3

votes

Hack Crystal Light

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 16, 2011 at 1:31 PM

So, I drink the stuff. Not as much as water, but sometimes I want something cold with flavor without any sugar, and I was unable for one reason or another to make some regular plain iced tea.

As far as I can tell the two ingredients to be concerned about are aspartame and acesulfame potassium. The evidence on the former is mixed. Yeah, it's not paleo. But neither are chocolate, red wine, and coffee, and many of us grandfather those into our regimes. Also, I am under the impression (perhaps incorrectly) that Crystal Light has a lot less of it than diet soda, which is what people are usually concerned about when discussing aspartame.

As for the acesulfame potassium, from what little I can glean the Center for Science in the Public Interest makes a big deal out of worrying about it. But they're the jackholes that got the beef tallow out of fast-food fries and coconut oil out of movie theater popcorn. So my instinct is to always disagree with them.

I am familiar with the studies that seem to suggest artificial sweeteners 'trick' our metabolisms into thinking we ingested something sweet, kicking off an insulin response. But I have not detected such a response in me. Although I am going on how I feel, not actually measuring. But I can certainly 'feel' the insulin response when I eat other things.

So: Crystal Light. Not paleo, but also not worth worrying about in moderation? Or should I really cut that stuff out?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 17, 2011
at 07:28 PM

It was downvoted because some people take this stuff way too seriously. I think if you are going to sustain these lifestyle changes forever, you can't always be pefect. I think its awesme that you recognize that you want something wet but with flavor and pick crystal light. Once inawhile its not gonna kill you. It doesn't even make you less "paleo" in my eyes.

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on September 17, 2011
at 01:44 PM

FWIW, Melissa, I asked the question and I don't really get why it was downvoted! You've been around more than me, though.

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on September 17, 2011
at 01:42 PM

That's what I mostly try to remember to do as well! Living in Pennsylvania (northeastern US), though, that can present seasonality issues if one is trying to be paleo in that respect. But I am not a person who gets too hung up on that.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 17, 2011
at 01:30 PM

I kind of get why this was downvoted, but really, you need to put in in the comments.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:26 AM

agreed......but humans are always lookin for the out card.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:06 AM

If I can't pronounce it I don't want to drink or eat it.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 17, 2011
at 05:52 AM

can you occassionally have it? Yep. But you should have asked me should I have caved and had it? Nope......but you knew that already.

2fbba2cfe386a13fd7888ccc0c50fe92

(205)

on September 17, 2011
at 01:50 AM

Check this out: http://balancedbites.com/2011/01/there-is-nothing-honest-about-truvia.html I don't think there is a "safe" sugar substitute. You either drink crap in the pure form of sugar/honey or you drink crap in the form of artificial sweeteners. Sorry!

B36613e945134be5813e6526f9a3a86c

(499)

on September 16, 2011
at 09:07 PM

Sorry to sidestep the question: in direct response to it, I have read enough about artificial sweeteners to believe they do provoke an insulin response and set up cravings for carbohydrates. I cut out my Diet Coke habit for this reason, so—yes, for me, no artificial sweeteners.

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on September 16, 2011
at 05:49 PM

Just checked out Hint. I can buy it at the Wegman's supermarket near me. Thing is, that stuff is pricey. I'm unafraid to pay premiums for good food, but a dime an ounce is pricey. That's more than 3x as much as organic milk!

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on September 16, 2011
at 02:04 PM

My default is to just squeeze a lime wedge into some water. I always forget I have the limes, though!

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on September 16, 2011
at 01:56 PM

I really like HINT water, but it is super expensive for just home use. You might try a nice thing of citrus water instead, you can use just rinds if you are being super careful with fruit, and it is really pretty in the fridge. :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 16, 2011
at 01:34 PM

it sems to bbe a soda...i wish it would be crystal light* light shining through cristals.. actually sugar is a crystal and when light shining through so sodas are crystal light... nice question....karlub..

