Is Propel Water Good for Losing Weight? 1 Ingredient Causes Weight Loss

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan | Updated on 2 December 2022

A guy is asking himself "Is Propel Water good for losing weight?" while sitting in his room that has a purple light on the wall behind him and he's holding a blue and green Propel bottle in his left hand.

Is Propel Water good for losing weight, or is it just another sugary sports drink?

In all reality, Propel is a solid choice for weight loss because of the 1 ingredient that causes weight loss, or more so, the artificial sweeteners in Propel allow it to taste delicious, while keeping the calories low. 

So for those who despise water, or simply want a flavored drink every now and then, it’s a great alternative that packs a fair share of vitamins and electrolytes too.

However, a small percentage of the population has adverse reactions to these sweeteners so fully understanding the nutrient profile or Propel, if it’s okay to drink instead of water, and how many Propels you can drink per day is imperative to make an informed decision on whether or not you should drink Propel to lose weight. 

Is Propel Water Good for Losing Weight?

Propel water is often advertised as a healthy way to help with weight loss, but is it really effective?  The main benefit of Propel Water is that it contains no calories, so it can help a person cut down on their overall calorie intake for the day. 

A man with spiked, blonde hair is sitting in his car holding up a red propel bottle.

In addition, Propel Water also has no carbs, so it’s a great option for people following a ketogenic diet. Propel Water can help people who are working out, training for marathons, and other sports stay hydrated without kicking them out of ketosis.

Overall, Propel Water is a great option if someone is looking for a calorie-free way to quench their thirst. It’s also a good choice if they are trying to cut down on sugary drinks but still crave something sweet.

Why is Propel Water Good for Losing Weight?

There are a few reasons why drinking Propel Water is a great place to start for those thinking about how to jump start weight loss.

Propel is Low in Calories

The main reason that Propel Water can help with weight loss is that it contains zero calories. For people wondering how to get skinny fast, swapping out their regular sugary drinks for Propel can make a big difference.

Propel Has No Carbs

Propel water is also carb-free, which makes it a great choice for people following a ketogenic diet. Staying hydrated is important when following a keto diet, but many drinks (including regular water) can kick a person out of ketosis.

Since Propel has no carbs, it’s a great way for people to stay hydrated without sacrificing their ketosis. However, keep in mind that Propel Powder, a separate product from Propel Water, does not work on the ketogenic diet.

Propel Powder packets are formulated differently than Propel Water, being sweetened using maltodextrin. Unfortunately, maltodextrin has been shown to have a significant impact on blood sugar levels, different from the sucralose and acesulfame potassium in standard Propel Water.1

Propel is a Great Soda Substitute & Doesn’t Spike Insulin Unlike Sugary Beverages

If someone is trying to lose weight, it’s important to avoid sugary beverages that can spike their insulin levels and increase their appetite. This is part of one of the 3 steps to lose weight – cutting out sugary drinks.

Propel Water is a great alternative to sugary drinks because it is made with the aforementioned non-nutritive sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

There is some debate in the nutrition community about how these sweeteners affect a person’s gut microbiome and how they digest food, including a bit of evidence suggesting that sucralose causes an increase in peak glucose concentration in the body in people who do not consume non-nutritive sweeteners.2

This means that sucralose potentially has a glycemic impact, but, because there is not a large body of evidence that suggests this is the case, it is difficult to conclusively say what is the truth. For now, it is safe to assume that sweeteners like sucralose and acesulfame potassium, when consumed in small quantities, are not problematic for the body.

Is It Okay To Drink Propel Instead of Water?

Technically, it is okay to drink Propel instead of regular water, but not all of the time.

Propel Water, according to their website, is an enhanced electrolyte drink that is packed with a litany of electrolytes to help people power through their workouts and replace what is lost in sweat. Their target audience is clearly avid bodybuilders and runners, among other groups, who sweat quite excessively and need to stay hydrated.

A black man with an afro and beard is sitting in his car drinking out of a clear and green Propel bottle.

Water, on the other hand, is required to survive; research suggests that a daily water intake of 2.7 liters for women and 3.7 liters is more than enough to meet the needs of varying jobs and varying levels of physical activity.3

Considering the vast majority of a human’s body weight is made up of water, this makes sense; a body needs water to replenish any water lost in sweat or other forms of excretion.

