Maggie from Newark asks: I'm trying to do all that I can to be healthy. Is vitamin water a good choice?
Meg's reply: I vote no. Look at it this way - good or bad, getting vitamins in your water is certainly not necessary. You've heard it said that Americans have the most expensive urine, right? It's true. The vitamins in vitamin water are soluble vitamins which means that whatever your body does not need is put out in the urine. Still, in high amounts even soluble vitamins can affect the absorption or utilization of other nutrients. It's also possible that passing large amounts of vitamins through the kidneys could be problematic. Finally, it's always best to get the vitamins and minerals you need as part of a healthy diet.
There are other issues to consider; some products are laced with caffeine or the caffeine-containing herb guarana. Some contain as much as three times the amount of caffeine in a cup of home-brewed coffee (which has about 95 mg). Other drinks may contain add-ins like ginseng, the amino acid taurine, and B complex vitamins, but there's little evidence that these offer any benefit at all and no evidence that vitamins offer immediate effects on energy.
Calories can be a problem too: Some products are so high in sugar, they may cause you to crash rather than pick you up. You could choose the sugar free versions, but then you're likely getting a sugar substitute and many experts believe that sugar substitutes should be consumed only in moderation.
Save some money and enjoy a nice cool glass of pure water!