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Are there ‘super waters’ that are worth splashing out of?

Drinking a glass of water has become a complicated matter, with a choice of all kinds of ‘functional’ and ‘improved’ bottled water that promise to stimulate energy and relieve stress.

ANGELA DOWDEN asked dietitians Priya Tew and Helen Bond whether the claims contained water. We then assessed them.


500 ml, £ 2.49, ocado.com

Per 100 ml: calories, 16; sugar, 0 g

THE ‘HEALTHY’ BEET: Each bottle contains 20 g of protein collagen to ‘help maintain healthy muscles and bones’.

EXPERTISE: Helen Bond says, “This would yield a similar amount of protein to three boiled eggs – about 40 percent of our daily needs. Although most people get enough protein from their diet, this drink can be a useful way to meet your increased needs if you exercise a lot.

‘The collagen comes from animals, which means that it is not suitable for vegans and vegetarians. With 80 calories per bottle, this can lead to weight gain. Like other soft drinks, it contains phosphoric acid, which is linked to dental erosion. “



500 ml, £ 1.29, hollandandbarrett.com

Per 100 ml: calories, 0; sugar, 0 g

THE ‘HEALTHY’ BEET: This spring water is infused with 2 mg cannabidiol (CBD) in water-soluble drops for maximum absorption into the bloodstream for ‘sleep, calmness and recovery’.

EXPERTISE: “There is no added sugar or calories,” says Priya Tew. ‘CBD is an active ingredient in hemp (a high-dose version is used in a prescribed medication for epilepsy), but whether low-dose CBD sold as a supplement has health benefits is not clear.

A 2019 study suggested a small benefit for anxiety and insomnia by taking 25 mg CBD capsules daily, but because there was no control group, you cannot tell whether it was a placebo effect. But even four bottles of this per day would still only offer 8 mg of CBD, which is less than the minimum dose that the company recommends for an advantage. “



250 ml, £ 1, holland and barrett.com

Per 100 ml: calories, 0; sugar, 0 g

THE ‘HEALTHY’ BEET: A sparkling water with B vitamins, guarana, yerba mate and ginseng that provides ‘natural energy’. A can has 80 mg of caffeine, which corresponds to a cup of coffee.

EXPERTISE: Helen Bond says: ‘This is free of sugar, sweeteners and calories. The B vitamins are important for releasing energy from food and a lack of B12 is a potential concern for those on a vegetarian diet; although the rest of us should get enough of dairy, meat and whole wheat.

‘Guarana and yerba mate add caffeine but little more nutritional value with this dose. It is no different than drinking a cup of black coffee and arguably more acidic, which can damage your teeth. ”



600 ml, £ 1.40, sainsburys.co.uk

Per 100 ml: calories, 0; sugar, 0 g

THE ‘HEALTHY’ BEET: Claims to be ‘super charged’ up to pH 9.5, with electrolytes for active people. Made by adding sodium, potassium and magnesium to filtered water.

EXPERTISE: Priya Tew says: ‘The health claims for alkaline water revolve around a theory that what you eat and drink can affect your body’s pH balance – but the theory is incorrect. Our regulatory systems mean that our pH is always almost neutral and there is no evidence that alkaline eating or drinking is beneficial.

‘This has no more electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, than hard tap water. The implication that you get more energy is simply not true. ”



500 ml, £ 1.99, ocado.com

Per 100 ml: calories, 12.4; sugar, 2.2 g

THE ‘HEALTHY’ BEET: This has added glutamine (an amino acid that helps to produce the protein needed for tissue growth); with apple juice and sweetener.

EXPERTISE: “There is some evidence that consuming glutamine can reduce muscle pain and improve recovery after intensive training, but the average person who eats a balanced diet needs no extra,” says Helen Bond. “There is nothing here to substantiate the claim to help deal with the” hardships “of modern life. A bottle would give you 62 calories and almost three teaspoons of ‘free’ sugar, more than a third of our daily limit. “



500 ml, £ 2.25, mlitrading.co.uk

Per 100 ml: calories, 0; sugar, 0 g

THE ‘HEALTHY’ BEET: This alkaline water contains fulvic acid – a mineral that the manufacturer claims to accelerate the absorption of 77 minerals, electrolytes and antioxidants into the body. This taste also has ‘immune system boosters’.

EXPERTISE: Priya Tew says: ‘I am not convinced of the extra benefits of fulvic acid, but this water does provide 10 percent of your daily selenium and 60 percent of your daily zinc; these minerals help fight infection and wound healing.

“It also contains Wellmune – a fiber extracted from yeast that has some research support to help reduce the symptoms of respiratory tract infections. It may be worth a try if you are empty – but a diet rich in vegetables and fish is better. With regard to ‘alkaline’, this is an unnecessary claim. ”



Package of four 74 ml bottles, £ 29.99, amazon.co.uk

Per 100 ml: calories, 0; sugar, 0 g

THE ‘HEALTHY’ BEET: Flavored and sweetened filtered water with 5 mg of melatonin, gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) and 5 hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), to promote sleep.

EXPERTISE: Helen Bond says: “This is meant to help you sleep. GABA is a chemical in the brain with a calming effect, while 5-HTP is an amino acid derivative with similar effects. NICE recognizes that melatonin – 2 mg once a day 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime – as a supplement can help with sleep. This product has not undergone studies for us to confirm that consuming these chemicals in this way is beneficial. It is also pricey and not a good idea to use this instead of a healthy sleep routine. ”



500 ml, £ 1.99, ocado.com

Per 100 ml: calories, 0; sugar, 0 g

THE “HEALTHY BIT”: This contains vitamins, zinc and selenium.

EXPERTISE: “One bottle provides 75 percent of our daily zinc, needed for the immune system and normal fertility,” says Priya Tew. ‘A bottle also provides 30 percent of our daily selenium needs for a healthy immune system. But instead of relying on bottled water, we could get these minerals from nuts, cheese, and fish. “



1 liter, £ 3.65, most supermarkets.

Per 100 ml: calories, 23; sugar, 3.4 g

THE ‘HEALTHY’ BEET: Billed as a low-calorie, natural source of potassium.

EXPERTISE: Priya Tew says: ‘The naturally occurring potassium – 26 percent of our daily needs per 250 ml glass – is impressive and people who try to control their blood pressure can benefit from it.

“The sugar occurs naturally but still contributes to weight gain and tooth decay, so take it easy because there are more than two teaspoons in a glass.”