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Super Drinks to the Rescue . . . Maybe Not

Filed Under: Vitamins and Minerals at 9:47 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Vitamin WaterThe day I discovered Diet Coke Plus, the heavens opened. I could satisfy my blatant obsession with diet soda while consuming some much needed vitamins and minerals? It sounded too good to be true, and in a way, it was. Today, everyone from your mother to the guy behind you in the carpool lane is chugging some type of vitamin-pumped beverage. With each bottle touting its own, unique benefit, anything you’re lacking can be supplied. Need a little help focusing throughout the day? How about a hand maintaining your equilibrium? Or maybe, you just want a drink that can provide you with a few more nutrients. Whatever the need, there’s a beverage on the shelf for you. But, how much help are you really getting from these super drinks? Are they the answer to your prayers or a misleading label?

The truth about vitamin drinks is that you have to be careful and aware of what you’re drinking. Yes, they can supply you with added vitamins and minerals, but they are not supplements. You cannot, as some people have tried to do, make up for a nutritionally deficient diet with a bottle of vitamin water. That just won’t work. What’s more, the vitamins you’re getting in these beverages are usually the ones most readily found in common foods. The nutrients you’re missing, such as fiber, are nowhere to be seen or are found in such small quantities they provide negligible help. And, you can’t forget the calories. Despite the label, vitamin water is not simply water with a calorie-free kick. All that flavor comes with a price. True, there aren’t as many calories in strawberry-kiwi water as there are in a strawberry kiwi smoothie, but they are there. One bottle can set you back 125 calories. The tendency to drink far more than one a day coupled with the fact that our bodies don’t fill up from beverages as quickly as they do from food can equal trouble. So what should you do?

If you really are starved for nutrients, try a piece of fruit or an actual supplement. There are great products on the market that can provide you with all the vitamins and minerals you’re missing. And if you just can’t give up that raspberry-apple water, don’t worry. It’s not a crime, and it’s certainly not killing you. Just remember, these definitely are not miracle workers. If you really want a super drink, stay hydrated the old fashioned way and have a glass of water.

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