Is Sierra Mist Bad For You? (2024)

Is Sierra Mist Bad For You? (1) Approved by Dr. Andrea Middleton


Is Sierra Mist Bad For You? (2)

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  1. Short answer
  2. Long answer
  3. FAQs
  4. Side effects
  5. Ingredients
  6. Our Wellness Pick



Short answer

Sierra Mist, like most sodas, is bad for you. Any highly processed beverage or food will contain chemicals that you want to avoid, and this is no exception.



Recommended Alternative

Letter Grade for Sierra Mist


Category 'F' is for things that fail to bring anything beneficial to the table, and are very harmful to your health. We recommend completely avoiding anything in this category. Long-term side effects of 'F' items are usually very serious.

View Full Grading System

Category 'A'


Very healthy and numerous health benefits. Side effects are rare. Things rated an 'A+' are typically necessary for survival (for example, water).


Very healthy and numerous health benefits. A few harmful qualities may be associated, but only under certain circ*mstances such as an allergic reaction.


Very healthy and numerous health benefits. Harmful qualities may be associated, but aren't usually serious.

It is important to note that even the best things in life can become bad in immoderate amounts. So, although something may be rated an 'A+', overconsumption/overdoing can bring unwanted effects.

Category 'B'


Very beneficial to your health. Things rated a 'B+' may have a few harmful qualities to pay attention to.


Overall beneficial to your health. Things rated a 'B' may have some harmful qualities to pay attention to.


More beneficial to your health than not. However, harmful qualities are most likely associated and shouldn't be overlooked.

The main difference between category 'A' and category 'B' is the harmful qualities typically present in 'B' items. Serious side effects are usually uncommon, but are still possible and should be taken note of.

Category 'C'


Both beneficial and harmful qualities associated. Things rated a 'C+' are typically a bit more on the beneficial side. Still, moderation is important.


A fairly even ratio of beneficial and harmful qualities. Moderation is important. Very general topics that can lean towards both sides of the spectrum will be placed here as well. Rice, for example, can be good or bad depending on the type.


More harmful than beneficial. Side effects are common, especially when consumed/done excessively. Moderation is very important.

Category 'C' usually denotes to both good and bad qualities. When it comes to this category, it is important to keep this word in mind: moderation.

Category 'D'


Harmful to your health. Although benefits may be associated, the bad most likely outweighs the good. Moderation is very important.


Harmful to your health. A few benefits may be associated, but the bad outweighs the good. Moderation is extremely important.


Harmful to your health. Very few, if any, benefits are present. Things in this category should be avoided as much as possible.

Category 'D' is typically for things that are more harmful than beneficial. While consuming/doing something unhealthy once in a blue moon shouldn't hurt, we definitely recommend eliminating 'D' items as a regular part of your routine/diet.

Category 'F'


Category 'F' is for things that fail to bring anything beneficial to the table, and are very harmful to your health. We recommend completely avoiding anything in this category. Long-term side effects of 'F' items are usually very serious.

Category 'N'


'N' stands for neutral. Things placed into this category are generally (a) neither good nor bad for you, or (b) lack the necessary evidence to reach any conclusions.

Long answer

PepsiCo’s Sierra Mist has been advertised as the healthy and “natural” soda alternative, even renaming their product to Sierra Mist Natural. What seems to be a great option for the health-conscious consumer has been exposed as a cleverly designed marketing tactic.

Sierra Mist Natural claims to have no artificial ingredients, it’s caffeine free, with 100% natural flavors and made with real sugar. The label “natural flavors” is a very broad term that the FDA approved as a category for many lab-made ingredients that to the common consumer would not be “natural”. Among these legally “natural” flavorings are excitotoxins which are chemicals with an addictive quality that keep you wanting more. This logically would be a very desirable additive for companies like PepsiCo. Unfortunately for the consumer, excitotoxins can be harmful, causing depression, fatigue, migraines and possible nerve disorders.

Besides the misleading flavor recipe, there remains another disturbing fact. What is used for Sierra Mist’s “real sugar”?

