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Is Flavored Water Healthy? A Doctor Explains

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Surveys have shown that around 20% of the American population dislikes the flavor of their own water, prompting many to pursue various means of masking it. Whether in liquid or powder form, many people are choosing to consume artificially sweetened water because they consider it to be a tastier, healthier drink, especially when compared to sugary beverages like soda. Unfortunately, the truth is a lot less sweet than people would like to believe.

Dr. Anisha Shetty, a pediatrician at Advocate Dreyer, breaks down the myths.

"While flavored waters may seem like more healthful drinks because they are called 'water,' parents should keep in mind that soda is mainly water, too. How healthy a drink depends on its ingredients. All flavored waters are sweetened with some type of sugar (high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, agave syrup) or with an artificial sweetener (sucralose, aspartame). Regardless of the name, these waters lack significant nutrition."

Not only are you still consuming essentially the same products, but flavored waters also tend to contain harmful ingredients.

"Parents should avoid drinks that contain added ingredients such as caffeine, vitamins or herbal ingredients, and in particular, be wary of excessive vitamin B6 because consuming too much can be dangerous," Dr. Shetty cautions.

Additionally, since flavored water doesn't come out of your tap, every time you purchase a bottle that you forget to recycle, you're contributing to our planet's already massive pollution problem (global consumption of bottled water goes up about 10% every year); instead, consider a home water dispenser.

"The best way to flavor water without artificial sweeteners is with fruit," says Dr. Shetty. If you want to change the taste of your water without risking your health, install a water cooler for home use and going on a fruit spree! The advanced filtration system built in will balance pH and remove the minerals that may be causing the taste you don't like, and the fruit will make your glass of water as healthy as it is refreshing.

Best of all, when you choose a water cooler for home use, you won't be exposing yourself to the various chemicals and additives that can be harmful to your body, and you won't need to keep purchasing those pesky little flavor packets. With the right motivations and a water filtration system, your bad habits and disinterest in water will be things of the past!

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