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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student


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The ugly truth about Bubbl’r, Knox’s recent sip du jour


Before I begin, I want to mention that I am aware that I have written two articles in a row about sparkling water. While I am not solely on the fizzy beverage beat, my attention has been pulled to an emerging local news story that made writing this article unavoidable. Discarded throughout campus, I have noticed an increasingly-disturbing number of thin, matte, and colorful aluminum cans. During Zoom classes, I have noticed a growing contingent of students sipping from these same cans, their eyes growing in size with each lustful pull. What are these drinks that have befallen our campus, why has their rise to fame been so swift, and should we be worried?

If you aren’t already familiar, this beverage is called Bubbl’r and can be found in the drinks section of the cafeteria. Described on their website as “bubbles with benefits,” these sparkling beverages contain antioxidants, vitamins, and as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. This potent blend is purported to “boost, energize, and restore balance.” Based on the fiendish relationship that some Bubbl’r-imbibing friends have with the drink, they must be doing something right. Being an off-board student, I had yet to try this new it-drink on campus. As a service to this column and the greater good of the campus community, I must report on this drink and give my earnest opinion.

After making a swift and silent deal with an on-board student in a dark corner of the Post patio, I went to my off-campus apartment and cracked open the three flavors: Cherry Guava Blend’r, Lemon Lime Twist’r, and the Twisted Elix’r.

At first sip, Cherry Guava is equally intriguing and repulsive. Syrupy jolly rancher notes are met with harsh vegetal flavors (is that banana peel that I’m tasting?) However, there is something to the Flintstone-esque bitterness from the various vitamins and supplemental ingredients that actually helps counter the sweetness of the cherry, and begs you to continue drinking. 

Compared to the vibrant pink of the Cherry Guava, the color of Lemon Lime Twist’r is a muted grey/green haze, similar perhaps to isolated whey or the bathwater from a well-used tub. Despite being remarkably juicy and bold on the front end, the flavors of Lemon Lime drop instantly and slide down your throat in a hurry. Yet, similar to Cherry Guava is an inexplicable urge to continue drinking. 

Twisted Elix’r is perhaps most potent of the three flavors. By this point in the tasting, I had already become accustomed to the tantalizing half-sweet nature of these drinks. Somehow, Bubbl’r has struck a balance between holistic super juice and metallic rocketfuel, and you want to keep sipping. 

I had to cut myself off, however. While taste is important, I have a final element of this drink that I had to investigate. One of the claims of Bubbl’r is that it has zero grams of sugar, without having to rely on artificial sweeteners. How does achieve this level of sorcery, you may ask? The makers of Bubbl’r rely on a sugar alcohol called erythritol to give their drinks their essential juicy-sweetness. 

I have an unsettling finding to report regarding the side effects of consuming erythritol. Erythritol doesn’t get digested by the body, which is how it is able to impart sweetness on the tongue while still being virtually zero-calorie. Yet, because it is not digested, erythritol causes significant bloating, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues when it reaches the lower intestines. This is not to say that a Bubbl’r every once and a while won’t hurt you, but considering the cult-like obsession that this drink imparts on its fan base, there are some concerning implications: As you are reading this, dozens and dozens of students are walking around the halls of our campus with undigested erythritol bumping around in their colons. Just as students are gearing up for all nighters and final exams, the caffeinated drink of choice on campus is also a fortified laxative. 

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  • A

    All that glitters is not goldJan 22, 2024 at 10:21 am

    There is nothing healthy about Bubbl’r. Synthetic vitamins, particularly those that are fat-soluble (like vitamin A in Bubbl’r) can actually be harmful. You should get your vitamins from real food. Bubbl’r is sweetened with Erythritol. New research links it to cardiovascular disease.

  • A

    ashlynDec 28, 2023 at 11:38 pm

    You obviously haven’t tried all the flavors and know nothing about the true qualities of Bubblers. Not a great article and also not true!

  • C

    ChuckDec 23, 2023 at 1:45 pm

    Bubble R hels with consentration and getting jobs done. It gives enough energy to get tasks done.
    It also helps yu concentrate when playing golf and I have convinced many freinds to try it and they agree it lowers their score.

  • C

    Chuck MDec 23, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    Drinking it out of a can it’s a little too carbonated. Vent it off buy pouring it in a glass to release some of the carbination makes it far less gassy and easier to drink.

  • K

    KimOct 19, 2023 at 9:22 pm

    No different than students drinking soda all day long or Red Bull. They don’t seem to be aware.

  • T

    Tr pageJul 16, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    From the mouths of babies. Great column!

  • T

    Tr pageJul 16, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    From the mouths of babies. Great column!

  • R

    RussMay 5, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    Drink 4 or 5 in one day and see what happens, you’ll end up levitating from the force of violent Dookie hurling out of your rear.

  • P

    PeachMay 3, 2023 at 11:36 pm

    So… from a few quick google searches it seems that each Bubbl’r contains only 7g of erythritol and the amount considered "dangerous" (a.k.a. when risk factors start to appear) for daily consumption is around 50g depending on your body weight. I mean everyone can have their own opinions but this just seems a little far fetched IMO.

    • E

      EllaOct 12, 2023 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks for this! Makes me not so worried about drinking Bubbl’r anymore!

  • K

    KassyApr 18, 2023 at 3:57 am

    I can attest to this. It gives me a stomachache every time I drink it and makes me so bloated. Which makes me sad bc I love the taste & its better than tasting straight carbonation. Bummer!

