We hear all the time that most of us aren’t getting the vitamins our bodies need to keep us healthy. So it’s no surprise that vitamin water has been such a big consumer hit. We’re going to drink water anyway — why not include some extra vitamins while we’re doing it? It’s good for us.
A study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism finds that it may be just the opposite.
Researchers analyzed 46 beverages, with and without added sugar, and found many “contained vitamins B6, B12, niacin and vitamin C in quantities ‘well in excess’ of the average daily requirements for young adults,” the New York Times reports.
These juices, waters, and sports drinks entice consumers with mood- or performance-enhancing benefits as well as immune system boosts, but the added nutrients are unnecessary and potentially harmful; for example, a 2012 study published in the Cochrane Database found that heart disease patients treated with folic acid and B12 had higher mortality and cancer rates.
Furthermore, a 2012 nationwide study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that the most common vitamins added to these beverages are already plentiful in the average person’s diet, between the foods we eat and the supplements we take. Conversely, the vitamin niacin (naturally found in mushrooms, fish and avocados) is difficult to ingest in large quantities, but is found in excess within a single bottle of “formula 50” Vitaminwater, the New York Times reports—it contains 120% of the daily recommended value.
“You couldn’t possibly get that much from any natural foods,” Dr. Tarasuk told the New York Times. “That’s concerning to me as a nutrition scientist because we don’t know what the effects of chronic exposure may be. With these products, we’ve embarked on a national experiment.”
Most folks we know are taking vitamin supplements. They’re also trying to eat a healthy, balanced diet consistently. FoodFacts.com is also aware that most in our community conscientiously avoid most processed foods that are devoid of nutritional value. Because of these significant lifestyle practices, the addition of vitamin water to an already healthy diet may in fact be too much of a good thing. Whatever your beverage choices are, make them carefully and consciously.