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Dietary Essentials

The Truth About The Pros & Cons of Vitamin Water Flavors 

- Written By

DR Munazza Ashraf, Pharmacist

Updated on

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts. Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument. This article contains scientific references. Read more about our process.

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You’re in the midst of a high-intensity sport, and suddenly, the announcement of a much-needed drink break fills the air. As you glance over, you see a teammate approaching, holding bottles of refreshing, colorful, and flavorful drinks. This moment becomes the most anticipated highlight, knowing that you have a beverage that is both healthy and delightful to quench your thirst. This is the moment where the Vitamin Water Flavors come in.

However, many of us are in the dilemma if vitamin water is really good for us. Not necessarily. To be precise, it depends on how many bottles of vitamin water you are drinking every day. And in most cases, the people in the U.S. don’t need it because they get adequate vitamins from food. 

I searched for the expert’s advice on the potential health benefits and drawbacks of daily consumption of this high-in-demand beverage. It revealed to me some shocking truths that I’d love to share to ensure the safe use of this popular drink. 

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What is Vitamin Water?

Vitamin Water is a widely recognized beverage owned by the Coca-Cola company that has gained immense popularity in recent years. This hydrating beverage boasts added vitamins and minerals, positioning itself as a healthy drink.

The enticing array of flavorful options allures consumers to make hydration an enjoyable experience during workout breaks, sports events, or everyday routines. 

However, it’s essential to be mindful of certain Vitamin Water flavors that contain high amounts of added sugars. Excessive sugar intake can have adverse effects on health, so it’s wise to consume such products in moderation.

What Makes It A Healthy Drink?

Whether you are a fitness freak, an athlete, a gym enthusiast, or a regular consumer who enjoys flavored drinks, you might be a fan of vitamin water.

As consumers, we are often swayed by the aesthetic appearance of flavored drinks, leading us to make impulsive decisions to buy them.  However, before incorporating any vitamin water flavors into our routine, it’s crucial to read the ingredients on the label. Here’s the breakdown of the ingredients present and the vitamin water flavors’ nutritional facts:

1) Vitamin Water Ingredients

  • Reverse osmosis water
  • Crystalline Fructose
  • Vitamins A, C, B3, B5, B6, B12
  • Electrolytes (in fewer varieties)
  • Citric acid
  • Cane sugar
  • Vegetable juices (for color)
  • Natural flavors

2) Vitamin Water Flavors’ Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Bottle

  • Calories: 100
  • Total carbohydrate: 26g
  • Total sugars: 26g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Total Fats: 0g
  • Vitamins: 100%
  • Sodium: 0g

Given that the primary nutrient of vitamin water flavors is vitamins, I’ll break down each type of vitamin that is present and its significance in maintaining our health.

3) Vitamins

Though vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients because they are required in small amounts, their deficiency may lead to severe health conditions. The recommended % daily intake of vitamins is usually achieved by the foods we eat.

However, sometimes, when you aren’t getting enough vitamins from food, you need to supplement it from other sources. Here comes the use of multivitamins and drinks like vitamin water. 

Let’s have a brief look at the role of vitamins provided by this flavored water.

1) Vitamin A

It’s a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for:

  • Immune system
  • Vision
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Growth
  • Fetal development
  • Healthy teeth
  • Bone growth
  • Reproductive health

The natural sources of vitamin A are:

Carrots, sweet potato, spinach, apricots, dairy products, liver, fish, cod liver oil, milk, eggs, etc.

2) Vitamin B

Vitamin B, also known as Complex B Vitamins, is a group of 8 essential nutrients and belongs to the class of water-soluble vitamins. These complex B vitamins play a significant role in regulating various functions of the body, such as:

  • Growth of RBCs
  • Proper brain functioning
  • Metabolism 
  • Boost energy levels
  • Heart health
  • Support cognitive development
  • Protection against certain types of cancer
  • Promote healthy skin and hair growth
  • Produce hormones and neurotransmitters
  • Gene expression
  • Reduce the risk of congenital disabilities

The non-synthetic alternatives to vitamin B include:

Whole grains, beans, cereals, fish, meat, milk, cheese, eggs, green vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. 

3) Vitamin C

This water-soluble vitamin is essential for the following functions:

  • Supports immune system
  • Wound healing
  • Growth and repair of tissues
  • Formation of blood vessels, tendons, and ligaments 
  • Hormone synthesis 
  • Iron absorption

You can obtain a sufficient amount of vitamin C from:

Broccoli, bell peppers, kale, parsley, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, and citrus fruits. 

Plain Water vs Vitamin Water Flavors

From this point on, we evaluate the difference and comparisons between plain water and vitamin water flavors. Let’s hop in:

Difference b/w Plain Water & vitamin water flavors

Is it okay to drink vitamin water flavors every day?

This concern rises among the masses; seeing the trend of stocking up on vitamin water in the U.S. Since today, you can easily find a dedicated section for vitamin water flavors of renowned brands in any local mart or grocery store. Convenience is one of the major contributing factors to the skyrocketing sales of vitamin water. 

Despite the popularity of these flavored vitamin waters, no beverage can be a substitute for plain water. Yes, vitamin water offers you additional micronutrients, but various studies revealed that most Americans are getting enough of them from their routine diet. 

So next time, when this thought comes to your mind, can I replace water with vitamin water? You know that you can’t. And you definitely shouldn’t. 

Who Actually Needs vitamin water flavors?

These colorful, flavored drinks appear tempting to almost everyone regardless of their age group, thanks to effective marketing by Coca-Cola. That’s how popular brands market a wide variety of vitamin water flavors, and they undoubtedly make staggering profits from the soaring sales. 

“The global electrolyte and vitamin water market size reached US$ 7.9 Billion in 2022. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$ 12.8 Billion by 2028, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% during 2023-2028.”

