Crystal Light vs. Kool-Aid: Everything You Need to Know

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Crystal Light and Kool-Aid are the two most common Powdered drink mixes. They’re so popular, in fact, that you may find yourself in a grocery store aisle, wondering whether you should get Crystal Light or Kool-Aid.

You may be curious if there’s any difference between the two products or if they work the same way.

Crystal Light and Kool-Aid both have many wonderful flavors, and they keep you hydrated. After thoroughly reviewing each powdered drink, I’ve created this article to go in-depth and compare Crystal Light vs Kool-Aid. So let’s get on to it!

Crystal Light vs. Kool-Aid

Crystal Light powder mix has low sugar content while still remaining sweet, making it appealing to both adults and kids. Crystal Light also contains caffeine, which provides energy to keep going throughout the day.

Kool-Aid powder is mostly unsweetened, and you’ll have to add sugar yourself. Moreover, It doesn’t contain any caffeine in it.

Crystal Light

Crystal Light

  • Better Taste
  • Has caffeine


  • Without Caffeine

The Full Comparison

Crystal Light and Kool-Aid are inexpensive and easy to make. Both can be found in the same aisle in your local grocery store. So what’s the difference between the two?

Sugar Content

Drinks and food contain sugar. This is a known fact. It’s the amount of sugar in your intake that matters and makes a difference in your diet. This is why the sugar content is a key factor in both products.

Crystal Light

Crystal Light Sugar-Free Fruit Variety On-The-Go Powdered Drink Mix 44 Count

The Crystal Light powder used to enhance your water flavor has zero sugar in it while remaining sweet. This is due to the fact that it contains artificial sweeteners like Aspartame and Sucralose. The manufacturers perfected the taste of the juicy fruits without adding extra sugar to your drink.


A Kool-Aid drink contains at least 15 grams of sugar. Despite the high amount of sugar, some people have to add sugar to sweeten the drink more either for themselves or their kids.

The Takeaway

Crystal Light has the sweetness of fruit juice but none of the sugar that Kool-Aid has, making it the healthier of the two options. Crystal Light may be a good choice if you want to stay hydrated while eating less sugar but still enjoy sweet flavors

Must Read: Top Crystal Light alternatives on the market


If you’re trying to lose weight here’s a quick lesson, you gain weight when you burn fewer calories than those you consume. Staying hydrated is important, but what if your drink makes you gain weight?

Crystal Light

The amount of calories in a Crystal Light pack is significantly low. It contains around 10 calories, give or take, making it a better alternative to sodas.


Kool-Aid Caffeine Free Cherry Sweetened Powdered Drink Mix 12 Count 19 oz Canisters

When it comes to Kool-Aid, each serving contains a minimum amount of almost 30 calories.

The Takeaway

If you’re trying to lose weight, or you don’t want your family members to get chubbier simply from trying to stay hydrated, the go-to option here is Crystal Light.

In addition, you don’t usually add extra sugar to your Crystal Light flavored water, so the kids won’t be jittery or get a sugar rush.


Caffeine has been a great friend to some of us during the toughest of days. Almost 90% of the world’s population consumes caffeine daily in various ways!

Crystal Light

Most Crystal Light flavors, especially the tea ones, contain caffeine. Still, with nearly 10–15 mg of caffeine per serving, it’s not a high percentage.


Most Kool-aid products offer a caffeine-free drink for you and the family.

The Takeaway

Despite Crystal Light’s lower caffeine content, it can still give you a little boost throughout the day, unlike Kool-Aid. If you worry that caffeine isn’t suitable for the kids, Crystal Light offers decaffeinated mixes!


The importance of staying hydrated can’t be overstated. However, drinking plain water can be boring for some people, and they may end up not drinking as much as they should each day.

That’s why some people flavor their water with Crystal Light or Kool-Aid. What are the health consequences of flavoring water, though?

Crystal Light

If you’re drinking Crystal Light flavored water, it’s best to know what’s in the flavoring and how it may affect your health. It may be low in calories and sugar, but the artificial sweeteners in it aren’t the best.

Crystal Light contains sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose. Though they’re FDA-approved, some people are sensitive to these sweeteners and may suffer from allergic reactions or headaches.

As a result, the company offers flavors without artificial sweeteners called Crystal Light Pure. This product contains sugar, though.


Just because Kool-Aid is usually marketed as a better alternative to sodas doesn’t make it a great healthy option.

The sugar content pointed above is a risky factor in your diet or your kid’s diet. Excessive sugar intake has been linked to obesity, heart diseases, and weight gain.

The Takeaway

If you’re trying to take care of your health and stay hydrated, choosing Crystal Light flavoring may not be too bad for you!


Which Kool-Aid was recalled?

This is quite an interesting question! In 2021, there was news that the Kool-Aid Tropical Punch Mixture was recalled due to having foreign material in the product.

The foreign materials were very small pieces of glass or metal that were probably introduced during production. It doesn’t sound very healthy if you ask me!

Is there sugar in flavored water?

Yes, several water enhancers contain sugar. Either as natural sugar from plants or fruits, or artificial sweeteners. Water enhancers, like Crystal Light, contain a non-nutritive sweetener called aspartame.

However, you can always opt for a different product with no sweeteners like Crystal Light Pure. You can also go for products that use more natural options, like monk fruit or stevia.

Can you drink Crystal Light if you’re on a keto diet?

Yes, you can! Crystal Light is keto-friendly. Because it contains zero sugar and almost no calories and carbs, it doesn’t disrupt your keto diet in any way.

Final thoughts

Ultimately, either option will likely make a more appealing drink than plain old water, but I recommend you choose Crystal Light over Kool-Aid.

In my opinion, the winner in the Crystal Light vs Kool-aid comparison is definitely Crystal Light. It has less sugar than Kool-Aid, making it healthier. There are also flavors that contain a small amount of caffeine to keep you going through the day.

What’s more, while both powdered drink mixes taste sweet, Crystal light has zero sugar and its calorie count is much lower than that of Kool-Aid. If you like being creative with your drinks, the Crystal Light site offers you great recipes to make with their drinks!

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