Vitamin waters, energy drinks, and fancy juice concoctions take up a full aisle in most grocery stores these days. You may enjoy the taste, but don’t expect to gain significant nutrition from the products, experts say.
A study by the University of Toronto and Ryerson University looked at the nutritional content of several of these beverages. Researchers found that many drinks bear packaging claims that tout nutritional attributes, such as immune support or antioxidant properties. These claims sometimes go on to suggest the drink can enhance performance or emotional wellbeing.
In fact, many of these vitamin waters and energy drinks have high levels of vitamins B6, B12, C, and niacin. But most people typically consume plenty of these nutrients to meet their needs without having to consume nutrition beverages.
Naomi Dachner, a researcher in Nutritional Science at the University of Toronto, said there is little incentive for manufacturers to add nutrients that would address actual deficiencies in people’s diets. Nutrients that were rarely added to vitamin waters, but may actually be needed by people, included vitamin D, folate, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
The authors reported that the nutrients themselves and the levels at which they appear in vitamin-enriched waters “appear haphazard” and do not reflect actual nutrient needs. While the beverages are marketed as improving health, they warned there is no proof of any substantial benefit for those who consume them.