Enhanced water is a category of beverages that are marketed as water with added ingredients, such as natural or artificial flavors, sugar, sweeteners, vitamins and minerals. Most enhanced waters are lower in calories than non-diet soft drinks. In this article, we are going to uncover all truths regarding enhanced waters. Are they really as good as they claim to be? Are there actual vitamins and minerals present in the water? What makes it so different from the good old water that we have been drinking all these years? What are their benefits and side effects? Lastly,are they safe for pregnant women? Read on to find out the answers to all these questions.
In this article:
All You Need to Guide for Enhanced Waters
Are Enhanced Waters Better than Regular Water?
Everyone has heard the age-old advice to drink eight to ten glasses of water a day. More of us need to heed this sage advice to keep our bodies well hydrated and our energy level up. The problem is, we get bored with large volumes of plain water. Enter the age of fitness waters. Savvy marketers have picked up on the need for low-calorie beverages and have developed fitness waters to help us meet our fluid requirements. The real question is, are fitness waters any better than plain water? And the simple answer is, only if they help you drink up. Otherwise, plain water is just fine. Most of the fitness waters are low in calories and pose little threat to the daily caloric intake or eating plan. If you enjoy drinking them and they help you meet your fluid needs, enjoy one or two per day.
Benefits of Enhanced Waters
May Improve Exercise Performance
Electrolyte-enhanced waters, particularly sports drinks, may benefit athletes by helping replenish water, electrolytes and energy lost during exercise. During physical activity, you need additional fluids to replace the water lost in sweat. In fact, a water loss of as little as 1–2% of your body weight can lead to decreased strength, speed and focus. Sweat also contains electrolytes, including a significant amount of sodium, as well as small amounts of potassium, calcium and magnesium. On average, you lose around 1 gram of sodium with every liter of sweat. Sports drinks are recommended over plain water to replace fluid and electrolytes if you tend to sweat a lot, exercise longer than one hour or in hot environments. You should note that sports drinks are designed for athletes, not sedentary individuals.
Can Rehydrate During Illness
In the short term, vomiting and diarrhea are usually not serious conditions. However, severe or persistent symptoms can quickly lead to dehydration if fluids and electrolytes are not replaced. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to dehydration from severe vomiting and diarrhea. Oral rehydration solutions contain water, carbs and electrolytes in specific proportions that are easy to digest. Sports drinks are similar but contain higher amounts of sugar. They’re not recommended for infants and young children, as they may worsen diarrhea. Sports drinks may be tolerated by older children if diluted to 1 part water, 1 part sports drink. Adults typically tolerate both oral rehydration solutions and sports drinks without issues. Importantly, electrolyte beverages may not be sufficient for treating severe dehydration.
Can Help Prevent Heat Stroke
Hot environments put you at risk for a variety of heat-related illnesses, which range from mild heat rash to life-threatening heatstroke. Normally, your body manages heat by releasing it through your skin and by sweating. However, this cooling system may begin to fail in hot weather, causing your body temperature to rise to dangerously high levels. The key to preventing heat-related illnesses is to limit your time in the heat. However, getting plenty of fluid and electrolytes is also extremely important to help your body stay cool. In hot environments, water and sports drinks are recommended for hydration over other beverages. Drinks containing caffeine such as soda, coffee and tea may worsen dehydration, as can alcohol.
Side Effects of Enhanced Waters
Flavored water can give you a low-calorie or calorie-freezing when you need a hydrating boost, but it can also give you a dose of the artificial sweetener aspartame. While aspartame in low doses is safe for many, it does come with potential side effects.
Negative Physical Effects
Aspartame has the potential to riddle your body with negative side effects. Dizziness, headaches and vision problems are those that can wreak havoc on your head, along with fatigue and problems sleeping. Your digestive system can take a beating, with side effects that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramps. The most severe side effects affect your entire body and include a rash or case of hives, changes in your heart rate, difficulty breathing and, in the most extreme cases, convulsions or seizures.
Negative Mental Effects
Mood swings top the list of potential negative mental effects of aspartame, with highs, lows and sudden shifts from one mood to another. Exacerbated depression is another potential side effect for those who already suffer from depression or another mood disorder. Aspartame can also lead to memory loss or problems remembering things.
Is Enhanced Waters Okay for Pregnant Women?
Drinking sparkling mineral water during pregnancy is also beneficial. But there are natural sparkling water and artificially carbonated water. It is important to mark that difference. The amount of calcium and magnesium should be increased during pregnancy and drinking natural sparkling mineral water can help with that.
Word of Caution
It is important to check the labels before you buy anything. Just make sure both you and your baby are safe.