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Vitamin Water: 5 Best Flavors + 3 Alternatives

Vitaminwater was acquired by the Coca-Cola Company in 2007 and now offers 20 different varieties. Each is designed to somehow boost your health. In this article we’ll explore the best flavors of vitaminwater, their types of different drinks, and whether they’re actually healthy for you.

It may sound like a crazy thing to ‘invent’, but in 2000 businessman J. Darius Bikoff created water. It wasn’t just any kind of water, we’re talking about Vitaminwater.

The popular drink was brought to market because Bikoff wondered why he should be taking his mineral water and vitamins separately, if he could just as easily take them together. Millions of customers quickly agreed – though vitaminwater’s journey hasn’t been without controversy.

They’re aimed at being a sort of mid-point between sugary sodas and water. The idea is that you needn’t miss out just because you’re health conscious, though this is exactly what critics of vitaminwater question being true.

What to Know about Vitamin Water Flavors

What to Know about Vitamin Water Flavors

If vitaminwater sounds a little bit too gimmicky to you, think again. It’s hugely popular across much of the world.

The brand’s unique formula contains a large amount of potassium, as well as other vitamins and minerals, which is potentially beneficial.

This may make it a helpful addition to an otherwise healthy diet, particularly if you don’t like swallowing vitamin pills. On the other hand, it contains more than just vitamins and minerals. Read on to find out more.

All of the vitaminwaters contain between 50 to 120 percent of your RDI of B vitamins, as well as 50-150% of your RDI in vitamin C.

One of the less favorable facts about vitaminwater is that many of their flavors do contain a selection of sweeteners, sugars, and preservatives, making it more of a treat than something that is actually healthy.

Fun fact: Rapper 50 Cent was offered a stake in vitaminwater in 2004, in exchange for promoting the brand. Allegedly he made $100 million via the relatively simple deal, which made way for other artists to make similar deals going forward.

Origin of Vitamin Water

Origin of Vitamin Water

J. Darius Bikoff dreamed up the idea of vitaminwater in 1996. Apparently he felt as though he was catching a cold and decided to take some vitamin C with mineral water.

He began to think about the convenience of a beverage combining both, and vitaminwater was born soon after.

He initially started his journey with ‘smartwater’, however, before creating fruitwater, and finally vitaminwater in 2000.

More interestingly, perhaps, he managed to get Hollywood’s ‘Brandfather’ Rohan Oza on board, who created vitaminwater’s very effective marketing campaigns and quickly linked it with one of the world’s biggest celebrities.

Who Invented Vitamin Water

Who Invented Vitamin Water

Vitaminwater was invented by J. Darius Bikoff, who dreamed up the concept rather randomly after feeling rundown.

Bikoff founded the business using personal savings and initially struggled having had no experience in manufacturing drinks. The company soon took off, however, and in 2007 Bikoff sold his company to Coca Cola for $4.1 billion.

Ingredients of Typical Vitamin Water Drinks

Ingredients of Typical Vitamin Water Drinks

A typical bottle of vitaminwater contains ‘reverse osmosis water’, fructose, small amounts of vitamins, cane sugar, citric acid, acacia gum, natural flavors, plus fruit and vegetable juices to make up the coloring.

Reverse osmosis is a process that can remove contaminants and hard minerals from water. It’s essentially purified water, but with a fancier description for the label.

Fructose is a kind of simple sugar and makes up 50% of regular table sugar or sucrose. It’s why vitaminwater does have a lot of critics as essentially it’s a way of saying ‘sugar’ on the label without actually saying ‘sugar’ right at the top of the ingredients list.

The fruit juices in vitaminwater are marginal, and only added for coloring purposes as it says in the ingredient lists.

Is Vitamin Water Really Healthy?

Is Vitamin Water Really Healthy?

The short answer is no. Vitaminwater has met with a lot of controversy over the years, largely due to the large amount of sugar the drinks contain.

