I’ve never been a fan of Glacéau’s VitaminWater, which is loaded with more than 30 grams of sugar and 125 calories per bottle. But a new no-calorie version of the product passes nutritional muster as a product that quenches your thirst without blowing your diet.

VitaminWater Zero, which hit store shelves just last week, is a calorie-free version of the original line of drinks that retail for $1.49 for a 20-ounce bottle. It’s available in seven flavors with names that sound more like a health spa menu of services (Recoup, Rise, Revitalize) than a bottled beverage.

VitaminWater Zero is calorie-free, making it a better option than the original line for those watching their waistlines.

It has no artificial sweeteners, but is instead sweetened with Truvia and fructose, a natural fruit sugar (though there’s not enough fructose to even register a single gram of sugar on the nutrition facts label).

That’s right: No Red # 40 or Yellow #5 in these drinks, which are naturally colored with fruit and vegetable juices (but not enough juice to add a significant sugar content).

True to its name, each 8-ounce serving has 100 percent of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C, and at least 40 percent for a handful of B vitamins – along with the occasional boost of 10 percent of the DV for a few other vitamins and minerals.

VitaminWater Zero doesn’t have enough sodium or potassium to be used as an electrolyte-replenishing sports drink, and it doesn’t provide enough vitamins or minerals to replace your daily multivitamin. But if you want something more exciting than water to get your fluid intake, this product is an acceptable substitute.


Molly Kimball is a registered dietitian in New Orleans whose column appears every Friday in The Times-Picayune Living section. She can be reached at [email protected]


Vitamin Water Zero – Will It Help Me Drop Pounds?

Jul 22 By Stefan Aschan

Question: Is it safe to drink Vitamin Water Zero if I want to lose weight?

This question came up just this morning. As I am the go-to-guy for weight-loss and emergency-weight-loss the natural way, here is information that you shouldn’t be without.

What’s inside the bottle (Recoup flavor):

Reverse Osmosis water, less than 1% of: (rebiana (stevia extract) and crystalline fructose and erythritiol (natural sweeteners), magnesium lactate and calcium lactate and potassium phosphate (electrolyte sources), natural flavors, citric acid, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate), natural flavors, vitamin B3 (niacinamide), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B12, beta-carotene (color).

Nutrition facts on the bottle:

Servings Per Container 2.5

Amount Per Serving

Calories 0

Total Fat 0g 0%

Sodium 0mg 0%

Potassium Not a significant source

Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%

Sugar <1g

Protein 0g

Okay, but what does all this mean? Here is a brief summary about some of the key ingredients:

Reverse Osmosis Water –That’s filtered tap water. Nope, you’re not getting some natural mineral water from a secret spring in an exotic-sounding island/mountain locale. On the other hand, osmosis does sound quite interesting, no?

Crystalline Fructose –a processed sweetener. It is derived from corn, just like High Fructose Corn Syrup, but is enriched with fructose. The fructose is crystallized, dried, and milled, then used as a sweetener in beverages. It doesn’t have the negative reputation that high fructose corn syrup does and less of it is required to create a sweet taste.

Erythritol –a natural sugar alcohol occurring naturally in fruits. However, it is much cheaper to produce it industrially from glucose by fermentation with a yeast with a scary name of Moniliella pollinis. Erythritol is only 60% as sweet as regular sugar. It is however almost calorie-free, with only 0.2 calories per gram vs. 4 calories for sugar (20 times less calories). An advantage Erythritol has over other sugar alcohols is that it is absorbed by the body and therefore does not cause cramps or bloating. It also has a cooling effect on the mouth.

Erythritol has 0 calories per gram for food labeling purposes in the United States, Europe and Japan. This 0 calorie value is based on Erythritol’s unique absorption and elimination process.

