By Olek P.
A lone Westmount Charter student enters Mac’s at the end of a long school day. His eyes scan the contents of the store and spot a burst of colour off to the side. Sitting on the top shelf, stocked three to a flavour, is a beverage known as Vitaminwater. He decides to grab an orange one, and heads to the counter. With a beep from the scanner, the cashier asks for two dollars and eighty cents. Oh well, it looks healthy, so it must be worth it.
Let’s stop right there.
Introduced in 2000, Vitaminwater currently has over a dozen different flavours (not counting those with zero calories), and is distributed by Energy Brands, otherwise known as Glacéau. Originally invented by J. Darius Bikoff, it is now available in twenty-six countries. Its history has not been without controversy, however. In 2010, Vitaminwater ran an advertisement claiming that it was nutritious, which, when one looks at the amount of sugar in it, raises some eyebrows. Coca-Cola claimed that the beverage was indeed nutritious, given that it is composed of the full amount of Vitamin C, along with other vitamins recommended per day; however, it overlooks the fact that there are thirty grams of sugar in just one bottle. As a result, a number of lawsuits were filed, which have since been settled.
On the other hand, the American Heart Association states that the recommended amount of sugar per day is thirty-seven and a half grams for men and twenty-five for women. When one compares the nutrition facts of a 591mL bottle of Vitaminwater “Essentials” with that of a 591mL bottle of Coke, some more information is revealed. 591mL of Coke contains a whopping seventy grams of sugar. Vitaminwater, on the other hand, contains just thirty grams of sugar in just one bottle. While this is significantly less, it’s still very close to (or above) the recommended daily intake of sugar. Though the sugar content of both are very high, it is important to note that Coke is comprised of very few nutrients, while Vitaminwater includes a large amount of nutrients such as Vitamin C, Calcium, Zinc, and other minerals. In spite of that, anybody with a reasonably healthy diet would get their nutrients from their meals anyway. The bottom line is, the next time you’re thirsty, just have a drink of regular water.
Stempel, Jonathan. “Coca-Cola Accused Of Overstating Vitaminwater’s Health Benefits.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 18 July 2013. Web. 8 Apr. 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/19/vitaminwater-lawsuit-health-benefits_n_3620276.html>.
“Advert for Coca-Cola Vitamin Water ‘misled Public'” BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation, 19 Jan. 2011. Web. 9 Apr. 2015. <http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-12218673>.
Herper, Matthew. “Why Vitaminwater Is Bad For Public Health.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 2 Aug. 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2011/02/08/why-vitaminwater-is-bad-for-public-health/>.
“Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Sept. 2009. Web. 9 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19704096>.
“Boring History.” Vitaminwater Canada. Energy Brands, Inc. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. <http://www.vitaminwatercanada.ca/en/boring-history/>.