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Cirkul Review: Does It Make Water Healthier?

Cirkul Review: Does It Make Water Healthier?


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Cirkul makes water-related products intended to make drinking water easier. They sell portable water bottles and various functional water flavoring packets.

In this article we’ll review all of Cirkul’s products based on medical research to determine if any of them are worth the money, or if you should just stick to regular tap water.

Cirkul Bottle Review

Cirkul sells both plastic and stainless steel bottles. They advertise that their plastic bottles are “BPA-free”, but as we outlined in our article about what bpa free means, this designation isn’t actually safer.

Companies may simply include other plasticizing chemicals like bisphenol S (BPS) in their BPA-free packaging, and these BPA replacement chemicals are shown in medical research to be just as estrogenic as BPA.

We recommend the Cirkul stainless steel bottles only, and recommend avoiding plastic bottles.

The price of $35 for a stainless steel bottle is relatively high. Amazon has some stainless steel bottles for around half that price, so it may be worth shopping around if price is a concern.

Cirkul LifeSip Review

Cirkul LifeSip ingredients list

One of the categories of powdered flavoring packets sold by Cirkul is called “LifeSip” and is advertised as their option for “health-centric sippers.”

We would disagree that these products are healthy.

Cirkul advertises how LifeSip packets contain “essential B vitamins” but they contain these vitamins in comically insignificant amounts. As an example, the packets contain 0.1 micrograms (mcg) of Vitamin B12.

One single egg contains over 0.5 mcg of Vitamin B12 according to the USDA, so a small serving of 3 eggs would provide around 1500% of the Vitamin B12 as in Cirkul LifeSip.

These packets also contain citric acid, which is naturally-occuring in citrus fruits like lemons, but when used as a food additive is manufactured from mold. A medical review of case reports related to inflammation from citric acid ingestion details how 99% of the world’s production of manufactured citric acid is generated from a mutant strain of black mold.

This ingredient isn’t likely to cause harm in most patients, but out of an abundance of safety we recommend avoiding it because it has no nutritive benefit and clearly some level of risk.

Cirkul LifeSip also contains two separate preservatives: sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate. Medical research has shown that preservatives may cause negative metabolic effects, and even though these two preservatives are relatively safe, we recommend avoiding products with preservatives entirely.

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener in LifeSip, and regular consumption of this ingredient in healthy adults has been shown in a clinical trial to cause insulin dysregulation.

LifeSip also contains natural flavors, which is an ingredient category we recommend avoiding as we’ve discussed extensively in previous reviews. Unless the manufacturer lists the chemicals used for the flavoring agents, there is no way for consumers (or researchers like us) to determine if these natural flavors are safe and non-toxic.

Overall we find these packets to be essentially processed garbage and we do not recommend them.

Yes, they’re likely healthier than having a soda, but they’re full of questionable filler ingredients and we would recommend avoiding them entirely.

Cirkul FitSip Review

Cirkul FitSip has a very similar formulation to LifeSip, so we’ll avoid repeating our analysis of duplicated ingredients such as the preservatives.

The main advertised difference is that FitSip “contains electrolytes to help keep you in the game”.

As we mentioned in our review of the popular Liquid IV hydration powder packets, there isn’t really a documented clinical benefit for regular people to drink added electrolytes in their water. In any case, the amount of electrolytes is quite low in FitSip.

The packets contain 35 milligrams (mg) of potassium, which is less than 10% of that in one single banana. They also contain 50 mg of sodium or 2% of the amount in one teaspoon of table salt.

We don’t recommend this product and don’t feel as though it serves any functional purpose. For consumers who absolutely can’t stand the taste of regular water, we suppose it may be superior to alternative options like sugary sports nutrition drinks, but we definitely don’t feel like there’s any research suggesting this product provides specific health or performance benefits.

Cirkul GoSip Review

The branding around GoSip involves its caffeine content: 30 mg per packet.

This is unlikely to give any adult a “caffeinated kick” as Cirkul suggests, given that it’s less than a third of the caffeine content of one cup of coffee.

We can’t find any medical research suggesting this low of a dose of caffeine provides any nootropic or performance benefits in adults, and Cirkul doesn’t publish or link to any relevant studies, so we will consider this an ineffective dosage.

This product contains other stimulant compounds such as guarana extract and panax ginseng extract, but doesn’t publish the dose of these ingredients so there is no way to determine whether they’re effectively dosed or not.

It’s an ethical red flag when a company is adding stimulant ingredients to a formulation without listing the dose of those ingredients. This is unsafe for consumers. Based on the low caffeine dose we find it unlikely that these stimulant ingredients are included in dangerous doses, but it’s important that this information is provided to consumers nonetheless.

We don’t recommend this product for the same reasons as their other products.

Cirkul PureSip

These packets appear to have the best formulation from a health perspective when compared to their other offerings.

PureSip has no artificial sweeteners, but still contains citric acid, natural flavors and preservatives.

For consumers set on purchasing Cirkul water flavoring packets, we’d recommend PureSip over the other three options, due to the lack of artificial sweeteners. However we don’t recommend this product in general.

Healthier Alternatives

For consumers looking for an electrolyte packet product, we’d recommend LMNT over any of Cirkul’s offerings. We have no affiliation with the LMNT brand nor do we receive any compensation for recommending them. We recently reviewed them and found their formulation to be safe and free of questionable additives.

Consumers who are open to naturally-flavored drinks may want to consider products like coconut water or cactus water which have a naturally sweet but mild taste and are whole foods with significant levels of nutrients. 

Look for products without any ingredients other than the fruit; so for a coconut water product the only ingredient should be coconut water.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

It’s great that companies are trying to be innovative in helping consumers drink more water, but we find Cirkul’s consumable product offerings to be poorly formulated and relatively unhealthy.

Their stainless steel bottle is fine, but seems overpriced.

We don’t recommend any of Cirkul’s powdered beverage mix packs because they all contain questionable additive ingredients. Drinking plain tap or filtered water would likely be superior from a health perspective, and save you money.

For consumers who are working on improving their hydration but dislike the taste of plain water, we recommend trying naturally-flavored products like coconut water or cactus water. These are not only free of questionable additives but provide significant nutritional benefit.





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