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.

Is Sierra Mist safe? ›

Sprite and Sierra Mist, like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, are considered unhealthy due to their high sugar content. A 12-ounce serving of Sprite or Sierra Mist contains approximately 38 grams of sugar, which is about 10 teaspoons.

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.

Why is Sierra Mist now called Starry? ›

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.

Are they really getting rid of Sierra Mist? ›

PepsiCo is kicking off 2023 by introducing a new lemon-lime soda drink. Starry soda has officially replaced Sierra Mist nationwide in a bid to challenge Sprite's (a Coca-Cola product) dominance in the category.

What is the deal with Sierra Mist? ›

Fans of the beverage Sierra Mist were disappointed when the drink disappeared in January. At that time, PepsiCo announced that the lemon-lime soda would be discontinued and replaced by a new drink called Starry.

What should I drink if I crave soda? ›

6 ways to reduce your soda cravings
  • Infused sparkling water.
  • Kombucha.
  • Sparkling green tea.
  • Water with mint and cucumber.
  • Herbal or fruit teas.
  • Coconut water.

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 is replacing Sierra Mist? ›

Pepsi is replacing Sierra Mist with a new Sprite rival called "Starry." One soda company is taking the leap from the mountains directly into space, so to speak.

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 better than Sprite? ›

It's almost a bit spicy for a lemon-lime drink and not as sweet as its competitor, Sprite. Pepsi says Starry has a crisp taste, and I'll agree. Sprite not only tasted sweeter than Starry, but has a smoother finish.

What's worse Dr Pepper or co*ke? ›

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.

What is the number 1 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%.

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.


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