That being said, while a person could drink Propel instead of water, it is inadvisable. Consuming water offers the benefit of having minimal additives, which can quickly be transitioned into usable water by the human body.

Propel, on the other hand, has additives like sweeteners and colorants; these things force the body to take more time to process and ‘use’ the water in the ways that it needs.

So, to sum it up, Propel is okay to drink every once in a while – perhaps before, during, and after a workout – but using it as a liquid of choice every day is not recommended.

How Many Propels Can You Drink Per Day?

There is not much research out there discussing how many sports drinks a person can drink in a day, so the only thing to do here is to break down the nutrition facts of Propel Water to determine, the old-fashioned way, if it can theoretically be dangerous to drink too many Propels in a day.

Considering it is non-nutritive, though, for people wondering “is Propel Water good for losing weight?”, the answer is yes.

According to Nutrition Value, a website that compiles various nutritional values, Propel Water contains the following nutrients and vitamins:4

  • Calories: 0
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrate: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Potassium: 40mg
  • Sodium: 158mg
  • Niacin: 7mg
  • Pantothenic Acid: 4mg
  • Vitamin B6: .7mg
  • Vitamin C: 18mg

To understand what these different numbers mean, taking a look at the current research discussing viable upper-limit intakes of these nutrients is important.

Potassium

According to a 2005 Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) Report, there is no upper limit on potassium intake, with short-term supplementation of up to 2500mg per day on top of a standard diet not seeming to affect healthy participants.5

This means that there should not be a concern about having too much potassium from consuming multiple Propels.

Sodium

In the same report, the committee also concurred based on existing evidence that they could not establish an upper level of sodium intake due to a variety of factors. There were some individuals who, after ingesting extremely high amounts of sodium, had severe adverse effects, even death; others who ingested similar amounts had no problematic effects.

Without a specific level of sodium consumption, they concluded that for healthy individuals, there is no limit to sodium intake; this assumes that these ‘healthy’ individuals are exercising and sweating. So, in this case, sodium is not a factor that needs to be worried about.

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

According to Harvard, the Tolerable Upper Intake Level, the maximum daily intake, for niacin is 35 milligrams.6 However, for individuals who work out frequently, this limit may not actually be a limit.

While there isn’t an ample body of research that exists around niacin, anyone who has existed in the bodybuilding community for a while has heard of ‘flushers’, people who consume large amounts of niacin to increase blood flow and circulation. These flushers consume niacin in amounts of over 3000 milligrams at times, all while not having adverse effects.

This could be bro science, or niacin in healthy individuals really may not be problematic; it is up to the individual to determine which is the case. That being said, sticking strictly with the recommended UL intake, drinking five Propels would bring a person to the ‘max’ amount of safely consumable niacin.

Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)

Similar to potassium and sodium, there does not seem to be an upper level of pantothenic acid consumption since there are no reports of toxicity in humans when consuming large amounts. 

While there is evidence that people who take exceedingly large doses, upwards of 10 grams or 10000 milligrams per day, can become bloated or develop diarrhea, it is nearly impossible to drink enough Propel to get anywhere near this amount.7

Vitamin B6

Unlike the other B vitamins on this list, Vitamin B6 does have a verifiable upper limit: for adults, it is 100 milligrams. Overconsumption of Vitamin B6 can lead to severe nerve damage, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.8

Luckily, a person would need to consume more than 100 Propel Waters in a day to hit this limit, so there shouldn’t be any concern here.

Vitamin C

Information that also comes from the Office of Dietary Supplements says that there is an upper limit of 2000 milligrams of Vitamin C per day.9

This is a similar situation to Vitamin B6; someone would need to consume far more than 100 Propel Waters to hit this limit, considering there are only 18 milligrams per bottle, so there is no worry here.

Using the information above, an answer to the question “is Propel Water good for losing weight” can easily be answered: yes, it is good for losing weight because it has no calories, and it can be consumed in large amounts safely.

Is Propel Water Good For Working Out? Do Electrolytes in Propel Help With Hydration?

