Processed foods and beverages often contain non-nutritional substances that enhance the product in some way, whether it's flavoring, coloring or preserving. Potassium citrate is an additive in soft drinks as well as candies and ice cream. In 1977, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration designated it GRAS (generally recognized as safe).
Potassium citrate background
Potassium citrate is a prescription medicine that reduces the acidity of urine to prevent kidney stones. It is also used as an additive in some sodas as a buffer to reduce and balance sourness. Potassium citrate is made from the mineral potassium and the substance citrate, an acid salt. The sour flavor of citrate helps mask the acidic taste of soda and provides a more pleasant, balanced sour taste.
which drinks contain it
Carbonated soft drinks with a tart citrus flavor may contain potassium citrate. Lemons, limes, tangerines, grapefruits, tangerines, oranges and tangerines are examples of soft drink flavors that may contain potassium citrate. Because sugar substitutes often have less appealing flavors, diet drinks labeled as sugar-free, regardless of flavor, may also contain potassium citrate. If you want to know whether a soft drink contains this additive, check the ingredient list.
kidney stone risk
Scientists studied the impact of drinking soft drinks containing potassium citrate on the risk of kidney stones. Their findings were published in the March 2009 issue of the Journal of Endourology. Researchers tested different sodas for their risk of kidney stones in healthy adults. Results showed that participants who drank soda containing potassium citrate experienced a decrease in uric acid. Elevated uric acid levels can cause gout. However, the authors found no kidney stone risks or benefits from drinking soft drinks containing potassium citrate.
Potassium citrate may cause gastrointestinal upset in people who are sensitive to it. Symptoms include nausea, abdominal discomfort, and loose stools. If you are experiencing side effects due to sensitivity, avoid drinks containing this additive. Because it is a source of potassium, it is not suitable for low-potassium diets with kidney disease.