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Is Flavored Water Bad for You?

by Jaime A. Heidel
See all TBYIL articles by Jaime A. Heidel

(The Best Years in Life) Have you traded in your soda and sports drinks for flavored water? If so, you may think you're bettering your health. Unfortunately, whether you're drinking flavored water from a bottle or using those "water enhancer" packets, you could be setting yourself up for neurological impairment, digestive problems, and even cancer.

Commercial Water Enhancers Are Terrible for Your Health

Despite the claims made in commercials, water enhancers contain no natural ingredients.

Instead, here’s what they do have:

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is a form of mineral oil that has been shown to cause allergic reaction, central nervous system depression, seizures, lactic acidosis, and irregular heartbeats when ingested in large quantities. If you're drinking a water enhancer several times a day, you could be ingesting enough propylene glycol to put your health at risk.


Sucralose is the generic name for Splenda and it’s anything but good for you. Though commercials claim it's as pure and natural as cane sugar, it's actually a synthetic compound created in a lab.

Splenda is made from sugar. That much is true. But during the manufacturing process, the hydroxyl groups of the sugar molecule are replaced with chlorine molecules. Laboratory studies have shown that sucralose reduces the amount of good bacteria in the intestines by up to 50%.

These beneficial organisms are essential to your health. Without them, you're at risk for digestive problems such as bloating, gas, chronic abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, leaky gut syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Since 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, this lack of beneficial bacteria also puts you at risk for immune system malfunction, including autoimmune disease.


Acesulfame potassium or (Ace-K) is probably the only sweetener on earth that rivals aspartame for its health risks. Ace-K is made from a potassium salt containing methylene chloride, a known carcinogen.

Long-term exposure to this synthetic chemical has also been shown to cause headaches, neurological dysfunction, hypoglycemia, and kidney and liver malfunction.

Food Dyes

Are you giving flavored water to your children? If so, it may be contributing to their behavior problems. Food dyes have been shown to cause insomnia, mood disturbances, hyperactivity, and even aggressive behavior in children. Furthermore, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40 contain benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl; two known carcinogens.

How to Flavor Your Water Naturally

If you really don't like the taste of plain water, and a lot of people don't, there are plenty of ways to improve its drinkability without the potential risks to your health.

Organic fruit juice is a great natural water enhancer. Pour some into an ice cube tray and freeze. The next time you want a glass of water, add some of the frozen cubes and enjoy! Or, pick up some pure organic lemon or lime juice and mix a tablespoon into each glass of water for an easy and refreshing change.

You can also flavor your water naturally with organic fruit. Cut up your favorite organic fruits (citrus fruits and berries work best) and place them at the bottom of a glass Mason jar.

Using a muddler or wooden spoon, gently mash the fruit to release its flavor. Pour ice cubes over top of the mashed fruit, fill the jar with filtered water, and leave it in your fridge overnight. The next day, you have a delicious, vitamin-packed drink you can take anywhere.

Most adults need 6-8 glasses of water each day for optimum health. If you want to enhance your water, stay away from the artificially-flavored stuff and hydrate the healthy way!

See also:

Is Your Favorite Drink Dissolving Your Skeleton?

How Cola Soft Drinks Affect Osteoporosis and Aging

Orange Juice From the Store is Not What You Think

Yerba Mate - South America's Health Drink

The dark side of energy drinks – trading tomorrow's health for today's temporary stimulation

For more information:

Keywords: flavored water, water enhancers

About the author:

Jaime is a professional freelance writer with a passion for natural health and wellness. Her website, I Told You I Was Sick, was created to help those living with chronic pain and illness find natural ways to heal.



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