Vitamin-Enriched Beverages Not so Helpful

August 2nd, 2010 | Sources: Washington Post


A 10-pack of Vitaminwater costs about $10. Its maker, Glaceau, which also sells vitamin enriched water products like Smartwater and Vitaminwater Zero, sold 142 million cases in the US alone last year.

vitaminwaterVitaminwater sales are driven by cool packaging and product names like Focus, Revive and Connect. But are these products, and those of competitors like Propel and SoBe Life Water, nutritionally useful?

Eh, not really. The average-sized adult needs 6-8 8-oz. glasses of liquid per day, but tap water is just as effective for that purpose (unless you live in the District of Columbia, where lead may lurk in the water). As for electrolytes, only people that work-out vigorously for at least an hour need to replenish them.

“Vitaminwater is a marketing ploy,” Nancy Rodriguez, a professor of nutrition and a sports nutritionist at the University of Connecticut, told the Washington Post.

And a full bottle of Vitaminwater contains 125 calories; almost as much as a can of Coca-Cola (lower- and zero-calorie versions of these products are also available).

Well then, what about the vitamins themselves? Vitaminwater contains mostly B vitamins and Vitamin C, which are not stored in the body.

“Once you go beyond what you need, you urinate it out,” Lona Sandon, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association told the Post. “You’re peeing that money away.”

And you’re not getting the full spectrum of vitamins and nutrients that are contained in a One-a-Day or a Centrum, or better still, in a balanced diet.

“I would hate for someone to use Vitaminwater in lieu of eating fruits and vegetables,” said Sandon. “Whole fruit and vegetables contain phytonutrients and fiber that work together. You don’t find the same benefit in a bottle.”


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