Are Enhanced Waters Health Food?

You’re trying to consume better beverages, so it only makes sense that Enhanced Waters with vitamins and other good-for-you things are a great bet, right?

Well, not necessarily.

It certainly sounds good, but let’s take a look at just one type, the “Waters to Help You Relax” group of these enhanced drinks. These include such varieties as Vitamin Water B-Relaxed, SoBe Life Water Calm Your Life, and Fruit2O Relax. Here’s a close-up look at the first:

Vitamin Water B-Relaxed Jackfruit-Guava (b+theanine)

Serving size 8fl oz
Servings per container 2.5
Calories 50
Total fat 0g
Sodium 0mg
Total carbohydrate 13g
Sugar 13g
Protein 0g
Vitamin B3 20%
Vitamin B5 20%
Vitamin B6 25%
Vitamin B12 20%
Vitamin C 40%
l-Theanine 50mg

This is advertised to “keep you calm during stressful times,” supposedly because it’s full of B vitamins and theanine. Now, there’s nothing wrong with B vitamins. They’re water soluble, so if you consume too many, you’ll get rid of the excess when you go to the bathroom. Of course, you might consider it a bit of a bummer to have paid for them and then end up flushing them down the toilet.

And theanine is a unique amino acid found only in tea, purported to have a relaxing effect.  The theanine in this drink is synthesized.  Whether that makes a difference in this case, who knows?

But look closely at the serving size. There are 2½ servings in each bottle, but how many people will notice that? That means you are getting 125 calories per drink, not 50, and 32.5g of sugar instead of just 13g. Not as great a deal as it looks at first glance.

It’s also worth noting that there is no actual Jackfruit or Guava fruit in this drink, so you’re not going to get any health benefits that might be associated with those fruits.

SoBe’s drink is close to the same amount of calories and vitamins. Fruit2O is artificially sweetened, so you lose the calories but add whatever dangers there might be with the artificial sweeteners.

There are also waters that supposedly help your immunity, put fiber in your diet, and that are full of antioxidants and other so-called healthy ingredients.

My advice? Caveat emptor.

Yes, “Let the buyer beware.” Company claims for these “health ingredients” are based on shaky evidence at best. If you want to spend your money on them because you think they taste good, that’s one thing, as long as you also keep in mind the calories most are adding to your diet.

Just don’t make the mistake of thinking these drinks are really health foods.

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