This Texas-Based "Healthy" Soda Makes Classic Flavors Like Coke and Root Beer, So We Tried Them

Nostalgia in a can, and without a sugar crash.

Poppi Classic Soda Texas
Photo: Poppi

While sweet tea has long been the drink of choice in the South, there's always been room kept in the refrigerator for other highly regarded beverages. Namely Coca-Cola, as well as all the different sodas that Southerners refer to as a "Coke." As in, anything found in the drink cooler—preferably served out of a glass bottle. Certain regional delicacies are able to stand out on their own, including Cheerwine, Dr Pepper, and Big Red. However, no matter the bubbly concoction, there is no denying that people in the South enjoy a crisp, cold one.

Now, there's one Texas-based soda that's here to serve as an alternative to traditional sodas, because as much as people love to sip on them from time to time, they're not always the best daily choice in terms of sugar and other ingredients. That's where Poppi comes in, the prebiotic soda that vows to make you feel better. After trying Poppi's new Classic Cola and other retro-style flavors, I can attest to its draw. My 3 p.m. Diet Coke craving hasn't come knocking since.

Started by husband-and-wife team Allison and Stephen Ellsworth, the "better-for-you" soda brand first gained a loyal following at the Dallas Farmers' Market before making a successful appearance on Shark Tank. What makes Poppi stand out is the nutrition. It's made with natural ingredients and is infused with apple cider vinegar to promote gut health, which has led to its label as a "prebiotic soda."

Apple cider vinegar boasts various health benefits, including better gut health and more stabilized blood sugar levels. While most people think an apple cider vinegar shot doesn't go down easy enough to make a daily practice, Poppi completely conceals the taste. Moreover, unlike sugary sodas, you won't experience a blood sugar spike and subsequent crash. It gives you a similar fix without the unfortunate short-term and long-term side effects. To put it in perspective, one can of Poppi's Classic Cola contains 25 calories and 5 grams of sugar, versus Coca-Cola's 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar.

As far as taste, I wasn't expecting much from a "healthier" soda, however I was instantly impressed with newer retro flavors—Classic Cola, Root Beer, and Doc Pop—and how they actually do justice to the original drinks. It tasted only a few beats off from my beloved Diet Coke (an unhealthy habit I'd love to stop), accomplishing a very hard feat for any natural alternative. The same goes for the Root Beer and Doc Pop flavors. Nostalgia in a can! As a result, I finally get why Poppi has fostered such a fanatic customer base, which you can easily read in its reviews online.

In addition to The Classics Variety Pack, Poppi offers more fruit-forward flavors, including favorites like Orange, Strawberry Lemon, Grapefruit, and more. While you can shop it at select grocery stores, Poppi is available online at Amazon and Walmart.

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