Is Root Beer Good For You?

  • By: Max S.
  • Date: September 13, 2022
  • Time to read: 12 min.

Root beer is a unique carbonated drink with a distinctive sweet taste with hints of bitterness, especially when made from sassafras roots.

This delicious drink has undergone a series of historical transformations over the years, one of them being the introduction of the artificial flavor of sassafras.

The most recent recipe for root beer production includes; milk, filtered carbonated water, sugar, caramel colour, phosphoric acid, pectin, cream, yucca, acacia gum, Propylene Glycol Alginate, nitrous oxide, and artificial and natural flavors.

Here are the highlighted constituents of the new root beer formulation that has a significant risk of being hazardous to your health;

  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup(HFCS) – A syrup made from corn with a high sugar level can harm your health by causing complications such as obesity and diabetes. Another area of concern is its effect on the teeth. The high sugar level can lead to an erosion of the tooth enamel and eventually lead to tooth decay. 
  • Artificial Flavors – Root beer contains a substantial amount of artificial flavors to boost its sweetness and taste delivery. However, artificial flavors have been linked to serious health risks such as; allergic reactions, diarrhea, abdominal pain, leukemia and lymphoma.
  • Caramel coloring – Have you ever wondered if artificial coloring additives in carbonated drinks are dangerous? Yes, they are. Colorings increase your risk of developing lung, blood, thyroid and liver cancer. Caramel coloring additive found in root beer has been proved to be carcinogenic.
  • Caffeine – When consumed in an excessive amount, then, you may find it more difficult to sleep at night. Some root beers have a high level of caffeine and can lead to nervousness and restlessness.

However, traditionally brewed root beer has more health benefits. Perfect examples are the sassafras and sarsaparilla roots known for resolving dermal issues, pre-menstrual and pre-menopausal syndrome, gout and rheumatism.

Just like every other carbonated drink, root beer is safe when consumed in a minimized quantity. 

How Much Sugar Does Root Beer Have?

How do you know the right measurement and proportion of the sugar level indicated on nutrition stickers? or how do you ensure that you get your sugar calculation right?

Averagely, a bottle of root beer comprises a sugar level between 39 to 52 grams. To get the teaspoon root beer sugar level calculation, you’d have to divide the given gram by 4. Following this, you’d get between 9.75 to 13 teaspoons per bottle.

How Many Calories Are In Root Beer?

Carbohydrates mostly contribute to the number of calories in soda. Hence, having an average of 43 – 47g of carbohydrates, a 12 oz can of root beer contains about 150 – 160 calories, depending on the brand.

Soft drinks, such as root beer, can be used to get your calorie count up to the recommended 2000 calories per day.

How Much Root Beer Is Too Much?

How Much Root Beer is Too Much?
How Much Root Beer is Too Much?

Drinking too much root beer frequently can lead to several negative side effects, including excessive weight gain, tooth decay, and diabetes. These effects result from the high sugar level and sweeteners that make up the soft drink.

Usually, one can of root beer daily does not harm you in the long run. However, as our body systems differ, it is important to monitor the amount of sugar you accept into your body and know what works for you.

Is Root Beer Halal?

Foods and beverages that are halal are permissible under Islamic law. Vegetables, fruits, and grains that do not cause intoxication are foods considered halal, while pork and alcohol are not halal. 

Yes, root beer is halal. On the Islamic Authority Site, it is stated that if the alcohol is of a minuscule amount and is completely absorbed by the beverage (as is the case of root beer), such that it is untraceable and does not intoxicate when taken in large quantities, then it is halal to consume.

Meanwhile, hard root beers contain significant amounts of alcohol and are not considered halal.

Can You Drink Root Beer While Pregnant?

Can You Drink Root Beer While Pregnant?
Can You Drink Root Beer While Pregnant?

Pregnancy should not stop you from drinking root beer, but because you are in charge of feeding two people, it is recommended that everything be done in moderation. 

The reservations of medical professionals towards drinking root beer during pregnancy are due to the sugar level and caffeine (in some cases) in the soft drink. 

Excess sugar intake during pregnancy may cause health complications for the child after birth, and the baby’s developing body system does not quickly process caffeine during pregnancy.

Can You Drink Caffeine-Free Root Beer While Pregnant?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) recommend having not more than 200mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy. At the same time, most famous root beers do not contain caffeine, the ones that do contain between 65 – 72 milligrams per 12 oz serving. 

Therefore, you would require more than four 12 oz servings of the soft drink to reach the recommended limit, which would be over-indulgent.

Recent studies have found that drinking caffeine, even in small quantities lower than the recommended limit, can lead to a small size of the baby after birth. And while caffeine-free root beers may seem like a solution, they also contain sugar and sweeteners that can harm the baby.

Can You Drink Diet Root Beer While Pregnant?

Diet sodas are without sugar but are sweetened by non-nutritive sweeteners that may be natural or artificial. Since these sodas do not contain sugar, it is assumed that they are a safer option when compared to regular sodas. But this is not necessarily so.

