Joined: 17 April 2005
This may be a touchy subject because I know how many avid Vitamin Water drinkers are out there, especially in our increasingly health-conscious (but misinformed) society. However, it's time to face the facts!
Vitamin Water gives the illusion of a healthy, hydrating, and rejuvenating miracle elixir. The bottles are beautiful, colorful, and the text on them is snappy and clever. They have empowering flavor names like "endurance," "energy," "essential," and "focus." There is no question that there is some genius marketing at hand.
However, nothing makes me cringe more than the sight of someone downing a bottle of "charge" or "balance" as though they are truly replenshing their body. The cold, hard truth is... Vitamin Water is fortified sugar water. Check the label yourself.
I went online to find the official nutrition info for Vitamin Water for this post. The Glaceau (company that owns Vitamin Water, Smart Water, and Fruit Water) website was beautiful and sleek, but of course did not offer any nutritional information. So, I found the information elsewhere after a good search. Let's take a look at "defense."
Serving Size 8 fl oz; Servings per Container 2.5
Total Fat 0g
Total Carbohydrate 13g
Total Sugar 13g
Vitamin C 60%; vitamin B3 10%; vitamin B6 10%; vitamin B12 10%; vitamin B5 10%, Zinc 10%
vapor distilled/deionized water, crystalline fructose, citric acid, vegetable juice (color), natural flavor, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), natural flavor, vitamin E acetate, magnesium lactate (elecrolyte), calcium lactate (electrolyte), zinc picolinate, monopotassium phosphate (electrolyte), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), cyanocobalamine (B12)
First, let me point out that this product contains NO juice. None. Now that we have that out of the way, let's factor in that one bottle of Vitamin Water is 2.5 servings, therefore, nutrional information should be adjusted accordingly (unless you're really only going to drink less than half of the bottle at at time). That makes one bottle of Vitamin Water contain 125 calories and 33 grams of sugar. (Remind me again why they try to call this a form of "water"?) That's more calories and sugar than a 12 ounce serving of Coke (12 oz of coke equates 110 calories and 30 grams of sugar). Now, Coke contains high fructose corn syrup and is not fortified, but nutritionally, you're still getting sugar and calories from both drinks.
And don't be enticed by "crystalline fructose," the second ingredient on the Vitamin Water ingredient list. It's their own fancy name for their form of sugar, and it's the most prominent ingredient after water!
The whole "vitamin" aspect of Vitamin Water is irrelevant. So, they fortify their sugar water with chemically synthesized vitamins. You can now purchase "Diet Coke Plus," which is fortified Diet Coke. Because vitamins are added to a beverage, does that make it healthy? Vitamins can't undo the sugars and additives in a beverage, and you are much better off gaining these nutrients from your diet (or a multi vitamin if necessary). Ofcourse adding vitamins to a drink doesn't do any actual harm, but it confuses consumers into thinking that the beverage is a healthy choice. Remember, these companies don't really care about your health and well-being... they're trying to win you over! Our society now has become somewhat obsessed with healthier choices, and the smart companies know how to appeal to that crowd. They boast that their drink is full of essential vitamins and will somehow make you perform your daily tasks more efficiently. Trust me on this: downing a bottle of sugar water is going to do nothing but give you a sugar crash later.
Now, Vitamin Water is not pure poison. It is certainly not a health food or something that I would personally drink, but if the choice is between Vitamin Water or soda, I suppose Vitamin Water is a wiser choice. But you know what the smartest choice is? Water. Real water. It is crucial to keep your body properly hydrated at all times, and pure water is the only way to do this. Drinks that are full with sugar only continue to dehydrate the body, regardless of their water content.
Want something sweet to drink? Try squeezing lemon or lime in pure or sparkling water. Add a few drops of stevia (see my post on this amazing natural, non-caloric sweetener) and you've got a drink that hydrates, tastes great, and isn't full of sugar or added nonsense.
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