DyeDiet Calculator: Limeade vs Gatorade comparison

July 16, 2013 |

Why Limeade is bad

Limeade Sparkling Cherry was earlier recognized as chemically polluted water. Indeed, despite it says on the label: “All Natural; Calorie free,” the only ingredient your body can make use of is water. But addition of 8 chemicals, makes the water denatured. Moreover, from the 8 chemicals 5 are potentially dangerous (given in red color in the table) thus making the whole drink a dangerous technical fluid. Accordingly, the Dye Diet Calculator estimates Health Risk (HR) = 19 (Unacceptably high) and Nutritional Value (NV) = 0.04 (Unacceptably low).

DyeDiet result for Limeade

DyeDiet result for Limeade

In this regard relatively high Yellow C- rank assigned to the Limeade by Fooducate is eyebrow raising. Let’s take a look at the ratings and ingredients.

Table. Limeade vs Gatorade: Ratings and Ingredients

LIMEADE Sparkling Cherry

Zero calorie

Vintage Naturally Flavored Beverage cherry limeade

Zero calorie

Gatorade G2 Mixed Berry

30 calories

Water + 8 chemicals

Water + 10 chemicals

Water + 7 chemicals + Sugar

Fooducate:     Yellow C- Fooducate:     Yellow C

Yellow C-

ShopWell:      Not found ShopWell:      Yellow 47

Not found

DyeDiet: HR = 19; NV = 0.04 DyeDiet: HR = 19; NV = 0.04

DyeDiet: HR = 3.75; NV = 0.12

Carbonated water

Filtered Water


Citric acid

Citric Acid

Citric acid

Potassium benzoate

Potassium Benzoate

Natural Flavor

Natural Flavor

Natural flavor

Potassium citrate

Potassium Citrate

Sodium citrate

Sodium Hexametaphosphate

Monopotassium phosphate

Potassium Sorbate





Acesulfame Potassium

Acesulfame Potassium

Acesulfame Potassium

Calcium Disodium EDTA

Calcium Disodium EDTA

Red 40

Red 40


What is so good about Limeade Sparkling Cherry from Fooducate’s viewpoint? Well, according to the Fooducate’s own results – nothing:

  • Contains controversial artificial sweeteners

    Fooducate rating of Limeade

    Fooducate rating of Limeade

  • Contains controversial artificial colors
  • Has EDTA; on FDA’s toxicity watch list.

How these three warnings justify assigning descent Yellow C- rating to a liquid with no other nutrients than water? Ask Fooducate. Applying for third opinion to ShopWell gave no results on this particular product.

Another version of Limeade, Vintage Naturally Flavored Beverage cherry limeade is only different in addition of two relatively non-toxic non-nutrients: Sodium hexametaphosphate and Potassium sorbate preservatives. So it is now water + 10 chemicals. This time, Fooducate rating while still questionably high, Yellow C, is at least consistent with the small change. ShopWell assigns similarly high score of Yellow 47 based on mere “low calorie, low fat  and low sodium” arguments. From the other hand, Dye Diet calculation gives you the same HR = 19 and tiny lower NV = 0.036 which, of course was rounded to NV = 0.04. Obviously, both Limeades are very poor choices.

Why Gatorade G2 is better but still bad

Fooducate rating of Gatorade G2

Fooducate rating of Gatorade G2

In comparison with the above Limeades, Gatorade G2 Mixed Berry is a big improvement: It is water + only 7 chemicals, minus 3 potentially dangerous food additives: No potassium benzoate, no EDTA and no artificial color Red 40. Surprisingly, removal of 3 nasty chemicals and addition of 1 nutrient (sugar) have produced no effect on Fooducate rating! It’s still Yellow C-. I am puzzled why? This is misleading. Which criteria and how Fooducate applies to decide about its ratings? The DyeDiet Calculator indicates that health risk is now lower, but still high, HR = 3.75 and nutritional value is higher, but still too low: NV = 0.12 (you need to introduce product name into the calculator to see results). Such a wasteful beverage, while less toxic, still cannot be recommended for consumption by human beings. Also, please read latest reports on adverse health effects of drinking diet sodas.  Obviously, homemade limeade is the best healthy alternative. ShopWell search for Gatorade G2 Mixed Berry has left us with no results again.

So what we have learned today is as follows:

  • Fooducate may not distinguish between products with quite different sets of ingredients;
  • ShopWell may be lacking information;
  • DyeDiet Calculator offers results that correlate with number and nature of food ingredients.

Again, as I have reported earlier, although Food Rating Systems other than the DyeDiet Calculator are of certain use and may provide valuable guidance to consumers, in the same time they are often subjective and unreliable. Because of their very design, systems like Fooducate and ShopWell commonly give the consumers controversial and highly confusing food ratings.

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Category: American diet, Dye Diet Calculator, Food and Risk, Soft drinks

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