August 4, 2007

You "Ask", I Answer: Vitamin Water/Flavored Water

While VitaminWater itself does have sugar, it doesn't have high fructose corn syrup, and the sugar it does have isn't much, compared to most soft drinks.

Additionally, Glaceau makes FruitWater, which is just flavored water without sweeteners. Talking Rain's Twist line has the same thing. Both are very tasty.

Drinking plain water really does get old after a while, and I've discovered that between these things and Pellegrino, I stay hydrated and don't reach for juice or sodas.

-- Anonymous

My main "beef" with Vitamin Water is that it is advertised as a healthy alternative to soda even though their sugar contents are almost identical.

A 12 ounce can of Coke has 40 grams
(10 teaspoons, or 3 1/3 tablespoons) of sugar.

A bottle of Vitamin Water contains 20 ounces of liquid. A serving -- listed as eight ounces, per the nutrition label -- provides 50 calories and 13 grams of sugar.

Polish off the entire bottle and you've added 125 calories and 32.5 grams (8 teaspoons or 2 2/3 tablespoons) of sugar to your day.

Yes, Vitamin Water provides vitamins and minerals not present in soda, and it is also missing phosphoric acid, which decreases blood calcium levels.

So, it isn't quite soda, but I also don't see it as any sort of "answer" to the increasing nutrition problem in this country.

Although high fructose corn syrup is nowhere to be seen on the ingredient list, it still contains added -- as opposed to naturally-occurring -- sugar (which, ideally, should not surpass a daily intake of 40 grams).

Does that mean it is poison or "bad for you"? No. I've enjoyed Vitamin Water on a few occassions.
However, keeping in mind that what I was doing was essentially drinking water with 8 teaspoons of sugar, I considered it a tasty sweetened beverage rather than "healthy water".

In my opinion, Vitamin Water's success can be directly attributed to its intelligent advertising campaigns. They managed to convince people that the best way to get vitamins and minerals is by drinking a sugary concoction with witty prose on its label!

Fruit Water provides half the sugar of Vitamin Water (12.5 grams for a 20 ounce bottle). I personally find it a little too artificial tasting to be enjoyable, but to each his own.

Fact of the matter is, I do agree with you that drinking only water all the time gets boring. I want to make it clear, though, that I don't expect anyone to confine their beverage preferences to plain water all the time.

I do not believe sugar is the devil's other white powder, but too many people in the United States have made sugary beverages a staple of their diets, rather than an occasional treat.

I know someone who has three Vitamin Waters a day -- one with lunch, one while/after working out, and one with dinner. That adds up to 375 calories and 96 grams of sugar!

For those who find water too plain but find beverages like Vitamin Water too sweet, I highly recommend the Hint line of flavored waters, which come in a unique line of flavors and lack calories or any kind of sweeteners.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Then there's always the old slice-of-lime-in-the-glass trick. Can't go wrong with that.