The bottled water aisle used to take up much less room a few short years ago. Now it it has become an aisle of its own. "Enhanced waters" have everything from vitamins, minerals, protein, herbs, caffeine and fiber added to it, thus the term "enhanced." Here are 3 questions you should ask yourself when you reach for a bottle:
1. Do I need the extra calories or protein or whatever is in it? Many of these bottled waters have added sugar adding extra calories (70 to 125 calories) that we don't need. Drinking bottled water with extra calories/sugar is like drinking a soft drink. As for protein, most of us get more than enough protein from the foods we eat.
2. Is the claim on the bottle "for real?" Many ingredients added to enhanced waters have murky claims - just what does "relaxed," or "more energy" mean when it's on a label? Most of us are stressed out and need more energy. When we see a label that tells us that this product will help us feel less stressed and have more energy, we want to believe it. There are few, if any, studies available to back the claims. Find more about these drinks. As for the vitamins, minerals and fiber in the water - better to get what you need from foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean meat and low-fat dairy foods.
3. Can I afford it? The cost for these drinks adds up quickly. When they are on sale, they can be as low as $1 per bottle. If you only drink one bottle a day that adds up to an extra $7 a week! Consider the cost to the environment, too. If you are concerned about less packaging, as many are these days, you are adding more plastic to the environment when buying these bottled waters even if the bottle is recyclable.
Looking for some alternatives? Here are some refreshing drink ideas.