In a world where staying hydrated is considered the cornerstone of healthy living, the market is flooded with various options to quench your thirst. One such option that has gained popularity in recent years is Smart water, but is Smart water healthy? In this blog post we’re going to get into the details and see if Smart Water is truly a smart choice for your health or if it’s just another gimmick to sell a product. Let’s dive into the pros, cons, and health concerns surrounding this beverage.

The Basics: What is Smart Water?

Smart Water is a brand of bottled water that is part of the Coca-Cola brand. Marketed as a “smart way to hydrate,” it claims to be more than just regular water. The key differentiator is its production process – vapor distillation. This method involves turning water into vapor and then condensing it back into liquid, supposedly removing impurities in the process. But it’s not just distillation that makes this water different. The process of distillation removes not only impurities and potentially harmless bacteria and other contaminants from the water, but it also removes any trace minerals found in the water like magnesium and potassium.

Most distilled waters you find on your grocery store shelves leave it at that. Everything removed by the process of distillation leaves the water more pure but definitely changes the taste. But the Coca-Cola company adds those trace minerals back into the water after it’s distilled. So this distilled, mineral-infused water has a better flavor and, supposedly, the health benefits are better than regular distilled water. Let’s get into those details.

Nutritional Profile of Smart Water

One of the main selling points of smart water is the addition of electrolytes like calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and potassium bicarbonate back into the water after distillation. These minerals play a crucial role in maintaining hydration levels and supporting various bodily functions, but do the levels of these minerals in Smart Water amount to anything substantial enough to be a deciding factor in consuming, or not consuming, Smart Water? Let’s explore the health benefits of each mineral and discuss their presence in smart water.

Calcium Chloride

Health Benefits:

  • Bone Health: Calcium is essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones and teeth.
  • Muscle Function: It plays a crucial role in muscle contraction and nerve transmission.
  • Blood Clotting: Calcium is involved in the blood clotting process, promoting wound healing.

Magnesium Chloride

Health Benefits:

  • Muscle and Nerve Function: Magnesium is vital for muscle and nerve function.
  • Energy Production: It plays a role in converting food into energy.
  • Heart Health: Magnesium is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

Potassium Bicarbonate

Health Benefits:

  • Electrolyte Balance: Potassium is an electrolyte that helps balance fluids in the body.
  • Heart Health: It supports normal heart rhythm and blood pressure.
  • Muscle Function: Potassium is essential for proper muscle contraction.

Smart Water Composition

The exact amounts of these minerals in smart water can vary, and the company may not disclose specific concentrations on the label. Generally, smart water claims to have added electrolytes, including calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and potassium bicarbonate but their nutritional impact might leave something to be desired.

Nutritional Impact:

While these minerals are important for health, the concentrations in smart water may not significantly impact your overall nutrition. The average person usually obtains these minerals from a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, dairy, and other nutrient-rich foods. Drinking smart water might provide a slight boost in these minerals, especially during periods of increased physical activity or intense exercise, but Smart Water is not a significant source of these minerals. You should know that the mineral content in smart water probably won’t be a game-changer for most people’s overall nutrition.

Considerations:

  • Dietary Sources: Relying solely on bottled water for essential minerals may not be the most comprehensive approach. A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods is crucial.
  • Individual Needs: The nutritional impact of smart water depends on an individual’s diet, health status, and activity level. Some may benefit more from the added minerals than others.
  • Hydration: The primary function of water is to keep you hydrated. If you’re looking for additional nutrients, consider obtaining them from a diverse and nutritious diet.

The Pros of Smart Water

Added Electrolytes:

​I debated about adding this as a pro, considering we just covered that the amounts of these minerals in Smart Water may not amount to anything helpful for more than just taste. But we’ll just say they could, maybe, potentially have a itty bitty bit of positive effect on your health.

Distillation Process:

The vapor distillation process used in smart water production aims to eliminate impurities, resulting in what they claim to be a purer form of water.

Minimal Calories and No Artificial Sweeteners:

Compared to sugary soft drinks or sports drinks, smart water is a low-calorie option with no artificial sweeteners, making it an appealing choice for those looking to cut down on excess calories.

Convenient Packaging:

Smart water is available in various sizes, including handy bottles that can be easily carried during workouts or on the go.

The Cons of Smart Water

Limited Evidence on Health Benefits:

While smart water claims to offer enhanced hydration and various health benefits, there is little concrete evidence supporting these claims. The trace minerals added may not have a significant impact on overall health.

Price Tag:

Smart water often comes with a higher price tag compared to regular tap water, raising questions about whether the additional cost is justified.

Environmental Impact:

You don’t have to be an avid environmentalist to acknowledge that we have too much plastic waste. Anytime we can avoid using plastic bottles, I think we can all agree it’s a good idea. Bottled water is a huge contributor to plastic waste.

Health Concerns: What to Watch Out For

Sodium Content:

Smart water contains sodium, a necessary electrolyte, but excessive intake may lead to health problems, especially for individuals with certain medical conditions. Checking the nutrition label is crucial, as some may find the sodium content higher than expected. The amount in Smart Water isn’t substantial, but it could be a problem for people who need to avoid sodium entirely.

Lack of Regulation:

Smart water, like many other bottled waters, is not regulated by the FDA as strictly as tap water, which is regulated by the EPA. This may leave room for variations in quality and potential health risks.

The Verdict: Is Smart Water Healthy?

Smart water can be a good choice for those seeking an alternative to sugary soft drinks or intense sports drinks. However, it’s essential to consider the environmental impact of plastic water bottles in general, the added sodium, and the lack of substantial evidence supporting its health claims.

For many, regular filtered tap water or a less expensive brand of bottled water remains the most accessible and sensible option. Paying for Smart Water might not be the optimal solution for staying hydrated, since filtered tap water can offer comparable benefits. When you’re experiencing severe dehydration or following an intense exercise routine, electrolyte water may aid in replenishing lost fluids, but the actual efficacy is not known.

While Smart Water is technically good for you, that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. Since research indicates that we can effectively obtain essential vitamins and minerals from the foods we consume, we don’t necessarily need to go all out with “special” water. But, of course, the choice is all yours!

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