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Truth About Vitamin, Alkaline And Other Health Drinks

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Vitamin Water contains synthetic vitamins and minerals that lack complete nutrient structure. They also have a high content of sweeteners which is not recommended. Alkaline water only gives a temporary increase in bodily detoxification with no long term effects. Packaged juices contain 36 grams of sugar per serving. Choose healthy teas or coconut water instead.

Vitamin water and alkaline water are part of a growing trend these days. As a society, we know that lifestyle changes are needed. Things like obesity, heart disease and cancer are affecting more and more people each year. For that reason, the popularity of health boosting drinks is growing. But before we invest hundreds to thousands of dollars in the next drink fad, do these supplemented beverages really have a pay-off?

What is Vitamin Water?

Let me start with vitamin water. Many of us hate eating fruits and vegetables so vitamin water seems like the next best bet. Here is the problem with vitamin water. First, the added vitamins and minerals are synthetic. This means they were made in a lab as opposed to grown in real foods. Although some doctors prefer consuming synthetic vitamins to eating refined foods. These ‘refined’ vitamins and minerals are in an artificial form and do not contain the full nutrient structure of their whole food counterparts. We must add to the equation that vitamin waters contain high levels of sweeteners. The first ingredient listed on the label after water is crystalline fructose followed by cane sugar.  That is a lot of sugar. At the end of the day, drinking vitamin water is not in any way better than drinking soda.

What is Alkaline Water?

This fad arose from the growing concern that modern diets leave our bodies in a detrimental acidic state. The ideal pH of the body is about 7.2, meaning slightly alkaline. A bodily shift to an acidic pH becomes problematic on a cellular level.  The liver, pancreas, heart, lungs and brain cannot function properly in an acidic environment.  Alkaline water is made by altering the pH of water to above 7 to mimic the desired pH of the body.  Does consuming alkaline water therefore alter the pH of the body? Unfortunately no. Some experts on the subject like alkaline water to snake oil. It seems like a good idea, but it doesn’t solve the internal problem. They also state that the only possible short term benefit of alkaline water is a slight temporary increase in bodily detoxification.  Unfortunately this benefit is brief, only lasting for the first week or two of regular consumption. Although balancing the body’s pH is never simple, consuming more fruits, veggies, less sugar and refined carbohydrates is a good start. Read more here: Benefits of Alkaline Water

Truth About Packaged Juices

High end fruit juice blends like ‘Naked Juice’ are another problematic category of products. These are often given the label “no added sugar” to appeal to health conscious customers. Here’s the thing though, fruit only has a small impact on blood sugar.  This is because the fiber in fruit helps slow the surge of sugar into the body.  Once the sugar has been separated from the fiber, it is perceived by the body very similarly to table sugar. One of these naked juices has about 26 grams of sugar per 8 ounce serving. A Coca Cola has about the same. While there are other reasons to choose juice over soda, juice isn’t as healthy as one might think.

Healthy Tea

Chamomile teas are great for blood sugar stabilization.

What should you drink if you want some health benefits from your beverage? Certain teas are extremely beneficial for health. For instance, health benefits of green tea is that it is extremely high in catechin EGCG which has been shown through numerous studies to provide protective cardiovascular and metabolic benefits. Oolong tea was found through a study to improve lipid metabolism and fight obesity. Teas are a great way to go if you want a drink that will support your health.

Other Alternatives

Coconut water is another healthy drink option. Coconut water is not a concocted “health beverage” like vitamin water or alkaline water. It is a naturally occurring product extracted from young coconuts. It is high in vitamins and minerals, electrolytes and antioxidants.  Unlike vitamin water which provides synthetic nutrients, coconut water’s nutrients are in their natural state and are more likely to be properly metabolized by the body

So that is why I avoid vitamin water, alkaline water and other fad health drinks. They are all hyped and do very little good. If you really love the taste of one of these drinks, then go ahead and include them occasionally for fun. For the things we enjoy, enhance our lives. Don’t waste your money on a bunch of empty promises. You can get a quality box of tea for $6 to $10. I’ve gotten coconut water on sale for 99 cents. If you really want to use beverages to support your health, these options will give the best bang for the buck.

Erica Mesirov

Erica earned her Master’s Degree in holistic nutrition in 2014. She works with people who struggle with eating right or losing weight and know they want to be healthy, but their attempts have come up empty. By helping people understand their individual body and the imbalances that are causing unhealthy patterns, she gives people the opportunity to feel good about eating again.

Erica Mesirov

Erica earned her Master’s Degree in holistic nutrition in 2014. She works with people who struggle with eating right or losing weight and know they want to be healthy, but their attempts have come up empty. By helping people understand their individual body and the imbalances that are causing unhealthy patterns, she gives people the opportunity to feel good about eating again.

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