New and improved Propel? I think not...

>> Thursday, March 12, 2009

I have an admission to make - my family likes Propel Fitness Water. A lot. It's my drink of choice when I work out, and my kids even get to enjoy a bottle together more frequently than they probably should. For those of you that don't know about Propel, it's a sports drink. It has sugar in it, but in significantly lower quantities than Gatorade and most of the other sports drinks. The remaining sweetness is provided by sucralose, which doesn't give me any warm fuzzies, but what can I say? Propel is a vice of mine that I am loathe to give up.

Old Propel - HFCS free

A savvy reader (thanks, Michael Grier) alerted me to the fact that Propel Fitness Water has reformulated their drink to include HFCS. WHAT?!? This move baffles me. Why would they switch to a formulation that includes HFCS at a time when more and more companies are proudly proclaiming that they are HFCS free? Yes, HFCS is cheap, and I suspect that is what drives their formulation, but they are missing what seems to be an effective marketing device by adding HFCS instead of touting a HFCS-free product. Whatever their reasoning for the switch, I think it stinks!

Reformulated Propel has HFCS! Boo!

The "new and improved" (sarcasm dripping) ingredient list:


The official Propel website indicates that the change is coming March 31. In the meantime, you can let Propel know what you think about their inclusion of HFCS in the reformulation. And I'll certainly be letting Propel know about their switch with my pocketbook!


Blake March 12, 2009 at 9:41 AM  

That is weird that they would switch to HFCS now. It seems no matter how hard you try, HFCS still comes up everywhere!

VRaz60 March 12, 2009 at 9:45 AM  

What next? Seems odd that Propel would risk the bad publicity this will probably generate. S'pose we'd better stock up now and not wait for the "New & Improved" version. I,too, like Propel after working out, so this is NOT going to make me happy. Thanks for the warning.

Lori March 12, 2009 at 9:47 AM  

Total bummer. I've had it, but stay away from it b/c sucralose makes me feel bad, however, hate to see this change.

I'd love to see "Now with HFCS!" on their label.

jen March 12, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

I don't like Propel but this does seem odd. Maybe it's time to invest in a nice reusable bottle (I like the stainless steel ones) and fill it with your own water and a squeeze of lemon? Or make a really weak batch of a non-sugar drink like Crystal Light if you don't mind the sucralose.

Hanlie March 12, 2009 at 12:23 PM  

With a list of ingredients like that I wouldn't touch it even without HFCS...

laura March 12, 2009 at 1:33 PM  

Hey, we all have vices. Apparently you are no longer in Propel's target market, though :)

Karen March 12, 2009 at 5:21 PM  

Thanks for the head's up. We don't drink Propel often in the winter but in the summer, I love the lemon! (Since we weren't HFCS free last summer and because it's -11 here still, I haven't had to investigate Propel's ingredients yet this year.)
I sent them a note explaining why we won't be stocking up on Propel anymore. Bummer!
(You may or may NOT notice, I've lost the diet Coke avatar. As of Tuesday, I no longer drink soda of any kind. Working on going HFCS-free seems to be leading to a shift in many of our eating habits. Many thanks to you from our healthier family!)

Sagan March 13, 2009 at 9:55 AM  

Lame! HFCS is trying so hard to take over the world.

carla March 13, 2009 at 1:16 PM  

I rely on you to keep me abreast of all this (THANK YOU THANK YOU) and Im off to let them know this woman/mama is NOT happy.


Anonymous March 13, 2009 at 1:31 PM  

can you inform me about what's wrong with sucralose.

I think going HFCS free is a great idea, but are you concerned about increasingly buying products and eating products with sugar? What are your thoughts of splenda?

liz March 13, 2009 at 2:10 PM  

Dang! I love propel also!! I wish that our health wasn't jeopardized so much by food companies who always want the cheaper way to do things!

Anonymous March 14, 2009 at 7:36 AM  

Look at the rest of that label! The "sports drink" is full of all sorts of other crap that no one should be drinking in their water on a regular basis. HFCS is the least of your worries if your downing this garbage on a regular basis.

Unless your running a marathon, you should drink water.

cathy March 14, 2009 at 8:37 AM  

Wow, who knew that this would generate inflammatory comments? For those of you that mentioned the other ingredients in Propel, I have to say that I have nothing but respect for those of you that choose to avoid them. I have conflicting feelings on artificial sweeteners and absolutely understand why people avoid them, but really, the rest of the ingredients don't bother me so much.

Anyway, thanks for all of the comments, as always! It's interesting to hear everyone's thoughts on the subject - even when different from mine.

Tim March 16, 2009 at 12:10 AM  

I just realized this as well. I'm not an amid Propel drinker, but I bought a bottle yesterday (the old bottle) and saw that HFCS was not there.
Today, I went to the store to get a pack and saw the new bottles. It looked cool. I bought them.
I didn't look at the ingredients until I was at home, and was confused.
There are still the old bottles on the shelf, so tomorrow I'm going to go buy all the last ones without the HFCS before they're all out!!

fatfighter March 16, 2009 at 9:55 AM  

That seems like such a strange move. Now, what are you going to drink? :)

Anonymous April 16, 2009 at 2:39 AM  

I buy the little pouches of propel mix that you add to your own water, it does not have HFCS.

Jana Lee Frazier April 30, 2009 at 8:15 AM  

I am upset as well about HFCS but what upsets me more is that in the bottle I am now drinking all the vitamins I relied on to be there are gone except for Vit E!!! Where did the other vitamins go and why? This is the black cherry version. I hope that they don't restrict certain vitamins to certain flavors--I want and need them all.

Anonymous October 12, 2009 at 3:53 PM  

When Propel made this change, I unawarely bought a case and drank one before I noticed something was drastically wrong. Ended up emailing propel saying they ruined a great product and I was stuck with a case of it, also added for them not to contact me. They ended up contacting me anyway and sending $40 of full value coupons to me. I still refused to give them any money until today....

Propel was on sale for a case and I decided to check the ingredients for old time sake. What is this... the second ingredient is now SUGAR? Yep that is right. Maybe they took my advice? Anyways, I bought the case and it does tastes similar to how it used to, prior to the whole HFCS stint that ruined the taste. Sales must've gone down drastically or something.

Anonymous January 13, 2013 at 7:35 AM  

Good thinking...I'm with you!

Anonymous January 13, 2013 at 7:40 AM  

It's a neurotoxin. It can damage organs and cause cancer and no better than aspartame. Nothing is good about it. Try using stevia. It is made from the stevia plant.

harry sachs March 28, 2016 at 6:11 PM  

The packets are terrible. I was drinking them because the nutrition label said no sugar. After drinking several glasses and blod sugar was still high i re read the label and in the ingrediants it says sugar. Not sure how or why they would do that.

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