One May 5, 2014, news broke that Powerade, one of the most popular sports drinks in the country, would be dropping a controversial ingredient from its recipe. Powerade, which is owned by the Coca Cola company, is following a precedent that was set by Gatorade last year. However, does this change come much too late?
MSN News reports that this change to the sports drink recipe comes as a result of a petition from a Mississippi teenager who was questioning why the ingredient was present in the sports drink to begin with. The ingredient, brominated vegetable oil, has been linked to flame retardants and is actually banned for use in Japan and the European Union.
Last Year, PepsiCo stop the practice of using this potentially harmful substance in their sports drink brand, Gatorade. It seems that Coca Cola is playing catch up, and only as a result of an external petition to remove the substance from their recipe. The two flavors, fruit punch and strawberry lemonade, are the two products that are being updated.
In certain markets such as Detroit and Washington D.C., the products are already being sold without brominated vegetable oil as an ingredient. As of this afternoon, the Powerade website still lists the controversial ingredient on some of the product pages. It is still not known what is being used as a replacement ingredient.
This news about a potentially harmful chemical in FDA approved products is nothing new unfortunately. From the "yoga mat chemical" in certain types of bread, to Naked drinks getting caught with their pants down on social media for their use of GMO's, the use of potentially harmful ingredients in many different consumer products is a practice that will continue. The unfortunate truth is that we may only know about them when news breaks or a study has been released about the harmful affects of the ingredient. Until then, it may be better to at least choose a new flavor of sports drink for your refueling needs.