But aggressive advertising and product placement is trying very hard to make these waters a necessary part of your life. With their great distribution power, they have been successful at positioning these waters in the pharmacy aisles of grocery stores and the diet/nutrition aisle of drugstores.
Here is a comparison of a protein water, regular old water and skim milk. Note that some protein waters contain even more sugar - up to 30 grams.
-- Protein water has 50 calories, 5 grams of protein, 8 grams of sugar, 30 milligrams of sodium, zero grams of calcium and more than 10 ingredients.
-- Regular old water has zero calories, zero grams of protein, zero grams of sugar, zero grams of sodium and one ingredient.
-- Skim milk has 90 calories, 9 grams of protein, 12 grams of sugar, 130 milligrams of sodium, 306 grams of calcium and three ingredients (milk, vitamin A and D).
Clearly, I think you will see it is impossible to improve upon water. Weight loss comes from eating a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Now on to another concern I have with these enhanced waters. Does everything we drink need to have flavor? Does everything we drink have to be sweet? Whatever happened to adding a spritz of lemon to water? Why are we allowing the food industry to change the purpose of water and how it should taste?
Why, indeed, when buying into this marketing campaign is shaping our children's tastes and teaching them that everything they drink must have a fruity flavor? Obesity is on the rise and it will continue to rise until we begin to understand that acquiring a craving for sweets is making us fat.
There it is - my undiluted opinion. Enhanced water is a prime example of opportunistic sales marketing aimed at consumers, who have shown they will buy anything claiming to shortcut their way to weight loss or to better health especially if it is sweet!
The fact that these enhanced waters are touted as shape-management tools targeting weight loss is all wet. I contend a better shape-management tool might be found in a good pair of shoes, a tennis racket, a basketball, a bicycle, a gym membership, a yoga DVD or even a Zumba class. I can guarantee these might actually manage to change the way your shape will look and feel. Seriously, the only way enhanced water is going to help you reach your weight-loss goals is when chlorine is added to it so you can jump in and swim a few laps.
Cindy Boggs, fitness consultant, author and Activate America director, has been an ACE-certified coordinator/instructor since 1989. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive, Charleston, WV 25311, or e-mail cindys...@aol.com. Look for her fitness advice book, "CindySays ... You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World" on her Web site www.cindysays.com or contact the YMCA at 340-3527.