Interestingly, Coca Cola was sued by the Center for Science in the Public Interest in 2009. The lawsuit noted that vitaminwater shouldn’t be marketed as a ‘healthful alternative’ to regular sodas.

Coca Cola was quick to dismiss this, saying that it was ‘ridiculous’ for any consumer to reasonably think vitaminwater would be healthy. In 2013 the lawsuit was made into a class-action lawsuit.

Some argue that vitaminwater is really nothing more than glorified sugar water. One bottle of regular vitaminwater contains around 32 g of added sugars, which makes up approximately 50-100% of your daily recommended dietary intake (RDI).

The ‘Zero’ line of vitaminwaters contains no added fructose or sugar, instead using both natural and artificial sweeteners.

So essentially, vitaminwater is really just a fun drink with some added vitamins. You’d be better off having regular vitamins with regular water, just as J. Darius Bikoff did when he thought up the idea behind the brand. Or better yet, enjoy a healthy, varied diet consisting of plenty of natural nutrients and water.

The Best Vitamin Water Flavors Ranked

The Best Vitamin Water Flavors Ranked

We’ve established that vitaminwater isn’t exactly a health drink, but it is a fun beverage to enjoy on a hot day. Below is a list of our top 5 favorite vitaminwater flavors — as well as their (limited) benefits for your body.

Refresh – Tropical Mango

Refresh – Tropical Mango

The Refresh flavor is a popular vitaminwater variety, promising ‘sports-drink levels of hydration’ thanks to added electrolytes, as well as vitamins B5, B6, and B12.

The tropical mango flavor is tasty and makes this a yummy summertime beverage. This one has been described as being a little bit similar to Gatorade, so if you like that you’ll likely enjoy this, too.

Power-C – Dragonfruit

Power-C – Dragonfruit

Half the fun of this flavor is in the fun color. This hot pink vitaminwater promises 200% of your RDI of vitamin C, as well as zinc, taurine, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.

Dragon Fruit can be a divisive flavor. This one tastes lightly of berries and has a slightly bitter aftertaste, which isn’t entirely unpleasant however.

Restore – Fruit Punch

Restore – Fruit Punch

This purple-hued vitaminwater offers a lovely fruit punch flavor, plus added B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. Essentially, this one tastes like a mix of fruits, making for a lovely, refreshing drink.

Some say that Revive is a rebrand of the original Restore, though we couldn’t find any sources confirming this.

Essential – Orange-Orange

Essential – Orange-Orange

Essential vitaminwater contains a LOT of vitamin C – 250 percent of your RDI. It also has added zinc, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and vitamin b12.

Vitaminwater’s own description highlights the ‘orange-orange’ flavor specifically – rather than just orange.

A closer look at the ingredients list shows that it contains ‘natural flavors’ but no actual orange juice. Nevertheless, it is tasty.

Energy – Tropical Citrus

Energy – Tropical Citrus

Vitaminwater’s Energy flavor is relatively close to any other energy drink you may get from the supermarket. It contains a decent 60 mg of caffeine, B vitamins, and guarana seed extract.

The tropical citrus flavor is refreshing and tasty, though the added stevia extract (over and above the sugars) may make this one a little bit sweet.

The Original Vitamin Water Flavors

The Original Vitamin Water Flavors

When vitaminwater was first introduced, they offered five flavors. Four of the five are, in fact, still being marketed and sold today. Some are amongst our most popular flavors above, but there are others worth checking out, too.

Revive

Revive

Vitaminwater’s Revive flavor sounds much like its newer Restore flavor.

It was a fruit punch-flavored beverage aimed at giving you a boost with added electrolytes, potassium, vitamin 5, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and vitamin C.

There is still a zero sugar Revive available, which uses artificial sugar erythritol and natural stevia leaf extract to sweeten it.

Power-C

Power-C

As mentioned above, Power-C is a popular vitaminwater flavor with a fun hot pink coloring. There’s also a zero sugar version available now, though this wasn’t one of the original offerings. The zero sugar drink contains stevia leaf extract and monk fruit extract to sweeten it.