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on September 16, 2011
at 01:32 PM

I should also probably mention that I water the stuff down as I go, so by the end of the pitcher it is at at least half the concentration they suggest on the package.

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13 Answers

4
6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 16, 2011
at 02:10 PM

If you want something tart like Crystal Light, make some hibiscus tea. I also like Celestial Season's Red Zinger. Crystal Light is full of chemicals.

2
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 17, 2011
at 05:28 AM

Crystal Light= http://jackkruse.com/msg-your-gut-and-your-brain-post-trauma/

Fuck no to artificial sweeteners.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 17, 2011
at 05:52 AM

can you occassionally have it? Yep. But you should have asked me should I have caved and had it? Nope......but you knew that already.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:26 AM

agreed......but humans are always lookin for the out card.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 17, 2011
at 06:06 AM

If I can't pronounce it I don't want to drink or eat it.

2
B0ca5de4d56dd095a08acbfb3877cf8f

(70)

on September 16, 2011
at 06:48 PM

I'm getting to be a huge fan of cold-brewed teas -- fill a quart jar with cold water, put in two teabags, put the lid on, stick in the fridge for 4+ hours. Easier than tracking brew times, and there's a huge variety of teas out there to try for different flavors. I'm a fan of Good Earth decaffeinated, white tea, and yerba mate.

As another drink I also like a bit of ACV + ginger added to water.

2
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on September 16, 2011
at 01:49 PM

Well just looking at the Wikipedia page for AceK it looks like it has been shown to cuase insulin secretion in the lab

Personally I would go with mint tea or even watered fruit juice first.

1
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on September 17, 2011
at 03:34 AM

After all the crap I put in my body over the last 40 years, if I feel like a Crystal Light or Diet Soda once in awhile I have it.

If you don't feel like it's affecting you with cravings or insulin response, then don't worry about it too much. The stress from worrying about it may be worse than what you are ingesting.

I have a bad habit where I overdo things, it'll be once a week, then three times, then I'm buying the 44oz Diet Mountain Dew from the gas station every day on the way to cheerleading practice, I mean, what?.... Oh, yeah, just don't let them roll into more than you intending in the first place. Maybe make sure you drink 2 or 3 bottles of water for every Crystal Light. :)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 17, 2011
at 01:30 PM

I kind of get why this was downvoted, but really, you need to put in in the comments.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 17, 2011
at 07:28 PM

It was downvoted because some people take this stuff way too seriously. I think if you are going to sustain these lifestyle changes forever, you can't always be pefect. I think its awesme that you recognize that you want something wet but with flavor and pick crystal light. Once inawhile its not gonna kill you. It doesn't even make you less "paleo" in my eyes.

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on September 17, 2011
at 01:44 PM

FWIW, Melissa, I asked the question and I don't really get why it was downvoted! You've been around more than me, though.

1
3f11b5fda91063846bba45daac3541bd

(1186)

on September 17, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Aspartame is a really bad toxin from everything I've read... turns into formaldehyde in your brain, right? Is associated with cancer and nerve damage? Coffee, red wine and chocolate are usually pretty much products of nature (albiet not "paleo"). With so many other good things out there to drink why drink controversial chemicals at all?

1
2fbba2cfe386a13fd7888ccc0c50fe92

on September 17, 2011
at 01:48 AM

La Croix carbonated water does it for me. It makes me feel like I'm drinking a soft drink but has none of the crap. It's just carbonated water. I should probably look into the "Natural Flavor" in the flavored drinks but I mostly only buy the plain, lemon or lime versions.

I have also learned to love herbal teas like Tazo Wild Orange. Awesome flavors with no sweeteners whatsoever!

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 16, 2011
at 08:45 PM

I accidentally discovered that a weak lemonade made from store bought lemon juice (Santa Cruz is the brand I use) and stevia tincture tastes exactly like Crystal Light. I made it one day and suddenly had Girl Scout flashbacks because we used to drink it by the bucketful. I generally avoid stevia as a sweetener because it tastes like Nutrasweet to me, but if that is what you are going for, awesome!

