Health

Is vitaminwater good for you?

- Asks Valerie from California

December 3, 2007
A rainbow of flavors. [Credit: Glaceau Vitamin Water]
A rainbow of flavors. [Credit: Glaceau Vitamin Water]

Let’s face it – water is so dull. But vitaminwater, with its kaleidoscopic pinks, peaches and violets, is like Vegas in a bottle! Vitaminwater’s shimmering hues even seduced rapper 50 Cent, the inspiration for amethyst-tinged Formula 50. But aside from using star power and flashy colors, vitaminwater’s parent company, Glaceau (owned by Coca-Cola), markets the drink by emphasizing its nutritional value. Is there any science behind the marketing though?

A vitamin-fortified drink may sound like a swell idea, but there are two caveats to keep in mind. First, most Americans aren’t vitamin-deficient, according to Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University. A government survey in 1999 showed that the median American adult man or woman already consumes more than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6 and B12, and three-quarters of the RDA of vitamins C, B9 and A (including carotenes). In fact, vitamin E is the only surveyed vitamin Americans consume at less than half of the RDA – but it’s found in only a third of vitaminwater drinks.

If you want to drink your additional vitamin E, there’s a second caveat: your body may not absorb it. To understand why, it’s important to know that vitamins can be divided into two groups: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Vitamin C and the B complex group are water-soluble and can easily enter the bloodstream with water. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble. That means they can only enter the bloodstream to carry out their functions if they are dissolved in dietary fat, like that found in a meal. An Italian study published by the American Heart Association in 2001 showed that subjects who took vitamin E for two weeks on an empty stomach increased their vitamin E concentration in blood little or not at all, compared to an 84 percent increase in subjects who took the vitamin E supplement during dinner. So unless you prefer vitaminwater to wine with your meal, vitamins A and E will pass largely unused into your city’s septic system.

Even if you were to absorb all the vitamins, vitaminwater might have trouble living up to its image as a salubrious alternative to sugary soft drinks: Each bottle of vitaminwater contains 32.5 grams, or two heaping tablespoons, of crystalline fructose. Fructose is a simple sugar that sweetens many fruits, although the crystalline fructose in vitaminwater is produced from cornstarch, not fruit, by crystallizing the fructose in fructose-enriched corn syrups. As one would expect, nobody needs these extra sugars, according to Nestle, the NYU nutritionist. One research team has even indicated that the intense sweetness of sugary drinks may be addictive.

“The way that vitaminwater is marketed and positioned it’s made to look more healthful than other sugary beverages, but it’s not – it’s still just a soft drink,” said Margo G. Wootan, Director of Nutrition Policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “It has this aura of healthfulness that is not deserved. Adding vitamins and minerals to junk food doesn’t make it healthy.”

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Discussion

272 Comments

Matt G says:

guys… this is a retard3d thread. seriously.90% of posts are “OMF ILY VW. I DONT CARE ABOUT YOUR CALORIES YOU JUST TASTE SO GR8”
This is suposedly a disscussion on the practicality of this product. not “omg” “my and my girlfriends love vitamen water” “This product tadtes sooo gud ppl. you should try it.” “i’ve heard it could give you cancer, but i don’t believe something that tastes this good could give you caner.”

Now. Allow me to clarify some things.
Crystaline Fructose IS Corn syrup. they are the SAME thing. This is the artificial sweeter, a form of sugar. No fruit extracts, corn syrup. This contains small amounts of Arsenic and Lead, among other heavy metals.For those who do not know what heavy metals are… I’m not going to explain.
Vitamin water contains roughly roughly half the sugar of soft drinks. It is very expensive for “water”. As in very expensive. For those who want to use it as a sports drink, there is no bottles larger than 20oz (560ml) around. The most economical way to buy it is well… in 24 bottle boxes for $48US. None of you have addressed the point of fat soluable vitamins. -.-
ZZzzz
Yes it tastes good. GJ for noticing that. Its also related to cancer, diabetes. There are studies that have shown that an increasing amount of young adults are suffering strokes related to the excessive amounts of Crystaline Fructose in sports drinks. So yes ignorance is bliss. If you look at courtneys post, 149, you will see my point…. period. In my expirence the majority of ppl who drink VS are chicks my age, 16, who are like, OMG my prich parents buy me VW every day. It tastes sooo goood and the XXX flavour has sexy blurbs, which made me buy it.

