10 Enhanced Waters Demystified

6. Plain Bottled Water

As if shelling out for an overpriced bottle of H2O isn't troublesome enough, keep in mind that you're also paying for something you definitely don't want: BPA. Plastics are made with BPA—a hormone-disrupting chemical that's been linked to increased risk of heart disease and obesity—which means your bottled water is swimming with the chemical, too.

And then, of course, there's the issue of where the water actually comes from. In 2007, after receiving pressure from the nonprofit group Corporate Accountability International, Pepsi's Aquafina confessed their true source of water was filtered tap—not a mountain spring as they'd claimed.

More: A Clear Look at Water Bottles

7. Artificially-Sweetened Water

As described on their website, Fruit2O is "crystal clear water with the delightful flavor of fruit." Except that fruit flavor is really artificial sweetener, meaning, as Dr. Katz mentioned before, it's a soda, not water. 

"While these 'sodas' don't have calories, they will likely increase intake in sugar and calories in other foods," he says. "Real water doesn't do that!"

But before you reach for that actual diet soda—you might as well, right?—don't. Because when it comes to that caramel bubbly, artificial sweetener is the least of your worries. 

See for yourself in 7 Gross Side Effects of Drinking Diet Soda.

More: 9 Natural Foods to Beware

8. Workout Water

Propel Zero offers its drinkers nine refreshing flavors packed with vitamins C, E & B and antioxidants. This way, they can "replenish, energize, and protect with zero calories and no added color."

But what they lack in calories and color, they make up for in artificial sweetener and significant amounts of sodium.

"There is no evidence that adding miscellaneous nutrients to water confers any benefits. So I would not drink this," says Dr. Katz.

9. Black Water

Blk. Spring Water—we promise that's not a typo—is a "proprietary fulvic and humic acid electrolyte drink, or a natural organic complex blend of over 77 macro and micro trace minerals and electrolytes." Huh?

Electrolytes are unnecessary, but how about everything else? 

"As far as I can tell, it's just spring water with fulvic acid. I don't know if it offers real benefits, but drinking water that is black might be fun just for the novelty of it," says Dr. Katz.

Yet, if you're willing to shell out for bottled water, why not choose a seltzer instead? 

"When your taste buds want more entertainment, I recommend sparkling water flavored with fruit essences, like the brand Polar's seltzers," says Dr. Katz.

More: 15 Hydration Facts for Athletes

10. Life Water

When looking at SoBe Lifewater and SoBe 0 Calorie Lifewater labels, we noticed three unnecessary, if not exactly healthy, ingredients: coconut water, artificial sweeteners and antioxidants. Not to mention their orange tangerine flavor is achieved by adding modified food starch—something that could cause a problem for those who are gluten-intolerant. 

Bottom Line

Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she created water. 

"Variations on the theme are fine, but you may not get real bang for the buck," says Dr. Katz. "And if it contains any kind of sweetener, it's not water—no matter what they call it."

More: 8 Food Additives and Ingredients You Should Avoid

Active logoPerfect your nutrition to boost your performance. Sign up for a race near you.

Discuss This Article

Follow your passions

Connect with ACTIVE.COM