Yes, you read that correctly. On 13th November Pepsi launched ‘Pepsi Special’ in Japan. Sweetly branded as a ‘fat blocking’ beverage, Pepsi claim that it can help you lose weight.
What actually makes this drink different from other sugar-filled drinks is that it contains dextrin. Dextrin is a polymeric carbohydrate which is formed during the hydrolysis of starch into sugar. It is indigestible dietary fibre which absorbs water in the intestines and acts as a binding agent to encourage digestive transit. Yep, you know what that means and now you see why Pepsi glazed over what this actually does!
The production of this drink is based on a study conducted in 2006 by Japan’s National Institute of Health and Nutrition (NIHN) in which rats were fed dextrin. Results of the trial showed that the rats which were fed dextrin absorbed less fat and had lower cholesterol. However, results were conflicting as the effect on blood sugar levels was not always positive! As far as I can tell, the study has not been carried out on humans and past studies in which humans have ingested dextrin have resulted in some short-term digestive issues such as stomach pain and bloating.
If no definitive data from controlled human trials is supplied by Pepsi, it is unlikely that this drink will make it to the US or UK. An unhealthy drink which promotes health is not something that many countries will be interested in, particularly as the advert for this drink features the Pepsi Special bottle sitting alongside a fast food meal implying that you can binge on unhealthy food, wash it down with a sugar-filled drink and come out of the experience with weight loss!
If you enjoy the occasional fizzy drink, then this may be an enjoyable alternative. However, bear in mind that adding fibre to a drink full of sugar and corn syrup does not make it healthy. The company have gone with the ‘fat makes you fat’ idea, when in actual fact too many calories make you fat!
If you want to lose weight and improve your health, then you need to form healthy life-long habits which are sustainable in the long-term. Consumption of healthy foods will provide you with all the dietary fibre you need alongside the ideal amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Water is also vital not only to sustain life but if you want to lose weight. It is the best drink for you to consume and the calorie free alternative to fizzy drinks.
Don’t fall victim to the self-proclaimed quick fixes. Nothing worth getting ever comes easy. If you want an amazing, healthy body, you have to work for it. A nutrient rich diet and regular exercise is the way to achieve your goals!