Rebiana (Stevia Extract) –Rebiana is the trade name for a stevia-derived sweetener developed jointly by the Coca Cola Company and Cargill. According to Cargill, Rebiana is “the best tasting part of the stevia leaf”. Personally, I like stevia over white sugar. Yet, don’t overlook the European study in early 2006 that showed effects in the male reproductive system. Female hamsters had fewer and smaller offspring, and some preliminary studies have linked it to cancer (white sugar and high fructose corn syrup as well). For more information go to Truvia

On the bottle label, you will find that it has 0 calories but 3 grams of carbohydrates and sugar, less then 1gram. How does this work? Doesn’t 1 gram of carbohydrates contain 4 calories? Yes, it does. So, theoretically, there are 30 calories in each bottle. Not quite, however, as Erythritol is almost non-caloric, with only 0.2 calories per gram vs. 4 calories for sugar (20 times fewer calories). Thus, Erythritol is uniquely qualified as a zero calorie bulk sweetener for formulating “reduced calorie” and “light” products which require a 25 percent or more calorie reduction from the standard formulation. Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling requirements, it has a caloric value of 0.2 calories per gram. That’s why the Vitamin Water Zero can be labeled as zero calorie, although it doesn’t have really zero calories. (Look at the label again. 1 gram of sugar is listed. Sugar is a carbohydrate. And each gram of it has 4 calories.) There are 2.5 servings in 1 bottle. Hence, there are at least 8 calories in each bottle.

From a nutritional perspective, this drink seems to be better than competing vitamin waters that are laden with sugar, and are therefore doing more harm than good.

And for the vitamins? Well, it is always best to get your vitamins from food first as you might get benefits from other ingredients that have not been identified yet.

Ask me again if I recommend vitamin water when you are on a weight loss program? Definitely not, because the water tastes extremely sweet. If you taste sweet, then you want more sweet. When you are on a weight loss program, it is too easy to fall off the wagon and indulge in more sweets: chocolate, cake, ice cream, and others you can probably think of.

Water is the best hydration system on the planet. Period. But the decision is yours.

Stay focused.


Your Weight Loss Coach

P.s: Sign up for your free weight loss updates and newsletter at www.stefanaschan.com

P.s.s.: For your free e book and to win you free Personal Training session in the next 7 days click this …

Categories : Nutrition

At one time human beings could only satiate their thirst with water. In the past ten thousand years, however, some other beverages have arisen that have challenged water as our main thirst quencher, and currently there are beverages out there for sale that mention “water” in their title. Of course just mentioning water in advertising makes us think of the satisfaction of having our thirst quenched, but are these beverages really worth it? I was asked to talk about Vitamin Water Zero specifically, so let’s see what this can and can’t do for us.
Side note: For an entertaining and informative view regarding how man-made beverages have influenced and been used in the history of the human race, I highly recommend the Book A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage.
First of all, one of the things I didn’t realize was there was more than one variety of Vitamin Water Zero, but a quick trip to their website indicates that there are 5 different varieties and soon to be a sixth. And one of the other things I’ve noticed is that the labels can be a little confusing at first. For example, let’s take a look at the label for Vitamin Water Zero Go-Go. First note the serving size and servings per bottle–the serving size is 8 oz, and there are 2.5 servings per bottle (20 oz bottle). (In my experience–and it is my experience, I haven’t conducted a true study!–people drink the whole bottle over the course of a day or a much shorter period of time!) Now look at the carb content, which is four grams per serving, or ten grams for the whole bottle. Normally carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, so if there’s four grams of carb per serving, there should actually be about 16 calories per serving and about 40 calories per bottle. Why the discrepancy? The answer lies in looking at the ingredients. One of the ingredients is erythritol, which is a a special type of carbohydrate called a sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols typically only contain about two calories per gram of carbohydrate, but erythritol is even more unique in that is contains only 0.24 calories per gram, and labeling regulations in the US say that this can count as zero calories. If you really wanted to do the math correctly, you are actually getting 2.4 calories for the whole bottle, but considering a twelve ounce can of regular Coke would give you about 140 calories, I’m not going to be terribly worried about the calorie content. Eyrthritol appears to be safe also, so I am not worried about that either. I am worried, however, about people drinking things without reading all the ingredients or learning more about said ingredients!
As far as the vitamin supplementation that one can get through these products, I covered the pros/cons of supplementation in this post. Unless you are known to be deficient in something, supplementation won’t help you. If you already make a point of eating a variety of vegetables, some fruit, and a variety of protein sources, you are going to get all the vitamin C, B-vitamins, etc that your body needs to function and the little bit of extra isn’t going to give you extra energy, or fight off a cold, or basically do anything it subtly or not so subtly claims it does.
Now, there are some people who just like the taste of something other than plain water. At that point I just remind people that it’s their money and they can spend it how they want, but they might want to try plain sparkling water with lemon, lime, peppermint oil, etc for something that’s a little cheaper. I have also had some elderly patients with dementia who have developed a dislike for water for whatever reason, and using the sugar free flavored waters actually helped them want to drink more.
Take home message–don’t expect to get anything other than expensive urine from Vitamin Water Zero.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More children and teenagers are drinking sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade, instead of soda.

