With a name like Vitaminwater, it would seem like Glaceau's beverage is a bona fide health product. However, take one look at Glaceau Vitaminwater's nutrition label and you'll see that the amount of sugar alone means that it should be a once-in-a-while treat and not a substitute for regular water.
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Glaceau Vitaminwater can be high in added sugar, depending on the flavor. Some varieties are sugar-free and provide essential vitamins and minerals.
A Vitaminwater lawsuit was filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest and two law firms back in 2009. The class action lawsuit against Coca-Cola, which manufactures Vitaminwater, required the company to cease making certain health claims, such as saying that the beverage could improve joint health or lower the risk of eye disease. It also required them to prominently add "with sweeteners" on the label in two places.
Calories and Sugar in Vitaminwater
Each bottle of Vitaminwater provides between 20 and 120 calories, according to the Vitaminwater nutrition labels available on the company's website. The calories come entirely from carbohydrates, mostly added sugars, as no flavor of Vitaminwater contains fat or protein.
The amount of sugar in each 20-ounce bottle of Glaceau Vitaminwater ranges from 4 to 32 grams, depending on the flavor. The flavors XXX Acai-Blueberry-Pomegranate and Revive Fruit Punch have the most sugar, at 32 grams per bottle, while Energy Tropical Citrus, Power-C Dragonfruit, Refresh Tropical Mango, Breeze-E Strawberry Watermelon and Essential Orange-Orange all have 27 grams of sugar per bottle. Focus Kiwi-Strawberry contains 26 grams of sugar.
Not all flavors are high in carbs and sugar. The flavors with the least amount of carbs — just 4 grams — are Ice Cool Blueberry-Lavender and Fire Spicy Watermelon-Lime. These are sugar-free.
Your body doesn't need added sugars as part of its daily nutrients. The term "added sugars" refers to any sugar that's added during the processing of an item, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Energy and sports drinks are one of the top sources of added sugars in the U.S. diet. The American Heart Association recommends that you limit the amount of added sugar to 6 teaspoons per day if you're a woman, or 9 teaspoons per day if you're a man.
Read more: 15 Reasons to Kick Sugar
The company also has a line of beverages that do not contain calories or added sugar, known as Glaceau Vitaminwater Zero. Their flavor comes from stevia leaf extract and/or erythritol. Stevia is a natural product derived from the stevia plant and provides a sweet taste without calories, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC).
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that contains 0 calories, says IFIC. Although it occurs naturally in some foods, it's also produced via fermentation from dextrose.
Micronutrients in Glaceau Vitaminwater
The vitamins in Glaceau Vitamin water include A, C, E, B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 and B12, as well as the minerals zinc, magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium. However, not every flavor has the same vitamins and minerals, nor does each bottle necessarily provides the full daily value (DV) of each micronutrient.
For example, the flavor Essentials Orange-Orange contains 150 percent of the DV for vitamin C, 100 percent of the DV for vitamins B3, B5, B6 and 12 and 25 percent of the DV for vitamins A and C. It also contains 8 percent of the DV for calcium and 4 percent of the DV for potassium.
Read more: 10 Easy Drink Swaps to Cut Down on Sugar
The flavor Focus Kiwi-Strawberry doesn't contain any minerals but has 100 percent of the DV for vitamins C, B3, B5 and B12, plus 25 percent of the DV for vitamin A.
Glaceau Vitaminwater Zero flavors contain a variety of the same vitamins and minerals as the regular line. However, the amounts and specific micronutrient content also varies depending on the flavor chosen.
- Glaceau Vitaminwater: "Find Your Fave Flavor"
- American Heart Association: "Added Sugars"
- Center for Science in the Public Interest: "Vitaminwater Settlement Approved by Court"
- Glaceau Vitaminwater: "All the Flavors, None of the Calories"
- Mayo Clinic: "Added Sugars: Don't Get Sabotaged by Sweeteners"
- International Food Information Council Foundation: "What Is Stevia Leaf Extract?"
- International Food Information Council Foundation: "What Is Erythritol?"
- Coca-Cola Product Facts: "Vitaminwater Essentials Orange-Orange"
- Coca-Cola Product Facts: "Vitaminwater Focus Kiwi-Strawberry"