Everyone now knows: The consumption of sugar-sweetened drink is among the world’s strongest risk factors for obesity, some studies showing up to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children, for each daily serving of this poison.
Is Vitamin Water a low calorie nutritious drink or a virtual soda-like drink in disguise? Is it good for you? Vitamin Water made the news recently. Center for Science in the Public Interest sued Coca Cola, who owns Vitamin Water over deceptive and unsubstantiated claims on its original Vitamin Water line of beverages.
Coke has marketed it as a healthy alternative to drinking soda. Adjectives like “defense,” “rescue,” “energy,” and “endurance.” make it even more appealing to sugary soda. Phrases like: reduce the risk of chronic disease, reduce the risk of eye disease, promote healthy joints, and support optimal immune function, also reinforce this healthy image.
With Coke getting attacked for its sugar content, Coca-Cola company has wisely started to diversify and purchased several drink makers focused on more healthy drinks like enhanced water. Even the name Glaceau brings to mind a glacier, pure and clean.
The drink is enriched with vitamins and minerals, making it appealing to health conscience consumers and parents. It is also claimed to contain natural colors and flavors.
Vitamin Water Ingredients
Looking at the nutrition facts on the vitaminwater.com web site in 2016, you can see most of their drinks still have 32g of sugar. Lets look at the ingredients of the power-c dragonfruit flavor.
ingredients: reverse osmosis water, crystalline fructose, cane sugar, less than 0.5% of: vitamin C (ascorbic acid), citric acid, natural fl avors, dragonfruit extract, vegetable juice (color), magnesium lactate and calcium lactate and potassium phosphate (electrolyte sources), taurine, vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate), zinc gluconate, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), chromium polynicotinat
reverse osmosis water filtered water is a great marketing term. Then comes crystalline fructose, cane sugar, meant to lessen the impact of the word SUGAR. Crystalline fructose is the really bad, being almost pure fructose (over 98%), while cane sugar is 50/50 of glucose and fructose. This drink contains just as much fructose as Coke.
Vitamin Water Zero was created to address this controversy over whether Vitamin water is good for you or has too many calories. 33 grams of sugar is present in some Vitamin Water flavors, this adds to the obesity and diabetes epidemic. The labeling and marketing go counter to the actual benefits of this drink.
Instead, Vitamin Water Zero is sweetened with erythritol and a refined sweet compound extracted from the stevia plant.
Vitamin Water may prove to do more harm than good, because many of the various flavors are filled with sugar and caffeine that offsets any positive effect of vitamins.
- Vitaminwater Energy has Caffeine
We recently posted an article about the wonders of sweeteners. One 500ml bottle of Vitamin Water had 8 teaspoons of sugar, 82ml of caffeine. The label indicates that you should not drink more than 2 bottles a day, and kids or pregnant females should not drink it.
Vitamin Water Zero
Apparently Vitamin Water is listening. In 2010, they introduced a new line of drinks for the weight-conscious market called Vitamin Water Zero that has 0 calories per eight-ounce serving. It uses sweeteners from Truvia, a high-purity extract of the stevia leaf. 200 times sweeter than sugar. Is the nutritious nature of this drink better? Just a little bit. Stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, which makes stevia attractive to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets. Some find this sweetener slightly bitter.
Keep in mind switching to diet sodas has its downsides. A reminder that there is no free lunch.
In April of 2013, Coca-Cola’s Glaceau Division introduced fruitwater. Another beautiful bottle filled with colored water. The kicker is that this zero calorie carbonated drink does not contain any fruit juice and it is sweetened with the artificial sweetener, Sucralose. Somethings never change.
People are now starting to drink Coconut Water instead of their normal beverage. Vita Coco is a popular brand. This drink consists of water from inside a coconut which is slightly sweet and is rich in electrolytes, especially potassium. Coconut Water does not have fat and is not coconut milk. Some sport athletes are drinking this instead of Gatorade. Coconut production supply restrictions are reducing the amount of Coconut Water. Coconuts typically have to be 14 months old before being harvested.
Alternatives to Vitamin Water – Water!
Why contribute to the $1.5 billion spent on sports drinks? A British Medical Journal study found most claims could not be supported. In a UNC study, Electrolytes can be lost after vigorous exercise for an hour or more, but they can be replaced by a balanced diet full of fruits and veggies.
How about sticking to plain old water in a BPA free water bottle?
Be sure to read Healthy Food Options to Avoid Chemicals