Sarah Wassner Flynn is a New York City-based writer. She's contributed to magazines such as CosmoGIRL!, National Geographic Kids, Runner's World, Women's Health, Prevention and MetroSports New York. She is also the author of The Book of ...
As trendy as they are, do popular, celebity-touted vitamin waters have staying power? And, more importantly, are they really that good for you?
Vitamin water or sugar water?
These days, everyone from super slugger Derek Jeter (Gatorade's G2) to super model Naomi Campbell (SoBe's LifeWater) are shilling enhanced and enriched sports drinks. Glaceau's Vitamin Waterâ€”which snagged headlines last May after being bought by Coca-Cola for $4.1 billionâ€”was a staple on the scene at least week's Fashion Week in New York City, with svelte runway models sipping the low-cal beverage backstage.
According to some experts, not really. In most cases, it takes more than a spoonful of sugar to help these drinks go downâ€”it is estimated that downing one 8-ounce bottle of Vitamin Water is the equivalent of having 8 teaspoons of sugar. In fact, Margo G. Wootan, Director of Nutrition Policy at the Center of Science in the Public Interest claimed in a recent statement that vitamin drinks have "an aura of healthfulness that is not deserved. Adding vitamins and minerals to junk food doesn't make it healthy."
But don't reach for the 2-liter of diet soda
That is not to say you are better off chugging a liter of Diet Dr Pepper instead. Most vitamin drinks avoid artificial sweeteners and can replenish electrolytes, which you may need after strenuous workouts. But experts agree that it is better to stay hydrated with plain, ol' H20. You do not really need to drink your vitamins. However, if you feel better drinking vitamin-infused waters, there are healthier choices.
The healthier vitamin waters
For a flavor punch, try those that are sweetened with all-natural juices instead of sugar, like VITAL Lifestyle Water (also contains vitamins C, B3, B5, B6, and B12 among its four flavors) and owater (its infused line contains a touch of natural caffeine for energy-seekers).
On a diet? Sip the cheekily-titled Skinny Water, a flavored water promising curbed hunger by way of safe appetite suppressors Super CitriMax and ChromeMate (No surprise, Skinny Water is a favorite among celebs).
If you find that buying pricey bottles of vitamin water are taking an unhealthy toll on your wallet and you are not thrilled with all the discarded environmentally-unfriendly plastic bottles, simply concoct your own vitamin C-boosted thirst quencher by adding a spritz of lemon or orange juice to your water bottle or glass of seltzer. Drink up.