TToday when I woke up, I made myself a cup of warm lemon water. After lunch, I dropped a Berocca into a glass to propel myself through the afternoon haze. Running errands, I considered indulging myself with a Coke, but opted for an expensive vegetable-flavored water.
H2O classic may be a prerequisite for all known life forms, but countless brands insist they have found ways to “improve” water. From a business point of view, it is working. Industry researchers, IbisWorld, estimate Australia’s “functional drinks” industry to be worth $ 445.6 million; and as people become more health conscious, the growth of the sector is outpacing that of the economy as a whole.
As in my day, the quest to increase water began with adding citrus. As early as the 12th century, Sultan Saladin’s physician was cataloging its qualities in a “Treatise on the dietary properties of lemon.”. In the 18th century, the Royal Navy poured lemon and lime juice down the throat of sailors to prevent scurvy. In the middle of America’s Civil War, one concerned citizen even wrote in the New York Times suggest that soldiers be given “a few lemons every day” because “raw lemon juice will prove immensely more beneficial to those who suffer from that indescribably dreadful thirst than buckets of water.”
‘Not many people are really vitamin deficiency ‘
Vitamin water may have made sense to nutrient-deprived 18th-century sailors, but there is little scientific love for these products now. “There is nothing you can get from Berocca that is not available in a normal diet,” says Dr. Shea Wilcox, a general practitioner who works in Melbourne. Berocca agrees with this sentiment, stating more than once in her FAQ that “vitamin and mineral supplements are not a substitute for a balanced diet.”
“If someone has a vitamin deficiency to some degree, we do not recommend that they take Berocca,” says Wilcox. “It is never offered as a treatment for anything.” It suggests that our enthusiasm for these products outweighs our need, as the vast improvements in the diet of the general population have meant that “not many people Really vitamin deficiency ”.
If you are lacking a specific micronutrient, the recommended treatment is to adjust your diet or supplement with a doctor-prescribed supplement for a set period of time, or until you have returned to a normal level. Drinking fortified water incessantly is not the way to get there.
‘Your body is great at detoxifying’
Lemons may have sparked our interest in vitamin waters, but they also flow into the upcoming “detox” talk and how specialty drinks can help. Anyone who’s been to YouTube, read a “my day on a plate” article, or heard professionally beautiful people They claim their beauty is cultivated, not gifted, you’ve heard of the celebrated “cleansing” properties of lemon water. Our terror of the grimy interior has also brought liquid coal, milk thistle, magnesium, zinc and more to join the growing fight against toxins.
But, as Wilcox says, “Your body is great at detoxifying without outside help … it’s an integral part of being a successful body.” You don’t need a dose of expensive cleaning products to do this, as you have “one complete way to make sure there are no toxins.”
This long-standing and widely available advice hasn’t made a dent in the eternal dream that water, if handled properly, could be a mythical source of beauty and vitality.
‘It is a great myth that drinking water can help improve skin’
Lately, while feeling bored, I have also found myself online, navigating the growing ocean of “Waters of beauty” that promise to make me brighter, renewed and, well, beautiful.
The search for the fountain of youth dates back to Alexander the Great. Except now, instead of a magical spring, we look for water that contains products such as roses, crystals and exotic fruits along with less fancy-sounding collagen, amino acids, silica, and selenium.
These attractive, yet typically expensive products promise to improve the elasticity of the skin, complexion and offer a pleasant glow. While the brand is better, they exist in the same nutritional space as vitamin waters. Some may contain ingredients that are theoretically good for you, but are not delivered in a way that is truly beneficial.
Echoing Wilcox’s advice, dermal therapist Yadira Galarza Cauchi recommends taking only “supplements under the guidance of a dietitian or medical professional.” Adding that “excessive amounts of water-soluble vitamins are naturally excreted when consumed in excess,” that is, expensive things are peed.