A 2016 study found that pregnant women who drank artificially sweetened beverages tended to have heavier babies. Another study found that people who drank diet soda gained more weight than those who drank regular soda.

While the dangers have not been adequately recorded, it’s recommended that pregnant women skip the diet sodas and stick to the occasional regular soda. This is to prevent heavy babies, which could result in childhood obesity.

Can You Be Allergic To Root Beer?

Can You Be Allergic To Root Beer?
Can You Be Allergic To Root Beer?

You can be allergic to root beer. The soft drink is a mixture of multiple ingredients, and one or more of these substances may trigger an allergic reaction from you.

Caramel color made with wheat may cause allergic reactions in gluten-sensitive drinkers. Also, the artificial sweeteners in root beer contain several ingredients that are allergens to many people, so you may be allergic to something in it.

Different companies make their root beer with special ingredients. So, you can find one brand of root beer refreshing but react terribly to another. Some allergies increase by exposure, and reactions worsen with successive exposures.

Sarsaparilla root preparations, such as hives or skin rash, are popular allergens. A 1996 paper in the “Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology” states that inhaling sarsaparilla root can cause asthma attacks.

Is Root Beer Gluten-Free?

Gluten is a protein found in several products made with wheat. It serves as a glue, holding ingredients such as wheat, rye, bulgur, spelt, barley, and kamut together.

Most root beers are gluten-free. However, it is necessary to look at the ingredients on the label of the brand you are purchasing to check for gluten foods. 

Some gluten-free root beer brands include A&W root beer, Barqs root beer, Bundaberg root beer, Jones root beer, Shasta root beer and Mug root beer, among others.

Is Root Beer Nut-Free?

Most root beers do not contain any nuts. So, root beer is safe to drink if you have a nut allergy. Meanwhile, you can also check the label of the brand you are purchasing to ensure it is nut-free.

Is Root Beer Dairy-Free?

Is Root Beer Dairy-Free?
Is Root Beer Dairy-Free?

Root beer does not contain milk. Hence, it is dairy-free and suitable for people with lactose intolerance or any other milk allergy.

Caramel is made from a browning reaction requiring lactose, but caramel color, one of the ingredients in most root beers, is not derived from real caramel. The caramel color used in root beers is derived from heating carbohydrates using simple sugars such as dextrose, fructose, and sucrose.

While root beer is dairy-free, Root beer floats are not. They are made using vanilla ice cream and are not dairy-free.

Is Root Beer Vegan?

Is Root Beer Vegan?
Is Root Beer Vegan?

Yes, root beer is vegan. The soft drink is traditionally made with all-natural ingredients, including various roots, herbs, and non-animal derived additives.

Some roots and herbs in root beer include liquorice root, black cherry wood, sarsaparilla, sassafras roots or bark that contain safrole, and various berries and leaves. Foaming agents used are soapbark and yucca or cassava roots. Root beer species include anise, allspice, ginger, chocolate, fennel seed, and mint.

Other additives are molasses, yeast, and sugar. Brands of root beer that are completely vegan include A&W root beer, Mug root beer, and Three Olives root beer, among others.

Is Root Beer Healthier than Dr Pepper?

Root beer contains fewer acids than most sodas, including Dr Pepper. Acids such as citric acid and phosphoric acid can lead to dental erosion and enamel loss. According to a list compiled by Rocklandsmiles, root beer has the lowest acid level among 15 popular sodas, ranking above brands like Coca-cola and Pepsi.

A 20 oz serving of A&W root beer contains more calories than a Dr Pepper soda of the same serving size, but Dr Pepper soda contains a significantly higher amount of caffeine (41 mg per 20 oz) than A&W root beer (0mg).

Hence, while root beer has its negative effects resulting from the high amount of sugar, it is considered a healthier option than Dr Pepper because it has low acid levels, reducing the risk of dental problems. It also contains less caffeine than coke.

Is Root Beer Or Coke Better For You?

Is Root Beer Or Coke Better For You?
Is Root Beer Or Coke Better For You?

Coke is considered sweeter than the distinct-tasting root beer. But as for which is better, that is a hard call. If you say that coke is better because it is a more popular drink and people are more inclined to purchase a coke than a root beer, you may not be wrong. 

The two soft drinks contain high amounts of sugar, which adds to the sweeteners to make them very sweet, but coke contains more caffeine and more harmful ingredients than root beer. 

Coca cola, initially produced for medicinal purposes, contains toxic ingredients that can strip away tooth enamel and remove varnish from a wood floor. It also contains a higher acid level than root beer. 

So, even though coke may be more popular, it may not be a better option than root beer.

What Age Can You Drink Root Beer?

Root beer can be drunk by people of different ages, including kids and adults. As it contains very low amounts of alcohol, it can not harm kids even when taken in large quantities. Due to its high sugar content, kids and adults should drink it moderately to avoid long-term negative effects.

Low Sugar Root Beer

Low-sugar root beers contain lower amounts of sugar. They usually have a carbohydrate content of between 14 – 24g. Some low-sugar root beers include Gus Root Beer and Demi Doux Low Sugar Root Beer.

