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Ingredients Rooted in Research

A healthy, balanced diet includes beverages—many of which can help improve health and fitness by providing essential vitamins and minerals.

Many foods and beverages in the marketplace today also contain ingredients such as caffeine, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and low- and no-calorie sweeteners. These ingredients are considered safe and are approved for use by the FDA—as a result of years of extensive research and testing .

Here’s an overview of the science and nutrition facts behind these ingredients:


What is it? Caffeine is a naturally occurring substance and mild stimulant found in coffee beans, kola nuts, tea leaves, cocoa beans and in more than 60 species of plants. It can also be manufactured to be identical to the natural form. More than 140 countries consider caffeine safe for use in beverages at varying levels.

Safety & History. Vast scientific evidence combined with centuries of safe consumption has consistently demonstrated the safety of caffeine. For more than 100 years, caffeine has been used in myriad beverages. There is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirement to list the precise amount of caffeine on product labels; however, many beverage companies voluntarily provide this information on the packaging – as well as display advisory statements to inform consumers.

Learn more about caffeine

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

What is it? HFCS is a common natural liquid sweetener made from corn comprised of two simple sugars: glucose and fructose. Research on HFCS indicates it is nearly identical in structure to table sugar; in fact, the body processes both sugars the same way. HFCS is also similar to sucrose in calories and sweetness, and it is used in an array of products, including cereal, beverages, meat products and condiments.

Safety & History. In 1983, and then again in 1996, the FDA confirmed the safety of HFCS in food and beverage products. HFCS was developed in the 1950s and began to be introduced as a liquid replacement for sucrose in the 1970s – gaining greater prominence in the 1980s.

Role in a Balanced Diet. A healthy and active lifestyle balances all calories consumed with physical activity. Moderation is key among all food categories, and no single ingredient – such as HFCS – in any beverage or food is a unique contributor to obesity, as the American Medical Association has concluded with regard to HFCS.

Find out more about HFCS

Low- & No-Calorie Sweeteners.

What are they? There are five low-calorie sweeteners approved for use in U.S. food and beverages: acesulfame potassium (ace-k), saccharin, aspartame, sucralose and neotame. These ingredients contain virtually no calories and provide 180 to 130,000 times the sweetness of table sugar. Diet and low-calorie soft drinks – in addition to an array of other beverages and foods – are typically made with one of these five sweeteners.

Safety & History. Decades of scientific research and regulatory agencies around the globe confirm the safety of low- and no-calorie sweeteners. Each of the major five sweeteners went through an extensive FDA approval process, and all sweeteners are safely within “acceptable daily intake (ADA) levels, or levels that can be consumed safely over a lifetime.”

The first low-calorie sweetener, saccharin, was developed more than a century ago, and discovered at Johns Hopkins University as an alternative sweetener for those with diabetes. Later, sugar rationing during World War II drove the growth of low-calorie sweeteners well into the 1960s. Then, as more consumers became interested in managing their weight, more demand grew for low-calorie sweeteners.

Role in a Balanced Diet. The body of science has shown low-calorie sweeteners are a valuable tool in reducing calorie intake to meet personal weight loss or weight management goals. Products containing these sweeteners have allowed millions with diabetes or seeking calorie reduction to enjoy their favorite foods and beverages. Additionally, these sweeteners are supported by numerous health organizations, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Diabetes Association, among others.

Learn more about low- and no-calorie sweeteners

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