(WellnessNova.com) - Around 20 percent of Americans dislike the taste of plain water, according to a Wall Street Journal article. So what do we do? We turn to flavored waters.
Even though we’re all well aware that water is super healthy and vital to drink, we struggle to guzzle down plain water and prefer beverages with more oomph. Instead of soda and other fizzy drinks that we deem unhealthy, we opt for plain water’s seemingly best alternative: flavored water.
Unfortunately, they may not be as healthy as you think. While it’s great that we’re ditching fizzy drinks, the not-so-great news is that we’re consuming sugary water instead. You wouldn’t believe what horrible ingredients are hidden in your flavored water.
On average, flavored water drinks contain about 13g of sugar. That’s around 3 teaspoons. The popular brand, Volvic’s Touch of Fruit in lemon and lime contains approximately 27.5g of sugar in just one single 500ml bottle. That’s nearly 7 teaspoons! Drinking one bottle of the drink which guarantees ‘tasty hydration’ is equal to eating three Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and contains more sugar than a Kit Kat bar. It’s shocking when you look at it like that, isn’t it?
We require a minimum of six glasses of water a day to function optimally. When you’re thirsty and you dislike plain water, you may drink flavoured water instead. Who can blame you? Don’t the ads depict these drinks as being not only tasty but high in essential vitamins too? Naturally, we’re going to guzzle it down, if it’s as healthy as they say it is. In reality, the reason flavoured water is tasty is because of added sugar and flavorings. By drinking these drinks, you’re filling your body with empty calories. Compared to natural water which contains 0 calories, many flavoured water drinks are high in calories. Propel Fitness Water in Lemon Flavour, for instance, holds 25 calories per bottle.
If you do happen to come across no calorie flavoured waters, don’t let these claims fool you into thinking you’re consuming a health drink. You aren’t. These drinks are packed with artificial sweeteners, a type of sugar substitute, that are added to enhance the flavour of the water without adding on the calories. Some common artificial sweeteners include Neotame, Sucralose, Acesulfame potassium, Aspartame, and Saccharin. While artificial sweeteners add practically no calories to your diet, they can cause many health problems, including cancer.
You know that pretty pink color of your flavored water? Artificial colors can be held responsible. They’re used in a variety of foods and beverages but if you can, it’s wise to steer clear of them. Known for causing allergic reactions in some people and hyperactivity in some children, these commonly used dyes are far from healthy. The bad news is that your so-called ‘healthy’ flavored water is probably bursting with artificial colors. In many European countries, a number of food colourings have been banned because of health concerns.
To extend shelf live, preservatives are added to flavored waters. Citric acid, sodium citrate and potassium citrate are commonly used in these drinks and are particularly dangerous to those with heart conditions, severe kidney issues, and adrenal gland disorders. Another common preservative in flavored water drinks is calcium disodium EDTA and works by preventing flavouring oils from turning rancid. In large doses, this compound is toxic to humans and can cause allergic reactions, seizures, arrhythmia, kidney failure or even death. According to the US Environmental agency, it’s also listed as a persistent organic pollutant.
We’re all guilty of thinking flavored water is a healthier alternative to soda when in fact, it’s not a lot better. Consumers are fooled into thinking that the drinks which promise to hydrate and provide essential vitamins are perfectly healthy for them and not much worse than plain water.
The truth is, flavoured water drinks are packed full of sugars, artificial sweeteners, dyes, and preservatives which can lead to numerous health problems.
When all is said and done, plain water really is the best thing for our bodies. How about adding a slice of lemon, orange or lime to your next glass of water to spruce it up a bit?