V Sugar Free Energy Drink

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V Sugar Free Energy DrinkSo you’ve got your normal V, then theres your sugar free variety, aptly called “V Sugar Free”.

This variety of V actually tastes very much like the regular stuff. Like any sugar free variant, it does taste somewhat worse than the original, but it’s not much worse.

They are currently $2.20 a can at Coles and are available individually or in 4 packs. V Sugar Free is also available in a 35oml bottle.

Theres not much more I can say about it really. It’s not a bad drink, it’s not a good drink. Is it healthier? Good question. I say no, it is worse for you than the regular stuff. I will explain why after the ingredients list below.

V Sugar Free Nutritional Information

The label indicates the following per 100ml:

Caffeine:31mg
Riboflavin:0.49mg
Niacin:2.9mg
Vitamin B6:0.46mg
Vitamin B12:0.57µg
Pantothenic Acid:0.7mg
Taurine:200mg
Glucuronolactone:25mg
Inositol:20mg

This is identical to that of the regular V, and also very similar to Coles Zu Sublime Energy Drink.

V Sugar Free has the standard warning not to drink more than 2 cans per day.

V Sugar Free Ingredients

The ingredients according to the can are as follows:

Carbonated water, sugar, acidity regulators (citric acid, sodium citrate), taurine, guarana extract (0.12%), sweeteners (acesulfame potassium, aspartame), colour (caramel (derived from wheat)), glucuronolactone, caffeine, inositol, thickener (xanthan gum) vitamins (niacin (B3), pantothenic acid, B6, B2, B12), flavours. Contains phenylalanine.

So why do I believe that the sugar free variant of V is worse for you than regular V?

You may have noticed the little warning at the end of the ingredients, contains phenylalanine. This is because one of the artificial sweeteners used in place of the sugar, aspartame, is a source of phenylalanine. Now, is phenylalanine bad? No, it’s a naturally occurring amino acid. It’s in proteins and meats and so on. However, according to 3DChem, aspartame has roughly the same amount of calories as regular table sugar. So, you are getting the same amount of calories, it’s just not sugar. In addition to that, there are health problems linked to aspartame, particularly related to people with PKU (phenylketonurics) and diabetics. It seems that there are also a lot of diseases that are related to aspartame, there is a fair amount of information about this on sweetpoison.com, it’s definitely worth a read if you are interested in finding out more about aspartame.

The Aspartame Information Center is adamant that the synthetic chemical is safe. While that may be so, I personally think that the amount of it that can be found in diet drinks would be cause to make it unsafe if continually ingested in those sorts of quantities on a regular basis and is thus why I generally avoid drinking diet drinks, as I said, earlier, it’s around the same amount of calories, so there is no benefit to it in my opinion (plus diet drinks generally taste worse). It’s up to you to decide what you think about it though and do more of your own research into it.

As noted in the comments, while aspartame has the same amount of calories as sugar, it is sweeter, so less is used, hence you have less calories overall, just like it says on the can or bottle. As above though, I don’t really see any benefit to it as there isn’t a huge difference when you consider that aspartame isn’t a very healthy alternative. I also understand from the comments that V and other sugar free energy drinks have started to steer away from phenylalanine and aspartame, so I will have to have a look at that at some point.

Further reading on aspartame and phenylalanine:

V Sugar Free Ratings

Quantity – 250ml
2.5/5

Price – $2.20
3/5

Flavour
1/5

Overall
2/5

9 thoughts on “V Sugar Free Energy Drink”

  1. Aspartame may have the same calorie count as normal sugar, but it is about 1000 times sweeter (true), so you can use much less of it. But is it good for you? Probably not!

    Reply
  2. You should consider updating this information as it is no longer correct. Both V and Red Bull have changed their sugar free varieties and neither contain Phenylalanine or Aspartame anymore. The sweeteners in both are now Acesulfame potassium and sucralose. I have not yet researched either of these but I can confirm that there is definatly no phenylalanine in Sugar Free V as I’m holding the bottle in front of me and it is a requirement that they feature a warning on the bottle if the product contains any Phenylalanine (as with caffeine).
    If you do research these altered versions I would love to know your findings! It’s also great to see companies (hopefully) realising the negative affect of using phenylalanine… I’ve never drank diet drinks before because of it… but i might consider Sugar Free V on occasion if these turn out ok!

    Reply
  3. Hi!
    I like your thoughts.
    Although, I’m totally confused. You say that such diet drinks contain substances that would have the same amount of calories as normal sugar. But on the cans they generally have close to 0 calories.
    So what’s the deal?
    Am I really consuming all these calories even though the can says I’m not?????

    Reply
  4. Hey Ash,

    As James pointed out, Aspartame is stronger/sweeter than sugar, hence less is used than sugar, which is why you get the lower calorie count on the can/bottle.

    So yes, they have the same amount of calories, but there is less used, so you get less calories.

    Reply
  5. Also, Sarah, meant to answer your comment sooner but totally forgot, sorry about that!

    I’ll have to have a look at the new V, Red Bull etc. I’ve not had a chance to really look at any energy drinks of late, got a stack to do when I have time!!

    Thanks for letting me know, it is great to see that they are changing to what is hopefully a healthier option.

    Reply
  6. Being a drinker of perhaps far too many sugarfree drinks I decided to try and find out what is in sugarfree V one of my favourites… which brought me to this site, problem is the ingredients on my Auckland bought sugarfree V can don’t match… in particular there’s no Aspartame but instead the sweeteners listed are (ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, SUCRALOSE) are these new ingredients better?

    Reply
  7. Just came across this article today after being somewhat confused about the new V sugarfree ingredients. I’ve checked out sweetpoison as linked here and the short version is that both Acesulfame Potassium and Sucralose have not been well-tested in humans, animal testing showed some dangerous side-effects and some of what the manufacturers state about these substances is scientifically inaccurate.

    Let’s face it, real sugar is much better for you. Just reduce your intake. I try to avoid sugar 5 days a week. Lost 4kgs in the 2-week period I tried this!

    Reply

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