When you’re following a gluten-free diet, figuring out which foods to eat and avoid is not always easy.

In addition to paying close attention to the foods on your plate, it’s important to select only gluten-free beverages.

Not only are most people unaware of what exactly is in soda, but many are also unsure whether it can be safely enjoyed as part of a gluten-free diet.

This article tells you whether soda contains gluten and how to be sure.

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In North America, most types of soda are gluten-free.

Though the ingredients can vary depending on the brand, soda is usually made from carbonated water, high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, phosphoric acid, caffeine, and added food colorings and flavors (1).

While there’s controversy surrounding the health effects and safety of many of these ingredients, none contain gluten (2).

Currently, most major brands consider their sodas gluten-free, including:

  • Coca-Cola
  • Pepsi
  • Sprite
  • Mountain Dew
  • Fanta
  • Dr. Pepper
  • A&W Root Beer
  • Barq’s
  • Fresca
  • Sunkist
  • 7UP
Summary Most types of soda produced in North America are made from gluten-free ingredients.

Though most major manufacturers consider their sodas to be gluten-free, it’s important to keep in mind that the list above only applies to soda produced in North America.

The specific formulations of sodas produced in other areas can vary, and may or may not be gluten-free.

Generic or store-brand varieties of these popular sodas may also contain a different set of ingredients, which could potentially contain gluten.

Furthermore, some may be produced in facilities that process gluten-containing ingredients, which can lead to cross-contamination (3).

For this reason, it’s important to check the ingredient label of a soft drink carefully before including it on a gluten-free diet.

Summary Generic sodas and soft drinks produced outside of North America may contain gluten. Some may also be produced in facilities that process gluten, which can lead to cross-contamination.

If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it’s best to only purchase products that are certified gluten-free.

These products have passed strict manufacturing and safety regulations to ensure that they’re safe for those who are unable to tolerate gluten (4).

Another easy method to determine whether a soda contains gluten is to check the ingredient label.

Some of the most common ingredients that indicate that a product may contain gluten include:

  • wheat, wheat protein, and wheat starch
  • barley, barley flakes, barley flour, and pearled barley
  • rye
  • malt, malt syrup, malt vinegar, malt extract, and malt flavoring
  • spelt
  • bulgur
  • brewer’s yeast

Still, keep in mind that some sodas may be produced in facilities that also process gluten-containing ingredients, which increases the risk of cross-contamination.

What’s more, certain ingredients on the label may contain gluten, such as dextrin, natural or artificial flavorings, modified food starch, or caramel coloring.

Therefore, if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you may want to consider checking with the manufacturer to ensure its products are completely gluten-free.

Summary Selecting certified gluten-free products is the best way to guarantee that your soda does not contain gluten. You may also want to check the label or contact the manufacturer if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Just because most soda is gluten-free doesn’t mean that it’s healthy.

In fact, studies show that sugar-sweetened beverages may be linked to a higher risk of weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer (5, 6, 7, 8).

Swapping out your soda for healthier, gluten-free alternatives can be incredibly beneficial.

Flavored water, unsweetened iced tea, and seltzer are all excellent options that can help curb cravings for soda while keeping you hydrated.

Kombucha is another great substitute if you’re looking for a fermented, fizzy, and flavorful drink to incorporate into your routine.

Alternatively, try out other healthy, gluten-free drinks like coconut water, lemon water, or herbal teas to help meet your hydration needs.

Summary Though most soda is gluten-free, it’s not necessarily healthy. Switching out your soda for other healthy, gluten-free drinks can be an easy way to help boost your health.

Most major soda brands in North America are gluten-free.

However, store-brand varieties or sodas produced in other areas of the world may use different ingredients or be cross-contaminated.

Opting for certified gluten-free products and enjoying healthier alternatives to soda can help minimize any potential adverse health effects.