Speculation over the health benefits of a growing number of “vitamin-enhanced water drinks” continues following criticism from the Australian watchdog, Choice.
Choice had released a press release warning consumers not to buy into the hype around vitamin-enhanced water drinks, claiming that “they are essentially expensive lolly waters with hyperventilated health claims”.
With names such as “Nutrient Water”, “Smart Water” and “Vitamin Water” and which tend to retail for between $2.50 and $4.00, Choice said some of the drinks “contain enough sugar in one 500ml bottle to provide the average woman with a third of her recommended daily intake”.
The issue Choice has with these products centres around the potentially misleading promotion and labelling claims. The example given by Choice is for Nutrient Water, which “claims that drinking its Cranberry Grapefruit Multi-Vitamin will give you the same benefits as ‘eight hours sleep, a bowl of steaming greens and pre-dawn power walks’”
The British Soft Drinks Association has since offered a defence of these products, which was published on the website NutraIngredients.com, stating that “enhanced waters provide additional functionality with the ingredients such as added vitamins, minerals or antioxidants. Enhanced waters provide people with an easy and convenient way to help get more of the nutrients they need each day – encouraging people to adopt a healthy balanced lifestyle.”
The BSDA added that while enhanced water can be consumed regularly, these products should be treated like all soft drinks and consumed as part of a balanced diet.