Published on January 17th, 2013 | by Becky Striepe


The (Hilarious) Truth About Vitaminwater


If you’re trying to choose a healthier drink but want something with a little more pizazz than plain ol’ water, you might reach for a Vitaminwater thinking that it’s a reasonably healthy alternative. Think again.

It’s no surprise that consumers think Vitaminwater is healthy. They make their share of health claims, both on the bottle and in their advertising. What Coca Cola – the parent company that produces Vitaminwater – doesn’t want you to think about is the artificial coloring and flavoring or that their “health” drink contains almost as much sugar as a sodapop.

Watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is bringing down a class action lawsuit against Coca Cola for misleading consumers into thinking that Vitaminwater is a healthy drink.

I could get more into the crazy health claims and misleading marketing, but Stephen Colbert did such an awesome – and hilarious – job summing things up on his show the other night, I thought I’d let him explain instead. Check it:

Vitaminwater Alternatives

Not only is Vitaminwater full of unhealthy additives and sugars, every one is packaged in a single-use plastic bottle. Boo on that! You can save money and reduce packaging waste at the same time by whipping up your own truly healthy alternatives to Vitaminwater at home. Here are a few ideas for ways to add flavor to your water

  • Add a squeeze of lemon.
  • Toss in a couple of slices of cucumber.
  • Muddle a handful of fresh berries into the bottom of the glass.
  • Squeeze in the juice from 1/4 of an orange or grapefruit.
  • Make tea, and enjoy it hot or iced.

I actually like water on its own, but if you’re used to drinking sodapop or Vitaminwater, plain water might take a while to taste good to you as your palate adjusts. What tricks do you guys use to spice up your 8-10 glasses a day?

More Coca-Cola Healthwashing

Vitaminwater isn’t Coca-Cola’s only attempt to appeal to health-minded consumers. The company just launched a new ad campaign touting its diet drinks, front-of-package labeling, and line of smaller cans as their contributions to the fight against obesity. The former is a particularly dodgy claim, considering that there’s some evidence that the artificial sweeteners in those drinks contribute to our obesity problem.

Want to take a look at Coke’s latest stab at healthwashing? Here’s a peek at their newest ad campaign:

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by romana klee

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

9 Responses to The (Hilarious) Truth About Vitaminwater

  1. Amanda says:

    The worst is the low-cal vitamin water which is all chemicals and dyes and doesnt even taste good. And those Odwalla “smoothies” are ALL sugary juices like apple and very little greens.

  2. John L. Farthing says:

    ABC News has reported a huge spike in Emergency Room visits related to “energy drinks.”

  3. Jennifer says:

    Oh, no! I’m totally screwed then.!! :(

    I struggle to even get 1-2 glasses of water daily, I don’t like the taste of plain water AT ALL, and I thought /was hoping that “vitaminwater” was a decent enough substitution. Ugh. I’ve tried water with lemon (it’s OK but not good enough to make me want to drink 8 cups) and water with cucumber (not for me). The only other way I can drink 8 cups of water a day is via Crystal Light – yeah I know, I know..bad too.

  4. barb says:

    Have you tried ice chips? I love to crunch ice. Also, I drink my water with lots of ice. It tastes more refreshing to me.

  5. I am totally with you on this one Becky! Water and tea are the healthiest things to drink, and and the suggestions for flavor enhancements are simple and awesome. Herbal teas are a nice sweet alternative to caffeinated tea, and sometimes they are just as colorful at Vitamin Water too!

  6. Pingback: Weight Loss with Coca Cola | Eat Drink Better

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