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Flavored waters can be a healthy addition to your fridge or cooler.
Many people drink them instead of soft drinks and other sugary beverages, which often pack excess calories and little to no nutritional value (
Depending on the type, flavored waters can be refreshing and hydrating without contributing to unwanted weight gain. Some varieties even boast beneficial antioxidants from plant extracts and fruit juices (2).
Here are 10 of the best flavored water brands based on their nutritional value.
1. Frozen Garden fusions
Frozen Garden fusions are blends of 100% fruit and herbs frozen into small pieces, allowing you to flavor your water at home. You simply drop one piece into a glass of water and stir occasionally until it melts in 3–5 minutes.
Each piece makes 12 ounces (355 mL) of flavored water that contains only 5 calories, 1 gram of carbs, and no added sugars or artificial ingredients — plus 6% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C (3).
Spindrift makes sparkling water from real fruit juices and pureés.
These ingredients differentiate it from many other brands, which may use natural flavors but don’t identify the specific sources.
Furthermore, their products are free of added sugars, dyes, and artificial ingredients.
Spindrift is available in several flavors, such as raspberry lime, orange mango, and cucumber. Depending on the flavor, each 12-ounce (355-mL) can contains 2–17 calories, 0–4 grams of carbs, and up to 10% fruit juice (6).
3. JUST Water
JUST Water is a non-carbonated spring water infused with organic fruit essences.
Fruit essences, also called aromas, are one of many natural flavor substances approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They’re derived by heating fruit, collecting the resulting vapor, and condensing it for use in foods and beverages (7).
Each 16.9-ounce (500-mL) carton is free of calories, added sugars, and artificial sweeteners.
Notably, the carton is made mostly from paper while its cap is made from sugarcane (8).
Plus, the carton can be refilled, which may make it appealing if you’re looking to avoid single-use plastic water bottles — which aren’t designed to be reused (
4. Drink Simple sparkling maple water
Drink Simple sparkling waters contain carbonated maple water and juice concentrates.
Maple water is the clear, slightly sweet sap found in maple trees. It’s collected by tapping a spout into a maple tree, which allows the sap to flow out.
Though it can be boiled down into maple syrup, maple water itself isn’t sticky — in fact, it looks and feels just like regular water.
Since maple water and juice concentrates contribute some naturally occurring sugars, these flavored waters are not calorie-free. However, they have roughly 70% fewer calories than the same serving of a soft drink (
Each 12-ounce (355-mL) can contains 40 calories, 10 grams of carbs, 40% of the DV for manganese, 4% of the DV for calcium, and 1% of the DV for potassium (13).
5. Sound sparkling water
The company Sound infuses sparkling water with a variety of organic teas, herbs, and fruit extracts to create unique flavor combinations.
These drinks are free of calories, sweeteners, and artificial ingredients. The green and black tea varieties contain 45 mg of caffeine per 12-ounce (355-mL) can, while the ginger and hibiscus tea flavors are caffeine-free (14).
Though Sound’s products haven’t been studied specifically, green and black teas are linked to a host of health benefits due to their high concentration of plant compounds called flavonoids (
6. Polar seltzer
Polar Beverages offers 18 flavors of seltzer water, plus several seasonal varieties.
The only ingredients are carbonated water and natural flavors, which are derived from fruit essences (18).
They’re unsweetened, calorie-free, and contain no artificial ingredients.
Waterloo sparkling waters are free of sugar, sweeteners, and other additives. The only ingredients are carbonated water and natural flavors derived from fruit essences (19).
This popular sparkling water comes in over 20 flavors.
LaCroix products have no calories, added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or other artificial ingredients. They’re flavored with natural fruit essences (21).
Ugly sparkling waters are made without calories, sugar, or artificial ingredients. Their products are infused with fruit extracts, natural aromas, and essential oils (22).
Essential oils are highly concentrated oils extracted from plants that carry potent flavors and fragrances. Though you should never ingest them on their own, the FDA has approved certain types in small amounts for flavoring food and beverages (23).
Perrier sparkling water originated in France and is widely available throughout North America and Europe.
Although best known for its plain mineral water, Perrier also sells lemon, lime, and pink grapefruit flavors. All are calorie-free and contain 4% of the DV for calcium per 8.5-ounce (250-mL) can (
Like other brands, Perrier contains just carbonated water and natural flavors (25).
Homemade flavored water
If you’d rather save money and reduce waste, it’s easy to make flavored water at home.
Simply add your favorite sliced fruits and herbs to cold water — the longer you let it sit, the stronger the flavor.
Here are some popular flavor combinations:
The nutritional content of homemade flavored waters varies depending on the recipe. However, homemade flavored waters are typically very low in calories and may supply vitamin C and other water-soluble vitamins from the fresh fruit (
What’s more, they may help reduce your carbon footprint.
An estimated 38 billion plastic water bottles end up in landfills each year in the United States alone. Drinking homemade flavored water from a glass or reusable bottle may help reduce this waste (
How to choose
Based on your personal preferences, you may also want to steer clear of products containing artificial ingredients like preservatives, flavorings, dyes, and sweeteners.
Many flavored waters contain natural flavors, which are derived from animal or plant sources. That said, some of these are highly processed, and companies aren’t required to disclose their sources (
If this is a concern to you, you’re better off making flavored water at home using fresh sliced fruit and water.
The bottom line
A variety of great flavored waters are available on the market.
The options listed in this article are low calorie or calorie-free — without any added sugars or artificial ingredients.
The next time you’re hankering for a bit of sweetness or fizz, grab one of these drinks instead of a soda.