It’s common knowledge that water is one of the best drinks you can choose as it keeps your body hydrated and healthy. With this realization, vitamin-infused beverages (including Vitaminwater) have become something of a recent fad in the healthy drink world. But,what happens when essential vitamins are added to water? Does it become an even better option? Or is this just another hyped up health product?
What is Vitamin Water? Is It Good For You?
Vitamin-infused water is essentially water with vitamin enhancements. The most common form of vitamin water is the Coca Cola brand called Vitaminwater. However, there are other brands that offer similar vitamin-infused bottled water options, including Propel, blk.water, and Lifewtr.
Vitaminwater sells a range of flavors each containing a different concoction of nutrients. As it stand today, many people believe that drinking vitamin water will give them extra benefits. Some even believe that these beverages can act as a replacement for certain foods or vitamin supplements. But, is any of these true? Is Vitaminwater good for you?
While the beverage does contain all of the vitamins advertised on the label, there is one glaring omission from the brand’s marketing scheme - the added sugar. As it turns out, almost all Vitaminwater flavors contains a substantial amount of added sugar, making it not a good drink for regular consumption.
As is now widespread knowledge, too much sugar can be incredibly harmful and lead to serious health complications when consumed in excess.
What are the Benefits of Vitaminwater?
Added Vitamins and Minerals
Vitaminwater contains 100% of the RDI for Vitamin C, Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), and Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin). This is relevant as some people may not get enough of these vitamins through their dietary intake, so the drink can be beneficial supplement.
That said, these vitamins are water soluble, so anything that the body can’t absorb will be removed. So, if you are already taking a multivitamin or consuming a healthy varied diet, consuming this water will probably not have any significant effect.
Companies that sell vitamin water tend to claim that the beverage’s extra vitamins will give you an extra boost of energy and a better ability to focus. This is not accurate or backed by scientific research.
A Way To Keep You Hydrated
Water is the most important liquid that your body needs. Since Vitaminwater is mostly water, it will give you a great dose of hydration. As it stands, it is recommended that an adult consumes around 2 liters of water a day. Drinking a bottle of vitamin water (20 oz) can account for nearly 30% of your daily water intake.
What Makes Vitaminwater Bad For You?
Many people are surprised to learn that Vitaminwater can contain nearly 30g of sugar, half the amount of added sugar as can of Coca Cola! According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum recommended amount of added sugars are 37.5 g for men and 25 g for women. That means that consuming just one bottle of Vitaminwater would meet the daily intakes for added sugar for the entire day. That is quite a lot of sugar for just one drink!
To make matter worse, here in the US, Vitaminwater is sweetened with crystalline fructose and cane sugar. Crystalline fructose is much stronger than cane sugar and can actually be pretty dangerous in large quantities.
The prevailing thought about Vitaminwater has been that it is healthier than other beverages. This is not quite true. While, Vitaminwater does contain less sugar than a regular soda, it contains the same amount as other electrolyte-infused sports beverages. If you will not drink those in large quantities because of the added sugar, the same should hold true for Vitaminwater as well.
Too much sugar can quickly cause worrying side effects if consumed on a regular basis.
Here are just a few of the potential negative side effects of excessive consumption of too much fructose ( sweetener in Vitaminwater):
- Sugar crashes
- Weight gain
- Heart disease
- High blood sugar
- Risk of type 2 diabetes
- Renal complications and other digestive issues
So, what does this all mean? In short, Vitaminwater is probably not as healthy as people think it is. But that does not mean do not drink it at all! Just remember, moderation is key so choose wisely especially if you are reaching for this drink as a daily beverage.
Alternatives to Vitaminwater That are the Healthiest?
Are all brands of vitamin water unhealthy? No, not necessarily as there are some healthier versions of vitamin water available on the market today.
Coca Cola actually has a version of its famous drink that contains zero sugar which means that you will get the vitamins and the hydration without the risks that come with too much fructose. That is a win in my book!
To still maintain the sweet taste, Vitaminwater Zero is sweetened with Truvia, a type of sugar substitute that’s made with Erythritol, Rebaudioside A, and natural flavors.
Erythritol, the main ingredient is a sugar alcohol that is natural but hard to digest. It passes through the body without being metabolized, and is mostly harmless. However, too much erythritol (or any other sugar alcohol) can cause gastrointestinal discomfort if ingested in excessive amounts.
That said, one beverage will likely result in little symptoms if any at all.
Propel Vitamin Boost
This vitamin-enhanced drink comes in a variety of flavors.
It contains no artificial sweeteners or flavors. Plus, it is also a source of 100% of the daily recommended values of vitamins B3, B5, B6, C, and E.
It has only 10 calories which can be a good or bad thing. A bad thing, if you are drinking this as a post exercise drink, as it will not give you that glucose boost as Vitaminwater. A good thing, if you are just drinking this for taste as you will not be drinking your calories.
Can You Make Vitamin Water at Home?
As is usually the case, the healthiest and safest way to get your vitamins and minerals is to get them directly from supplements or whole foods.
However, if you rather spice up your water, making it more nutritious you can try doing so at home. You’ll be amazed by how easy it is to infuse your glass of water with some quick, healthy, sugar-free vitamins. Here are some ideas to try at home:
- Ginger infusion - Ginger has plenty of health benefits, plus it also contains some essential vitamins and minerals. With a ginger infusion, you’ll be getting a healthy dose of vitamins B3, B6, C, as well as iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and folate.
- Cucumber infusion - Cucumbers are a great source of several necessary vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, K, and magnesium, potassium, and manganese.
- Berry infusion - Berries, especially dark-colored berries, contain vitamins A, B, C, and E along with potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Drop a few berries into your water for a fresh, fruity taste with no added sugar.
- Lemon and lime infusion - This is a classic, tasty infusion that gives your water an extra kick. This infusion will give you a boost of vitamin C, B6, potassium, and folate.
- Mint infusion - Simply adding mint to your water will give it a refreshing taste, while also providing you with manganese, copper, and vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K.
Is Vitaminwater A Friend Or Foe?
Now that we’ve examined all of the factors at play in a bottle of Vitaminwater, we’ve come to a conclusion about the big question - is vitamin-infused water good for you? While the idea of water with added vitamins and minerals sounds like a good one, most brands end up adding lots of extra sugars. In fact, some brands of vitamin-infused water may actually do more harm than good.
So, next time you reach for a bottle of Vitaminwater at the supermarket, consider drinking plain, filtered water along with a piece of fruit. Or, try infusing your daily jug of water with some healthy, fresh ingredients for a natural vitamin enhancement with no added sugars. This way, you’ll get the healthy nutrients and hydration that you need without the added sugar.