Vitaminwater has become increasingly popular.
It contains added vitamins and minerals and is marketed as healthy.
However, some Vitaminwater products are loaded with added sugar, which can be unhealthy when consumed in excess.
Additionally, few people are deficient in the nutrients added to Vitaminwater.
Here are 5 reasons why Vitaminwater may be bad for your health.
Vitaminwater is a beverage brand owned by the Coca-Cola Company.
There are many varieties, each with an attractive name like "focus," "endurance," "refresh" and "essential."
As its name indicates, Vitaminwater is water enriched with vitamins and minerals. Coca-Cola claims it adds natural colors and flavors as well.
However, Vitaminwater is also loaded with added sugar — particularly fructose, which is linked to various health problems when consumed in excess.
Summary Vitaminwater is a brand of beverages owned by the Coca-Cola Company. It contains added vitamins and minerals and is generally sweetened with sugar. There is also a “Zero” line without added sugar.
One 20-ounce (591-ml) bottle of Vitaminwater contains about 120 calories and 32 grams of sugar — about 50% less than a regular Coke.
However, the type of sugar used varies between countries.
In the US, Vitaminwater is sweetened with crystalline fructose and sucrose, also called cane sugar — while sucrose is the main sweetener in other countries.
Crystalline fructose is worse for your health, as it's almost pure fructose — over 98%. On the other hand, sucrose is half glucose and half fructose.
A closer look reveals that a bottle of Vitaminwater in the US may harbor the same amount of fructose as a bottle of regular Coke.
That is because the majority of the sugar in US Vitaminwater is in the form of pure fructose, while fructose comprises only half of the sugar content of Coke.
Many studies suggest that fructose — not glucose — is the main harmful component of added sugar (, ).
Summary One bottle of Vitaminwater packs 120 calories and 32 grams of sugar. In the US, where it is sweetened with crystalline fructose, it contains just as much fructose as a regular Coke.
When it comes to weight gain or weight loss, what you drink is just as important as what you eat.
When you consume calories from liquid sugar, your body does not compensate by making you eat less of other foods.
The calories from these sugar-sweetened drinks then pile on top of everything you eat. Over time, this can lead to weight gain, increased risk of obesity and other related diseases (, , ).
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is among the world's strongest risk factors for obesity, with some studies showing up to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children for each daily serving (, ).
There is no reason why Vitaminwater should be any different. It is just another sugary beverage.
Summary Because your body does not compensate for liquid sugar calories, you often consume more calories overall. Sugar-sweetened beverages like Vitaminwater are strongly linked to weight gain and obesity.
Health experts agree that added sugar plays a key role in modern epidemics of obesity and chronic diseases (, ).
It's recommended not to consume more than 10% of your total daily calories in the form of added sugars — preferable less than 5%.
For a 2,500-calorie diet, this equals 62 or 31 grams of added sugar, respectively.
As one bottle of Vitaminwater supplies 32 grams of added sugar, that’s 50–100% of your recommended upper limit.
Added sugar is strongly associated with type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and even cancer (, , , , ).
This applies mainly to fructose, which can only be metabolized in significant amounts by your liver.
Excess fructose consumption may increase your blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, insulin resistance, fat buildup around your organs and risk of fatty liver disease (, , , ).
These are major risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and obesity (, , ).
Keep in mind that this does not apply to small amounts of fructose you get from fruit. Due to its water and fiber content, fruit has a low energy density — making it difficult to obtain too much fructose from food.
Summary One bottle of Vitaminwater provides 50–100% of the daily recommended limit for added sugar. Added sugars, especially fructose, are associated with a variety of diseases and health problems.
All types of Vitaminwater contain B vitamins at 50–120% of the reference daily intake (RDI) and vitamin C at 50–150% of the RDI.
Some types also boast smaller amounts of vitamins A and E, as well as the minerals potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and chromium.
Vitamins B and C are water-soluble vitamins that are almost never lacking in the average person's diet (, ).
Consuming excess amounts of these vitamins does not provide any health benefits. Your body does not store them but simply excretes them via urine.
That said, certain subgroups of people may be lacking in some of these vitamins and minerals — especially B12 and folate.
However, it’s counterproductive to drink unhealthy, sugary beverages to get these nutrients.
If you’re deficient, eat whole foods or take supplements instead.
Summary Most of the micronutrients in Vitaminwater are unnecessary for your health, as you’re likely already getting more than enough from your diet.
When it comes to nutrition, more is not always better.
Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are absolutely crucial as part of a healthy diet.
They may improve health and help prevent a range of diseases, including heart disease and cancer (, ).
However, supplementing with vitamins or antioxidants has not been linked with the same health benefits ().
In fact, supplementing with some antioxidants and vitamins, such as vitamins A and E, may increase your risk of premature death (, , ).
Although Vitaminwater does not have excessive amounts of these vitamins on its own, it does provide considerable amounts — 25–50% of the RDI for each vitamin.
When you add 25–50% of the RDI on top of what you're already getting from food, you could reach excessive amounts.
Not only are the micronutrients in Vitaminwater unnecessary for most people, but they may also be dangerous if they’re bumping your intake to harmful levels.
Summary Some Vitaminwater varieties contain vitamins A and E, which may cause harm consumed in unnaturally large amounts.
Though Vitaminwater may seem like a great beverage to add to your diet, it’s no more than a dangerous fad.
When the Coca-Cola Company was sued for deceptive and unsubstantiated health claims about Vitaminwater, its lawyers suggested that "no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking Vitaminwater [is] a healthy beverage."
The problem is that many people do fall for marketing claims.
Most people don't read ingredient labels and don't realize how unethical and ruthless junk-food conglomerates can be.
Despite the marketing tactics, Vitaminwater is an unhealthy beverage that you should avoid or only drink on special occasions.
At best, it is a slightly less bad version of Coke.