While that may sound like a good thing, new research from the University of Minnesota shows, in most cases, it’s not a better option.

Researchers say the increased consumption of sports drinks is adding to the obesity epidemic.

Mary Story is a researcher at the U of M’s school of public health, which just released a report on sports drinks.

“For most kids, there is no reason for them to have sports drinks,” Story said. “It’s not going to increase their physical performance. It’s not a healthy drink.”

Story says a 20-ounce sports drink may have fewer calories than a soda, but it has more sugar and more sodium — and no nutritional value.

While the best athletes in the world are guzzling down Powerade at the Olympic Games, sports drinks have become more than a part of the culture of athletics.

Story says 83 percent of the high schools in the U.S. sell sports drinks and 55 percent of middle schools do too.

It’s become popular everyday drink that Story says is part of why more and more kids are overweight.

Marathon runners, competitive cyclists, and football players doing two-a-days are the kind of people who should be drinking it.

Story says for those doing an hour-plus of intense exercise would benefit from a sports drink, others should stick with water.

Story says the color additives, and citric acid in these drinks, which is bad for your teeth, are other reasons not to drink sports drinks.

Should You Drink Sports Drinks Instead of Water?

The main components of sports drinks — water, carbs and electrolytes — are each important for different aspects of exercise performance.

Water and electrolytes are lost in sweat, and it’s important to replace them, particularly during long-duration exercise (10).

Your body stores carbs in your muscles and liver called glycogen, which is used for fuel during exercise (11).

Consuming carbs before or during exercise can help slow down how quickly your body runs out of its own carbohydrate stores (10).

Sports drinks are designed to provide these three important ingredients with the goal of improving exercise performance or recovery (8).

Many studies have examined the effects of sports drinks on exercise performance, and much of this research has been conducted in athletes.

Short-Duration Exercise

It’s not fully clear if sports drinks are beneficial for short-duration exercise.

One report examined nine studies of intense cycling or running lasting 30–60 minutes (6).

Six of the studies showed that sports drinks benefited exercise performance. However, all participants were trained athletes performing intense exercise.

One study in trained cyclists found that a sports drink improved performance by about 2% during one hour of intense cycling, compared to a placebo (12).

Despite these findings, there is not strong evidence to support the benefits of sports drinks for short-duration activities, such as jumping, sprinting and agility exercises (13).

Similarly, clear benefits have not been demonstrated for weight training (14, 15).

Team Sports and Intermittent Exercise

The usage of sports drinks is very common in team sports like soccer, basketball and football.

These sports involve intermittent activities, which alternate between intense exercise and rest.

Some research shows that ingesting carbohydrate drinks like sports drinks can reduce fatigue and improve performance in sports like soccer and rugby (13).

Other studies have examined cycling for periods of 1.5–4 hours with periodic rest.

One report found that 9 out of 12 studies using this type of exercise showed better performance when sports drinks were consumed, compared to a placebo (6).

Prolonged Continuous Exercise

Unlike intermittent exercise, continuous exercise is performed with no rest periods.

