Last night we were out and decided to grab some dinner at one of those big, grocery-store-with-an-entire-food-bar places. My four year old decided to grab a Vitamin Water to drink.
I’m not one of those “No-no Honey, we only drink water” parents. My goal is to have my kids eat healthy 95% of the time and the other 5% they can be kids. I am one of those crazy label readers though, so I took a look.
Let’s break it down:
- Sugar – There are 33 grams of sugar in one bottle of Vitamin Water. That’s almost eight teaspoons of sugar, and I don’t think I need to explain the problems with excess sugar consumption. And one 20oz bottle of Vitamin Water has almost the same amount of sugar as a 16oz can of Coca Cola. If you want to know the formula for Vitamin Water it is: water + vitamins = soda – bubbles
- Fructose – The second ingredient in Vitamin Water is “crystalline fructose”. Fructose is sometimes called fruit sugar, and in small amounts probably isn’t a problem. But in high amounts, fructose has been associated with things like increased risk for diabetes and possibly even heart disease. But beyond that, it can creates fatty liver. Which if you don’t know about, is horrible and one of the worst things about fructose.
What happens is this: In the liver, fructose bypasses one of biochemical energy producing pathways that when over loaded, spills over into a fat producing pathway. If this happens excessively, the fat cannot leave the liver, gets trapped and leads to fatty liver, which no one wants.
Oh and crystalline fructose? It has more fructose than high fructose corn syrup. Its practically straight fructose.
- “Natural flavors” – I’ve written about this before. You don't even want to know what's in your natural flavoring.
- Vitamins – These are the least offensive part about Vitamin Water but at this point, if vitamins are what you’re after, why not just take a multivitamin and call it a day.
So my little guy thinks Vitamin Water is his “energy drink” and that’s fine. I used to think Smarties were energy pills when I was a kid. Its innocent, fun and not really a problem. The problem is when adults are duped into thinking the same thing - that Vitamin Water is somehow good for us and therefore makes it okay to drink on a regular basis. There’s nothing healthy about it. If you wouldn't give your child soda, don't give them vitamin water.
If you want your kids to have vitamins try these instead. No fructose, no sugar, no disgusting natural flavors. They’ll LOVE them!