Are Liquid Death Beverages Bad For You? The Devil Is in the Nutrition Facts

Bianca Piazza - Author

Dec. 4 2023, Published 4:55 p.m. ET

Photo of many cans of Liquid Death water
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Though the aluminum tallboy can throw people off, the first Liquid Death product was plain water.
  • The brand's unflavored sparkling water is another healthy option.
  • Liquid Death's flavored sparkling water offerings contain sugar, citric acid, and "natural flavor."
  • Liquid Death's vitamin enhanced iced teas are the highest in sugar, calories, and sodium, making them generally unhealthy.
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With melting skulls, adult film stars, and soul-selling contracts used for marketing, Liquid Death features some of the strangest drink branding we've ever seen.

But Liquid Death isn't just quirky for the hell of it. The brand states: "Our evil mission is to make people laugh and get more of them to drink more healthy beverages more often, all while helping to kill plastic pollution."

Offering beverages in infinitely recyclable aluminum cans (that totally resemble indie beer cans), Liquid Death's #DeathToPlastic campaign educates consumers on the truth: Plastic recycling is no longer profitable, and a majority of plastic waste is sent to landfills.

Anti-plastic education and funding is definitely cool, but what about those health claims? Let's find out if Liquid Death is bad for you.

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Product photo of an eight-pack case of "Slaughter Berry" Liquid Death iced tea
Source: liquiddeath/Instagram

Is Liquid Death bad for you? Let's unpack the "don't be scared, it's just water" tagline.

Overall, Liquid Death's plain water and sparkling water offerings are as good for you as any other water or seltzers on the market; however, not all of the brand's beverages can say the same.

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Co-founder Mike Cessario set out to make water cool when he launched Liquid Death in 2019. And though Cessario — a marketing professional with experience in design and the punk music scene (think the Vans Warped Tour), as per CNBC — hoped his satirical water brand would be a hit, he was shocked to see soccer moms giving their kids tallboys.

Hey, the adult alternative crowd, elementary school kids, and everyone in between needs water.

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So no, the original Liquid Death product isn't bad for you; it's just a can of 100 percent "mountain water."

If you want a fun fact about water, Healthline wrote that human cells begin to shrink without enough water, so make sure you're drinking about 11.5 to 15.5 cups of fluids a day, or whatever your physician recommends.

As for Liquid Death's unflavored sparkling water, that's pretty healthy too! According to WebMD, carbon dioxide-infused water free of added sugar provides hydration, can aid in weight management, and may even improve digestion.

Registered dietician DJ Mazzoni and Illuminate Labs president Calloway Cook actually consider Liquid Death water to be healthier than that of bottled water brands, as plastic bottles may contain harmful bisphenol A (BPA).

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Are Liquid Death's flavored sparkling water products healthy?

In 2022, Liquid Death launched flavored sparkling water products, boasting vulgar names like "Convicted Melon" and "Severed Lime." With 20 calories, 10 milligrams of sodium, and 4 grams of sugar per 19.2-ounce can, these beverages are a healthier alternative to traditional soda and energy drinks.

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Still, Illuminate Labs urges people to avoid added sugars, like the agave nectar in the flavored sparkling waters, as many Americans already consume too much sugar.

Citric acid is another ingredient that concerned Mazzoni and Cook. The flavor enhancer and preservative has been connected to inflammation, as mentioned in a 2018 medical review.

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Then there's the dreaded and vague "natural flavor" ingredient. According to Illuminate Labs, research suggests that "some flavoring compounds and their metabolites may be toxic."

Are Liquid Death's iced tea beverages healthy?

The last category in Liquid Death's catalogue is iced tea. Products like "Dead Billionaire" (once called "Armless Palmer") and "Rest in Peach " contain 30 calories, 15 milligrams of sodium, 6 grams of sugar, and 30 milligrams of caffeine per 19.2-ounce can, making them the brand's least healthy products.

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Sure, black tea has plenty of health benefits. UCLA Health relayed that drinking unsweetened black tea encourages heart health, lessens the risk of stroke, aids in focus, can decrease blood glucose, and may decrease the risk of certain cancers.

But the added sugar and vitamin B enhancement make it a lesser option. Though we typically associate vitamins with good, that's not necessarily the case.

"We haven’t come across any convincing medical evidence that taking vitamins without a deficiency has health benefits," Illuminate Labs wrote.

When it comes to "murdering your thirst," Liquid Death's unflavored beverages are your best bet — though drinking filtered or tap water from a reusable bottle or glass is always more eco-friendly and affordable than drinking bottled or canned water.

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