Zzz

KB says:

Ok so I’ve also heard that deodorant causes cancer. Does that mean you are going to stop wearing it? I hope not because if so God help those around you.
And coke makes my stomach hurt…. vitamin water just feels lighter on my stomach than coke.

I Love IT! Energy and Power~

Cheshire Cat says:

Well, regardless of whether Vitamin Water is good for you or not, after reading many of these entries, I can see why some parents kill their young.

emily says:

One of Vitamin Water’s main ingredients, crystalline fructose, contains heavy metals including arsenic and lead. Nutrition experts have warned that these metals are toxic to the human body. [7]

jrne2010 says:

i kniow this isnt goin to be anythuing about the article but props to the author and some of tyou commenters.. if anyone would like to help me i;m writing an article over this artile please post some more info bout any other links that could help! thanks!

TruckerfrmHouston says:

I love vitamin water. I find it a better alternative to soda. They don’t have that much caffiene in them. Calories smalories. What the hell is a calorie and why have they just now started killing people. And why be surprised that a coca cola product has arsenic and other poisons in it. Coca cola started as a “miracle tonic” that had cocaine in it (and if you ask me still does). They protested coca cola in india because it had pesticides. People who replace regular water for vitamin water are crazy. It looks and tastes like water down kool aid. Would you replace water with kool aid. If you would than expect to have health problems. Us americans are very wierd. Drink it if you dig it but please drink water as well

bj says:

I drink it because it tastes good. It could have zero vitamins and not advertised like it is and I’d still drink it. Can’t be arsed about if it’s healthy or not, most things consumed aren’t anyways. People really can do a lot worse than Vitamin Water.

JSG says:

People need to stop asking if it’s “bad for you,” and asking “how does it compare to everything else.” Sure, it’s not water, but you can’t compare any drink out there to water. But vitamin water, compared to soda and other high-content sugary drinks, is the better choice. Sure, it has the sugar, but overall, the sugar and calorie content is less when compared. So that’s the real debate. There is no problem in drinking it, I actually drink it now instead of soda when possible, but it should be treated like soda. Drank every once in a while, NOT a substitute for real water, Vitamin Water is perfectly fine. And the flavors are amazing, but I’d advise everyone against the Green Tea… it’s gross. :] Please reply, I’d like to know what others thought of this comment. Thanks!

igotjdpergant says:

i like Vitamin Water, but after finding out its has so much sugar. i cant drink it i like having teeths (and yes i use the words teeths with inthuasim) i just need to keep drinking only water…

No More Vitamin Water says:

I used to drink Vitamin Water, but this thread, as well as reading the sugar content, has made me fear it. It apparently makes you illiterate with prolonged use and prone to voluntary mental degradation.

15yr0ldhautay says:

no mor vitamnn watr u dunt kno whut u talkin bout neways. i luv viteaman water it da best!!! LOOL!! like it s not pop buit vitameins and stuff like r soooooo cool bcuz its not like tap water OMFGROFL!
lik sooo whut if i only 15?! like OMG who like cares just drink it or sumfin geeez ppl liten up it the best drink evr made!

Vitamin Water… it’s what plants crave!

akldsfjkl says:

vitamin water is %100 horrible
it’s a monster in a dazzling wrapped bottle
it killed my father and raped my wife
it also burned my house and stole my land
then it broke my legs and left me for dead
stop drinking vitamin water
because it will find you
and it will kill you

PS: Vitamin water is good!

hey 15yr0ldhautay down to about “Vitamin Water… it’s what plants crave!” were you like talking a different like language like? because if you weren’t you better be foriegn or something and if you’re not foriegn either you are luckly as hell you were born in the US as a citizen because your enire mockery of the english language is horrible

oh and to stay on topic vitamin water is good

HEATHER says:

I LOVE VITAMIN WATER! ACTUALLY IM DRINKIN POWER-C RIGHT NOW!
SO WHY R U GNA WASTE YOUR TIME IF YOU DONT LIKE IT DONT DRINK AND DONT COME ON THIS WEBSITE AND HATE!
MMMMMM… POWER-C IS GREAT!

