains one billion CFUs (colony forming units) of probiotics. This might sound like a lot, but it’s not.
I take a probiotic capsule with 50 billion CFUs. A lot of the probiotic bacteria cannot survive the digestive process. Some experts says some strains of probiotics may survive stomach acid if encased in dairy or if they are enteric-coated (this is a polymer barrier that can withstand potent stomach acid). In the case of Tropicana Probiotic Juice, one billion CFUs per serving does not add sufficient beneficial bacteria to your gut. You’d have to drink a lot of this sugary drink to get a therapeutic dose of probiotics.
How Does the Sugar in Tropicana Probiotic Juice Compare to Sugar in Pepsi?
When you compare the sugar content in Tropicana Probiotic Juice to other sugary beverages, you’ll be shocked to your core!
Eight ounces of Pepsi contains about 28 grams of sugar – this is EQUAL to the amount of sugar in Tropicana Probiotic Juice. Yep, Tropicana Probiotic Juice contains JUST AS MUCH SUGAR AS AN 8 OUNCE CAN OF PEPSI!!
I can’t help but wonder if you’d be better off drinking a can of Pepsi and taking a therapeutic dose of probiotics from a pill instead instead of chugging Tropicana Probiotic Juice. Makes you think, huh? Or maybe we should put beneficial bacteria inside a can of Pepsi and health-wash it too? (This is sarcastic, please, Pepsi, don’t get any ideas!)
There is no way that Tropicana Probiotic Juice can “out-compete” (Tropicana’s words, not mine) the bad bacteria in your gut when the drink is feeding the bad bacteria 28 grams of sugar?!? This is mind boggling to me!
But I Thought Probiotics Were Good For Me?
Yes, probiotics are SO GOOD FOR YOU! Take them, every day, religiously. Your gut microbiome is in charge of your whole body health so keep it happy. Good gut bacteria keeps the bad bacteria in check. (Read: The Benefits of Probiotics for Women)
However, please don’t get your probiotics from sugary drinks like Tropicana Probiotic Juice, GoodBelly probiotic drinks, or Yoplait and other sugary yogurts (on average these yogurts contain 18 grams of sugar or more and contain only a very small amount of probiotics!).
Instead, get your probiotics from a capsule found at your local natural grocery store (and grow those good bacteria by eating plenty of healthy foods).
Here’s what to look for when buying probiotics:
- Look for a high quality brand with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria – lactobacillus and bifidobacterium are the two most common and essential.
- If you suffer from inflammation, autoimmune or any chronic condition, choose a probiotic with 50 billion CFUs (colony forming units) or higher. If you’re doing it to maintain health, choose 25-50 billion CFUs.
- Switch brands often to introduce new beneficial bacteria into your gut. Buy what’s on sale.
- Purchase probiotics as you need them (vs. stocking up) to ensure the probiotics are alive (they can die off over time) and therefore give you maximum benefits.
- Take probiotics on an empty stomach because your stomach acid won’t be churing to digest food and you will have a better chance of bacteria survivability.
I hope that you’ve learned a valuable health lesson today and didn’t fall for the health-washing of an unhealthy juice product nor did you fall for the marketing gimmicks of PepsiCo (Pepsi owns Tropicana). Remember, don’t get your probiotics from a sugar-loaded beverages or foods; there are better and healthier ways to achieve good gut health.
One other thing to keep in mind… while Tropicana Probiotic Juice is gluten-free – it’s far far far from good for you (at least in my opinion).
“All disease begins in the gut.” Hippocrates