Is Vitamin Water Good for You? A Dietitian Review

In the world of beverages, VitaminwaterⓇ has surged in popularity as a seemingly healthy alternative to sugary sodas and energy drinks.

It’s marketed as a hydrating, nutrient-packed option, it promises to combine the best of both hydration and supplementation. And anything with added vitamins must be healthy, right?

But…is Vitamin Water good for you?

Hi there – I’m Jamie, Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you make healthy eating (and drinking) easy.

I wrote this in-depth analysis of Vitaminwater, exploring its nutritional profile, the possible health benefits, the cons, and my professional two cents about this drink so that you can make an informed decision.

Let’s get started with Vitamin Water 101 – what is it?

A bottle of vitamin water being held up.

What is Vitaminwater?

Vitaminwater is a brand of flavored water owned by Coca-Cola that’s fortified with additional vitamins and minerals. This vitamin-fortified drink has been around for more than twenty years.

The name implies that this is a healthy drink. But is it? We’ll take a deeper look in just a moment. 

Nutritional profile of Vitaminwater

So what exactly is in this vitamin-infused water? Let’s take a look under the cap. 

Key vitamins and minerals

Vitamin water products come in 20 oz bottles, each containing an array of essential vitamins and minerals mixed with reverse osmosis water.

However, their ingredients and nutrition facts do vary a bit by flavor. Common inclusions are:

  • Vitamin C: Known for its immune-boosting properties. Each bottle has 100% or more of your vitamin C needs per day. 
  • B Vitamins: Includes B complex vitamins like vitamin B6 and B12, which are crucial for energy metabolism…but not necessarily needed in a drink.
  • Electrolytes: These are potassium and magnesium, which are essential for muscle function and hydration.

Caloric content and added sugars

While regular Vitaminwater might have fewer calories and less sugar than soda, the original flavors of Vitaminwater are still sweetened with quite a bit of added sugar.

Some varieties can contain up to 32 grams of sugar per bottle. To put that into perspective, 32 grams of sugar is the same as 8 teaspoons. It’s a pretty sugary drink!

It’s worth noting though, zero sugar options are also available; they’re sweetened with stevia and monk fruit and called “Vitaminwater Zero”.

So, if you’re looking for a no added sugar version of Vitaminwater (plus no artificial sweeteners), that’s a good option.

Potential health benefits

Nutrition is not black and white; most nutrition questions have a nuanced answer. Here are some possible benefits of Vitaminwater: 

Hydration

The biggest benefit of drinking Vitaminwater is simple, hydration! If you’re someone who finds unflavored water unappealing, it can be an effective tool in your tool box.

If you’re someone who isn’t a big fan of plain water, there are several different types of vitamin water that you may find appealing. 

Vitaminwater comes in a variety of flavors like tropical mango, tropical citrus, dragon fruit, XXX açaí blueberry pomegranate and kiwi strawberry.

While I don’t recommend relying on Vitaminwater for 100% of your hydration needs, it can be a hydration source.

If you’re someone who enjoys regular water and has no issues drinking it, Vitaminwater isn’t something that’s likely necessary for you.

A glass of water being held by a hand.

Nutrient supplementation

For individuals with specific vitamin deficiencies, Vitaminwater can offer a convenient way to boost nutrient intake. For example, someone lacking in Vitamin C could benefit from this drink.

The question is: do you need extra vitamins in your water?

If you eat fruits and veggies most days, chances are, you’re not low in Vitamin C. 

For example, if you have 1 cup of fresh strawberries, your entire vitamin C needs are covered for the day.

Truthfully nutrition supplementation is incredibly individualized. If you suspect you’re low in nutrients, I recommend having a chat with your doctor or dietitian for individualized support.

Potential drawbacks and concerns

Like most choices, there are both pros and cons. Here are the potential drawbacks to choosing Vitaminwater. 

Added sugars and calories

My biggest beef with Vitaminwater (at least the original flavors) is its high sugar content. 

While a 20oz bottle of Vitaminwater has about half the amount of added sugar as the same size bottle of Coca-Cola, it is still a large amount of added sugar.

A 20oz bottle of Tropical Citrus Vitaminwater has 27 grams of added sugar, while 20 ounces of Coca-Cola contains 65 grams of sugar. 

Added sugar recommendations

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 36g of added sugar per day for men and no more than 25g of added sugar per day for women.

Diets high in added sugars can spike blood sugar levels and contribute to various health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

It can also contribute to weight gain or difficulty achieving weight loss, if that’s part of your goals.

Reducing your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages is a good place to start if you’re looking to reduce your sugar intake.

They do have sugar-free vitamin waters too, so that’s an option if you don’t mind stevia or monk fruit. The sugar-free vitamin water are objectively better option for a healthy beverage choice.

Vitaminwater zero being held up.

Caffeine

Some of the flavors of Vitamin water have added caffeine, but not all of them. It’s not necessarily a negative for everyone but just something to be aware of, especially if you consume other sources of caffeine. 

For example, the Tropical Citrus Vitaminwater has 60 mg of caffeine per bottle, which is about half of the amount of caffeine in an 8oz cup of coffee.

While I’m a regular coffee drinker and have nothing against caffeine in moderate amounts, it is getting easier and easier to go overboard with it without even realizing it with all of the products it’s added to these days.

Cost

At my local Target, a bottle of Vitaminwater is about $1.79. If you’re relying on Vitaminwater regularly, that can certainly add up, especially considering plain water is well, free.

Making an informed choice

So, is vitamin water good for you? Vitaminwater can be a great choice in certain scenarios, such as:

  • As a flavorful alternative to plain water for those who find it challenging to stay hydrated.
  • For someone who wants to cut out soft drinks and is looking for a healthier alternative.
  • During intense physical activities that require quick electrolyte replenishment.
  • For individuals who struggle to obtain sufficient vitamins from their diet.
  • For those who simply enjoy an occasional Vitaminwater!

Having said that, it’s not something that everyone needs to running out to grab in order to have a healthy diet.

Regardless of your health goals, what truly matters most is eating a well-balanced diet with whole foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean sources of protein.

Your nutritional needs are unique! If you feel you’re lacking essential nutrients, have a chat with your doctor or dietitian for the best course of action.

If you’re looking for fun ways to stay hydrated, here are a few other options for healthy drinks:

  • Regular water: Regular water is enough on its own to keep you happy and hydrated, especially when paired with a varied, balanced diet.
  • Infused Water: Simply adding slices of fruits like lemon, cucumber, or berries to water can provide flavor without added sugars.
  • Coconut Water: Naturally rich in electrolytes, coconut water is an excellent alternative for hydration and has a refreshing flavor.
  • Homemade drinks: Sometimes it’s fun to change things up with a flavorful drink instead of flavored water. Here are a few of my favorite recipes:
A glass of water infused with fruit.

That’s a wrap

Like most things, the right choice for you can vary from anyone else and can change from day to day. Vitaminwater has both pros and cons. 

My opinion? Use Vitaminwater (if you like it) to complement your regular varied diet and water intake, not as a primary source of hydration or nutrients.

I hope that this product review was helpful! If you’d like to keep in touch with healthy tips, delicious recipes and more product reviews, let’s connect on Instagram!

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It's me, Jamie!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you break free of the all-or-nothing dieting with balanced and realistic healthy eating.

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Meet Jamie

I’m a Registered Dietitian and I’ve been exactly where you are, right now. The all or nothing dieting, the constant food guilt, the scale obsession, absolutely no balance with food…. Sound familiar?