Hydration is one of the most crucial elements that make up a healthy body. And it’s not surprising that beverage companies are always looking for ways to monetize this fact. Most supermarkets offer different types of alternative to plain ol’ water – the most popular being, flavored water.
Flavored water seems like a healthier replacement for water. But it is really? Most flavored water brands come in zero or low-calorie varieties. Others are enriched with essential vitamins or are flavored “naturally.” But how healthy are these drink? And what factors do you have to keep in mind when you buy such products? Consider our tips:
Read the Ingredient List
Checking the label is always the best way to determine the right choice for you. Flavored water comes in different varieties but the base ingredients are always water, natural or artificial flavors and sweeteners. The healthiest ones are those with the shortest list of ingredients. The ingredients should be something you are familiar with. If a flavored water comes with too many ingredients that you cannot pronounce, pass on it.
Check for Sweeteners
Most flavored waters are sweetened with either artificial sweeter or added sugars. This makes the water palatable than plain water. According to the American Heart Association, the added sugars in flavored water is one of the major contributors to obesity. And so, it has to be consumed in moderation. As for those flavored with artificial sweeteners, consume such products with caution. Certain types of artificial sweeteners are linked to cancer. Others like sorbitol cause digestive discomforts and diarrhea.
Watch Out For Added Nutrients
Think vitamin-enriched flavored water is better than average flavored water? It’s not. Consuming these fortified drinks could lead to consumption of too many vitamins. This is especially true for those who take their vitamins daily.
To achieve a healthy body, you have to meet your nutritional needs from the food you eat. Ideally, you get these nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables, not supplements or flavored water. Never rely on flavored water to obtain the nutrients you need for the day. If you are concerned about the nutrients you get from these beverages, consult your doctor.
Say No to Sodium
Some types of flavored water contain a high level of sodium. These products include seltzer-based flavored waters or sparkling water. Sodium is an electrolyte that aids in body processes. It’s often lost when you sweat and should be replenished through drinks. But too much of the stuff is dangerous to the health too. High sodium is linked to elevated blood pressure, kidney disease, and brittle bones. So generally, avoid flavored waters that contain sodium.
Make Your Own Flavored Water
Unfortunately, most – if not all – flavored water contain trace preservatives. If you must drink flavored water, better make your own. Making flavored water is very easy. Just slice several fruits, chuck them all in a pitcher of distilled or mineral water and keep in the fridge overnight. The next day, you have a refreshing flavored drink made from 100% wholesome ingredients.