4 Waters Enhanced With 100% Hype

“Enhanced water” is gaining popularity and is helping companies such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi to turn a tidy profit. Many of these trendy drinks contain an array of ingredients and claim a variety of health benefits. Newsweek and the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group that focuses on nutrition, say that the science behind many of these health claims is weak. They have assembled a small list of four “enhanced water” drinks which are probably doing little more than keeping you hydrated.

VitaminWater B-Relaxed Jackfruit-Guava with vitamins B and theanine
Coca Cola claims that vitamins B and theanine help fight stress. The CSPI says there is no evidence that the vitamins in this water have a calming effect. Theanine can reduce blood pressure but doesn’t have an effect on mood, according to studies in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Additionally, this drink contains no jackfruit or guava, just flavors.

Dasani Plus Defend + Protect with zinc and vitamin E
Vitamin E typically only boosts immunity in large quantities in people who have a deficiency. There is evidence that zinc lozenges may shorten the duration colds, but there is no evidence to suggest that drinking zinc in water has an effect on cold duration.

Sobe Life Water Challenge Your Life with taurine and ginseng
This beverage’s label doesn’t say how much taurine and ginseng is in the bottle. Newsweek asked Sobe about the quantities to which they replied, “We allow customers to decide what ‘challenge’ means to them.”

Aquafina Alive Satisfy with maltodextrin
Maltodextrin is a fiber, but not a soluble fiber, so it may do nothing to keep you regular, if that is your goal.

A Healthy Drink? Try Plain Water


Edit Your Comment

  1. boss_lady says:

    “We allow customers to decide what ‘challenge’ means to them.”

    UM, WHAT?

  2. ErinYay says:

    But they have a COLOR and a FLAVOR, so they must be good.

    (Let’s not forget the alarmingly high calorie count of these jerkwaters.)

  3. Daemon_of_Waffle says:

    It has a flavor.

  4. LeJerk says:

    Expensive water is expensive.

    I get my vitamins from FOOD.

  5. I just take a plain water and crush up a multi-vitamin into it. About half the content is water soluble, adding a delightful flavor. The rest of the pill is fat soluble, so I just consider that “bonus crunchies!”

  6. ark86 says:

    As much as I know that there isn’t much of anything to VitaminWater, I still like the taste. I’ll put down the extra bucks for it once and awhile. That said, I always get annoyed when I hear someone talking about the “health benefits” of the stuff. Just eat healthy and exercise, dammit!

  7. j03m0mma says:

    Sounds like the main ” Ingredient” is Bull Shit!!!

  8. “Theanine can reduce blood pressure”

    That shit best be written right on the side of the bottle, unstated pharmacological effects are bad .

  9. superlayne says:

    I think Sobe is drinking a different kind of water.

    Yea, it’s the same with Diet Coke Plus and whatever. Sure, drink it, but if you start lauding the health benefits of your aspartame and artificial coloring you’re going to get backhanded.

  10. mike says:

    I don’t understand why people buy water. I can understand people buying filters for tap water. Some city water taste and smell funky even if they are healthy.

    But why pay $6+/gallon of water when you can buy a month’s worth of water including shower for $6?

  11. rmz says:

    Additionally, VitaminWater has 13g of sugar per 8oz. Kind of defeats the purpose of it being water, I think?

  12. BlondeGrlz says:

    @superlayne: That Diet Coke Plus is awful. It completely ruins the aspartame aftertaste I know and love so well.

  13. Angryrider says:

    People sure are stupid buying into the “enhanced water” garbage. Nothing beats fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals. Why should I drink distilled water with crap just to reap some kind of benefit?

  14. scooterist says:

    They should market one called “VitaminWater B-Relaxed Jackshit” or “Sobe Life Water – We Challenge Your Intelligence” because that’s what it is. Consumers are so freaking stupid to be constantly taken in by this crap.

    Go ahead and waste your money on flavored sugar water you dummies and as a bonus you get to fill up the landfills with the empty plastic bottles.

  15. beavis88 says:

    @linus: $6/month? Where do you live? My minimum monthly water bill is $78 for 3,000 gallons (thank you small town water utility and your decades of gross mismanagement…) Still, at ~$0.03/gal, it’s substantially cheaper than bottled…

  16. @linus: But why pay $6+/gallon of water when you can buy a month’s worth of water including shower for $6?

