Is It Healthy? Vitamin Water.

*sidenote: SHOE Giveaway over at Shanna’s blog! Check it out!

It has two of the healthiest words in the English dictionary listed in its title; Vitamin Water HAS to be healthy for you right?

Vitamin Water is the perfect example of how good marketing can provide the illusion of a super hydrating and healthy beverage that will rejuvenate your body. Each flavor elicits an empowering name like ”Strength,” “Focus,” “Balance,” or “Endurance,” and every bottle is a vibrant color that stands out and allures even the youngest eye.


The problem with this seemingly miracle beverage is that is doesn’t live up to its healthy hype. If you check the ingredient list, the product contains MORE sugar and calories than a 12 oz serving of Coke (110 calories and 30 grams of sugars vs 125 calories and 33 grams of sugars). Unfortunately, people are being misled by the Coca Cola company.

Nutrition Facts for “Defense.”


Serving Size 8 fl oz; Servings per Container 2.5 (most people drink the entire bottle)
Calories 50 (doesn’t seem too high if you neglect to watch servings per container)
Total Fat 0g (ZERO FAT! Now we know it must be healthy! *insert sarcasm*)
Sodium 0mg (at least there’s no sodium)
Total Carbohydrate 13g (multiply that by 2.5…32.5)
Total Sugar 13g (multiply that by 2.5…32.5 = all the carbs in this beverage are added sugars. YEEPS!)
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 60%; vitamin B3 10%; vitamin B6 10%; vitamin B12 10%; vitamin B5 10%, Zinc 10% (alright, so it is fortified with a few nutrients, it still has more sugar than some candy bars: RED FLAG!)

vapor distilled/deionized water, crystalline fructose, citric acid, vegetable juice (color), natural flavor, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), natural flavor, vitamin E acetate, magnesium lactate (elecrolyte), calcium lactate (electrolyte), zinc picolinate, monopotassium phosphate (electrolyte), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), cyanocobalamine (B12)

  • Crystalline fructose = processed sweetener derived from cornstarch and a substitute for high fructose corn syrup, linked to fatty liver disease, obesity, and heart disease.
  • Natural flavor = read previous post I wrote about what natural flavors are.
  • Fortified nutrients = the addition of chemically synthesized nutrients to enhance the nutritional value of “sugar water” does not make a healthy beverage; is Coke Plus healthy? Remember: marketers are great at their job and can get YOU to believe what they want in order to sell their product.

After taking a closer look at Vitamin Water, it seems clear that the health claims on this particular beverage are deceiving. In fact, the “Center for Science in Public Interest (CSPI) has even filed a class action lawsuit against the company stating that the marketing of Vitamin Water as a “healthful alternative” is a falsehood and in direct violation of guidelines set by the FDA.” (source)

Ultimately, I would recommend opting out of Vitamin Water. I hate being so negative, but why waste your sugar intake on Vitamin Water when there are so many other sugary treats worth splurging on!! Have you seen my Triple Chocolate Chunk Brownies or Mint Chocolate Truffles??


If you are in search of the HEALTHIEST, most HYDRATING beverage, look no further than your kitchen sink. Properly filtered water is going to be the most nutritious beverage you could choose and that goes for your kids too!! DRINK UP!!


Have you tried Vitamin Water? What do you think? What are YOUR thoughts on this product?



34 comments to Is It Healthy? Vitamin Water.

  • petco

    VWZ a better option(sugar 0g). As always, in moderation(too much of any good thing not neccesarily good). Try Green Ice Tea with NO SUGAR(my choice).

  • LuvDusty

    I drink Vitamin Water Zero regularly. It uses stevia (truvia) and has 0 calories. I can only stomach 3 of the flavors though, Rise (Orange), the Lemonade one and the Starfruit one. I have to admit I am somewhat addicted to the Rise now. I drink at least 1 20 oz bottle a day of the Zero one.

    I am now worried if there can be any nasty side-effects of drinking too much Vitamin Water Zero? I realize that regular Vitamin Water is packed with sugar, but Zero uses stevia (truvia)…is it ok to drink more than 1 bottle a day every day? I am getting close to drinking 2-3 bottles a day now.

    I hate plain water.

  • Pass. I’ve tried the diet version and BLECK! I’d rather drink well water, it’s horrible!

  • Very interesting post. I think that we are so caught up in health that if we are in a rush-which most of us are we can be pray to the very strong marketing of these health food products. Really the health industry is a huge business. I drink plain water and add my own vitamin that I know is good into it.

  • I agree with you 100 percent (surprise, surprise!) I have never liked vitamin water for the reasons you so clearly listed above. I enjoy drinking water straight from the tap with the occasional squeeze of lemon or orange. Thanks for always making me smile with your words and wisdom. I hope that your Wednesday is full of joy!

  • I definitely agree! Those drinks are too sweet and aren’t refreshing at all. I would much rather drink water when working out. And it’s hard to believe people would think these would make them healthier if they’d just read the label. Great, informative post!

  • I remember hearing a quote from someone that works for the company that was along the lines of ‘No one could possibly believe this was healthy.’ Something like that. Either way- it’s sugar water!!

  • I’m so glad that the only thing I like to drink is water!

  • Haven’t tried it, but I figured I probably didn’t need something called “Vitamin Water” – you never know what kind of stuff they put in there. Except now we do because you’ve broken it down! I think this is sort of like buying stuff labelled “fat-free.” The term doesn’t actually mean that it’s good for ya!

