What are “Healthier” Sodas?

There’s a growing thirst for “healthier” sodas on the market and many of these new products aim to support gut health.  These sodas contain inulin, chicory root, or Jerusalem artichoke (prebiotic forms of fiber) or probiotic bacteria. Prebiotics and probiotics work together to keep our gut microbiome healthy. Probiotics contain live microorganisms that support your body’s gut bugs. Prebiotics (typically high in fiber) act as food for those good gut bugs. 

We decided to review a few of the more popular gut-health promoting drinks: Culture Pop, Poppi, and Olipop. We chose options that contain less sugar and include pre and/or probiotic nutrients.

While water is always a top choice, it’s nice to have other hydrating drinks with a crisp, fizzy feel. Plus, many of these drinks offer fun, unique flavor options like Strawberry Rhubarb, Ginger Lemon with Turmeric, and Raspberry Rose!

An Overview of 3 Popular Brands of Healthier Sodas

Before we get started, let’s breakdown the prebiotic and probiotic daily recommendations.

The current recommendation for prebiotic consumption per day is 3-5 grams. A variety of prebiotic rich foods throughout the day will fulfill this recommendation, and a can of one of these yummy, healthier sodas can help you get there.

Currently, there is no intake recommendation for probiotics. We recommend starting with 1-2 servings per day and adding more as you’re comfortable. Here is a guide to foods high in probiotics.


Olipop is a prebiotic soda containing 9 g of fiber per can and 2-5g of added sugar and stevia. Due to the high fiber content per can and the presence of artificial sweeteners, start with one can per day to avoid stomach discomfort. Research shows stevia is generally safe to consume, but it is important to note that some individuals experience stomach upset after consuming artificial sweeteners. While many of the Olipop flavors are caffeine free, pay attention because some of them, like the vintage cola flavor, do contain caffeine.

With 16 flavors, Olipop has so many options to choose from! The Banana Cream and Classic Grape were our favorites, but the cola dupes also hit. There is an Olipop for every person and every occasion.


Poppi is a prebiotic soda containing 2 g of fiber per can and 5g or less of added sugar and stevia. Lower in fiber than Olipop, this one may be gentler on the gut, but you will still need to watch for that added artificial sweetener. There are also a couple of Poppi flavors that contain caffeine, so be sure to check the can if this is something you look out for in your diet (Not sure if you’re caffeine sensitive? Our Genetic Test can tell you!). Poppi also contains apple cider vinegar as one of its prebiotic sources, so be careful with how much you drink because it can cause acid reflux in people with sensitive stomachs.

Poppi has a couple of really fun flavors that give you a different kind of experience. They have a Raspberry Rose variety that is the perfect *not too sweet* fruity soda and a Doc Pop that fills the need for an afternoon soda.

Culture Pop 

Culture Pop is a probiotic soda containing 45 calories and 8 g sugar from juice blends. It contains no added sugar or sugar substitutes and all of the flavors are caffeine free. This soda contains the live Bacillus Subtilis strain. Bacillus Subtilis is a type of probiotic  found naturally in the human gut and in fermented foods.

Culture Pop is a delicious, fizzy drink that is full of flavor while still being refreshing. It could serve as an ideal option when you’re craving something more flavorful than sparkling water but not quite as sugary as traditional soda. 

Which Healthier Sodas Should I Drink? 

It’s up to you! All of these beverages are likely safe in moderation and offer a nice alternative to soda. They could also serve as a great base for mocktail recipes! Olipop and Poppi may be more useful in combination with a probiotic and may curb the craving for a soda, since they will be more comparable in sweetness. 


A 12-pack of Culture pop run ~$32.99 or $2.75/can. Prices are similar for a 12-pack of Olipop ($35.99) and Poppi  ($29.99). This is a much higher price point than a classic 12-pack of soda. While these prices are high compared to regular sodas, they can be viewed as an investment in your gut health, especially when attempting to build healthier habits or drink less soda. 

Final Thoughts

Overall pre and probiotic drinks may provide beneficial nutrients to your gut microbiome. They offer fun and interesting variety of flavors and can be useful in changing habits if you’re aiming to cut back on sugary beverages.