How many calories … in a SoBe Fuerta Passionfruit-Mango beverage?

According to its website, the South Beach Beverage Company (or “SoBe” as they like to call it) makes and markets the best tasting herbally enhanced beverages, “hands-down!” They claim to have designed their “healthy refreshment’ beverages with fun, active people (presumably like us) in mind. Even “South Beach” conjures up images of thin, glamorous, tan people rollerblading and sunbathing in Miami. So, if you’re at the store, what do you reach for? A SoBe drink or a Coke?

How many calories do you think are in a 20 fl. ounce bottle of SoBe Fuerte Passionfruit-Mango drink, containing an exotic blend of guarana, yerba mate and hibiscus? Sounds healthy, right? Take a guess …

(a) 90
(b) 180
(c) 275
(d) 325


Answer: (d) 325

This news is not only shocking but also needs a little explanation. If you’re doing a quick label read, SoBe tells you there is only 130 calories per serving — but note there are 2.5 servings in their signature 20 fl. ounce bottle! Not only do the calories add up fast, but the sugar and sodium skyrocket. Compared to a 20-ounce Coke with 233 calories, SoBe has 92 calories more.And while it has about 25 less mgs of sodium (30mg vs. Coke’s 55mg), it takes an unfortunate lead with a whopping 20 grams more each of sugar and carbohydrates (85g and 84g, respectively) over Coke’s, which has 65g each.

And SoBe and Coke run neck and neck on the amount of high fructose corn syrup: Both list this unhealthy sweetener as their second ingredient right behind filtered (SoBe) or carbonated (Coke) water. With soft drinks’ recent unfavorable news coverage, any close comparison of Sobe to Coke is surely unflattering — although I think we can now safely say that SoBe is included in the article’s mention of “other sugary drinks.”

It’s discouraging to see SoBe tout their drinks as “healthy beverages,” with that falsely pious claim indelibly etched on every bottle. They also market heavily to young people with active lifestyles and their website includes testimonials of how this (influential) demographic integrates SoBe products into their quest for fitness. Apparently, they’re not reading the label closely enough. But if you are, I suggest you reach for one of SoBe’s five SoBe Lean flavors — all of which have no sugar and carbs but carry a bit more sodium than it’s “non-lean” selections. In the end, I’m sticking with the healthiest beverage I know — water!

[Calorie statistics provided by and]

Author by Kristi Anderson