Energy

Energy

The tropical citrus-flavored Energy variety of vitaminwater was one of the original flavor creations. It’s still one of the most popular vitaminwaters today, partially due to its inclusion of 60 mg of caffeine.

For reference, that’s a little less caffeine than in a standard 8 fl oz cup of coffee, so it’ll give you a boost without sending you over the edge. A can of Red Bull has more caffeine than the Energy vitaminwater as well.

Focus

Focus

Focus vitaminwater offers a pretty pink color and somewhat divisive kiwi strawberry flavor. It’s made with added B vitamins (300% of your RDI), vitamin C, electrolytes, and guarana.

We think it’s essentially aimed at college students and others burning the midnight oil.

It contains a both crystalline fructose, added cane sugar, and caffeine. So it’ll give you a boost, but probably not a healthy one.

Essential

Essential

One of the most natural-sounding flavors of vitaminwater, Essential ‘Orange-Orange’ doesn’t really contain orange juice, but does have plenty of vitamin C, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and zinc. It’s a tasty one, and obviously a flavor that’s managed to stick out of the original selection.

Types of Vitamin Water

Types of Vitamin Water

Vitaminwater sell two main varieties of their drinks — those with added sugars, and those without. Some of the flavors overlap, others are distinct. Here we go into the main differences and similarities between the two.

Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater

Regular vitaminwater comes in the flavors XXX (Acai Blueberry Pomegranate), Refresh (Tropical Mango), Power-C (Dragonfruit), Focus (Kiwi Strawberry), Essential (Orange-Orange), and Energy (Tropical Citrus).

The original flavors all contain both fructose and sugar, so they are sweet and not necessarily great for a weight-loss diet.

It has been argued that the added vitamins and minerals do little to make up for the excess sugars. However, vitaminwater is fine as an occasional treat all the same.

Vitaminwater Zero (without Sugar)

Vitaminwater Zero (without Sugar)

Zero Sugar vitaminwater is available in the following flavors:

  • With Love (Raspberry Dark Chocolate)
  • Forever You (Coconut Lime)
  • XXX (Acai Blueberry Pomegranate)
  • Shine (Strawberry Lemonade)
  • Rise (Orange)
  • Power-C (Dragonfruit)
  • Gutsy (Watermelon Peach)
  • Squeezed (Lemonade Flavored).

As you can see there are a few overlaps, but most are distinct, including some special newer additions with the With Love and Forever You flavors.

Tasty Alternatives to Vitamin Water

Tasty Alternatives to Vitamin Water

So what’s the verdict? Vitaminwater is a tasty soft drink, but not exactly a healthier alternative to sodas as was once alleged.

It’s great for a treat and will hydrate you, but will also provide your body with excess sugars and/or sweeteners, neither of which are particularly healthy.

Below are some great alternatives to vitaminwater which are, for the most part, also cheaper. You can even make some of these at home.

Coconut Water

Coconut Water

Coconut water is a healthier alternative to soft drinks of any kind. Coconut water contains no added ingredients, is a source of many beneficial nutrients, and offers many health benefits.

These include antioxidant properties, balancing blood sugar levels, possible prevention of kidney stones, boosting heart health, and of course hydrating your body.

The only downside to coconut water is that it is a little pricier than other alternatives.

Infused Water

Infused Water

Infused water is an excellent homemade alternative to sugary store-bought drinks. You can infuse your water with herbs such as mint or tasty fruits like berries or mangoes.

Frozen fruit makes a great substitute for regular ice cubes while adding some healthy flavoring to your water.

It’s also much cheaper than any kind of readymade drink you can buy from a supermarket.

Herbal Tea

Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is calorie-free and doesn’t contain any sugars. Many herbal teas also offer health benefits.

For instance, green tea or matcha can boost your energy levels and metabolism, chamomile tea has a calming effect, and mint teas may help with digestion.

You can steep your tea ahead of time and cool it, making a refreshing chilled or iced beverage that’s ideal for work or the gym.

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