Once upon a time we called water the original super drink. With 55-75% of the human body being made up of water, water is crucial to our functioning on every cellular level. It regulates your temperature, helps with digesting your food, lubricates your joints, insulates your brain and organs, and flushes waste and toxins out your body.
Dr Anne Marie Helmenstine, who holds a PHD in Biomedical science, cites that we start to feel thirsty when our bodies have lost 2-3% of water, however mental performance and physical coordination begin to be impaired at 1% dehydration, which is long before thirst kicks in. Reaching for your ‘8 glasses a day*’ is critical for optimal functioning, but what type of water can you be reaching for?
*Brian Frank of Hammer Nutrition, once said at a talk that we need to consume 15-18ml of water per pound of body weight daily, in addition to intake during exercise. For me this equates to 6.7 – 8 glasses daily. The bigger you are, the more you need.
What if instead of just plain tap water, or filtered water you reached for infused water? Water that not only hydrates but helps you detox, energize, fight free radicals or balance your PH. With that thought in mind, we went on a mission to find infused water products that promise more than just hydrating you. We found them, purchased them and tried them, and set out to determine if they are they worth their bottle claiming hype.
Oshee Vitamin Water
555ml R15.95 at Dischem
The Oshee Vitamin water I picked up promised “Detox & Hebal” with Mint, Dandelion and Nettle. It is Gluten free, vegan and has no preservatives. It was one of the more affordable waters, coming in at the lowest price in the biggest bottle. The bottle resembles the classic Vitamin water bottle. Amongst its other ingredients, this water contains 6.6g of sugar.
This water smells like a mint tea and tastes like a watered-down iced tea. It’s not delicious tasting by any means but would probably be good if you were feeling queasy.
The most unfortunate part of this bottle of water is their male ambassador’s photo splashed on the label, with his finger pointing at you. As Zissy aptly put it “I don’t want someone staring back at me while I’m trying to drink”.
6th Sense Antioxidant Waters
500ml R25.95 at Wellness Warehouse
The 6th sense water range looked the most exciting out of all my finds. They offer 4 flavour and antioxidant variations that all sound delicious and different. 1. Mango Strawberry with Cayenne 2. Lemon Marula with Turmeric 3. Raspberry Strawberry with Cardamon 4. Apple Watermelon with Cinnamon. I went for the Cayenne.
Antioxidants help prevent or stop cell damage caused by free radicals which attack healthy cells of the body. The flavour I chose highlighted what Cayenne does for you; Helps digestion, improves blood circulation, is a natural metabolic rate enhancer, lowers high cholesterol, Ayurvedic treatment for heart disease, Contains vitamin C & vitamin B6, Vitamin E, potassium and manganese.
Their waters are low calorie, diabetic friendly, carb free and sugar free but they do contain Xylitol for sweetness. The bottle has a tapered centre curve making it easy to hold and when you open it, you immediately get a strong delicious strawberry scent. The taste however was underwhelming, it tasted like a watered-down flavoured strawberry water and the cayenne was very subtle – as a hydrating drink, this is probably a good thing.
Virtue Sparkling Energy Water
250ml R27.95 at Wellness Warehouse
This energy water is lemon lime flavoured and contains Guarana, Yerba Maté, and Ginseng for natural energy. They add that nothing is artificial, it’s naturally sugar-free, Zero calories, no sweeteners. This is one of the two waters we tested that were sparkling.
It Smells like a lemonade but tastes like sparkling water with a heavy dash of lemon. It sways on the more bitter end and reminds me of Dry Lemon without sweetness. Did it energise? Can’t say I noticed a difference, but it was hydrating.
Buchulife Blackcurrant Sparkling Herbal Water
500ml R6.98 at Wellness Warehouse (on sale price, end of range)
The Buchulife water contains Buchu which is ‘extracted from a rare South African Herb’ and is said to Fights free radicals and inflammation with 5 key bioflavonoids; quercetin, rutin, hesperidin, diosmin and diosphenol. This water is organic, naturally sugar free and has no artificial sweeteners. They warn not to use if you’re pregnant, lactating or diagnosed with low blood pressure.
The blackcurrant smell is very prominent, and it reminds me of the smell of Stopayne. It tastes like unsweetened blackcurrant flavoured sparkling water (much like the bottle advertises).
Nature’s Choice Coconut Water with Pineapple Juice
290ml R25.95 at Dischem
With pineapple juice added to this coconut water it is sweet tasting – the only water we tested that was sweet. The bottle bears no claims on it, but the ingredients are simply “80% coconut water, 20% pineapple juice, citric acid”.
It smells like pineapple and tastes like pineapple juice and coconut water combined. If you love coconut water, you’ll probably love this. The only downside of this bottle is that with its pull off lid, as cute as it is, means you have to consume it all in one sitting, however the same can be said of a can.
MiWater Still Alkaline Trace Mineral Drink
500ml R16.90 at Faithful to Nature
Confession time: I bought this water a few months ago when I saw it on Faithful to nature because I knew I wanted to incorporate it into an article. This water is reverse osmosis water, with a trace mineral complex. It has a PH of 8.5+ and has no sugar and no preservatives. It is black in color and in effect, looks like flat Coke. In actuality, it smells and tastes exactly like plain bottled still water.
It gets its black color from the trace element contained called Fulvic Acid. This ancient plant matter is said to be supercharged with a galaxy of health benefits from potent antioxidants and pH balancing minerals, expert at aiding your metabolism and muscle performance, while providing superior hydration. The jury is however out on whether it actually works and one bottle wasn’t going to reveal any answers.
Are any of these waters worth it?
On a whole I was impressed by how water like these tasted, they were completely different to flavoured waters which are more sugary drink than water. However, if I were to sum up my water testing experience, I would describe these all (with the exception of the coconut water) as waters infused with fruits and herbs – like the ones you can make on your own by putting fruits and herbs into your water bottle.
Despite what these waters say they have in them to make them super waters, with the exception of Virtue Energy Water stating that is has 32mg/100ml of Caffeine, they aren’t telling you how much, so what dosage is appropriate to get the benefits they speak of?
My verdict? Given the price tag on all these waters, invest in a water filter, glass reusable bottle and buy yourself a supplement containing the antioxidant, vitamin or mineral you think you need. It’ll cost you less and probably do more [and save the environment of plastic waste].