Are you a fan of gin and tonic, but concerned about the high fructose corn syrup in your tonic water?
You’re not alone.
Many people are looking for healthier options when it comes to their beverages.
The good news is that there are tonic waters available that don’t contain this problematic ingredient.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular options and help you make an informed decision when it comes time to choose a beverage.
So, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of tonic water!
Can You Buy Tonic Water Without High Fructose Corn Syrup?
Yes, you can buy tonic water without high fructose corn syrup. While many major brands of tonic water use this sweetener because it is cheaper than sugar, there are several options available that use natural sources of sweetness instead.
For example, Q Tonic makes tonic waters that use pure cane sugar or other natural sources of sweetness. Fever Tree uses a combination of cane sugar and Stevia to sweeten their tonic water. Whole Foods’ 365 brand tonic water is also made with cane sugar and is significantly more affordable than some other options.
It’s important to read labels carefully and understand the ingredients in your favorite brand of tonic water. Some brands may still contain high fructose corn syrup, while others may use alternative sweeteners that you may want to avoid.
What Is High Fructose Corn Syrup And Why Is It A Concern?
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an artificial sweetener made from corn syrup. It was introduced in the 1970s and has since become a popular sweetener in the food and beverage industry. HFCS is cheaper than sugar and has a longer shelf life, making it an attractive option for manufacturers.
However, studies have shown that HFCS can have negative effects on our health. It has been linked to increased appetite and obesity, as well as diabetes, inflammation, high triglycerides, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In fact, sugar in our diet is now the leading cause of liver failure and liver transplants.
HFCS is made from corn starch that is broken down into individual molecules of glucose. Enzymes are then added to convert some of this glucose into fructose. The resulting product is a liquid sweetener that is used in many processed foods and drinks, including fast food items, breakfast cereals, baked goods, dairy products, candies, canned foods, and soft drinks.
While some controversy exists about whether HFCS is any less healthy than other types of sweeteners, it is known that too much added sugar of all kinds can contribute unwanted calories that are linked to health problems such as weight gain, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and high triglyceride levels. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend cutting back on added sugar and limiting it to no more than 10 percent of total daily calories.
The Rise Of Health-Conscious Beverages
In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the demand for health-conscious beverages. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the negative impact of high sugar intake on their health, leading them to seek out alternative options. This trend has led to a surge in the production and consumption of functional beverages that offer added health benefits.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 25% of the world’s population is overweight, and more than 400 million people have diabetes. The rise in health consciousness is not surprising given these statistics. Consumers are actively seeking out healthier alternatives to traditional sugary drinks, and the functional beverage industry is capitalizing on this trend. Market researcher FMCG Gurus reports that 40% of consumers worldwide are already making a conscious decision to consume fewer products with sugar, with low-sugar beverages playing an important role.
Coconut water is one such example of a functional beverage that has gained immense popularity in recent years. It is low in calories, rich in electrolytes, and helps to lower the total sugar content of fruit juices while enabling them to maintain their claim of being 100% juice. According to Mintel, nearly 20% of new global coconut water drinks launched in the last three years involved fruit juice-blended beverages. Even consumed on its own, low-calorie coconut water is popular worldwide: Three-quarters of Indians and more than 40% of Brazilians say they drink it.
Another beverage that has gained popularity among health-conscious consumers is energy drinks. Energy drinks are widely consumed by adolescents due to their claims of improving performance, endurance, and alertness. At the same time, long and erratic working hours and the increasing occurrence of social gatherings are driving Indian consumers toward the consumption of energy drinks.
The rise in health consciousness has also led to an increase in demand for sparkling and enhanced water, plant-based dairy alternatives like oat milk and almond milk, and probiotics. Consumers, especially millennials, are looking for more added functional benefits from soft drinks. Increased energy, faster hydration, protein, and gut health are just a few of the functional benefits that soft drink makers are using to differentiate their brands.
In response to this trend, manufacturers of health-conscious beverages have been focusing on improving product formulations by minimizing the use of “bad” ingredients and maximizing the use of “good” ingredients based on current trends. Research conducted in 2021 also indicates that consumers are more label-conscious than ever before; 63% of global consumers say they have been more attentive to product labels over the last 12 months. As consumers pay increasing attention to both the length and contents of ingredient decks, simpler and more recognizable ingredients will draw in these health-conscious shoppers.
Top Brands Of Tonic Water Without High Fructose Corn Syrup
If you’re looking for tonic water without high fructose corn syrup, here are some top brands to consider:
1. Q Tonic – Q Tonic uses organic agave nectar and handpicked quinine from the Peruvian Andes to create a premium tonic water that is crisp and refreshing.
2. Fever Tree – Fever Tree’s premium Indian tonic water uses a combination of cane sugar and Stevia to sweeten their product. Their tonic water is highly carbonated and has a clean, crisp taste.
3. Whole Foods 365 brand – This affordable tonic water is made with cane sugar and has a slightly sweet taste with a hint of bitterness from the quinine.
4. Fentimans – Fentimans tonic water is made with all-natural ingredients, including lemongrass and juniper berries. It has a complex flavor profile that pairs well with gin.
5. East Imperial – This New Zealand-based company uses all-natural ingredients to create their tonic waters, including cinchona bark for the quinine. Their tonic water has a slightly sweet taste with a bitter finish.
By choosing one of these top brands of tonic water without high fructose corn syrup, you can enjoy a refreshing and flavorful drink without any added artificial sweeteners.
DIY Tonic Water: Making Your Own Healthier Alternative
If you’re looking for a tonic water option that you can completely control the ingredients of, making your own tonic water is a great option. The process involves simmering a combination of ingredients, including citrus zest, cinchona bark, lemongrass, and natural sweeteners, then straining the mixture and adding it to carbonated water.
One recipe involves simmering lemon and lime zest with water, cinchona bark, citric acid powder, lemongrass, and sugar for 45 minutes. After steeping the mixture and straining it through cheesecloth, the resulting liquid is the tonic syrup. This can be combined with carbonated water in a 1:4 ratio to make tonic water.
Another recipe involves combining water, cinchona bark, gentian root, citric acid, lemongrass, and optional add-ins in a medium saucepan. After simmering for 30 minutes and cooling completely, the mixture is strained through a fine mesh strainer and stored in the fridge overnight. The liquid is then strained again to remove sediment before being combined with simple syrup to dilute the tonic water concentrate.
While making your own tonic water may seem daunting at first, it allows you to control the sweetness and flavor profile of your drink. Plus, with natural ingredients like citrus zest and cinchona bark providing health benefits such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, homemade tonic water can be a healthier alternative to store-bought options.
Conclusion: Making The Switch To Healthier Tonic Water Options
In conclusion, making the switch to healthier tonic water options is a smart choice for anyone looking to reduce their sugar intake and improve their overall health. Tonic water that uses natural sources of sweetness, such as pure cane sugar or Stevia, is a great alternative to those that use high fructose corn syrup. Brands like Q Tonic, Fever Tree, and Whole Foods’ 365 brand offer these healthier options.
Not only are these tonic waters lower in sugar and calories, but they also contain beneficial compounds like quinine, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-malarial properties. Tonic water is also a good source of electrolytes for maintaining proper hydration levels and replenishing vital minerals and vitamins.
When it comes to mixing cocktails, tonic water can add flavor and effervescence to various drinks, making them lighter and more refreshing. It pairs well with gin or vodka to create classic cocktails like gin and tonic or vodka tonic.