The Truth Behind Sweetening Substances in Vitamin Water

It seems like Vitamin Water (owned by Coca Cola) has started to replace drinks like Gatorade. Athletes, and countless other people, are drinking Vitamin Water as a way to stay hydrated. This drink is supposedly a great source of vitamins and minerals, and you might be excited to see that it contains stevia, a natural sweetener.

Unfortunately, Vitamin Water also contains a ton of crystalline fructose, sucrose, and something called Erythritol. Erythritol is a sweetener that does not contain as many calories as sugar. This is because Erythritol is known as a sugar alcohol, which means that is not fully absorbed into your body. While this may sound like a good thing, a high intake of sugar alcohols can lead to abdominal gas and uncomfortable bowel movements.

While some sugar alcohols are fine in moderation, but consuming large quantities is basically the same as consuming regular sugar-containing foods. Some sugar alcohols are reasonable to consume in moderate quantities — for example, xylitol doesn’t spike blood sugar levels in the way that high-fructose corn syrup might, and it is anti-bacterial and actually helps prevent dental cavities.

I’m Dr. Randy LaFrom, and, as a dentist, I know the impact excessive sugar can have on your teeth. Vitamin Water has been publicly criticized for being advertised as a healthy product, but I want to tell you about the real dangers this beverage presents.

Crystalline fructose is part of the 33 grams of sugar found in one bottle of Vitamin Water. Dr. Mercola, the voice of truth behind Vitamin Water, says that crystalline fructose may be even worse for your health than high fructose corn syrup. It has been argued that this type of fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production- two factors that help regulate metabolism and how much you eat. This has been linked to causing weight gain as well as raising your triglycerides, which can increase your risk for heart disease.

While the added vitamins and minerals in this drink may be appealing, pure, simple water is the best way to stay hydrated and healthy. A vast majority of your body is made up of water, and therefore, does not need anything added to it to reap the benefits. Dr. Mercola says “to get all of the great health benefits that Vitamin Water promises- reduced risk of chronic heart disease, more energy, a healthier immune system, and so on- you simply have to start paying attention to what you’re eating.”

As a dentist and care provider, I couldn’t agree more. Your diet has a huge impact on the health of your teeth and gums, which have a huge impact on your overall health. After all, you are what you eat.

Please contact my office in Cupertino, California at (408) 996-8595 for more information.

~ by cupertinodentist on January 19, 2011.

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