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Is packaged flavoured water good for you?

Is packaged flavoured water good for you?

Representational photograph by Ricardo Bernardo/Flickr

Fruit-flavoured water is the latest fad in packed beverages in the country. We’ve seen it at triathlons, college campuses and even Ganesh visarjans. Brands such as O’cean have gone into an overdrive promoting fruit-flavoured water aggressively and the packaging is an equal hardsell with glucose, electrolytes and vitamins. But how good is this fruit-flavoured water for you?

It depends on when and why you choose to drink it, says Mumbai-based nutrition and fitness expert Samreedhi Goel. “If this is the only alternative available for a cola, then it’s fine, but it’s not healthier than drinking nariyal pani (tender coconut water).” Before buying these drinks, don’t go only by the packaging in front but also look at the fine print at the back that tells you exactly what this flavoured water contains and the calorie count.

Goel also believes that it’s easy to get hooked onto these drinks. “They’re usually tasty so people tend to drink it after their meals instead of water, but I think it’s just unnecessary calories from sugar,” adds Goel, who is also the founder of the Size Wise fitness studio in Mumbai. Instead of fruit flavoured water, adding actual slices of fruit and herbs to regular drinking water lends natural flavour. Slices of orange with the rind intact and mint is a flavour that is most popular.

Even if you’re not watching your weight (who isn’t these days though?), Goel doesn’t favour fruit-flavoured water. “I would definitely not recommend it as a substitute for regular water,” she adds.