What to Drink, When (Page 3)

Hydrate With Enhanced Waters

Hydrate With Enhanced Water

Examples: Flavored, Electrolyte-and Vitamin- and Mineral-Containing (e.g., Smartwater, Aquafinda FlavorSplash, Propel, O Beverages, Vitaminwater)
Calories: 0-50 per 8 oz.
Electrolytes: Yes
Carbohydrates: Yes
Caffeine: No
Protein: No

The Science Says: Many waters are enhanced with flavor, electrolytes or vitamins and minerals—or any combination of the above. Flavored water could make it easier to consume more: in one study, people given flavored water while exercising drank more than exercisers given plain water. Electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium) are excreted in sweat, but not all electrolyte waters replenish these losses. Some don’t contain sodium. Vitamins and minerals added to waters aren’t necessary if you’re eating a healthy, well-balanced diet—and more doesn’t mean you’ll be healthier.

What It's Best For: When plain water isn’t tantalizing enough, flavored varieties could make it easier to stay hydrated. Choose wisely: some brands can deliver as much added sugars as soft drinks while others use artificial sweeteners to cut the calorie load.

Next: When to Hydrate With Coconut Water »

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