It’s been around for decades, so many vegans grew up drinking it and wonder if they can keep doing so after moving to a 1000 vegan diet. Others are growing their children on a vegan diet and would like to see if the drink is safe for them.
Is it vegan? Kool Aid is, in fact, vegan. The ingredients vary, but most varieties contain citric acid, simple sugars, calcium phosphate, vitamin C, and artificial colors and flavors.
We will go through the various reasons why Kool Aid is deemed vegan, as well as a review of its ingredients and nutritional content.
Table of Contents
What Is Kool Aid?
Kool Aid, with its distinctive pitcher mascot and tagline “Oh, yes!” is a popular kind of flavored drink mix manufactured by the Kraft Heinz Company, combining Kraft Foods and Heinz. Kool-Aid was first produced as a concentrated liquid in 1927, but it was distributed as a powder to decrease transportation expenses and is offered worldwide.
In the United States, it is considered one of the most well-known brands of synthetic fruit drinks. It is available in both liquid and powder form. The powdered version is typically unsweetened and is made by combining water with sugar. Kool Aid mixes and drinks come in various tastes and kinds to appeal to a wide range of taste buds.
Kool Aid Ingredients
Even though this drink is primarily synthetic and does not include any natural fruits, the components are compatible with a vegan diet. On the other hand, a hardcore vegan will examine more than one component.
Strictly speaking, none of their tastes contain any animal-derived components. It was originally assumed that these drinks would include gelatin; however, this has not been proven. Ingredients vary, but the common ingredients are as follows:
- Simple sugar
- Citric acid
- Artificial flavor
- Less than 2% of ascorbic acid
- Calcium phosphate
- Blue 1
- Red 40
Why Is Kool Aid Vegan Friendly?
People turn to vegans for various reasons, so let’s examine if Kool Aid checks all the boxes for various types of vegans.
It Doesn’t Contain Gelatin
The presence of gelatin in Kool Aid is a frequent misunderstanding. This is partly due to the presence of gelatin in the classic strawberry Kool Aid dessert. Also, gelatin is used in the production of fruit juice and soft drinks to refine them, or it is added to the finished product to sustain beta-carotene, which is applied as a coloring agent.
Gelatin is prohibited in the vegan community since it is produced from the prolonged cooking of animal skin, cartilage, bones, and other byproducts of the meat industry. Fortunately, this non-vegan component is not included in Kool Aid drinks or mixes.
It Contains Vegan Alternatives
Kool Aid, like every highly processed product, has a variety of additives to increase texture, taste, and nutritious content. The following are the most frequent ingredients found in Kool Aid products:
- Calcium Phosphate: Although it is incorporated into animal bones, calcium phosphate is mostly obtained from phosphate rocks.
- Citric Acid: While citric acid is found naturally in citrus foods, the synthetic form often added to dishes is made from a mold fed on molasses or glucose, maize steep liquor, hydrolyzed corn starch, and other ingredients.
- Butylated hydroxyanisole or BHA is a synthetic compound produced without animal-derived components.
- Ascorbic acid: It is merely another name for vitamin C that is produced industrially by fermentation.
It Contains Vegan Food Dyes
The following food colors can be present in Kool Aid:
- Blue 1
- Yellow 5
- Yellow 6
- Red 40
These food colors are either synthetically produced or generated from petroleum by-products, with no animal-based substances used.
Having said that, because vegans prefer items created with natural and non-GMO components, these chemically manufactured food colorings may still not sit well with certain vegans.
Is Kool Aid Liquid Vegan?
As previously said, Kool Aid is perhaps most recognized because of its powder mix version, but it is also available in liquid form. It is a concentrated syrup that is mixed with water in the same manner as the powder.
Kool Aid liquid is, in fact, vegan. Citric acid, water, gum arabic, potassium citrate, potassium sorbate, artificial colors and tastes, and sucrose acetate isobutyrate are among the ingredients that differ by flavor. All of which are completely vegan.
Is Kool Aid Healthy?
The vegan diet prioritizes avoiding animal-based goods, which is better for our bodies. In reality, some people become vegan for health reasons. As a result, it’s only fair that I discuss whether or not Kool Aid benefits you.
Kool Aid has almost no beneficial micronutrients because it is made up of only sugar, water, and flavoring. But arguably, the most serious health problem is that it includes a significant quantity of sugar, around 20 g in an 8-ounce dose. Even while the unsweetened Kool Aid mixes contain no calories, they do not account for all the sugar you must add during preparation, which is advised at One cup of sugar per packet of Kool Aid.
According to The New York Times, early use of sugary drinks can alter later-life tastes towards sweetened beverages. The University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity analyzed 23 of the most popular children’s beverages in 2019. Kool Aid was one of the worst culprits in terms of sugar content per the marketing and serving to children.
This is a lot of sugar to ingest in just one drink, especially considering the recommended daily consumption of 36 g for men and 25 g for women. Too much sugar raises blood sugar levels and increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and other serious illnesses.
Second, the artificial food colors in Kool Aid have been related to hyperactivity in children, and some, such as Red 40, have been connected to certain malignancies.
There’s no arguing that Kool Aid isn’t the healthiest beverage. So, if you must take it, do so sparingly. You may also try vegan drinks devoid of artificial additives and preservatives or produce fresh juice by yourself.
Vegan Kool Aid Alternatives
As previously stated, artificial juices such as Kool Aid will not be as harmful when used in moderation. This sweet beverage can’t be topped on a hot day, especially if you’re aiming to satisfy vegan taste buds. Having stated that, are there any vegan substitutes?
Well, almost everything in the beverages aisle is vegan. Of course, anything containing milk or other animal-based components should not be on your vegan grocery list. Numerous vegan animal-free drink alternatives will become available as your research progresses, but here are a few terrific ones to get you started.
Naked Fruit Juice Blue Machine Smoothie
All their smoothies are vegan, but it’s one of their most popular. Skip their protein range because it contains whey.
Capris Sun Fruit Punch, 100% Juice
This is a suitable choice because it has a minimal ingredient profile and is available practically everywhere. It is vegan and has the following ingredients:
- Citric acid (for tartness)
- Natural flavor
- Cherry juice from concentrate
Micro Ingredients Organic Pomegranate Powder
A powder that does not come in sachets but can give a vegan boost. This is cold-pressed and includes natural vitamin X, which helps to strengthen the immune system.
It only includes organic pomegranate juice powder to guarantee that it may be included in a plant-based shopping list.
Final Thoughts – Can Vegans Drink Kool Aid?
If you’re gearing up for the hot summer months, you’ll be relieved to hear that Kool Aid can provide an easy-to-prepare and pleasant cooling drink.
The drink has been available for so many decades, and its inadvertently vegan nature assures that it will adapt to the population’s changing lifestyle. Certain additives, such as artificial colors, might be difficult to avoid since they appear everywhere. Yet, in Kool Aid, it comes down to how carefully a person adheres to a plant-based diet.
However, Kool Aid is not an organic or healthy alternative; taking it daily might be linked to excessive sugar levels, which can harm your health.
Although there are no animal-derived components, the good news is that there are many more vegan juice choices to consider, like natural fruit juice, which is an easy and much more vegan-friendly alternative.