    I was with you until that last part. A small house with two people, 1 shower a day each, a few loads of laundry on the weekend, and no sprinklers…and my water/sewer bill is over $50 a month. Usually closer to $70.

    /yes, I drink nothing but filtered tap water

  17. I feel like Vitamin Water “Revive” helps me with hangovers better than regular water, but that might just be a mental thing. The rest of them are too sweet for me to drink with any regularity (and they’re free at work, so they’ve got to be extra-bad for me not to drink them!).

  18. Juliekins says:

    You forgot “Perfect Water,” sold by (Amway) Quixtar. (Google search for perfect water scam.) Those snake oil salesmen were at the expo for a triathlon I volunteered to help with a couple of weeks ago. They claim it’s purified, remineralized, ionized, microstructured (wtf?), and oxygen rich (with proprietary MBO technology). Yes, they really claim that they somehow manage to get more O into H2O. Riiiiiiiight.

    I gave them my spamtrap e-mail address, and what do you know…they’re spamming me. Scumbags.

  19. Bladefist says:

    @BlondeGrlz: Ya, nothing beats the taste of possible cancer and memory loss.

  20. @linus: Convenience? It’s like anything else, you put it into a portable package and people are willing to pay a premium (just look at the price difference between two liters of cola and a 20oz bottle).

  21. @FitJulie: I enjoy the remineralized portion.

    Perfect Water, we take the minerals out and put them back in again to pass the savings onto you.

  22. AD8BC says:

    @Ash78: @linus: I drink bottled water when I stay at hotels, just for the consistent taste. I drink bottles of water that I buy by the gallon at home for just 75 cents (I want to get one of those tap filters but I need a new faucet first).

    In Hurst, Texas, my water bills are about $50-$60 a month (before they add only about 6 bucks for trash and recycling), this covers my wife showering 5 minutes a day, me showering about 30 minutes a day, frequent clothes and dishwashing.

    I’d love to have the 6 dollar water bills mentioned above!

  23. dktcluff says:

    “It’s what plants crave. It’s got electrolytes”.

  24. azntg says:

    Never really bought into that enhanced water crap. I prefer filtered tap water, bottled spring water and tea just fine, thank you very much.

    @Bladefist: Yessir. If the weird bitter aftertaste of the aspertame laced drink isn’t a good enough reminder, I don’t know what is :-)

  25. Skankingmike says:

    I take half part pomegranate Juice and half part water and POOF thats my “vitamin water” minus the sugars.

    adding vitamins to your diet has no proof of doing anything for you.

    eat your vitamins like we’re suppose too

  26. Balisong says:

    @rmric0: According to Wiki, theanine is naturally present in tea, so it’s not some crazy abnormal chemical. If someone has dangerously low blood pressure levels, I would think they’re already watching their diet religiously and know not to drink silly flavored waters.

  27. Recury says:

    “We allow customers to decide what ‘challenge’ means to them.”

    That is probably the best thing I have ever read. How nice of them to let us decide what it means! Although now that I think about it “challenge your life” doesn’t really mean anything in the first place, so I guess we kind of have to decide anway.

  28. BlondeGrlz says:

    @Bladefist: I know, so refreshing!

  29. Nytmare says:

    I guess they’re running out of room in the herbal aisle; with so many new quack products they are starting to spill out into the normal food aisles.

  30. sir_eccles says:

    @FitJulie: Reminds me of the time Dasani had to pull out of the British market once people realized it was just expensive filtered local tap water.


  31. johnva says:

    Why are so many Americans obsessed with sweet stuff? Why can’t people go a day without drinking sugar water?

  32. Televiper says:

    @FitJulie: You do realize that a bottle of water isn’t pure H2O right?

  33. Televiper says:

    FYI, short article on Oxygenated water. [www.chem1.com]

  34. Juliekins says:

    @Televiper: ZOMG, are you serious? You mean water has…stuff…dissolved in it? NO WAY. I thought all bottled water was distilled.

    Yes, I realize that. Thanks for the beginnings of an Amway marketing pitch, though.

  35. Juliekins says:

    @Televiper: Okay, that was bitchy. I didn’t see your next posting about scammy oxygenated water. My apologies.