Amazingly enough, they are one of the very few name-brand soda companies that do not use high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a sweetener in their soft drinks. A little-known fact is that manufacturers (of soda or any other product) are not required to specify whether they use cane sugar or beet sugar as the “sugar” or “sucrose” in their products.

Beet sugar doesn’t sound all that bad, right? Well here’s the kicker. About 95% of all sugar beets that are grown in the US are genetically modified (GMO) and around 50% to 60% of white sugar comes from these beets, and consumers are blind to it. Unless it is specified on the label that the sugar comes from 100% pure cane sugar (which is not yet GMO) or is certified organic, it is more than likely to contain genetically modified beet sugar that contains high levels of glyphosate.

A little on glyphosate: it inhibits thegrowth of healthy bacteria in the gut leading to an overpopulation of pathogenic intestinal bacteria. This causes chronic inflammation over time including other side effects.

Another ingredient in Sierra Mist and commonly found in sodas is potassium citrate. If sensitive to this ingredient it can cause an upset stomach, abdominal discomfort, nausea and loose stool.

PepsiCo has been sued for abusing the label “natural” on their product, and they promptlychanged Sierra Mist Natural back to Sierra Mist. They admitted that they do use a mix of cane sugar and GMO beet sugar. Not so natural after all.

Possible short-term side effects

  • depression
  • fatigue
  • migraines
  • gastrointestinal upset
  • nausea
  • abdominal discomfort
  • loose stools

Possible long-term side effects

  • nerve disorders
  • chronic inflammation
  • cancer and disease

Ingredients to be aware of

  • gmo beet sugar
  • glyphosate
  • “natural flavors”
  • potassium citrate

Is Sierra Mist Bad For You? (3)

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Zevia Lemon Lime Soda

  • Zero calorie drink
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Refreshing citrus twist
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Sugar-free option

Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Aubrie Robinson
Published on: 04-07-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Aubrie Robinson
Published on: 04-07-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Is Sierra Mist Bad For You? (2024)


Is Sierra Mist Bad For You? ›

But the “health tonics” of the late 1800s are a lot different than today's sugar-filled beverages. A 12oz can of Sierra Mist—the so-called “healthiest soda” on many lists—contains about 140 calories, 39g of carbs, 37g of sugar, 35mg of sodium, and there's absolutely nothing healthy about it.

Which is the healthiest soda to drink? ›

The 10 Healthiest Sodas
  1. Olipop. If you're looking for a healthier soda that delivers nostalgic flavors like Banana Cream, Vintage Cola, and Cherry Vanilla, Olipop scratches the itch. ...
  2. Poppi. Vinegar can help curb hunger, regulate blood sugar, and reduce inflammation (13, 14, 15). ...
  3. Culture Pop. ...
  4. Humm Probiotic Soda.
Apr 18, 2024

What's the healthiest fizzy drink? ›

Fruit-flavoured fizzy drinks like lemonade and fizzy orange are slightly better choices than cola, but not ideal as your regular drink. The combination of sugar and acid can damage your teeth, and over time, excess calories from a high-sugar diet can lead to weight gain.

Why was Sierra Mist discontinued? ›

But as shifting consumer tastes steered the beverage industry toward healthier drink options, and as PepsiCo itself focused innovation efforts on categories like sparkling water instead of struggling legacy brands, Sierra Mist's modest but loyal customer base proved insufficient to prevent its sunset.

What is the #1 worst soda? ›

The Top Ten Worst Soft Drinks For Your Health
  • Number Eight: Mountain Dew. ...
  • Number Seven: Rockstar Original. ...
  • Number Six: Sunkist Orange Soda. ...
  • Number Five: Bawls Geek Beer. ...
  • Number Four: Jolt Cola. ...
  • Number Three: Lucozade. ...
  • Number Two: Rockstar Punched Guava. ...
  • Number One: Hype Energy Drink.