While vitamin water does offer additional nutrients, it’s crucial to note that few individuals actually suffer from deficiencies of vitamins and minerals present in the drink. The majority of people in the U.S. receive their % daily intake of vitamins in their diet, so they don’t necessarily need to drink vitamin water.

However, if your diet is lacking in natural sources of vitamins, consider consuming vitamin water to overcome it.

One must remember that taking additional vitamins is of no use. Rather, it may result in developing serious side effects due to overconsumption from synthetic sources. 

Do You Know The Bad Side of Vitamin Water?

Vitamin water has very limited health benefits, too, if you consume it occasionally. Drinking too much vitamin water may leave you with certain unwanted effects that you aren’t yet aware of.

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I’ve already mentioned the ingredients that are usually present in most of the vitamin water flavors. Alongside the essential vitamins, you are getting extra calories and sugar from drinking vitamin water flavors that you often overlook. 

You might want to reconsider the daily consumption of this beverage for the following reasons:

1) Extra Calories – Leading Cause of Obesity 

A 20-ounce bottle of any vitamin water flavor provides you with at least 100-120 calories. Therefore, the more vitamin water you drink, the higher your calorie intake will be. This extra calorie intake from flavored drinks is a leading cause of weight gain. In addition, weight gain or obesity increases your risk of developing different chronic diseases. 

2) Added Sugar – Increased Risk of Chronic Diseases

We know that vitamin water flavors are sugar-sweetened drinks. This sugar is mostly present in the form of crystalline fructose in vitamin water flavors available in the U.S. Experts say that it’s the most dangerous form of liquid sugar.

The recommended calorie intake in the form of added sugar should be less than 10% of your total daily calories. The amount of added sugar in a single serving of vitamin water is 50% of this recommended limit. 

Consuming added sugar with vitamin water flavors makes you vulnerable to chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and heart diseases. 

3) Artificial Flavors – Causing Long-term Side Effects

We often come across advertisements for vitamin water flavors with natural flavors, but it’s not true. Most of the time, these drinks are sweetened and flavored with artificial ingredients and, hence, are more natural than marketed.

When you consume such drinks regularly, these additives present in insignificant amounts accumulate in your body to a considerable limit. They are usually associated with improper gut feeling, digestive issues, allergies, and sometimes cancer caused by food toxicology. 

4) Excess of Micronutrients – Might Be Fatal

Indeed, vitamin water only provides you with a significant amount of vitamins and minerals if you drink it regularly. However, people whose RDI is fulfilled through their diet don’t need this beverage as micronutrients are required in tiny amounts.

When you don’t need additional vitamins yet, taking them from vitamin water will result in excessive amounts in your body that are associated with premature death. 

Vitamin Water Flavors or Vitamin Water Zero Sugar

1) Which One Is Better?

When more and more people became skeptical about regular vitamin water flavors, they came up with a “more healthy and safer” alternative named Vitamin Water Zero Sugar. 

Is vitamin water zero sugar actually good for you? Compared to other varieties of this sugary beverage, vitamin zero water can be a suitable option. Instead of added sugar, it contains stevia extract and erythritol for sweetening. 

2) Listen To What Experts Has To Say About Vitamin Water Flavors 

Dr. Saurabh Sethi, a Harvard and Stanford-trained gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, says, “Most of these commercial sports drinks are nothing but liquid sugars. Loaded with calories and lacking any nutritional value. These drinks are packed with sugars, which might give you a quick energy boost, but that’s about it. Nothing else. Sure, during intense workouts, some athletes may need extra electrolytes and sugar, but for the rest of us who do not engage in extended physical activities, these drinks can be extremely detrimental. Instead, I would recommend opting for healthier options. Plain water, you can never go wrong with that; it’s always a winner.” 

“Most of the commercial vitamin waters contain sugar or other sweeteners that can be harmful,” explains Walter Willett, MD, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. 

“If we’re taking supplements instead of eating whole foods, we’re missing out on other vital nutrients that food has to offer. If you’re choosing a supplement such as a vitamin water, read the ingredient label and avoid ones made with added sugars or artificial sweeteners,” says Uma Naidoo, MD, director of nutritional and lifestyle psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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The recommended amount of vitamin water is generally one to two bottles per day.

No. There’s no significant difference between the two drinks in terms of health benefits. However, since vitamin water contains half of the calories and sugar as sodas, you may opt for vitamin water to cut down on your sugar intake. 

Different vitamin water products contain different amounts of caffeine. For instance, 50mg caffeine is present in each 591ml bottle of Vitaminwater energy. Therefore, it’s wise to read the label if you want a caffeine-free drink. 

Though children can drink vitamin water, it’s not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for kids less than 5 years of age due to its high sugar content, which can contribute to dental issues and unhealthy habits.

Some vitamin water brands claim to have added electrolytes, but it’s essential to check the ingredients for any artificial additives or excessive sugar. Vitamin Water Power-C is known to be an excellent source of electrolytes. 

Instead of vitamin water, consider hydrating with plain water or natural electrolyte-rich beverages like coconut water to avoid unnecessary sugars and additives.

The Bottom Line 

Vitamin Water, promoted as a health-enhancing elixir, falls short of its promised benefits. While it may contain added vitamins, it remains a sugary beverage with limited health advantages. Its high sugar content can lead to weight gain and other health issues, making it unsuitable for regular consumption.

Don’t be deceived by false claims, as Vitamin Water cannot replace the benefits of plain water. Despite marketing efforts suggesting otherwise, its added vitamins do not compensate for the excess sugars it contains.

For optimal hydration and overall well-being, stick to the timeless choice of plain water, and consider Vitamin Water as an occasional treat rather than a daily staple.

How we reviewed this article

Trend Of Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy

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