    PerfectWater is still a total scam, though.

  36. Televiper says:

    @FitJulie: I always pick on people who try to sound smart by calling water H2O while forgetting that in general water is H2O + a bunch of other things. Especially the ones that ask “how can water be more pure? It’s H2O!”

  37. ravensfire says:

    @sir_eccles: JUST filtered tap water? Au contraire, dasani is filtered tap water with a bit of salt added.

  38. Water tastes so drab and dull, I can understand why folks want flavored water. But I yanked a bunch of lemons of the neighbors tree and flavor my filtered tap water for free.

  39. How could they call it ‘Vitamin Water’? There should be two ingredients. Vitamins and water. once you add sugar and coloring to the product, it isn’t much different from coca-cola.
    If it is ok to call it vitamin water, why don’t we rename everything else so it sounds much healthier than it is.
    Let’s call coffee “Legume energy water” after all it is mostly water.
    Coca-cola will now be called “cola-infused water”
    Orange juice from concentrate will now be called….um…vitamin water.
    Human Beings are mostly water. We should just be called “people shaped water”.

  40. Starfury says:

    I like the water that comes out of the tap at home. I can’t stand bottled water, tastes like plastic. As for the flavored water: I have that already, it’s called Kool Aid.

  41. CubsPride says:

    I’m drinking a bottle of Costco’s VitaRain water as I type this…according to the label this particular product has no calories, no fat, no sugar, and a few vitamins. I guess I should stop buying VitaminWater and just keep stealing these from my co-worker.

  42. incognit000 says:

    I’d be more concerned that the vast majority of these are produced using tapwater from Georgia or Texas, which are not only regions currently in a drought, but which tend to have poorly treated tapwater.

    Cus that’s all these are. Tapwater with food coloring.

  43. ellastar says:

    @ark86: I like the taste as well. And, on the days that they’re on sale for a dollar, I can get them cheaper than regular bottled water when I’m at work and need something to drink.

    @The Count of Monte Fisto: I always wonder about the placebo effect of these so-called “vitamins”. If people think it’s making them healthier, do they act/feel any healthier?

    @suburbancowboy: I like the “people-shaped water” one :)

  44. drjayphd says:

    @Daemon_of_Waffle: Were this Fleshbot, I’d have the perfect macro for that. ;)

  45. Myrddraal says:

    Bottled water…. man I wish I had thought of that. The ability to charge people more for it then fruit juice, milk, or soda. Sweet deal for company profits.

  46. Gilbert Tang, Jr. says:

    @FitJulie: Very, very frustrating, isn’t it? And then we wonder why humans are failing at sustaining the planet–let alone one another.

  47. purplesun says:

    @AD8BC: Hurst, Texas? Hey, I’m from Hurst, Texas. Small world.

    Ah, the wonderful city where the tap water turns brown if you leave it sitting out for more than half an hour.

    A filter on our tap at my parents house sorted that out.

    But, in relation to the article – all bottled water is a scam.

  48. amyschiff says:

    @rmz: even worse, it has 150 Calories per bottle… pretty cruddy for something that is supposed to be a “healthy” drink

  49. AMetamorphosis says:

    I crack up laughing everytime I see a fat person walking around with a bottle of ” Vitamin Water ” …

    oooooh LOOK, he’s ” Healthy ” cause he is drinking ” Vitamin Water ” ….

    riiiigggghhhttttttt …..

  50. ClayS says:

    @amyschiff: May as well drink soda and stop deluding yourself.

  51. ByeBye says:

    If you’re going to get “water”, just get propel. It’s got less sugar than Vitamin water/// and yes, the commericals are true.

    I just drink water. With nothing in it. It’s 100% fat and sugar free!

  52. Juggernaut says:

    Are we discounting the pretty and varied colors? That’s got to be worth something, right?

  53. sean77 says:

    @beavis88: must be an east coast thing. I live in the *desert* (Tucson) and I pay less than $20 a month for water.

  54. Parting says:

    @linus: Most filters are bacteria breeding heaven, so it actually worsens your water quality.

    And in some buildings pipes are so old, that water smells/tastes funny. That’s where bottled water comes in.

  55. @ErinYay: I has a flavor! So I just drink my water and then lick my wrist. Sort of the reverse of tequila shots.

