Gold Peak Tea, manufactured by Coca-Cola, comes in several flavors, including diet, sweet, unsweetened, green and lemon tea. All are brewed teas designed to be chilled and served as iced tea. The unsweetened and diet versions contain no calories and essentially no nutritional value, while the green, lemon and sweetened varieties have added ingredients that raise the calorie count and nutritional value.
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The sweetened, green tea and lemon tea each contain 80 calories per 8 fluid ounces. serving. All the calories come from carbohydrates. One glass of Gold Peak sweetened, lemon or green tea supplies 4 percent of your daily calorie intake if you follow an average 2,000-calorie a day diet.
A serving of green, lemon or sweetened Gold Peak Tea contains 21 grams of carbohydrate, all from simple sugars. Next to water, sugar is the most abundant ingredient listed on the nutritional label. The front of the bottle includes the fact that Gold Peak Tea is made with “real sugar.” The unsweetened version contains no sweetener, while the diet version contains aspartame, an artificial sweetener approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Gold Peak tea contains two additives: caramel color, which enhances the appearance of the product and phosphoric acid. Caramel color, a water-soluble food colorant, is one of the most widely used food additives in processed foods, according to Food Additives, Phosphoric acid, a weak acid also found in cola products, beer, jams and cheeses, according to Professor Shakhashiri of the University of Wisconsin, adds an acidic, tart taste to processed products. Green tea adds ascorbic acid, to protect the color, according to the nutritional label, and the lemon version contains citric acid for flavoring.
The Gold Peak Tea label states the product is “very low sodium.” A single serving contains only 25 milligrams of sodium, well below the daily recommended American Heart Association limit of 1,500 milligrams per day and also below the 35 milligrams found in a serving of Coca-Cola. High sodium intake can raise blood pressure in susceptible individuals.
Drinking two or more carbonated drinks containing phosphoric acid may increase the risk of kidney disease. While Gold Peak Tea is not carbonated, it does contain phosphoric acid, which may cause kidney changes that increase the risk of developing kidney stones, Professor Shakhashiri warns. Gold Peak Tea contains no nutrients outside of sugar, which, while a good energy source, has no other nutritional value, pediatrician and author William Sears, M.D. explains.