Michelob ULTRA seltzer is considered a low-carb, low-calorie seltzer made by Michelob. Most flavors of Michelob ULTRA seltzer contain zero sugar. However, there are a few select flavors that do contain a small amount of sugar.
Ingredients in Michelob ULTRA Seltzer
Michelob ULTRA seltzer is marketed as a low-carb, low-calorie spiked sparkling water beverage. It is made by the company Michelob, which is owned by the large beer manufacturer Anheuser-Busch.
Michelob ULTRA seltzer comes in a variety of fruit flavors. The main ingredients in Michelob ULTRA seltzer are carbonated water, alcohol (ethanol), natural flavors, citric acid, sodium citrate, sucralose, and in some flavors, acesulfame potassium (ace-K).
The alcohol content in Michelob ULTRA seltzer is 4.2% alcohol by volume, which is lower than many other hard seltzers. Each 12 fluid ounce can contains 95 calories, 2 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of protein or fat.
Sugar Content in Michelob ULTRA Seltzer
The main sweeteners used in Michelob ULTRA seltzer are sucralose and ace-K. These are zero-calorie artificial sweeteners that provide sweetness without adding sugar or carbohydrates.
The majority of Michelob ULTRA seltzer flavors contain zero sugar. However, there are a select few flavors that do contain a minimal amount of sugar:
- Michelob ULTRA Organic Seltzer Peach Pear contains 1 gram of sugar per 12 fluid ounce can
- Michelob ULTRA Organic Seltzer Cucumber Lime contains 2 grams of sugar per 12 fluid ounce can
The sugar in these organic seltzers comes from a touch of organic cane sugar that is used. Other than these couple flavors, all Michelob ULTRA seltzer flavors are labeled as containing zero grams of sugar per serving.
Sweeteners Used in Michelob ULTRA Seltzer
To provide sweetness without calories or carbohydrates, Michelob ULTRA seltzer relies on the artificial sweeteners sucralose and ace-K rather than sugar.
Sucralose is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener made from sugar, but it is about 600 times sweeter. So only a tiny amount is needed to provide sweetness without adding calories.
Ace-K (Acesulfame potassium) is another zero-calorie artificial sweetener that is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is often combined with sucralose in products to provide a sugar-like taste.
For the select flavors that contain sugar, a minimal amount of organic cane sugar is used to complement the flavor profile. But the majority of sweetness still comes from the artificial sweeteners sucralose and ace-K rather than added sugars.
Nutrition Facts for Michelob ULTRA Seltzer
Here is a nutrition facts table comparing the sugar content per 12 fluid ounce serving of some popular Michelob ULTRA seltzer flavors:
|Michelob ULTRA Seltzer Flavor
As you can see, most flavors contain zero grams of sugar per serving. The two organic flavors, Peach Pear and Cucumber Lime, contain 1-2 grams of sugar from a splash of organic cane sugar.
Benefits of Choosing Michelob ULTRA Seltzer
Here are some of the benefits of choosing most flavors of Michelob ULTRA seltzer:
- Contain zero grams of sugar per serving
- Low in calories and carbohydrates
- No fat, protein, or gluten
- Real fruit flavors
- Refreshing carbonated taste
- Convenient, portable cans
The minimal sugar and carb content makes Michelob ULTRA seltzer a keto-friendly and low-glycemic beverage choice. The zero sugar flavors can fit into a low-carb or low-sugar diet.
Comparisons to Other Hard Seltzers
Most other spiked seltzers on the market also contain zero grams of sugar per serving. Here is a comparison to a few top brands:
|Bud Light Seltzer
Michelob ULTRA seltzer is very comparable to other popular seltzers when it comes to sugar content. Most flavors across brands stick to zero sugar and rely on artificial sweeteners for flavoring.
Sugar Alcohol Content
In addition to artificial sweeteners, some seltzers contain sugar alcohols like erythritol to provide sweetness without sugar.
Michelob ULTRA seltzer does not contain any sugar alcohols like erythritol. The sweetness comes from the artificial sweeteners sucralose and ace-K.
Some people may prefer seltzers with sugar alcohols as they are derived from natural sources and may be easier on digestion. But sugar alcohols can still contribute calories and carbs, so they are not completely free of these.