HEATHER says:

Ok lets compare vitamin water to a type of food….. if you dont like the food are you gonna eat it? No! so why come on this website and talk crap about this drink….. Come on now ppl! Get serious! nobody is making you drink this so why waste the time and come on here if you dont like it! Do you think for one minute that what you say thats negative about this drink is gna change billions of other who love the drink? I think if you dont like the vitamine water then you should get out of this website and go to one that you do like! cause nobody care about calories and Taurine and sugar! Cause if people really cared about that stuff then they wouldnt have made the drink people wouldnt be spendin there money on it and it wouldnt be a popular drink! SO THERE YOU HAVE IT! EVERYONE LOVES VITAMIN WATER

AND AS OF ME I LOVE THE POWER-C WHOEVER THOUGHT OF THAT ONE IS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elley says:

Such passionate responses…regarding Vitamin Water…

Humans are weird, non?

Sabrina! says:

Haha.. Well Vitamin Water is pretty great alternative to water and regular soda.
Just as long as you can burn off all the calories.
It’s really tasty, my favorite flavor is XXX (:
That, and Power-C!

just me says:

Vitamin water is great!! The poster way above me, your mom, you are 15 and need to learn how to spell…seriously.

jackieeeee says:

i love the pink vitamin water the bessssst:)))) wooooopshhhhhhhhh!

Lester says:

VitaminWater is the reason why women’s rights should be revoked. The vast majority of fools buying this over-priced, sugar-flavoured “water” are women.

Newsflash: eating fruit is cheaper.

Mimi says:

Vitamin water is great for you, there’s truly nothing bad about it. 99% of the food we eat has quite a lot of sugar in it anyway, you need sugar and you shouldn’t restrict all of it. Let’s take the brand XXX for example,3g of sugar per serving. That’s not even a teaspoon of sugar. In vitamin water, the sugar included is healthier than High Fructose Corn Syrup and regular sugar. Everyone should stop complaining about the sugar and enjoy it, it has a good amount of vitamins that can be absorbed if you eat the right food along with it. It is a WAY better alternative than pop and is just another step to solve the United States obesity problem. The only problem vitamin water is, is the type of brand you buy, such as the Kiwi flavored one, that’s a little higher in sugar. Just find a healthier vitamin water, drink it down, and live life knowing you didn’t drink a soda and have energy.

BRAND EQUITY BABY!!!

TAKE MARKETING CLASS + NUTRITION CLASS!! THEN YOU WILL KNOW WHY THIS SHIT IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU. SUCKERS. GO TO COLLEGE! LEARN A THING OR TWO. IDIOTS! HAHAHAHA.

Alan says:

“it should be treated like soda. Drank every once in a while, NOT a substitute for real water”

QFT.

The best, of course, would be to drink regular water and eat varied colors of fruits and vegetables.

But I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, they put out a new series on the shelf recently, named Vitamin Water 10, which claim to have only 10 calories per serving.

Slash says:

It’s just a drink, there is more crap in most of the food you eat daily. You only have one God givin life,DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!!! Y’all need a life. Jesus Loves You.

LikeWoah says:

Why is regular water so uncool? Why, because it’s not marketed by large corporation!

This is fantastic. The power of advertising. I love it. Not the drinks, I’m a water and juice person myself.

And to the parent who is upset about her children switching from Vitaminwater to juice… are you flippin serious?
That’s like telling them it’s not acceptable to choose eating potatoes over potato chips.
The two belong in different categories, and that’s okay. As long as people understand the line.
Vitaminwater is no different from other sports drinks, and you wouldnt give your kid Gatorade to wash down his pancakes would you?

