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No Health Benefit Gained from Vitamin Waters and Energy Drinks

First Posted: Jan 13, 2015 11:13 AM EST
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It turns out that vitamin waters and energy drinks aren't nearly as healthy as they claim. Scientists have examined their micronutrient compositions and have found that consumers stand to reap little or no benefit from these nutrient-packed drinks.

In this case, the researchers examined the nutrients in several beverages sold in Canadian supermarkets. They found that there was extensive nutrient enrichment. In addition, nutrients were also juxtaposed with messages related to performance and emotional well-being, which are benefits that go beyond conventional nutritional science.

The researchers found extensive micronutrient additions at levels that were often in excess of nutrient requirements. The most commonly found nutrients were vitamins B6, B12, C and niacin. With the exception of vitamin C, young adults are already consuming enough of these nutrients to meet their needs on a daily basis.

"While our findings suggest that consumers stand to reap little or no benefit from the nutrient additions in novel beverages, most products were being marketed as if they provided a unique benefit to the consumer through the nutrient additions," said Naomi Dachner, one of the researchers, in a news release. "Most of the nutrients permitted for addition are allowable at levels well above nutrient requirements, and the new guidance is not designed to steer manufacturers towards the addition of nutrients that would address existing nutrient inadequacies in the population."

The findings reveal that measures may need to be taken in order to make sure that consumers aren't misled or exposed to unnecessarily high nutrient loads. The study also highlights the fact that these added vitamins aren't necessary for most of the population that these drinks are aimed toward.

The findings are published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

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