Vitamin Water is a brand with a name that’s suggestive of health and wellness. The brand has a beautifully simple catchphrase for their drinks: “great taste. more nutrients. win win.”
But what’s actually in Vitamin Water besides water and vitamins? Does the product contain research-backed ingredients for optimal health? Does it contain any questionable additive ingredients? And what do medical experts have to say about Vitamin Water?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Vitamin Water and Vitamin Water Zero (the zero-sugar version) to give our take on whether the drinks are good for you or if they’re a waste of money.
We’ll discuss which Vitamin Water product is healthier, feature real, unsponsored user reviews of the brand and share a video that suggests Vitamin Water could theoretically cause a coma.
The ingredients in the Focus version of Vitamin Water, which has a Kiwi-Strawberry flavor, are shown above.
There are a number of ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective.
Crystalline fructose is the only ingredient other than water, and this sweetener was shown in a 2005 clinical trial to cause negative changes to gut function after ingestion, such as increased gas and abdominal pain.
Cane sugar is another refined sweetener, and contributes to the 26 grams (g) of added sugar per serving in this drink.
Consuming added sugar in excess is clinically shown to be associated with increased risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, so it may be sensible to avoid drinks with added sugar.
Citric acid was found in a medical review published in the Toxicology Reports journal to cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals. It’s a preservative and flavor enhancer.
Natural flavors is a broad categorical term that fails to describe the specific flavoring agents used.
As we documented in our article on is Liquid IV good for you, a medical review found that some flavoring ingredients and their metabolites may be harmful to human health.
Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 make up a blend of added vitamins. We haven’t come across any convincing medical evidence that taking added vitamins has beneficial health effects other than for individuals with vitamin deficiencies.
Overall, we do not consider Vitamin Water to be good for you and would not recommend it from a health perspective.
But is Vitamin Water Zero healthier? We’ll review in the next ingredient analysis section, after first sharing a video on Vitamin Water.
Can Vitamin Water Put You in a Coma?
A YouTube video published by “Brew” has over 1 million views and discusses whether or not Vitamin Water can put you in a coma, along with a lawsuit against the brand:
Ingredient Analysis – Vitamin Water Zero
The ingredients in the “power-C” flavor of Vitamin Water Zero are shown above.
This formulation contains some ingredients with questionable health effects that we already analyzed in the previous section: citric acid, natural flavors, and added vitamins.
The main difference is that Vitamin Water Zero is sweetened with naturally-derived, calorie-free sweeteners.
Stevia leaf extract is derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, and may have favorable effects on blood pressure, blood sugar and even cancer risk according to a 2021 medical review.
Monk fruit extract is another naturally-derived sweetener that’s been clinically shown to improve cholesterol levels, as we documented in our Super Coffee reviews article.
Overall, we consider Vitamin Water Zero to be considerably healthier than regular Vitamin Water.
We don’t recommend either drink, but the substitution of refined, caloric sweeteners with naturally-derived, non-caloric sweeteners that may actually benefit health makes this a clear choice.
But how do real users rate and describe the benefits of Vitamin Water? We’ll review in the next section.
We Tried Vitamin Water Ourselves
As the author of this article, I wanted to try Vitamin Water myself and share my thoughts on the taste and overall product experience.
I bought a bottle of Vitamin Water Kiwi Strawberry Focus to go along with a "cheat" meal of pizza.
The taste was decent although too "artificial" for me. I will say that the taste is more subtle than some other sweet drink brands like Gatorade, and I like the taste of Vitamin Water more.
I did not notice any improvements in focus or concentration. I had a late work session right after this meal, and was not more productive than I would have been otherwise.
Overall, I don't like this product very much and don't plan to purchase it again.
Real, Unsponsored Vitamin Water User Reviews
A YouTube creator named “Lumberlend” did a taste test of every Vitamin Water flavor that’s pretty entertaining:
A YouTube video from the “Sporked” channel features a professional food taste tester sharing her thoughts on the new Vitamin Water flavors, including a chocolate-flavored drink:
Pros and Cons of Vitamin Water
Here are the pros and cons of Vitamin Water in our opinion:
- No artificial flavors
- No artificial dyes
- Regular version contains added sugar
- Contains citric acid
- Contains flavoring ingredients
- Contains added vitamins
- Online customer reviews we came across complained about the taste