What organ is soda bad for? ›

The organ most affected by drinking soda is the mouth. Since soda passes through the mouth first, its sugary and acidic content reacts with the bacteria already present in the mouth, which can cause damage to the enamel and promote cavity-causing bacteria and contribute to tooth decay.

Is one soda a day okay? ›

Even one or two colas a day could increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by more than 20%. Sugar intake is linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and excess fat, all of which increase the risk of heart disease. Colas and other sugary drinks have been linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

What's the number 1 selling soda? ›

Coca-Cola is the most popular soda brand in the world with a 43.3% market share. Pepsi follows with a 22.1% market share globally. Diet co*ke is third in line with a market share of 9.4%. Sprite, also part of the Coca-Cola company, has a global market share of 6.5%.

What is the healthiest drink besides water? ›

8 healthy drinks besides water
  1. Green tea. ...
  2. Mint tea. ...
  3. Black coffee. ...
  4. Fat-free milk. ...
  5. Soy milk or almond milk. ...
  6. Hot chocolate. ...
  7. Orange or lemon juice. ...
  8. Homemade smoothies.

What tastes like co*ke but is healthy? ›

Cut the Cola: 10 Healthy (and Delicious) Soda Substitutes
  • Arnold Palmer Lite. ...
  • Tea – iced or hot. ...
  • Freshly-squeezed lemonade. ...
  • Sparkling water. ...
  • Kombucha. ...
  • Sparkling water with a splash of juice. ...
  • Maple water. ...
  • Fruit and herb infusions.

What are the three worst drinks for blood sugar? ›

The 3 worst drinks
  • regular soda.
  • energy drinks that contain sugar.
  • fruit juices.

Is Sprite better for you than co*ke? ›

Sorry, there isn't a “healthiest” soda when it comes to the traditional soft drink. Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Sprite, Mountain Dew – whatever your preference, a similar-sized soda will have around the same sugar and caffeine content. But there are a few “healthier” ways to consume soda, says registered dietitian Chris Mohr.

What is replacing Sierra Mist? ›

Starry is a lemon-lime soft drink distributed by PepsiCo. Distribution began in January 2023. The brand is aimed at competing against Sprite and 7 Up. In January 2023, Starry replaced Sierra Mist as Pepsi's lemon-lime flavored drink, in part because Sierra Mist failed to gain market share in the growing category.

Is Starry better than Sierra Mist? ›

That said, the biggest difference in the flavor really is that it tastes like Starry has less sugar or sweetener than Sierra Mist. In terms of the actual content and calories though, neither soda comes out better than the other. Starry actually has slightly more of its sweetener, and a few more calories because of it.

Is Starry Just Sierra Mist? ›

The biggest difference between Starry and Sierra Mist

Both drinks contain citric acid, carbonated water, "natural flavor," and the same chemical preservatives. But while the source of sweetness in Sierra Mist is cane sugar, Starry uses high fructose corn syrup instead.

What is the most unhealthy drink? ›

Soda, or pop, is one of the unhealthiest beverages you can drink. For millions of consumers, the sweet, syrupy taste and crisp carbonation makes soda hard to refuse—despite the fact that the high sugar content is a health hazard. Each can of soda contains 138 calories and approximately 39 grams of sugar.

What's worse co*ke or Dr Pepper? ›

Nutritional Content (per 12 oz can):Coca-Cola: Contains about 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar. Dr Pepper: Contains about 150 calories and 40 grams of sugar. Pepsi: Contains about 150 calories and 41 grams of sugar.

Which soda is worse co*ke or Pepsi? ›

Pepsi contains citric acid, while co*ke does not. Pepsi also has slightly more sugar, calories, and caffeine while co*ke has a tiny edge in sodium. With ingredients that match so closely, neither has an edge as being any healthier than the other. co*ke has had a slight edge over Pepsi from the beginning.

Is MTN dew the worst soda? ›

Cola is 6 times more acidic than Mountain Dew. However, Mountain Dew contains a different type of acid that is more difficult for the saliva in your mouth to buffer so it makes your mouth acidic for a longer time and is more damaging to your teeth.

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