Is plain old water too boring for you? You might be one of the millions of Americans that jumped on the flavored water trend. Several companies have been taking advantage of the fact that 20% of Americans don’t like the taste of water.
Is flavored water good for you?
The concept: A beverage that is better for you than soda and diet soda, and can put a new spin on plain old H20.
That’s the pitch that flavored water uses, but how much of it is true? Let me start out by saying there is no such thing as an alternative to water. Water is and will always be the best option for something to drink. You cannot and should not substitute flavored water for regular water.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s get to the real question; is flavored water healthy? Not really.
The reason I say it’s not really healthy for you is because the artificial flavoring and sugar decrease the benefits you get from drinking water. It’s like dipping an apple in caramel.
Flavored water is not natural
One of the advertising tricks used by companies to sell flavored water is to slap the words “all natural” on it. This gives you the impression that what you’re drinking is actually good for you. But the flavor in flavored water has to come from somewhere, and I guarantee you they’re not using real fruits. In reality, they use artificial sweeteners and sugar to flavor the water, neither which are good for you.
If the drink was really “natural”, the only ingredients on the back would be water and the natural source of the flavoring (i.e strawberry, ginger, mint, lemon, etc.). That’s not the case with flavored water, so don’t fall for the “all natural” line.
Swapping sugar for sugar
A lot of flavored waters are loaded with sugar. So the idea of them being healthier for you than soda is almost laughable. Many of them are just as bad for you as soda. Diet coke has fewer calories and sugar than regular Glaceau water.
You should avoid sugar loaded flavored water if your aim is to find an alternative drinking soda. You’re just trading one unhealthy drink for another. One just happens to have the word water in it.
But my flavored water says 0 calories!?!
So does Coke Zero, but that’s not healthy either. There is much more to being healthy than having little to no calories. Zero calories doesn’t replace the artificial crap they put in the “water” to make it taste good.
A healthy diet is one that has the least amount of processed foods as possible. There are some products like Glaceau’s Vitamin Water Zero that claim not to use artificial sweeteners and instead use fructose and erythritol to sweeten the drink. While this is definitely a lot better than other flavored waters on the market, it still contains additives.
Which flavored water should you drink?
I recommend skipping them altogether and try flavoring your water naturally instead. But if you really want one, look for the zero calorie ones with no artificial flavoring. Read the nutritional label. Avoid anything with a lot of sugar, sodium, and calories. Then look at the list of ingredients. If every single word sounds like some kind of chemical that you can’t even pronounce, skip it.
Or better yet, flavor your water naturally with REAL fruits.