Taste and Flavor Profiles
While Michelob ULTRA seltzer contains zero sugar, it does aim to provide robust flavors through the use of natural flavors and fruit essences.
Here is an overview of some popular flavor varieties:
- Citrus flavors – Grapefruit, lime, lemon, tangerine, and orange flavors provide tart, zesty taste
- Tropical flavors – Mango, passionfruit, pineapple, coconut and other tropical flavors provide sweet juicy flavor
- Berries – Raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, and strawberry flavors give a mildly sweet berry taste
- Peach and apple – Juicy stone fruit and apple flavors
- Organic flavors – The organic line includes cucumber, peach pear, and strawberry flavors with a hint of organic cane sugar
So while the seltzers stick to zero or very low sugar, Michelob ULTRA does aim to provide bolder flavors through the use of fruit essences and natural flavors in the recipe.
Special Considerations for Diabetics
For people with diabetes or who are monitoring their blood sugar levels, most flavors of Michelob ULTRA seltzer can be a good low-carb, low-sugar option.
However, it is important for diabetics to consider a couple factors when choosing artificially sweetened beverages:
- The sucralose and ace-K sweeteners will not raise blood sugar levels directly like regular sugar. But they may still cause an insulin response in the body.
- Drinking alcohol can lower blood sugar levels, so people on diabetes medication will need to monitor closely.
- The carbs from the alcohol in Michelob ULTRA seltzer will need to be counted into a meal plan.
- As always, moderation is key – excessive consumption of alcohol is risky for diabetics.
Overall, in moderation, the zero-sugar Michelob ULTRA seltzer can be a low-carb option for diabetics looking for an occasional alcoholic drink. But the artificial sweeteners and alcohol still require caution and monitoring of blood sugar levels.
Beverage Industry Trends
The popularity of hard seltzers like Michelob ULTRA speak to some of the major trends happening in the beverage industry:
- Focus on low-sugar, low-carb options as consumers seek to reduce sugar for health reasons.
- Use of artificial sweeteners like sucralose and stevia to replace sugar while still offering flavor.
- Fusion of soda, juice, tea, alcohol, and other categories resulting in hybrid seltzer waters that transcend traditional drink categories.
- Innovative flavors that often rely on fruit essences or extracts rather than just juice to enable bold flavor profiles without added sugar or calories.
- Emphasis on slim, portable cans that cater to active and health-conscious consumers.
- Proliferation of flavored and sparkling waters as they grow in popularity over sugary sodas.
Michelob ULTRA seltzer exemplifies many of these ongoing shifts in the beverage space towards sugar-free, flavored carbonated beverages in sleek, modern packaging.
Are There Any Downsides to Choosing Michelob ULTRA Seltzer?
While Michelob ULTRA seltzer does meet many consumer demands for low-sugar, low-carb drinks, there are a couple potential downsides to consider:
- Artificial sweeteners – While sucralose and ace-K don’t add sugar, some people prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners for health reasons or don’t like the aftertaste.
- Alcohol content – The 4.2% alcohol may be a pro or con depending on the person. The alcohol adds calories and impaired decision making.
- Not actually hydrating – Despite seeming like flavored water, the alcohol in Michelob ULTRA works as a diuretic that can cause dehydration.
- High acidity – The carbonation and citric acid may not sit well with those sensitive to heartburn or acid reflux.
- No nutrients – Unlike juice or regular soda, MICHELOB ULTRA doesn’t contain any beneficial vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants.
For those looking to reduce calories, sugars, and carbs, the pros may outweigh the cons. But it is still smart to hydrate properly and get nutrients from other whole food and beverage sources. Moderation is key.
In summary, the majority of Michelob ULTRA seltzer flavors contain zero grams of sugar. The sweetness instead comes from artificial sweeteners like sucralose and ace-K. The only exceptions are a couple flavors in the organic line, which contain 1-2 grams of organic cane sugar.
Compared to traditional sodas or cocktails, Michelob ULTRA seltzer offers a low-calorie, low-carb, low-sugar alternative. The seltzer fits into many popular diet trends focused on reducing sugar and carbs.
However, artificially sweetened beverages may not be for everyone, especially in excess. Moderation is key, along with ensuring proper hydration and nutrient intake from other healthy sources in your diet.