Why the latest drink craze isn’t the health kick you’ve been searching for
By Jacey Gibb, Opinions Editor
Who isn’t interested in pursuing a healthier lifestyle? Even if we don’t all hold true to our idealist intentions, the occasional health-conscious decisions we make earn mental high-fives and leave us feeling better about ourselves. But one recent “health fad” is actually a lot worse for you than you might realize: Vitaminwater.
That’s right. Those pretty, multicoloured bottles with the witty names and matching feel-good drink descriptions that have recently instigated a hostile takeover of store shelves everywhere? It’s actually a health Trojan horse, hoping that its seemingly wonderful exterior will distract from its internal contents—sure, there aren’t spear-carrying Greeks lurking inside every 591mL bottle, but it’s not exactly the health food of the year.
Something you may have picked up on already is the name itself, Vitaminwater. No, my keyboard isn’t broken or experiencing some form of belated Y2K bug; the name is one word, with no space. That’s because for the drink to be actually called vitamin water, it would have to be primarily water, which Vitaminwater isn’t.
In a moment that I often refer to as my “Soylent Green Discovery,” I realized that Vitaminwater has almost the same amount of sugar as a regular Coke. Sure, sugary water may not be as extreme as futuristic cannibalism (sorry to everyone who just had Soylent Green ruined for them) as my nickname would suggest, but it’s a revelation that makes me want to stumble out onto the street and proclaim hysterically “It’s Coke! Vitaminwater is Coooooooke!”
As depressing as it sounds, since making the discovery, I’ve retrospectively wondered why it was such a surprise. Vitaminwater is a proud product of Coca-Cola, and while that doesn’t immediately secure the drink a seat in the senate of evil, Coca-Cola has been known for questionable hijinx in the past. With schools and various other institutions cracking down on the sale of sugary drinks and bottled water, both for different reasons, they had to come up with a way to stay where they’re otherwise unwelcome.
It’s surprising that people aren’t more aware of Vitaminwater’s true qualities. The nutritional information is readily available on the bottle and a simple Internet search on the name will reveal a library of dirt on it. The only thing that I take comfort in is knowing that the charade can keep up for a little while longer, with several lawsuits already moving forward against Coca-Cola for their misleading health claims and promotional campaign.
In the meantime, might I suggest slurping down on some just regular water? It doesn’t come with a cool name or a vibrant colour, but at least it’s not trying to be something it isn’t.