Smartwater is one of the most iconic bottled water brands worldwide. The brand is owned by Coca-Cola, and is known for its distinctive colored caps and unique flavors.
But is Smartwater good for you? Does it contain any unhealthy additives? Which Smartwater flavor is the healthiest? And how does Smartwater stack up to other bottled water brands in terms of healthiness?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in Smartwater based on medical studies to give our take on whether or not the brand is good for you.
We’ll pick our healthiest Smartwater flavor and explain why, and also compare the healthiness of Smartwater to other popular bottled water brands like Topo Chico and blk Water.
The ingredients in Smartwater Original are shown above.
Vapor distilled water is the first ingredient, and this refers to water that’s gone through a process that vaporizes it and then allows it to condense back into its original form, which removes both impurities like heavy metals and naturally-occurring minerals.
Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are electrolytes that are added back in for taste.
There is an inconsequential amount of these electrolytes from a health and nutritional perspective, because their respective doses are too low to be published on the Nutrition Facts label.
Our main complaint about Smartwater from a health perspective is its plastic packaging.
Chemical compounds like bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS) can leach from plastic packaging into food and beverages, and can have negative effects on human hormonal function.
A medical review published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal found that most plastic products release estrogenic chemicals.
Overall, we consider Smartwater to be good for you because it’s just formulated with water and is free of any unhealthy additives. We don’t currently recommend this brand due to the use of plastic packaging.
But how does the healthiness of Smartwater compare to other popular bottled water brands? We’ll provide a comparison in the next section of this article.
Smartwater vs. The Competition
Three of the most popular bottled water brands are blk Water, Pellegrino and Liquid Death.
Here’s our comparison of Smartwater against those brands from a health perspective:
Smartwater vs. blk
blk is an alkaline water brand, and as we documented in our article on is blk Water good for you, some medical studies have shown health benefits associated with consumption of alkaline water, including improved gut health and sleep quality.
The research is still too early-stage for us to say that alkaline water has definitive health benefits, but we certainly consider its clinical backing to be more promising than that of distilled water.
Verdict: blk over Smartwater
Smartwater vs. Pellegrino
Pellegrino is a mineral water that’s typically packaged in glass bottles. That alone would give the brand an edge over Smartwater from a health perspective.
Pellegrino is also relatively mineral-rich for a water brand, while Smartwater contains only trace amounts of minerals.
According to FineWaters, Pellegrino contains 208 milligrams (mg) of calcium and 56 mg of magnesium per liter.
Verdict: Pellegrino over Smartwater
Smartwater vs. Liquid Death
Liquid Death is perhaps the most aggressively and uniquely-marketed bottled water brand in the US, with its distinctive cans.
As we documented in our article on is Liquid Death bad for you, the brand uses aluminum packaging which we consider to be a healthier alternative to plastic.
Neither Liquid Death nor Smartwater provides a notable amount of minerals, so the packaging makes the difference here for us.
Verdict: Liquid Death over Smartwater
What’s the Healthiest Smartwater Flavor?
Smartwater sells an alkaline version of their water that we consider to be the healthiest offering from the brand.
A clinical trial published in the Biology of Sport journal reported that alkaline water more favorably affected hydration status than tap water.
That is to say that for the same amount of water consumed, alkaline water was clinically shown to be more hydrating than tap water.
A 2019 clinical trial found that alkaline water consumption improved sleep quality relative to a placebo group drinking tap water.
As we documented in our alkaline water review article, alkaline water may also have an anti-aging effect, as it was shown in one 10-month clinical trial to increase telomere length.
While we don’t currently recommend any versions of Smartwater, we would recommend the alkaline version to consumers intent on purchasing from the brand.
Is Bottled Water a Scam?
A YouTube video from the Future Proof brand has over 300,000 views and suggests that bottled water is a scam:
Our Clean Water Picks
We recommend drinking filtered water, because this is the only method that we've seen proven to reduce contaminant levels in drinking water.
An extensive medical review published in the Science of the Total Environment journal documented how many different toxic compounds exist in tap water, from bisphenol A (BPA) to perfluorooctanoic acids (PFOAs) to even residual drug ingredients like ibuprofen.
The Brita Soho (Amazon link here for those interested), is proven in studies conducted by ConsumerLab (an independent research firm) to significantly reduce heavy metal levels and entirely eliminate microplastics from drinking water.
For consumers with higher discretionary income, we recommend Aquasana's Rhino Whole-House Water Filter as a comprehensive solution that can filter all sources of water in the house. When you install a whole-house filter, it filters water in all taps and all showers throughout the house, so it's the most thorough way to ensure a reduction in contaminants and to ensure purity of drinking and bathing water.
The Aquasana Rhino Whole-House Water Filter costs around $2,400, which equates to pennies per glass after 10 years of use.