  • C

    C SchubertJan 18, 2023 at 2:50 am

    Dear Knox and Issac,

    Found your article after I ended up at the doctor after having half a can of Bubblr. True story. At a luncheon with my 88 yr old mom, we were offered this cute-looking canned drink. What a mistake. Within an hour, I was miserable, and went home with a gut ache that had me on the sofa with a heating pad over my stomach. Up all night thinking I was nearly dying. ( I am a competitive runner and typically really healthy!)
    At the doctor by 9:30 AM the next morning – he pointedly said that he believed the Erythritol in the Bubblr was the culprit.
    From Google the ingredients are:
    Carbonated Water, Erythritol, Citric Acid, Enzyme Modified Stevia Extract, Potassium Benzoate (Preservative), Gum Arabic, Pectin, Caffeine, Sodium Citrate, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Natural Flavor, Glycerol Ester of Wood, Niacinamide, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Guarana Seed Extract, Pyridoxine

    Not only is this not water – in my opinion only, it is chemical soup. Not ever for me again. Next time, I’ll have plain water – perhaps flavored with a slice of lime.

    Drink what you will, but remember, many food and drink products today may not be food at all and our bodies may not like them. Who knows what the long-term effect of ingesting this and other "interesting products" will have on our bodies. I only have one and after this episode, I prefer not to take the risk.

  • K

    KrissyOct 26, 2022 at 2:55 pm

    Me and my sister love this drink but we both have been experiencing bloating, burping, and other gassy symptoms if you can catch my drift (no pun intended). We thought it was the fizz that caused this so we would pour it in a cup and let it fizzle out but I am thankful that I have come across this article as I knew there had to be another reason for the extra gas.

    • H

      HunterJan 10, 2023 at 4:05 am

      I drank one today and not even an hour later I was in pain on the toilet

  • G

    GemmaOct 11, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    Tsk tsk. Please don’t attack a thoughtful article trying to offer a perspective that may have credibility. If you don’t agree, instead of attacking it, provide substantial evidence to support your perspective rather than just being persnickety.

    Here is some info on erythritol that may not be the best suited for a human body, no matter your opinion on the topic:

    Credit to Dr. Axe website on the following excerpt from his website on erythritol:


    Risks and Side Effects
    Why is erythritol bad for you, according to some research? Below are the major concerns with sugar alcohols, including erythritol.

    1. Usually Genetically Modified
      The World Health Organization defines genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as “foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism.”

    Although there are non-GMO varieties available, much of the erythritol used in foods and beverages today is derived from cornstarch from genetically modified corn.

    While this is still a controversial topic with ongoing research, animal studies have linked consumption of GMOs with potential problems, such as:

    immune problems
    accelerated aging
    faulty insulin regulation
    changes in major organs and gastrointestinal system


    The final point being no matter what anyone’s opinion is, it’s always helpful to look for facts on any subject before condemning someone who wrote a thoughtful article about a point of concern. If you can’t provide any facts to back up your arrogance, do us all a favor and keep it to yourself, Chelsea.

  • Y

    YourMomsFriendOct 6, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    I have IBS and yet, haven’t had the above mentioned issues from having one BUBBLR per day. Obviously I see the concerns, but if your trying to kick soda/pop and looking for a way to improve your consumption of carbonated drinks then this is a good alternative. Also, consider most other options lack any helpful ingredients- at least BUBBLR does have a list of several beneficial vitamins. It is always best to educate yourself on artificial sweeteners, but always remember everyone has there own likes/dislikes. All of the BUBBLR drinks are always sold out in my city, so that says a lot. Peace and love and BUBBLR 😉

  • L

    Liza StevensMay 14, 2022 at 6:40 pm

    It’s better than the alternative horrifically modified, chemical-ridden, heart-attack-inducing selections of the rest of the energy drink market like Red Bull, Bucked Up and Monster.

  • S

    Stephen P ClarkMar 12, 2022 at 12:26 am

    HA!! OK, I date from Class of ‘71 (yeah, there’re some of us still this side of the turf!) and got wind of Bubbl’r from a part-timer (like me) where I work today. We were sitting in the break room eating lunch, she asked what I was drinking.

    I’m very fond of citrus flavors and have no sweet tooth left after a life addicted to CocaCola. HFCS being the bane of caloric sweeteners I’ve managed finally to kick my habit in favor of the brand of tonic water sold under the Fever Tree label.

    Of course a healthy splash of Tanquerey helps but that’s frowned upon while at work so the raw stuff’s fine with lunch.

    I offered her a bit in a plastic cup, my co-worker curled her lips, left the rest behind then asked me whether I’d encountered Bubbl’r yet.

    Google brought me this review so I’m adding my $0.02 comment with the caveat I’m no fan of bloating or worse so I think I’ll leave my personal share of Bubbl’r to the Knox classes now inhabiting the quad & environs.

    Good luck to y’all in your not-so-trivial pursuit of an education and sustainable refreshments as needed.

    SP Clark
    Knox ‘71

  • C

    ChelseaFeb 27, 2022 at 1:35 am

    this is a completely false narrative. I am so offended by the attacks you have made on bubbl’r. Where would i be without it? thats a question i ask myself everyday. I think that YOU are trying to trick us, and undermine our love for bubbl’r. I cannot stand to read this absolute garbage. It is so untrue and completely misleading. There is joy enough erithrtyol in bubbl’r to cause digestion problems, and you, somehow seemed to miss this. You are the problem. Now go back to your little anti bubbl’r household and drink your stupid little knock off la croix while i am sipping on the most delicious, healthy, bubbling drink of the century.

    xoxo gossip girl