Special Delivery

Nora Zelevansky
5 min readOct 31, 2022

Pre and probiotics are being reinvented…and made delicious!

Photo by Nastya Dulhiier on Unsplash

I drink a soda every day.

You probably think that sounds bad. Maybe you’re sighing, “It’s supposed to be an apple, dummy!” or drafting a lecture on obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

I get it. But hold off for now because the soda I drink is…wait for it…healthy.

Maybe you think that sounds delusional. Or like I’m a gullible (but lovable) patsy. (Maybe you’re right.) Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve been in the beverage aisle anywhere from Target to your local gourmet grocery lately and noticed the breathtaking array of new soft drinks touting everything from adaptogens and herbs to apple cider vinegar and probiotics. Maybe you’ve even wondered how they taste or, more importantly, if they actually do anything real to boost your health.

Well, think of me as your wellness writing guinea pig because I have tried them all. I can’t speak to scientific efficacy beyond their claims and supporting studies, but I can tell you — as someone with a very temperamental stomach (that’s a euphemism for God awful) — a couple of them have kind of changed my life.

Among some of my favorites are: Culture Pop with probiotics, organic fruit juice and spices in Orange Mango with chili & lime — whaaat? So good! Health-Ade Pop with gut-centric prebiotics, antioxidants and detoxifying acids (Juice Grape FTW). Poppi, which is all about probiotics and apple cider vinegar and comes in Cherry Limeade (add some crushed ice and it’s almost Sonic styles!). I also love a Recess drink with herbs and adaptogens meant to help calm you the hell down. (I appreciate that even from a placebo standpoint.) Some of these use stevia, but all of them include much less sugar than the average soft drink.

Olipop prebiotic soda

But there is no option more essential to me than Olipop, a prebiotic soda that has become a staple in my life. And, now, please settle in while I proselytize! I apologize for going on and on, but I literally drink one every single day, not just because they’re tasty and feel like a treat, but because I credit them with helping to keep my stomach copasetic. In all…



Nora Zelevansky

New novel: COMPETITIVE GRIEVING (Blackstone). New nonfiction: ROLL RED ROLL (Hachette ). Bylines: NY Times, T&C, WSJ etc. https://norazelevansky.com/