Enhanced Water

Is it worth it?

In the beginning, there were rocks.  And cavemen. And water.  A pretty simple existence, but people lived through it.  Then humans became civilized, and they became consumers.  They became bored with water, and needed something more, enter the sugar-laced, caffeine-infused drinks called tea, coffee, and soda. People could get energy and pleasure from their drink. But water still remained. No one could escape the reality that the human body is made of over 70% water, and that we need at least 5 glasses per day of the stuff to survive. People found that when caffeine was added to water, it had a dehydrating effect on the human body, and when sugar was introduced, it made us fat and lazy. So water remained. Pure, tasteless, boring, life-sustaining water.Enhanced Water for Fitness
 
Then folks started becoming health-conscious. They WANTED water, and embraced it's health benefits. But there was something still something lacking. Drinking water from a faucet seemed so...archaic. We were modern and health-conscious. Surely we could do better than tap water! That was the birth of bottled water. As our caveman ancestors looked on in amusement, we ran to purchase the stuff by the case, little bottles of pure, tasteless, boring, life-sustaining water...for about $1.50 a bottle. And life was good.  But then someone got the bright idea that they could improve on it.  Add things like vitamins and minerals, and additives to help give us energy, or sleep more restfully, or calm our souls.  Enter Enhanced Water!  Bottling companies went crazy, infusing their bottled water with additives such as chamomile, electrolytes, vitamin D, vitamin C, GABA, melatonin, fiber, ginseng, and even protein! They thought up catchy names, and started marketing their products the dubbed "Dream Water", "Propel", and "Life Water".  And the crowd went wild! Now they could have their pure, boring, tasteless, life-sustaining water with even more health benefits! And at only $3 per bottle! And our caveman ancestors rolled their eyes.

So, what have we learned?  Simply put, whether for the purpose of promotion of health-conscious alternatives to traditional sodas, or to simply exploit the ignorance of the public, the companies selling us magic in a plastic bottle….well, they aren’t.   The basic truth is this:  nutrients are best delivered from the natural source where they are found.  Energy, restful sleep, balanced nutrition, and peace of mind can’t be found in a bottle of anything…not even water.

 

 

So what's the real story of Enhanced Water?  Is it the miracle drink that beverage companies claim?  A little research tells us that unfortunately, when something seems too good to be true, indeed it is. After reading some reports from Harvard, U.S. Consumer Reports, USA Today, and numerous health care providers, the reality that all agree on is that there is no real benefit of these Enhanced Waters over natural, pure, tasteless, boring, life-sustaining H2O.  Electrolyte-infused waters are of little value, unless one is in the midst of an excruciating workout in the sun. While GABA, melatonin, and chamomile do promote peaceful sleep, gulping down a bottle of water before bed can prove to disrupt sleep for another reason altogether.  And water-soluble vitamins being administered into the body in water are self-defeating. These vitamins are only of true benefit when administered through the foods that contain them -- the substance delivering the vitamins slows processing to allow for absorption before elimination -- something not available when taken in water alone.  What about the "calcium fortified water"?  According to University of Pittsburg Medical Center, it would take 10 bottles of this "fortified" water to match the daily requirement of 1,000 milligrams. Let us not forget the flavors that these Enhanced Waters are now being "infused" with.  Passion-fruit mango pineapple peach water has one of two things to make it TASTE that way....sugar, or artificial flavors and sweeteners.  Either way, it diminishes the health benefits of the drink.  As stated by David Katz, MD, MPH, associate professor of public health at Yale University’s School of Medicine, “If a product is sweetened, it’s not water – it’s a soda.”

So, what have we learned?  Simply put, whether for the purpose of promotion of health-conscious alternatives to traditional sodas, or to simply exploit the ignorance of the public, the companies selling us magic in a plastic bottle….well, they aren’t.   The basic truth is this:  nutrients are best delivered from the natural source where they are found.  Energy, restful sleep, balanced nutrition, and peace of mind can’t be found in a bottle of anything…not even water. 


 

Thanks to Stacy Kelly for writing this article!

 

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