Chef Betty Brain says:

OH FOR GOD”S SAKE!!!!!! Why does everyone think that this crap is even acceptable! Just plain water 100% fruit juice, milk an occasionalglass of wine or whisky. Eat right to begin with and you won’t crave all this colored vitamien crap!!!! Haven’t had a soft drind in 35 years and would never touch that colored stuff they call vitamen water. This is why our country is full of obese people!!!!

Chef Betty Brain says:

By the way I being a country girl have never found great onadulerated water DULL! On the contrary, I can’t wait to have my first glass of crisp clear water every morning when I first wake up!

Vette says:

I love vitamin water. I have one every weekday with my lunch while I’m at work, only I freeze mine for about 4 hours (after drinking it down about an inch in the bottle) then let it thaw until it’s not quite slushy, but still frozen. I then squeeze the bottle (with the lid on) to break up the ice or I’ll use a plastic spoon to do it. It’s a treat that I look forward to having! I love all the flavor! Has anyone tried the new flavor “Sync” Berry-Cherry? Delicious!!! Viva La Vitamin Water! BTW, my husbands asks me if I own stock in Vitamin Water because I buy so much of it. *lol*

Vette says:

Sorry for the typos: *flavors and *husband (I only have one) *lol*

Jenny says:

People would benefit more from drinking milk, 100% juices, and consuming proper amounts of fruits and vegetables than consuming Vitamin Water, but, because this is not an ideal world, it is highly unlikely that this will ever happen.

The new 10 Calorie Vitamin Water is an entirely new issue.
It not only contains fructose and erythritol, but it also contains stevia extracts. Stevia is a debatable natural sweetener derived from the Stevia plant, which is native to South America. In its concentrated form, stevia extracts taste hundreds of times sweeter than table sugar and don’t cause tooth decay, but that doesn’t make them better.
Stevia has been shown to cause damage to the reproductive organs among other adverse effects.

Case in point being:

Analyze before you metabolize.
Make sure you know exactly what you’re going to be putting into your body before you proceed.

pokerfan702 says:

i go on and off between vitaminwater energy and amp. if you ask me theyre both very good and give you some kind of a boost. i drink both on the poker table

Alex says:

I love the vitamin water flavor XXX, but I started drinking it right before prom and what do you know i gained ten pounds…Apparently electrolytes make you retain water? This issue should be addressed.

Mariah says:

I know vitamin water is good for you but there are some that are not.For example the grape brand isn’t really good for your body it has to much sugar. That is why is you should buy the new brand
Vitamin water light.

energy says:

Glaceau created smartwater as well for the regular water drinkers out there, except smartwater also has three electrolytes in it and is vapor distilled! This gives it a step up from tap water.

Vitaminwater seems to also be recognizing our concerns of calories out there as well, and came out with that new vitaminwater10 stuff. I’m sure everyone’s seen the commercials already with mothernature in it. Anyways 10 cals per serving, so that’s 25 calories per its 20 oz bottle, which is way better than before! Yay vitaminwater-and it comes in my fav flavor stilll energy for only 10 cals.

Dashing Leech says:

The problem here is that foods are not really healthy or unhealthy. It is diets that are healthy or unhealthy. The degree to which foods are individually healthy is relative to other potential sources. Pretty much everything edible contributes something useful. Even wings and pizza provide useful and necessary diet components. They are just poor sources in comparison to other potential sources.

The question worth asking should be: How do we measure the healthiness of individual foods? Is it with respect to the best possible sources (not as health as …) or worst possible sources (healthier than …). Or should we just stop calling foods binary terms like healthy or unhealthy and use some sort of healthiness scale.

steve says:

people avoid calories too much its called exercise plus id take 1000 natural calories over a “low calorie” or “0 calorie” artificial sweetener anyday

Glow Worm says:

To Lish… WOHOO I’m Drinking Arsenic. Who gives a fuck? It’s fucking better then that Pepsi and Coca-Cola shit.

