Most vegans know that animal byproducts can be hidden in the unlikeliest of foods. For most, reading labels has become a worthwhile habit for those committed to this lifestyle. Yet, while you wouldn’t suspect that soda would contain animal products, it is possible. Some sodas do contain products coming from animals.
A person cannot assume that all sodas are vegan- even though at first glance they appear to be. Animal ingredients may not be obvious at first. However, some pop has ester gum, which is an ingredient added to carbonated drinks that acts as a thickener.
This type of gum is formed from glycerol, which is an animal derived product. Fortunately, if they use ester gum, it is listed on their ingredients, so vegans will know what types of pop to avoid.
Ingredients Found in Dr Pepper
If you were previously a Dr Pepper fan before becoming vegan, you may be wondering if you can still enjoy this fizzy drink. While most searches list Dr Pepper as vegan, you must note that the ingredients do vary per country. An example of this is Dr Pepper in Great Britain. This Dr Pepper does not have any high fructose corn syrup as it does in American drinks.
The ingredients are:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Carbonated water
- Caramel color
- Phosphoric acid
- Artificial and natural flavor
- Sodium benzoate
All ingredients found in this refreshment are completely vegan. The company that manufactures Dr Pepper does adhere to cruelty-free standards and is compatible with veganism.
Dr Pepper was created in the late 19th century in a pharmacy located in Texas. Since then, it has become a popular drink globally. It has 23 flavors and was previously marketed to help with indigestion.
Things to Consider
While the listing for Dr Pepper is that it contains artificial and natural flavors, the actual ingredients used may be ambiguous. While products either are or are not obtained from animals like starch or gelatin, others can be vegan with one source and not by another.
Additionally, some ingredients are confusing because they aren’t specifically listed on the label. Many artificial and natural flavors are only mentioned as a general category while the specifics go unnamed.
This may pose a concern for vegans who are stringent on what they consume. Sometimes, consumers may not know exactly what is in their food or drinks. They just go by what is listed and hope for the best since there is no way of knowing with any degree of certainty.
Generally, vegans aren’t too concerned with ambiguous ingredients. Mono and diglycerides are commonly found in most food products and claim to be accidentally vegan. However, there is no way of telling for sure if this is true.
If you are unwavering on your beliefs, you may want to not consume any highly processed foods. Instead, select whole plant foods.
Additionally, Dr Pepper does have additives. When looking for non-vegan additives, if it is hard to pronounce or seems unusual, you may want to avoid it.
Dr Pepper, however, has sodium benzoate, sodium phosphate, and phosphoric acid as ingredients. Here is what they do:
Phosphoric acid- Provides a tangy taste to the beverage. It is cruelty free and comes from the phosphate rock not animals.
Sodium benzoate acts as a preservative in foods that are acidic. It is synthetic and the VRG considers it to be vegan.
Sodium phosphate is from ground phosphate rock combined with sulfuric acid and reacts with sodium hydroxide. Since it is from a rock and not an animal, it is vegan.
Also, all Dr Pepper products such as diet, caffeine-free, cherry, cherry vanilla, vanilla, and others are all vegan. None of them contain animal products and all are cruelty free. All of them can safely be consumed in a vegan diet.
Similar Products to Dr Pepper
If you are looking for some variety or want to try something different, there are some products that have a similar taste to Dr Pepper. These are also vegan.
You may also choose to limit your sugar consumption by selecting healthier alternatives. Here are options that are different, but still vegan.
Live Kombucha Pure Doctor
Even though this isn’t traditionally considered pop, it is a probiotic drink. The Pure Doctor will provide you with B-vitamins and other nutrients necessary to maintain good health. Kombucha has high levels of glucosamines.
This creates healthy joints and provides antioxidants which improve the immune system along with overall health.
Kombucha is traditionally a fermented tea and has been available for centuries. Life added a twist to their product by creating it in soda form. Pure Doctor is similar to Dr Pepper and is a great alternative if you want to decrease sugar intake.
It only contains five grams of sugar per serving and contains probiotics. This will provide a healthy gut.
This brand additionally contains cola flavors, root beer, ginger, limon, orange, blueberry, rhuberry, and original. This will give you quite the variety should you tire of their Dr Pepper version.
Dr Zevia Zero Calorie
If you want a sugarless alternative to Dr Pepper, or don’t want artificial sweeteners, Zevia is the best choice. Zevia has a simple list of ingredients and is sweetened by using stevia leaf extracts. It has a glycemic index of zero which is ideal for diabetics. It does not contain caramel colors or dyes, so people with sensitivities can enjoy this beverage.
While not all sodas adopt the vegan lifestyle, Dr Pepper does. Be aware when selecting any type of soda to carefully examine the ingredients for animal byproducts. Most people are unaware how they can easily sneak through these products completely undetected.
Even though Dr Pepper is a vegan product, there are others available that you can enjoy that will give you the same great taste. There are healthier versions- not only by being zero calories or containing less sugar- but by containing a beverage rich in nutrients. This gives you the best of both worlds: enjoying a great taste with something that is good for your body.