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on September 16, 2011
at 08:35 PM

I drank a lot of Crystal Lite in my time. I think my hesitation now is, I seem to feel better overall when I avoid as many chemicals/additives as possible. So, I don't think it matters exactly what's in an individual item but how many total chemicals you're ingesting.

In my case, when I really need flavor I squeeze a wedge of lime or lemon into my water. It meets the whole food requirement and avoids adding another man-made chemical dose.

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on September 17, 2011
at 01:42 PM

That's what I mostly try to remember to do as well! Living in Pennsylvania (northeastern US), though, that can present seasonality issues if one is trying to be paleo in that respect. But I am not a person who gets too hung up on that.

1
F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on September 16, 2011
at 07:48 PM

Hey, everyone! Great suggestions all around. Many of them I actually do already, and I'm eager to try the ones I don't.

But the question was how bad do you think the stuff is for you? Not "What should I drink instead?"

I drink the stuff in a particular situation: I feel like flavor, and I don't have the time or provisions to do something better at that particular moment. I don't keep it in the pantry because I love it ;-)

2fbba2cfe386a13fd7888ccc0c50fe92

(205)

on September 17, 2011
at 01:50 AM

Check this out: http://balancedbites.com/2011/01/there-is-nothing-honest-about-truvia.html I don't think there is a "safe" sugar substitute. You either drink crap in the pure form of sugar/honey or you drink crap in the form of artificial sweeteners. Sorry!

1
B36613e945134be5813e6526f9a3a86c

(499)

on September 16, 2011
at 07:04 PM

What about flavored water? You can put all kinds of stuff in water, and a little goes a long way???just a couple of slices of citrus (don't stop at lemon or lime???there's orange, grapefruit, pineapple...) or other fruit (mango, kiwi, apple...) in a big pitcher of water in the fridge adds a nice kick of flavor. You could also try adding cucumber, mint, ginger...there are tons of options, all of which break up the monotony and taste great.

B36613e945134be5813e6526f9a3a86c

(499)

on September 16, 2011
at 09:07 PM

Sorry to sidestep the question: in direct response to it, I have read enough about artificial sweeteners to believe they do provoke an insulin response and set up cravings for carbohydrates. I cut out my Diet Coke habit for this reason, so—yes, for me, no artificial sweeteners.

1
C6fabcde199b796d6969aae6956e324b

on September 16, 2011
at 07:02 PM

I love Rainbow Rooibos or hybiscus teas, add some stevia and they taste awesome. You could experiment with various ginger ale recipes, and other natural soda style recipes, see if you can vary things a bit. Or even locate concentrated cherry/blueberry/cranberry juices with low sugar and -water- them down while adding lemon/lime/etc...

I do mainly green tea, coffee, and water... i keep my stevia intake to well below a teaspoon a day. I know to many people that cant drink water by itself and have to -add- flavor... ever seen MIO in the stores? all it is is a way to make water tase better and run the healthy reasons for drinking it.

0
6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on September 16, 2011
at 01:46 PM

I would avoid the Crystal Light. Try some HINT Water. There is the ingredient of "natural flavors" which is suspicious, but no sugar, no artificial sweeteners and they are quite tasty. Try different flavors, some do taste like flower water. I suggest Watermelon.

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on September 16, 2011
at 02:04 PM

My default is to just squeeze a lime wedge into some water. I always forget I have the limes, though!

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on September 16, 2011
at 01:56 PM

I really like HINT water, but it is super expensive for just home use. You might try a nice thing of citrus water instead, you can use just rinds if you are being super careful with fruit, and it is really pretty in the fridge. :)

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on September 16, 2011
at 05:49 PM

Just checked out Hint. I can buy it at the Wegman's supermarket near me. Thing is, that stuff is pricey. I'm unafraid to pay premiums for good food, but a dime an ounce is pricey. That's more than 3x as much as organic milk!

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