    Incidentally, my tap water is so ridiculously hard that it DEFINITELY has a flavor. Once I got used to it, I really liked it. I love mineral water, and my tap water’s just as good as any bottled mineral water I’ve ever had.

    I always tell people who bitch about our tap water, if this were Europe instead of Peoria, we’d be bottling and selling our tap water for its spectacular mineraly qualities and sense of terroir. But since it’s America we just bitch about it.

  56. khiltd says:

    I’m just happy to see jackfruit’s name in print.

  57. mikelotus says:

    these things taste like the sweat i aqueeze out of my sweat socks after a hard work out.

  58. trujunglist says:


    Because city water tastes like shit. My gallons only cost 50-70 cents each. Not sure where you’re getting yours from, but I can get mine for as low as 0 cents if I’m not lazy. I have a problem with buying a filter that costs 30 bucks + replacement filters that may or may not work very well (who knows until you buy it and test it, at which point returning it isn’t an option).
    Also, I think most people on this site recycle. I definitely do.


    I grew up in Tucson on the water and it was fine for a long time. Then they decided to introduce the CAP. Then I moved to Chicago, where there must be more dirt than water in the water, because that shit tastes like shit. When I went back to Tucson I definitely noticed the distinctive CAP taste.
    I like my water to taste like nothing. Not dirt, not chlorine, not “weird,” just nothing.

  59. synergy says:

    Not to mention sneaking calories into your diet since many contain a high amount of sugar.

  60. synergy says:

    @FitJulie: lol If they add more oxygen they will end up with hydronium. Plus, if I remember my chemistry right, they’re very reactive and dissolve in…wait for it…water. hee

  61. synergy says:

    @ravensfire: I realized this one scorching Texas summer when I had traipsed several miles in the sun and bought a Dasani. I guzzled it and felt even thirstier. Then I realized it had salt in it. argh!

  62. weste7679 says:

    @AMetamorphosis: so true and so funny. want to eat healthy? don’t eat or drink stuff that you see fat people eating and drinking.

  63. theczardictates says:

    @linus: I bought water the other day when I was on a road trip and my three-year old son was thirsty. The choices at the stop’n’sip were coffee, sodas, fake-fruit drinks loaded with high fructose corn syrup (which, latest research suggests, may promote obesity and glucose-insensitivity), or bottled water. Hence, bottled water for the Least Loser.

    Otherwise, yeah, filter tap water.

  64. Tankueray says:

    @incognit000: Where do you get your information? I know a lot about the safety of Texas’ tap water. There have not been any instances of major violations in the last six years. In fact most water systems in the state meet or exceed EPA standards. Why don’t you call the TCEQ and get the consumer confidence reports before you go mouthing off about things you don’t understand. And we are not in a drought, in the 80’s we were in a drought, my creek hasn’t been dry in 20 years and we’re not rationing water. In fact it hasn’t even lost flow in about 7 years. And I live in one of the more arid areas of Texas. Not that the water in the creek belongs to me, but that’s a whole other argument.

  65. Kali Mama says:


    We should just be called “people shaped water”.

    The microbrain already does.

  66. Okay, cheap easy water with actual vitamins. Ready?

    (1) blender or juicer
    (1) strainer (might be included in your juicer)
    (1) glass or bottle of tap-water, filtered if you’re picky
    (1) small portion of one or more fruits and/or veggies

    Procedure: Juice fruits/veggies, or blend-and-strain. (Use the leftover pulp in pies or cookies, or as compost or fertilizer, or feed it to the animals in your yard if you want.) Just one fruit is fine, or try tasty combos like orange/carrot, apple/orange, grapefruit/pineapple, etc. Add small amounts of green veggies to any mix to make it even healthier — things like wheatgrass, celery, cabbage and kale don’t taste very strong, and citrusy fruits will cover their taste.

    Add 1-5 tablespoons of the juice to some water — more if you like it “fruiter”.

    Put the rest of the juice in the fridge, OR freeze it in ice-cube trays for double-badassness. (You’ll have enough from one “serving” of fruits/veggies to make up to 10 bottles of water).


    Total cost: Under a dollar to make several servings

  67. mariospants says:

    JD + Seven works well for me. Plenty ‘o’ vitamins in there.