Yes, Propel Water is good for working out because it contains no calories and replaces electrolytes lost through sweat. That being said, the answer to the question “is Propel Water good for losing weight” is yes, Additionally, the Propel line of drinks comes in a variety of flavors, all of which are caffeine-free.

The electrolytes included in Propel Water are potassium and sodium which are extremely vital when thinking about replacing electrolytes lost through sweating. The only place Propel Water could improve would be by including magnesium in its formula; magnesium synergizes quite well with sodium and potassium to fully hydrate individuals.

Considering Propel Water does not contain magnesium, for individuals who sweat excessively or work out frequently, it would be a good idea to supplement with magnesium before, during, or after a workout to hit all of their electrolyte consumption goals.

Is Propel Water Healthy Ingredient & Nutrient Wise?

The ingredients in Propel Water are quite simple and straightforward; purified water, sucralose, citric acid, sodium hexametaphosphate, potassium citrate, and a few other natural flavors.

A person in a blue shirt is holding an monitor of some sort while testing Propel waters ingredients and there's a purple and clear Propel water bottle to his right and a house plant in a blue cup behind him.

From a nutrient standpoint, the only ‘nutrients’ present in Propel Water is potassium and sodium – both of which are important electrolytes for hydration. That being said, aside from those two nutrients, there isn’t much else to mention in terms of nutrition, but, as seen above, Propel Water does contain vitamins and minerals that help maintain a healthy diet.

However, this is not necessarily a bad thing; Propel Water was designed to be a low-calorie beverage that people can drink to hydrate and replace electrolytes lost through sweat. In this regard, Propel Water is quite successful; due to the 1 ingredient that causes weight loss, artificial sweetener, Propel is very successful.

Furthermore, the fact that Propel does not have any added dyes or other artificial ingredients makes it a great choice for those who want a clean sports drink. The only caveat is that some people may question the effect sucralose and maltodextrin have on the gut, but until further research comes out, it is difficult to definitely say that these ingredients are ‘bad’ for a person.

Lastly, for a person who wonders how to stop eating junk food and sugar, because Propel Water is a sweet-tasting sports drink, it may offer a suitable replacement to sugary foods like soda.

Is Propel Keto?

In general, Propel is keto friendly; this YouTube discusses it at length. Bottled Propel Is it Keto Friendly?

As previously mentioned, Propel Water is low in calories and contains no carbohydrates. Furthermore, the only other ingredients are sucralose, citric acid, sodium hexametaphosphate, and potassium citrate, none of which contain any carbohydrates either.

However, for individuals on a strict ketogenic diet, they should be aware that Propel Powder Packs do contain maltodextrin, which as mentioned above, does seem to have an effect on a person’s blood glucose levels. This suggests that Propel Powder Packs are not safe for a person on the keto diet; but, consuming Propel Water bottles should be safe.

Propel Water Alternatives

Propel Water is a great choice for athletes and individuals looking for an alternative to sugary sports drinks. However, if you are looking for an alternative to Propel Water, there are a few brands that offer similar drinks. 

Propel Alternatives: Water Flavor Packets

Water flavor packets are an excellent alternative to Propel Water. There are literally dozens of different brands of water packets on the market, with some of the most popular being True Lemon, Vital Proteins Hydration, and Welch’s Drink Mix.

True Lemon is a fan favorite because it contains very few ingredients: Crystallized lemon, cane sugar, natural flavor, stevia leaf, and beta-carotene. These ingredients, except for cane sugar, are all shown to not spike blood sugar.

Considering it only has one gram of sugar per serving, though, it could be consumed on a ketogenic diet, but it is very low-calorie and made with clean ingredients. This makes it a top option for someone looking for a low-calorie water sweetener.

Vital Proteins Hydration is also very popular due to the minimal ingredients included in it: citric acid, natural flavors, tapioca dextrose, dipotassium phosphate, and a mixture of stevia leaf and monk fruit extracts.

It contains a litany of vitamins, similar to those in Propel Water, but also contains 5 grams of peptides per serving, making it ideal for people who are considering peptides for weight loss. With the protein also comes increased satiation, making the potential for someone cutting in a 1000 calorie deficit more likely.

