If you find it difficult to stay hydrated or consume enough vitamins and minerals, you may have heard that enhanced water is the perfect solution. But what exactly is enhanced water, and is it as good for you as bottled water brands would have us believe?
Enhanced water is simply water that has been infused with additional ingredients. It is often marketed as providing nutritional benefits or flavor not found in regular water. Some ingredients may promote faster hydration or confer other wellness advantages, but this is not always the case. Enhancements may include ingredients like vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, antioxidants, and flavoring agents like fruit essences.
It’s important to note that you can’t always assume enhanced water is a nourishing drink for your body. In fact, a lawsuit was settled with Coca-Cola in 2009 for marketing Vitamin Water as a healthy beverage. The complaint stated that the soft drink giant falsely depicted Vitamin Water as a non-sugary soft drink that “provides a significant source of dietary supplements.”
The bottom line is that you should learn how to read and understand nutrition labels. Doing so can help you determine if a beverage is right for your intended use — from daily hydration to intense exercise, or simply the occasional tasty treat.
Examples of Enhanced Water
Enhanced water may include the following types of water, as well as others not noted. Often, enhanced water contains a combination of two or more enhancements:
- Vitamin water: Water that has been fortified with vitamins, typically B vitamins and vitamin C.
- Electrolyte water: Water that contains electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, which help to maintain hydration and support muscle function.
- Alkaline water: Alkaline water undergoes a treatment to have a higher pH level, which some believe can help improve overall health.
- Flavored water: Water that has been infused with natural or artificial flavors, such as lemon, lime, or berry, to provide a more enjoyable taste without the added sugar of soda or juice. Sweeteners like stevia may also be used.
- CBD water: Water that contains cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp plants, which some believe can help to reduce anxiety, inflammation, and pain.
Popular Brands of Enhanced Water
Understand that there is no single enhanced water that will meet everyone’s unique needs. From athletic performance to mental alertness — there are plenty of great options to choose from.
Propel: Great for Exercise Recovery
Propel is likely the brand that comes to mind when you think of enhanced water. Designed for active people, it contains zero calories and no sugar. Its primary benefit is helping to rehydrate and replenish your body. The main electrolyte in Propel is sodium, which stimulates thirst and maintains fluid balance for better hydration.
Vitamin Water: Great Taste
While Vitamin Water may not actually be a health beverage as the name suggests, it does taste undeniably good. Indulging in the tropical mango flavor is a truly invigorating and delightful experience. Its gentle sweetness avoids excessive sugary notes, providing a wonderful occasional substitute for regular water. What’s more, it does contain electrolytes and some essential vitamins, including vitamin C and B.
Hint Water: Perfect for Daily Hydration
Hint Water offers a wide selection of over 18 revitalizing fruit flavors, including watermelon, pineapple, clementine, and blackberry. The brand takes ordinary water and transforms it into an absolutely delicious beverage, without relying on sugar or sweeteners. With a pure and crisp water base, each flavor carries a genuine fruit essence, creating a guilt-free treat that keeps you well-hydrated in a pallet-pleasing way.
Water Joe Caffeinated Water: An Energizing Kick
Water Joe is the perfect enhanced water for those looking to eliminate coffee, soda, tea, and energy drinks from their routine. This clean and flavor-free energy booster provides 70mg of caffeine per 20-ounce bottle and is calorie-free. By cutting out sugar and acidity, it can aid in weight loss and promote healthier teeth. Moreover, not only is it cost-effective compared to regular coffee and other brands, but it also offers a jitter-free experience. Mix in your preferred flavor and enjoy a headache-free way to stay energized and focused.
Contents of Enhanced Water
Because enhanced water is more of a marketing term than a legally defined beverage, ingredients vary greatly. Frequently, various combinations of the following ingredients are added for reasons ranging from improved flavor to assistance with athletic performance:
- Vitamins – commonly B, C and E
- Minerals – usually including those we refer to as electrolytes
- Flavoring – natural or artificial
- Sweeteners – sugar, stevia, sucralose, aspartame, etc.
- Salt – an electrolyte
- Food coloring – for aesthetic/branding purposes
Benefits of Enhanced Water
Is enhanced water good for you? Because there is so much variety in ingredients from one brand to the next, it’s difficult to generalize about the health benefits of enhanced water. Always read the label to determine if it offers the benefits you are seeking. Common (but not universal) advantages to drinking enhanced water include hydration and improved electrolyte balance.
All brands of enhanced water will contribute to hydrating your body. In fact, any beverage can help you stay hydrated — particularly ones that you enjoy and therefore don’t want to stop drinking. However, it is not recommended to replace regular water entirely with alternative beverages, including enhanced water.
Improved Electrolyte Balance
Electrolytes play a crucial role in various bodily functions, such as regulating the amount of water in your body, maintaining the pH level of your blood, supporting muscle function, and other essential processes.
When you sweat, your body loses electrolytes. You can replenish them by drinking beverages that contain them. Regular water typically doesn’t contain much in the way of electrolytes. That’s why many people turn to beverages like enhanced water, coconut water, or sports drinks to restore lost electrolytes.
Common electrolytes that your body needs include:
A Refreshing Choice for Hydration and Wellness
Enhanced water offers a wide range of options for those who want more than just plain water to quench their thirst and improve their well-being. Vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and natural flavors can make it taste refreshing and may assist with various health goals.
Depending on the brand and ingredients, it can provide benefits such as better hydration and balanced electrolytes, making it a valuable choice for active individuals or those seeking more nutrients.
However, it’s crucial to be cautious and discerning when choosing enhanced water products. Not all options in the market are the same, and sometimes misleading advertising does not reflect their true nutritional value. To make the right choice, reading and understanding nutrition labels becomes important in determining if a particular brand suits your needs.