We Tried TikTok’s “Healthy Coke” – And We’re Not Impressed

It doesn’t even taste like Coke?

June 14, 2022


Photo by: Alberto Tudor / 500px/Getty

Alberto Tudor / 500px/Getty

TikTok is known for its viral recipes, from baked feta pasta to whipped coffee, but the latest recipe getting attention on the platform is pretty confusing.

TikTok user @mandyvjones recently shared a drink recipe for what she claims is a healthy version of Coca-Cola that actually doesn’t involve Coke at all. It’s made by mixing balsamic vinegar with seltzer (or sparkling water). And she claims it’s so legit, her Pilates instructor has suggested she drink it daily.

The recipe calls for a splash of balsamic vinegar in sparkling water, and it, admittedly, does look a lot like Coke. But does it taste anything like it? And is it even all that good for you, anyway?

@mandyvjones @LaCroix Sparkling Water ♬ original sound - Amanda Jones

Registered dietician Dana Angelo White MS, RD, ATC thinks this is one of the silliest TikTok trends yet. “Despite the brown, bubbly appearance, I think we all know this doesn’t taste like Coke!” said Angelo White.

As a loyal fan of Coke Zero myself (whether it’s healthy or not, it’s delicious and refreshing!), I can say with no hesitation that this drink tastes absolutely nothing like it. I tried it for myself – and despite loving both balsamic vinegar an sparkling water, wanting this to work – I was not impressed.

But flavor aside, what makes the trending concoction healthier than Coca-Cola? “Swapping out sugary sodas for a flavored seltzer of any kind is an effective way to cut back on added sugar and extra calories. If you like the taste of this vinegar concoction, and the acidity doesn’t cause any gastrointestinal upset, sip away!” said Angelo White.

But beyond containing fewer calories and sugar compared to its soda counterpart, Toby Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND nutritionist and author of Diabetes Create Your Plate Meal Prep Cookbook says, “There is no health benefit to consuming it.” It’s important to also note that if not had in moderation, the acidity from both the seltzer and balsamic vinegar can erode tooth enamel.

But it does look a lot like a classic cola, so if you want to play a prank on a soda-loving friend? Have at it.

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