advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Nutritious Water?

What are your thoughts on protein water and other flavored waters?  Do they really provide the nutrients that they claim to?

A
Answer (Published 1/23/2009)

These days you can buy water with almost anything added - protein, vitamins, calcium, herbs, electrolytes, even chocolate! Manufacturers seem to think - apparently with good reason - that consumers want water to deliver more than mere hydration and are willing to pay a premium for enhanced products.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness for Your Healthy Body - It's the journey not the destination. Make each day count, with an outlook that is both serene and inspired. Dr. Weil's new website, SpontaneousHappiness.com, has everything you need to get on the path to optimal well-being including recipes, checklists and exclusive tools to track your walking. Learn more, start your 10-day free trial now.

Reportedly, the thinking behind all these new products is that since so many consumers are in the habit of toting a bottle of water around all day, why not add stuff to it to make it (theoretically) healthier, tastier and more profitable? While researching this subject, I found a Consumer Reports article quoting a Pepsi spokesperson who said that consumers want water that "multitasks" and a Kellogg's marketing exec who said that dieters are interested in "easy, portable ways to add more protein and fiber to their diets."

While I see a limited role for vitamin waters (for people who can't swallow pills), I'm not impressed with those currently available. Most give you extra calories and additives that you don't need. Some vitamin waters (or "fitness" water, another product category) contain caffeine. Others contain artificial sweeteners. I haven't seen any evidence that the vitamins the waters claim to contain are there in sufficient quantity to meet nutritional needs. Some products contain only a few vitamins and minerals, not all that a good supplement would deliver. You might have to drink multiple bottles of vitamin water to get your daily requirement for, say, folic acid. Conversely, some products may contain too much of a particular vitamin - potentially a problem if you drink more than one bottle a day, or consume other fortified products.

As far as protein waters are concerned, I think they're gimmicky and overpriced. The best way to get your needed nutrients is from the food you eat, particularly fruits and vegetables. You need only 10 to 20 percent of calories from protein each day. There's no advantage to consuming more than that. I recommend emphasizing the less-concentrated protein in plants, such as beans, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits such as avocadoes. All of these "multitask" better than any type of enhanced water: plant proteins come packaged with fiber, carbohydrates, healthful fats and phytochemicals that protect against disease.

Let water be water.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here