Beverage companies also produce zero sugar root beers which contain no carbohydrates. Some of these root beers are A&W zero sugar root beer and Virgil’s zero sugar root beer.

Is Root Beer Kosher?

Is Root Beer Kosher?
Is Root Beer Kosher?

Root beer is kosher if it conforms to the Jewish dietary laws known as kashrut. A popular kosher law is that only land animals that eat grass can be eaten or used to make food. Most ingredients in making sodas follow kosher rules; however, not all sodas are kosher

Most root beers are kosher, including A&W root beer, Dad’s root beer, Barq’s root beer, Rochester root beer, and Saranac root beer. Only root beers with ingredients complying with the kashrut are kosher.

Is Root Beer Low-Fodmap?

Low-Fodmap diets help people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). People with IBS suffer from digestive issues, and FODMAP is an acronym for short-chain carbohydrates that cause these issues.

Root beer has not been tested yet for its fodmap level, so it could be high or low fodmap. It is important to taste the root beer in small portions before having a drink full to check its effect. This should only be done when all symptoms have dissipated.

Is Root Beer Really Bad For You?

Root beer contains high amounts of sugar, and consistent consumption of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) used in manufacturing several root beers can lead to diabetes and obesity. But root beer is not more dangerous than the regular soft drink. In fact, root beer is less dangerous than most soft drinks.

When taken moderately or made with natural ingredients at home, root beer is not likely to cause any serious problems to your health.

Is Root Beer Bad For Your Kidneys?

Sodas are bad for kidneys when they are drunk excessively. Drinking sodas every day increases your risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD). Hence, while root beer is a safer soda because it contains fewer acids, it should be taken moderately to avoid severe health problems.

Can You Drink Root Beer With Kidney Disease?

Can You Drink Root Beer With Kidney Disease?
Can You Drink Root Beer With Kidney Disease?

Drinks with phosphoric acid such as all colas, Dr Pepper, and bottled iced tea are bad for people suffering from kidney disease. But most root beers contain little or no phosphoric acid and are not bad for your kidneys. 

If you’re suffering from kidney disease but can not drop your soda habit, you should double-check the root beer ingredients to make sure there is no phosphoric acid in that brand.

Can Dialysis Patients Drink Root Beer?

Dialysis patients should drink mostly water and drinks with no phosphorus acid. Root beer has little or no phosphorus acid; hence, dialysis patients can drink root beer.

Can You Drink Root Beer on a Renal Diet?

People with chronic kidney disease should avoid drinking phosphorus as it creates bone problems. Root beer hardly contains phosphoric acid and can be drunk on a renal diet. But it should be taken moderately.

Can You Drink Diet Root Beer on Keto?

Root beer should not be drunk on keto as it contains high amounts of carbohydrates. Ketosis only allows drinks low in carbohydrates, such as diet coke and Pepsi.

Can You Drink Root Beer With Diverticulitis?

Can You Drink Root Beer With Diverticulitis?
Can You Drink Root Beer With Diverticulitis?

A diverticulitis diet includes foods that do not make your intestines work too hard while you have diverticulitis. Only a clear liquid diet is allowed when you are with diverticulitis, and root beer is not in that category. Therefore, you can not drink root beer with diverticulitis.

Can You Drink Root Beer on a Clear Liquid Diet?

Clear liquid diets involve clear liquids, such as water and broth, that are easily digested and leave no residues in your intestinal tract. Root beer is not a clear liquid and should not be drunk on a clear liquid diet.

Can Root Beer Cause Headaches?

Root beer may give you headaches if you are allergic to an ingredient used in manufacturing root beer, but there is no evidence to suggest that root beer causes headaches.

Can Root Beer Cause Cancer?

Caramel color, one of the additives in root beer, exposes consumers to 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), which is listed as a causative agent for cancer. 4-MEI is said to cause cancer upon frequent intake in large quantities. 

However, the food and drug administration researched and found no short-term or immediate negative effects attached to 4-MEI.

Can Root Beer Cause High Blood Pressure?

There are different studies on this subject, with the majority suggesting that sugary drinks increase your blood pressure. But most studies agree that root beer can not cause high blood pressure when taken moderately. 

Can Root Beer Cause Heartburn?

Sodas are carbonated and contain acids that irritate the stomach lining; hence, they increase your chances of having acid reflux and heartburn. Root beer floats also contain dairy, increasing the acid reflux risk.

Can Root Beer Cause Gout?

Sugary drinks contain significant amounts of fructose. Intake of fructose increases uric acid levels in the body, increasing the risk of gout. Therefore, root beer can cause gout when taken excessively.


Root beer is good for you when taken moderately. Most root beers are gluten-free, caffeine-free, dairy-free, and halal. It is also a more healthy option compared to other varieties of soda out there. 

Consider the health risks of consuming excess root beer before indulging, as it may increase the risk of having severe health defects, including gout, heartburn, high blood pressure, and cancer.

Finally, make sure to have a terrific root beer drinking experience!