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Myth: Vitamin Water is healthy, vitamin-packed hydration.

Somewhat clever and incredibly deceptive puns were the reason these ads were banned.

TRUTH:  I have to give Glaceau (producer of Vitamin Water, owned by Coca-Cola) credit – the name of the product alone sparked nutrition-related discussion and media hype for their “novel” creation.  Why not put vitamins in water?  It’s not a bad idea per se, but they make some seemingly bold claims for being sugar water.

Let’s make sure we’re on the same page and get the basics clear:

  1. Water, regular, potable water has no calories.  Zero.
  2. Vitamins and minerals have no calories.  Zero.
  3. Vitamin Water contains about 125 calories per serving.  Going back to 3rd grade math, 0 +0 does not equal 125.

So, I think we can all agree that it is not water but sugar water.  Some people have a problem with the fact that Vitamin Water doesn’t contain any juice – and though I agree, I object!  Yes, juice would be a step in the right direction because it contains natural sugars, but we should not consume juice instead of water.

My issue with Vitamin Water lies in their claims.  Yes, they add some vitamins to the mix and claim that it has the antioxidant powers of blueberry, pomegranate and acai combined.  Um, really?  Your lab synthesized vitamins C and E (some of the many antioxidants), which meet only 50% of my needs for the day are going to save me from immune system turmoil?  Or your ‘reverse osmosis water’ (aka water) and sugar is suddenly ‘healthy’ because you’ve added vitamins?!

Tsk, tsk, Glaceau.  We’re smarter than you.  And we know that blueberries, pomegranate and other whole fruits not only have vitamins but have fiber, flavonoids, pigments, and other phytonutrients that help boost our immune system.

BOTTOM LINE:  If you’re choosing Vitamin Water to satisfy a sweet tooth, then sure – go ahead, it’s better than a soda or some other sugar sweetened beverages out there.  But that doesn’t mean it’s healthy.  A healthier option would be a whole piece of fruit and a glass of water, which would still have fewer calories than a bottle of Vitamin Water.  But, to Glaceau’s credit, Fortified Sugar Water is a terrible name for beverage.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

  1. Mayo Clinic
  2. Time Magazine – more of a fun read about the name ‘Vitamin Water’ than informational article about the nutritional content.

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