Sarsaparilla is a classic drink that’s been around for centuries now. It was originally made from the Smilax regalia plant, but the modern versions are artificially flavored, in many cases, with licorice or sassafras root. Although Sarsaparilla doesn’t contain caffeine, it contains sugar, so you want to be careful if you have problems with sugar or are on a diet.
Sarsaparilla typically doesn’t contain caffeine, but a few obscure brands do, so you’ll want to check the label for caffeine content no matter which Sarsaparilla you purchase. So, what is Sarsaparilla? Is it healthy? We’ll answer those questions and more below.
What Is Sarsaparilla?
Sarsaparilla is a classic soft drink that was made originally from the Smilax regalia plant but is now artificially flavored in many cases. Although it’s similar to root beer, sarsaparilla was originally produced with the sarsaparilla vine. Root beer was initially made from the roots of the sarsaparilla tree.
Is Sarsaparilla a Healthy Drink?
No, Sarsaparilla is not considered to be a healthy drink. It contains sugar and artificial ingredients in high amounts. Sarsaparilla is best served as a treat, not something you drink or give to your family every day.
What Ingredients Are in Sarsaparilla?
There are a few ingredients in Sarsaparilla to be aware of.
- Cane sugar
- Carbonated non-chlorinated water
- Natural flavoring
- Artificial flavoring
- Sarsaparilla root extract
- Caramel coloring
- Citric acid
- Possible caffeine
How Much Sugar Is in Sarsaparilla?
There are 41 grams of sugar in Sarsaparilla and 170 calories per 12-ounce bottle. This is quite a bit of sugar, so if you have weight issues or diabetes, you need to be careful. It’s best to find a soft drink with less sugar if possible.
Caffeine Comparison for Sarsaparilla vs Other Leading Soft Drinks
Keeping in mind that Sarsaparilla has no caffeine at all, we’ll compare it to the other leading soft drinks on the market today below.
|Sarsaparilla||0 mg per 12-ounce bottle|
|Fresca||0 mg per 12-ounce bottle|
|Sprite||0 mg per 12-ounce can|
|Baja Blast||54 mg per 12 ounces|
|Sun Drop Soda||64 mg per 12 ounces|
|7-up||0 mg per 12 ounces|
|Fanta||0 mg per 12 ounces|
|Hype||80 mg per 8.4 ounces|
|Four Loko||156 mg per 23.5 ounces|
As you can see, there are a few soft drinks that don’t contain any caffeine. However, there are a few that contain more than a little. It’s essential to remember that though Sarsaparilla doesn’t contain any caffeine, it does contain quite a bit of sugar and calories. If you’re unsure whether you should drink sarsaparilla, even as a treat, talk to your doctor to be on the safe side.
If you’re considering drinking Sarsaparilla, it’s best to enjoy it occasionally because of the artificial ingredients and the sugar content. Sarsaparilla has been a popular drink for centuries and has a nice, refreshing taste. While the original contains no caffeine, some sarsaparilla products might contain it, so make sure to check the labels carefully when you purchase one of these drinks.
Featured Image Credit: Brent Hofacker, Shutterstock