Last but not least are Welch’s Water Packets. While a popular option, these are not necessarily as ingredient-friendly as the other options, containing ingredients like maltodextrin and artificial dyes Red 40 and Blue 1. These contain some Vitamin C, so overall, they are less nutritious than other options, but are still tasty for those on a budget.

Propel Water vs Gatorade vs Crystal Light: Which One is Best For Weight Loss?

When it comes to weight loss, the best option is Propel Water. Gatorade contains more calories than Propel and has added sugar, while Crystal Light contains artificial sweeteners, which can cause digestive issues in some people; if a person is wondering “is Mio bad for you”, it contains similar ingredients to Crystal Light, so it may affect a person’s digestive system negatively.

Between standard Gatorade and Crystal Light, Propel Water is superior. It does not contain any calories, contains a litany of vitamins and electrolytes, and has non-nutritive sweeteners like sucralose in it. Gatorade typically contains a large amount of sugar, with Thirst Quencher powder containing over 30 grams of sugar per serving.

Crystal Light can compete with Propel Water on the basis that it only contains 5 calories. However, a packet of Crystal Light only contains 35 milligrams of sodium and no potassium, making it a poor sports drink.

It also contains sweeteners like aspartame and maltodextrin; the former ingredient has been observed to be a chemical carcinogen in rodents, with many people touting the fact that it is correlated with an increased risk of cancer.10 Maltodextrin, as aforementioned, can affect a person’s blood sugar, effectively knocking them out of ketosis.

One drink that does offer competition for Propel Water is Gatorade Zero. It contains extremely similar ingredients to Propel Water – water, citric acid, sodium citrate, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium – and also includes 380mg of sodium and 110mg of potassium per bottle. And for those wondering “is Gatorade Zero good for weight loss”, it is; it contains 0 calories.

This significantly trumps the electrolytes included in Propel, but Gatorade Zero does contain Yellow 6 and glycerol ester of rosin, the latter being a resin used in adhesives and inks. These are some additives many would consider unnecessary for a sports drink, but the electrolytes included in Gatorade Zero are nothing to shy away from.

Propel Water is the ideal choice for weight loss because it is low in calories, contains no sugar, and is full of vitamins. The only caveat is that some people may be sensitive to sucralose and maltodextrin, but otherwise, it is a great option for those looking to lose weight. 

In summary, Propel Water is a great option for those looking to stay hydrated and lose weight. It is low in calories, has no added sugars, and contains a variety of vitamins and electrolytes. It may not be the most inexpensive option, but it is definitely a healthy choice. To answer the question “is Propel Water good for losing weight”, it most definitely is, and that is because of the non-nutritive sweeteners included in it.


References

1Hofman, D., van Buul, V., & Brouns, F. (2016). Nutrition, Health, and Regulatory Aspects of Digestible Maltodextrins. Critical Review of Food Science and Nutrition, 56(12), 2091-2100. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4940893/>

2Pepino, Y., Tiemann, C., Patterson, B., Wice, B., & Klein, S. (2013). Sucralose affects glycemic and hormonal responses to an oral glucose load. Diabetes Care, 36(9), 2530-5. <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23633524/>

3Sawka, M., Cheuvront, S., & Carter, R. (2005). Human Water Needs. Nutrition Reviews, 63(Supplemental 1), S30-S39. <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16028570/>

4Nutrition Value. (2022). Water beverage with electrolytes & vitamins by PROPEL nutrition facts and analysis. Nutritional Value. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from <https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Water_beverage_with_electrolytes_%26_vitamins_by_PROPEL_538820_nutritional_value.html>

5M, O., & M, H. (n.d.). Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium. Dietary Reference Intakes. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK545424/>

6Niacin – Vitamin B3 | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2022). Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from <https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/niacin-vitamin-b3/>

7Pantothenic Acid – Health Professional Fact Sheet. (2021, March 26). NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/PantothenicAcid-HealthProfessional/>

8Vitamin B6 – Consumer. (2021, January 15). NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-Consumer>

9Vitamin C – Health Professional Fact Sheet. (2021, March 26). NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/>

10Landrigan, P., & Straif, K. (n.d.). Aspartame and cancer – new evidence for causation. Environ Health, 20, 42. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8042911/>

About the Author

Nathan

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.