September 04, 2001

If you drink diet soda by the gallon but worry about long-term health effects, the new Diet Coke Plus might ease your mind. Billed as a “health and wellness brand,” it has 15 percent of the B vitamins you need daily and 10 percent of the zinc and magnesium.

A Pepsi product called Tava, debuting this fall, will also have small amounts of B and E vitamins, plus chromium. The drinks are the latest in the fortified-food trend. (Orange juice, milk, bread, cereal, even bottled water—all “infused” with vitamins and minerals—came first.)

Nutrition experts caution that these drinks arent true “health foods.” While Diet Coke Plus has no sugar, fat, or calories, it does contain caffeine. (The artificial sweeteners in sodas have no health risks, the latest research shows.) Still, if you occasionally forget to take your daily multivitamin, a bottle or can of any vitamin-infused drink might help you out.