Water, Plus: The Skinny on No and Low-Calorie Sport Waters
Everyone drinks them for different reasons: athletes need extra electrolytes and carbs, dieters use them to keep their mouths busy and satisfied, some just think they are better than the alternative of soda, or, if you are like me, water just doesn’t do it for you in the taste department. Those flavored, vitamin infused waters, however, can often contain as much sugar as a candy bar–and just as many calories. Just because it’s not bubbly, doesn’t mean it’s good for you (that goes for you, too, so-called “juices”).
Companies are catching on, and like diet soda, they are releasing low and no calorie versions of your favorite drinks–so you can sip worry free.
Now, I know the first thing people are going to say is, “Artificial sweeteners!!! Danger!” but honestly, I like to think of these things on a sliding scale. I would rather drink an artificial sweetener and risk the tiny fraction of a health risk, than most certainly down tablespoons of sugar that are going to send my blood sugar into seismic activity, and pack in the empty calories that offer me nothing, except maybe a bigger jeans size.
So, criticize if you must, but I think that we have bigger issues. Further, I defy those people that flip me crap to show me a completely clean diet. They usually, at least the ones I see everyday, had a scone and a white chocolate mocha for breakfast and just finished a cigarette.
I was sent a few samples of new low and no-calorie super waters to try out, and my verdicts are as follows.
Powerade ZERO - You all know Powerade, but you may not have had the pleasure of meeting his more slender and sweet sister, Powerade ZERO. The makers of Powerade have released a diet version, which contains no calories, is infused with electrolytes and vitamin B. The taste? Melted Otter Pops. Personally, these are a little sweet for my taste–I certainly wouldn’t chug one–but I sipped on them every once in a while, and diluted the strawberry flavor with water and added a twist of lime, which was awesome. I know, I’m classy.
VitaminWater 10 – My two main gripes with VitaminWater is that it has about 125 calories per bottle, and has a really watered down flavor. Yes, yes, it’s water, but if it’s going to be flavored, I want to taste it. VitaminWater 10, funny enough, fixes both of those for me. It only has 10 calories per serving (about 25 per bottle) and has a much more pronounced taste, without being too sweet. I just don’t see a reason why people wouldn’t drink it–it has less calories and a better flavor.
SmartWater – Smart Water isn’t anything too fancy, it looks and tastes just like regular water, but it is infused with electrolytes, which makes it the perfect after workout water to replenish what you lost after a good sweaty workout, or to give you that extra help functioning after a night of mojitos. Plus, you can carry the bottle around as an accessory, like Jennifer Aniston. She’s the spokesperson, but whatever. And just like water, it has exactly zero calories.
I’m kind of a snob when it comes to water–I don’t care what anyone says, bottled water always has a different taste from brand to brand–and Smart Water is one of my favorites. Even though it’s “infused,” it’s not mineral tasting. Rather, it’s just … crisp.
In the end, the good thing about these is that they are basically freebies. The flavored waters make perfect mixers for drinks, or, with some added seltzer, can serve as a refreshing drink. Whatever your need, you need not worry about calories. I’ll say it again–why drink the full calorie waters when you can get the same benefits with less sugar and calories, all without sacrificing taste?