XXX and Power-C is where it’s at.

Although I make exceptions for the Energy Drink Crunk!!!

:D

Glow Worm says:

Oh, and Apple seeds have Arsenic, but it’s such a small dose. It’ll kill you if you eat around 20,000 of them, You’l probably need to drink alot of Vitamin Water for the same effect, and even then you’ll end up pissing it out.

mehh says:

people are dumb.. they think ’cause it says water it’ll be good for you. they don’t do the research. let’s just rename it vitamin soft drink.

Thomas Elliott says:

I too like at least one variety of vitaminwater, Essential – Orange Orange. I find it a bit better if I add one teaspoon of Aspartame sweetener. Adds no calories but makes it more palatable for me. I don’t drink it on a regular basis but it beats plain water on taste.

tati says:

JUST DRINK WATER AND POP SOME VITAMINS DAILY… I TRIED VITAMIN WATER AND I LOVE IT THE TASTE IS GREAT FOR WHAT IT IS..BUT… I DID MY RESEARCH AND I’M CONVINCED THAT ALL THAT SUGAR IS NOT GOING TO HELP ME LOSE THIS BELLY FAT. SO..I’M GOING TO FINISH UP THE 5 BOTTLES I HAVE IN MY FRIDGE AND GO BACK TO BASIC WATER. IT WAS FUN WHILE IT LASTED VITAMINWATER..GOOD RITTENS…

joe says:

sean, do you even know what electrolytesw are?

Vitamin water is a great soft drink indeed, but….

What really irritates me is the fact they try to make it look healthy!

Their health claims – on bottles and on the website – are, at least, not responsible.

Any dietary supplements with such claims would be banned by FDA.

Be well,
Meir

tim says:

I read an interesting article on VitaminWater’s branding and marketing today. It’s nice to finally see someone challenge Gatorade. I definitely agree that both are pretty much sugar water though :)

http://onthebutton.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/vitamin-water/

john bryant says:

it’s no worse for you than gatorade. regardless of whether or not it’s good for you, the brand is awesome! i found a cool review of vitaminwater here: http://onthebutton.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/vitamin-water/ some branding experts give vitamin water a tip of the hat. thought it would be interesting.

Galt says:

Wow, all the sugar haters. This stuff is just what you need when you are dealing with a bad hangover. A night of drinking depletes your b-vitamins and electrolyte (sugar) levels. Water alone won’t fix that.

Violetta says:

87–Vitamin water gives me stomach aches, too, which really bums me out because I love the taste and the fact that it has fewer calories than soda. I refuse to drink anything with artificial sweetener, so I thought VW was perfect. My favorite flavor was Be Relaxed, but then I noticed episodes of gastrointestinal distress after drinking it. I seem to tolerate Dragonfruit much better–but i am curious as to why the stomach aches??? I am sure they were caused by the Be Relaxed Vitamin Water.

sports mom says:

US Gov related Sports association was endorsing Gatorade for some reason since many years ago. So…I used to buy Gatorade all the time, but didn’t like the fact that is just water w/color and corn syrup.(nothing but CAPRI SUN) I discontinued buying it. Then these days, I buy Vitamine water since kids explains that it works better for them for their match or training when they drinks it. I try not to buy same flavor all the time, and mix it up. Since this is not natural drinks, I’ll continue to investigate if this is safe and won’t give any future problem for kids.

salina connelly says:

I love Vitamin Water, I just got done drinking my 3rd one. I’ve been drinking it for quite a while now, it doesn’t give you cancer.

Lucy says:

On the ingredients list, it says it contains “reverse osmosis water, cane sugar… colour” (I have the ‘Energy’ one right now, so it lists citric acid, natural flavour, guarana seed extract [for flavour]; also has 50 mg of caffiene).

I live in Canada; some reason, I see a difference in the ingredients listed here and on my bottle, which spells “flavour” instead of the absence of ‘u’.

Calories/591mL: 120

I love this disdained substance regardless.

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