Vitamin waters may not be so healthy says East Texas dietician

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A watchdog organization that focuses on healthy living is questioning the marketing of 'vitamin waters'. The Center for Science in Public Interest claims Coca-Cola is misleading the public on what the product can do. A federal judge has denied Coca Cola's motion to dismiss a lawsuit based on the alleged deceptive claims.

Apparently the legal battles aren't keeping customers away. Convenience store shelves are often bare of vitamin waters. Customers buy them up as an alternative to water and other soft drink lines.

"The first ones I was drinking because maybe it says vitamins, so that kinda caught my eye when it said vitamin water," said Margaret Grant.

The added vitamins of B and potassium cause some people to think it's better than a multi-vitamin pill. Grant, a Dallas college student attending Stephen F. Austin State University thinks the drink must work faster than a vitamin pill. "You know, instead of taking it you just always go get you a drink and drink it and that's it."

Others find the whole health concept difficult to swallow. "It just seems kinda bland like they're just water with fruit flavoring in it," said Preston McDonald, a college student from Mt. Vernon.

Wesley Kebhard, works at the SFA recreation center. He helps people take care of their body. "Vitamins are water soluble, so if you don't absorb them, you just pee them out anyway," is what he has to say about the usefulness of vitamin waters.

Paula Cook, a hospital dietician at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital closely read a vitamin water label. Several vitamin water manufacturers market their product toward the young. You can read about late nights, skipped breakfasts and texting on one label. Dieticians advise if you're into reading labels, it's best to start with the ingredients.

Cook notes the 30 grams of carbohydrates, or sugar, in a bottle containing more than two servings. She concludes, "The best source for vitamins and minerals is food and so I recommend a balanced diet rather than a beverage that would contain 1 or 3 or 5 or 6 different individual nutrients."

Cook won't even approve the sale of vitamin waters in the hospital where she works. Instead, she offers plenty of water, something health-conscious individuals say is the best drink around.

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