It might feel trendy and cool, leaving the gym sporting a stylish outfit and gym bag, with an Instagram-worthy vitamin-enriched drink in hand. After all, every other sports junkie is usually spotted downing similar drinks post-workout, so of course it’s good! After all, it should mean that you’re getting all the vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes that your body requires, right? Apparently, not quite.
In fact, the good old profit-motive argument comes into play here. “Most of the [health] claims are marketing ploys to sell water at a higher price,” Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition at the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, shared. “They’re not about scientific evidence, and not about the public’s health.”
If you’re really interested in diversifying the types of nutrients that you take in on a daily basis, it would probably be best to incorporate them directly into your diet via whole foods, rather than getting them from a deceiving bottle of flavoured water. As explained by Dr. Alice Lichtenstein, professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University, “If we exceed the recommended daily allowance [of vitamins and nutrients], there is no indication that will increase our capacity. I haven’t seen any compelling evidence to indicate a benefit to willy-nilly drinking of supplement water.”
But what about the supposed ability of some of these drinks to help balance your body’s pH levels? Well, it’s very likely that these promises are simply marketing gimmicks too. “In the body, there are mechanisms for regulating pH because it is so critical. It’s highly unlikely that you would consume enough of any food or beverage to alter the pH of the body.” Dr. Lichtenstein. This means that you don’t actually need to consume any extra foods or drinks to help boost the adjustment of pH levels in your body.
In fact, another key concept to note is that the pH levels of food items could change once they have been ingested. Dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Robin Foroutan confirms this, as “even some things that have an acidic pH outside of the body, such as tomatoes or lemons are actually alkaline-forming once in the body”. In this sense, scientific research reveals that consuming enhanced water may not actually help in regulating pH levels, since the acidity of foods that you eat may very well be altered once they’ve gone down your gullet.
So, while vitamin-enriched water may serve as a healthier substitute for fizzy drinks loaded with excess amounts of sugar, chugging it on a regular basis is still generally unadvisable. In fact, some of them might still contain a good amount of sugar. Look to water for your hydration needs and stick with good ol’ fruits and vegetables instead!