Vitamin-fortified drinks tend to imply that there is some kind of hidden benefit- be it that extra ‘focus’, ‘energy’, or ‘shine’.
For the most part, this is due to clever marketing ploys, sleek websites, and beautiful packaging. Unfortunately, the use of ‘water’ in the product name, creates an illusion that this is a purely natural drink with a few added vitamins. However, as you will see below- this is FAR from the case.
The list of ingredients in such drinks is extensive, and unfortunately, any perceived energy is likely to be due to the extremely high sugar and/or caffeine content in many brands. In fact, our search found that some brands contain as much as 100% of your recommended daily amount of added sugars (30g/day) in a single serving (20 fl oz).
What about the sugar-free brands?
Some brands play to the health-conscious consumer. They now substitute the sugar with sweeteners. This is certainly better than drinking a full-sugar version, however hopefully by now, you can see that these vitamin waters are far from ‘natural’ or ‘unprocessed’.
Surely the nutritional content of the vitamins is promising?
With over 100% of your daily recommended vitamin C, and 100% of several B vitamins- vitamin water may seem tempting. However, to put this into context, the recommended daily amount (RDA) of vitamin C (according the vitamin water website) is 60mg/day. One kiwi fruit alone provides 64mg- more than 100% of the RDA.
Nothing can compete with a healthy, balanced diet- we can get almost all the nutrients and electrolytes we need. If you aren’t managing to meet your nutritional demands (and are otherwise healthy), it may mean that your diet needs an over haul!
Still think you need a supplement?
According to The British Dietetic Association, most people can get all of the vitamins and minerals they need from a balanced diet and some sunlight. In some cases, a supplement may have benefits, however they are not a substitute alternative for a healthy diet. A multivitamin supplement is going to be a lot cheaper (and contain a lot less sugar!) than drinking vitamin water.
FTF’s verdict: Approach vitamin waters with caution since many brands have high sugar and caffeine levels. You are far better off making your own using fresh water flavoured with sliced fruit and/or berries!