Usually weary of simplistic associations between water and skincare, she states: “It is a big myth in this industry that drinking water can help improve skin qualities, such as skin hydration. “.
Actually, “this requires topical skin care … along with a balanced diet.”
Alkalinity and extra oxygen?
While beauty and vitamin waters are very close together, some brands have parted ways, with products focused on modifying the molecular structure of the water itself. There are waters that claim to have increased the amount of oxygen and hydrogen. Since the water is already well-reviewed, you may understand the urge to add “more of the good stuff,” but here, too, it is promised that hacking into the classic recipe will improve hydration, post-workout recovery, and reduce inflammation. fired by doctors and did not stand up in physiological tests.
Fans (or marketers) of alkaline waters are even more ambitious in their effort to improve the water, claiming that by raising the pH levels of tap water from the natural 7 to 8 or 9, they can regulate the pH levels of the tap water itself. body. This difference can supposedly delay aging, prevent chronic diseases, control high blood pressure and cholesterol, and improve bone density. the Mayo Clinic has cast doubt on these claims, reporting that “research suggests that alkaline water is unlikely to significantly change blood pH” and that there is “little credible evidence” of health benefits. An article that breaks down these claims later Medical news today concluded that “there is no evidence to support the health benefits of alkaline water, there is no recommended amount that improves health.”
‘A whole food diet is the best thing you can do for your internal flora’
A little closer to land are probiotic waters. Unlike alkaline promises, the health scientific community generally probiotics. Healthy gut foods such as yogurt, kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut have been used. replenishing our microbiomes for much of human history, but they have become increasingly prominent as gut health takes its place among major health and wellness trends. Now, there are several probiotic-enriched beverages that are more watery than classic ferments, such as kombucha and kefir.
“There is so much exciting research going on in the world of probiotics,” says Dr. Johanna Simkin, senior curator of human biology and medicine at the Victoria Museums, but, “the product / marketing side seems to have come on board with enthusiasm, perhaps beyond where the genuine research is!”
While he was quick to point out that the research around probiotics is evolving, much of the industry focus has been on ingesting new microbes. Simkin says that “the truth is that you are prepared with your own supply of microbes very early in life.” Instead of trying to introduce more, he suggests taking care of the billions you already have in your stomach. Fortunately, like the “detox”, this does not require expensive or special products.
“Simply put, a whole food diet (unprocessed foods) is the best thing you can do for your internal flora,” recommends Simkin. “You can improve your microbiome in 24 hours simply by eating right … Beans, rice, sweet potatoes, and other fresh fruits and vegetables are a great place to start.”
How water can work harder
Before throwing the glass across the room, there are a few situations where tap water can help. VicHealth CEO Dr. Sandro Demaio emphasizes that “tap water is all that most of us need to stay hydrated and healthy.” But it may not be enough when “when your body is losing fluids due to fever, diarrhea or vomiting.” In these situations, electrolyte products (such as Hydralyte or sports drinks) can make what at first glance seems like the most wacky claim, helping the water to plus moisturizing.
“There is a sugar transporter in your gut that actively absorbs a sugar molecule and a water molecule,” says Wilcox. “So [water with electrolytes is] it is removed from the intestine faster than just drinking water … it makes the water pass through the intestinal membrane faster. “
But you only need that kind of quick hydration if you’ve been exercising, sweating a lot, or feeling unwell (in which case you should also see a doctor). No need to speed up hydration to sit on the couch.
It’s easy to say that anything that helps you drink water is good for you. But, as Demaio cautions, “there is no evidence that any additive can make water healthier.” In addition to being more expensive than tap water, “many of these products can contain added sugar. Too much added sugar can lead to tooth decay and weight gain, which increases the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. “
Perhaps most surprisingly, even our central fixation on optimal hydration may be misplaced. “You don’t really need lots of water … You get a lot of fluid through food,” says Wilcox.
Demaio puts it even more directly: “Hydration is simple. You are thirsty, you drink water, repeat ”.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism