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The Hype About Vitamin Waters: More Fiction than Fact?


This past year the Coca-Cola Corporation got in some legal hot water due to its claims of what its product VitaminWater could do. In fact, a lawsuit was filed on the basis that Coca Cola’s marketing tactics were “unsubstantiated and deceptive.” Before you allow yourself or your kids to get hitched by the vitamin-fortified drink craze, take a few minutes to read the following article. There are some very interesting and revealing facts about these products.

Before you jump on the “vitamin drink” bandwagon, consider the following information:

Health and Mood-Boosting Waters: Glaceau VitaminWater

Glaceau VitaminWater is a popular Coca-Cola non-carbonated beverage product that is fortified with various amounts of vitamins and minerals and comes in 15 different flavors.  It is also enriched with lutein, caffeine and guarana.  Guarana is considered to be a stimulant and many  manufacturers claim that it increases mental alertness, stamina and physical endurance, and fights fatigue. A 20-ounce bottle of VitaminWater contains 125 calories; much of those come from added sugar.

A majority of the claims on the product are not supported by scientific studies.  Much of the satisfaction that you get will probably be due to the taste of these beverages, more than the feeling of being energized, focused and relaxed. Some are not even advisable for pregnant women.

Diet Waters: Special K2O Protein Water

K2O, another health beverage was launched by the Kellogg Company in September 2006.  It comes in an assortment of flavors, including strawberry-kiwi, lemon twist and tropical blend. It is a low-calorie alternative protein drink and comes in a 16-ounce bottle.  It contains 5 grams of protein, 10% DV of calcium and 50 calories.  It was re-launched in 2007 and introduced a new flavor, mixed berry.  This new product is fortified with 5 grams soluble fiber and 20% DV each of vitamins B3, B6, and B12.  It has maintained the 50 calories in the new product.

While you may be misled by the play with the brand name, K2O, this health beverage does not actually contain potassium oxide.  The combination of protein and fiber increases the feeling of being full but both are also readily available in your regular diet. You could easily get the same benefits simply by upping your intake of protein and fiber-rich foods.

Skinny Water

Skinny Water is packaged as a diet aid. The manufacturer claims that drinking a bottle 30 minutes before a meal helps curb your appetite and blocks the absorption of carbohydrates.  It contains artificial sweeteners and two active ingredients, CitriMax and ChromeMate.

There are no conclusive studies to back the claims of Skinny Water as an effective weight-reducing drink.  However, there are several independent studies made that suggest that the added extract of Garcinia cambogia can be used as an appetite suppressant.

Crystal Light Metabolism

Each pack of this product contains green tea and 50 mg of caffeine designed to mix with water in a 16.9 ounce bottle.  It promises to give you a short-term metabolic boost when taken three times daily. The manufacturer makes a disclaimer that it is not a weight-loss product.

Studies done on the metabolic and weight-loss effect of green have not been conclusive, but the other benefits of green tea are numerous. However if you want those benefits, drink green tea. The Crystal Light Metabolism product is sweetened with Aspartame, which is believed by many health experts, including the Editors at Insider's Health, to be dangerous to your health!

Vitamin/Mineral-Enhanced Waters: Propel Fitness Water

Propel Fitness Water comes from the makers of Gatorade. The vitamin drink is lightly flavored, vitamin enhanced, and low in calories.  It comes in 13 flavors, and one variant, Propel with Calcium, is fortified with this bone-building mineral.

The truth is you do not lose vitamins by sweating, so the product really cannot function as a sports drink. People may say that they tend to take more fluids because of the flavor and it helps them stay hydrated.  However, this is also the case for all beverages, vitamin-enriched or not. 

If you’re looking to “get healthy” by drinking vitamin-enhanced waters, you may want to reconsider. Remember, the safest and easiest way to get the vitamins and minerals you need is through your diet and via supplementation from trusted sources. You should know by now that the best thing you can do for your body is replace all of these kinds of drinks, including sugary sodas, with good old-fashioned water. . . and add a squeeze of lemon or splash of cranberry juice if you want to liven it up!

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