I am dieting and need to lose about 15 pounds. How do you feel about drinking protein and vitamin water? Can they help? - Sheila
I suppose it is reasonable to assume that if water is good for us, why not infuse it with other things we need so it is easier to become stronger, faster and thinner? Besides, it tastes better than boring old water and it's more attractive, too!
Actually, I have received an excessive amount of questions surrounding the surge of new "enhanced" waters flooding the market, so it's obviously time to dive right into it. These redesigned waters are making a splash with consumers - most of whom are desperate to lose weight and improve health. The water makeovers include vitamin water, protein water, flavored waters and seem to fit right in with the concept of multitasking our nutrition and hydration.
Let me distinguish the difference between these enhanced waters and sports drinks. Sports drinks have been part of an endurance athlete's hydration for a long time. They have proven to supply necessary carbohydrates when exercising for extended periods of time. The added electrolytes in these sports drinks are valuable. Sodium, the electrolyte lost in sweat during intense activity, helps maintain a fluid balance in your body. This promotes the uptake of fluid into the intestines, which improves hydration.
While sports drinks have earned high marks in proper hydration, they are not necessary to everyone and certainly should not be the choice of hydration for nonexercisers or those exercising for short periods at a low intensity.
Now since you asked, I refuse to give you a watered-down version of how I feel. I think they are a waste of your money and are, in fact, just one more reason why the obesity epidemic in this country isn't going away anytime soon.
The idea of improving water is absurd! Oh sure, we want it pure, but that is all we should want of our water. We should not expect to get our vitamins and protein in our water. Vitamin water is fortified with various vitamins and other additives, including a sweetener that adds calories to your drink. If you're trying to lose weight, these calories (50 to 150 per drink) will only work against you.
Furthermore, vitamin water gives you limited vitamins, which are not as effective the same ones eaten in fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Even advertising suggests that it is not a substitute for a multivitamin so obviously it is not the answer to your nutritional needs let alone your weight-loss desires.
Protein water won't find its way into my shopping cart either. While it may have added protein to the water, it has also added sugar or artificial sweeteners and other additives including dyes. Both vitamin water and protein water are expensive, starting at $1.99 for 16-ounce bottle and going up.