  • Hmmm…vitamin water or triple chocolate brownies??? Who would think this is even a choice??? Vigilance always! Thanks for an awesome post!

  • i hate vitamin water. there, i said it.
    you’re so right, why waste your daily sugar allowance on that when there are FAR better things to be had like triple chocolate brownies? seriously. you’d have to be nuts. :)
    (also, thanks for breaking down the ingredients list. i reckon that’s the hardest part for most people to understand, including myself.:))

  • Another great post Erin! I believe Vitamin Water is now owned by Coca-cola, right? Well when the CSPI pressed them about their false marketing of this product, Coca-cola responded by saying “we never said it was healthy”. Ummm. I think it’s implied with the word “VITAMIN” in the name. It’s OK to drink Vitamin Water and Vitamin Water Zero, as long as you realize that you’re drinking the equivalent of a Coke or Diet Coke. I prefer plain ole water. For hot days on the tennis court or the running trail I like coconut water (non-flavored). Great for electrolytes.

  • I actually don’t even like Vitamin Water so that works out perfectly for me :) I wish I would’ve gotten your comment on my blog yesterday rather than today! I am all planned now though so hopefully I can do a better job.

  • What about the Vitamin Water Zero? I’m not sure if they still have those other weird ingredients, but at least the sugar/calorie thing is taken care of. But really, I don’t drink Vitamin Water unless it’s free (and zero) anyway. Like you said..there’s better ways to get vitamins!

  • I tried Vitamin Water once, but couldn’t take more than one sip. It had a syrupy taste (yuck). If I’m going to be outside all day in the heat and want a flavored water, I’ll drink Propel. Otherwise, plain water it is :)

  • I actually really don’t like vitamin water. There is only one kind I ever tried that I liked (formula 50), but I hate drinking my calories unless it’s coffee or hot chocolate. I also think they are extremely misleading. The extra sugar and chemicals are not worth the “vitamins” you get from the drink.

  • Personally, I’ve never tried Vitamin water and I don’t really feel the need to. It’s kind of pricey when you compare it to adding natural things (like lemon, lime, fresh berries etc) to regular water, and I don’t really like the thought of taking in all those extra ingredients!

  • Thank you for bringing attention to how unhealthy Vitamin water is!! Aren’t they getting sued or something for making false health claims? Think I heard that somewhere!!!

    You are on a roll with this series, Erin!! I love it!

  • This is one other drink that patients I see think is healthy. I will say they do a good job marketing it as such.
    At least now they offer the low calorie options.

  • Fun post! I stay away from all the vitamin waters, enhanced diet cokes, and all the other crazy crap companies come up with! Good old fashion h2o with lemon suits me just fine :)

  • I’m not a fan of most of these waters…if I want something “different” I do Smart water or a naturally flavored sparkling water.

  • I’m actually surprised there is no sodium in it. I thought it was more like a sports drink with added vitamins.There goes that theory. I guess it’s kinda useless then.

  • I have tried vitamin water a few times and have never liked it. Has a weird taste to it. Its funny how they advertise it though!!!

  • I actually love Vitamin Water Zero. I’ve never had the sugar-filled version, but Zero contains stevia, which I feel okay about. It’s a good option when I’m craving something sweet and hydrating without the empty calories.

    I completely agree with you about the deceiving marketing tactics though! People feel healthy and virtuous when they drink Gatorade and other similar drinks, and don’t realize they’re loading up on unnecessary sugar! These drinks really only benefit endurance athletes whose bodies need the electrolytes during 2+ hours of continuous exercise.

  • Gen

    It always amazes me how if the word “vitamin” is in a product name, people automatically think its healthier. Why not get your vitamins from more natural sources instead of from a sugary drink?

  • I’ve had vitamin water before, but honestly I never really liked to flavor. I had no idea that it’s got more calories and sugar than a can of Coke. I think I’m going to dissuade the husband from drinking it too.

  • My mom buys Powerade for my brothers that play baseball. I looked at the ingredients and it’s just High Fructose Cornsyrup and water!! I was sooo surprised! Crazy!

  • It’s a soda without the fizz. Shame on you glaceau! My MIL’s doctor told her it was causing her insane headaches. She quit it and the headaches vanished. Crazy right?

  • I love how these are in permanent stock in all gyms!!!!! I have clients that say “ohh and I had my vitamin water today” I’m like whaaaaaaaaaaaa?

  • Don’t you love when companies are sneaky and try and pull a fast one on you? I hear my co-workers talk about this drink all the time and I just shake my head. Is it healthier then a huge loaded up drink from Starbucks, yea but that is about it. Very sneaky. I’m totally with you, just drink the good ol’ fashioned stuff. REAL water. And save the sugar for the brownies!!!

  • DANG! great great post!!! i love when you explain all those ingredients- i wouldn’t have had a clue!

  • I’ve never tried it because it has too much sugar in it. My husband tried it once, but wasn’t really a fan.

  • I don’t believe in drinks like this. My boyfriend and I argue about them all the time. He insists on drinking Vitamin Water, or Gatorade all the time. He claims that they’re healthy and I tell him he’s an idiot. I am really looking forward to showing him this post. :)

  • I hate how companies can advertise or market their product basically anyway they want to make it seem “healthy.” Especially since the public really doesn’t know how to interpret the facts and realize it’s not healthy to have that much sugar. Most people would think they’re being healthy for choosing this over a soda.

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