Is Fruit-flavored Water Good to Drink When You Are Dieting?

Cold redcurrant tea with lemon and mint.
Fruit infused water shown on table. (Image: Lilechka75/iStock/Getty Images)

When you are dieting to lose weight, your target should be to lose 1 to 2 lbs. per week to ensure you take in enough nutrients. To accomplish this, your objective is to create a deficit of 500 calories per day through both diet and exercise. Drinking fruit-flavored water can help you reach this goal, as long as the water does not include sugar.

Calories

Water doesn’t contain any calories, so you can drink as much of it as you want without gaining weight. If you drink it instead of high-calorie drinks, it can greatly reduce your overall calories, leading to weight loss. However, the method in which you flavor the water can affect whether it will add calories. Adding some citrus slices or a small amount of lemon, lime or other juice to your water will not add a significant amount of calories and will also provide some vitamins and minerals. However, artificial flavorings can add sugar, sugar substitutes and other additives, which can potentially be harmful to your health or add calories.

Weight Loss

No- or low-calorie flavored water might help you lose weight through more than simply reducing your caloric intake. Overweight women reduced their body fat, weight and waist size by consuming water in a November 2008 study in the journal “Obesity.” The study accounted for exercise, diet and calorie reduction and compared water to diet drinks. Water seemed to help the people burn more energy, although more research is needed on this subject.

Sugary Drinks

Fruit-flavored drinks that contain sugar will not help your diet. Drinks with sugar are one of the main areas of added calories in the American diet, according to a 2010 article in the American Heart Association’s publication “Circulation.” Sugary drinks add calories to your diet that you are likely to consume on top of, instead of in place of, calories from food, causing an excess of calories.

Sugar Substitutes

Even fruit-flavored water with sugar substitutes, instead of sugar, might counteract your diet goals. Some artificial sweeteners contain calories, while others seem to cause weight gain, although more research is determined to figure out the reason. Your best bet is to choose drinks that only contain water or carbonated water with flavoring, or make your own sugar-free fruit-flavored water at home.

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