Healthy foods, like reality show stars, tend to be both high-maintenance and tasteless. As lazy and spoiled people, we try to find any shortcuts we can to eating healthy without having to prepare fresh food or eat tofu.
Unfortunately, as we all learned from watching children's cartoons, taking shortcuts can lead to a hilarious comedy of errors. And diabetes.
The two biggest players in the "vitamin water" game are the original Vitamin Water, owned by Coke, and Sobe Life Water, owned by Pepsi, which should start to raise the red flags right there.
There are a bunch of other drinks playing the same game, with their light to clear colors and healthy sounding names that make it sound like they are plain old water with some nutrients added. Which is true, if you consider eight teaspoons of sugar a nutrient.
Al Pacino takes his daily vitamin supplement.
Vitamin Water and Life Water both contain 32.5 grams of sugar per bottle, so you might as well hydrate after a workout by drinking a bottle of water and tossing a full sized Snickers (30 grams of sugar) down your throat. But hey, at least that's half a Snickers less than a can of Coke, so really it might as well be water.
There are low calorie versions out there, like Vitamin Water 10, but it still has to appeal to their customer base: people who refuse to drink anything that isn't sweet, even their daily vitamins.
"Man, if only these came in doughnut form."
That means you're trading sugar for artificial sweeteners, and experts say that's a bad idea from multiple angles. Those sweeteners have some possible long-term side effects and might even trick your body into slowing down its metabolism, causing you to actually gain more weight than if you were on the regular stuff. But maybe your particular brand uses stevia, the trendy natural sugar substitute. Well, you should know it might even be more controversial than artificial sweeteners and has been banned in the EU.
Basically, you name a sugar substitute, and we'll name you an organ failure or type of cancer.
Which, coincidentally, is a fun party game at Weight Watchers meetings.