Ingesting bottle after bottle of fancy, vitamin-enriched water might make you feel like you’re treating your body like the temple that it is, but beware the bright health halo: It may be blinding you from the truth.
While staying hydrated and getting the supposed extra bonus of good-for-you supplements like vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes may make you feel like you’re checking off all the wellness boxes at once, enhanced beverages aren’t actually doing much boosting for your well-being, according to some experts.
“Most of the claims are marketing ploys to sell water at a higher price They’re not about scientific evidence, and not about the public’s health.” —Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest
“Most of the claims are marketing ploys to sell water at a higher price,” Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told Time. “They’re not about scientific evidence, and not about the public’s health.”
Bummer, right? And, not to kick you while you’re down (maybe clutching your fluorescent, tasty bottle of H2O’s distant cousin), but you probably don’t even need the additives—it’s best to get your fix of nutrients through your diet, after all.
“If we exceed the recommended daily allowance [of vitamins and nutrients], there is no indication that will increase our capacity,” Alice Lichtenstein, PhD, professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University said to Time. “I haven’t seen any compelling evidence to indicate a benefit to willy-nilly drinking of supplement water.”
Aside from vitamins, nutrients, and electrolytes, some enhanced drinks also claim to balance the pH levels in your body—an assertion that’s probably also B.S, as Dr. Lichtenstein notes what you eat barely affects the acid levels in your blood. “In the body, there are mechanisms for regulating pH because it is so critical,” she said “It’s highly unlikely that you would consume enough of any food or beverage to alter the pH of the body.”
So while lower-sugar enhanced beverages are a great alternative if you’re trying cut sugary sodas out of your diet, once and for all, the overall verdict on these drinks is this: No, they’re not bad for you, but they’re certainly not worth the money if you’re guzzling for health gains. (Instead, spend your extra pennies on healthy food items.) And keep in mind that plain H2O is the gold standard; it’s why so many comparisons are made to “the water of life.”