Many studies have examined the effects of carbohydrate beverages like sports drinks during continuous exercise lasting 1–4 hours or longer, such as running and cycling.

The majority of these studies show improvements in performance when consuming these beverages (6).

Likewise, athletes in team sports that are most similar to prolonged continuous exercise, such as soccer, are most likely to benefit from sports drinks (13).

These improvements may be due to the fact that sports drinks provide carbs for energy as your body’s stores get low and help prevent dehydration (10).

How Many Carbs?

Generally, the number of carbs that may be beneficial increases as the duration of exercise increases.

Research has shown that small amounts of carbs (fewer than 30 grams per hour) may improve exercise performance in events lasting 30–75 minutes (10).

It’s recommended to consume up to 30 grams per hour of carbs, or about 16 fluid ounces of a sports drink with 6% carbs, in sessions lasting 1–2 hours.

Sessions lasting 2–3 hours may benefit from more carbs — up to 60 grams per hour (10).

However, these recommendations are for continuous high-effort activity without rest. The same guidelines don’t apply to certain intermittent activities like weight training.

Summary In athletes, sports drinks may improve performance in various types of exercise, with the clearest benefits being seen for prolonged exercise without rest. The number of carbs that may be beneficial increases as the duration of exercise increases.

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I’m so happy to see that sales of Diet Coke and Pepsi keep plummeting… more people are wising up to the fact that these drinks are ridiculously horrible for the body and looking for healthier options. In their place, new zero-calorie drinks and flavored waters are flooding the market, and are now taking up some serious shelf space in major grocery stores. Some of these fruity waters and fizzy “sugar free” drinks are being promoted as health drinks – but are they really?

Unfortunately, many of them are filled with controversial additives that can be sabotaging your weight and your health – even if they have no calories, look like bottled water, or have really short ingredient lists! Let’s take a closer look at what’s in some of the most popular brands like Sparkling Ice and Cascade Ice. They sell these by the case at Costco, but are they truly any better than soda?

These drinks have “zero calories” because they are sweetened with Sucralose (an additive linked to cancer). The artificial colors in these drinks (Yellow 5, Red 40, and Blue 1) are derived from petroleum and linked to several health issues, including allergies, cancer, and hyperactivity in children. Europe requires any food containing dyes to carry the warning label, “May Have an Adverse Effect on Activity and Attention in Children”, but that’s not required here in the States. If that’s not bad enough, they’re also preserved with Potassium Benzoate, which can form the carcinogen Benzene when combined with vitamin C (which is present in some flavors). This is a toxic combo in a plastic bottle!

Don’t be fooled by “zero calorie” drinks and flavored waters with ingredients like these…

Perhaps they purposefully make the ingredients so hard to read on a bottle of Propel because they are so horrible!

Propel Flavored Water Black Cherry: Water, Citric Acid, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Natural Flavor, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Vitamin E Acetate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6).

Artificial (low-calorie) sweeteners won’t help you lose weight…

Propel, Nestle Splash, Dasani Flavored Water, Diet Snapple, and PowerAde Zero contain artificial sweeteners like sucralose, acesulfame potassium or aspartame. Although these have no calories, artificial sweeteners have been shown to contribute to weight gain by encouraging sugar cravings. Research finds they stimulate your appetite, increase sugar cravings, and promote fat storage and weight gain. Researchers from the University of Texas discovered that drinks made with artificial sweeteners will expand your waist girth, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. When you drink something sweet – even when it has no calories – your brain is tricked into wanting more calories because your body is not getting enough energy (i.e. calories) to be satisfied. So you keep craving sweets, eating sweets, and gaining weight. This is why a lot of people never reach their full health potential or weight loss goals, because they are constantly being pushed around by these chemical artificial sweeteners that trick the brain and body.

They’re also loaded with health-wrecking preservatives…

Sodium Polyphosphate and Sodium Hexametaphosphate: These preservatives are full of phosphorous, which can create a mineral imbalance in the body. When you eat (or drink) phosphate additives like these often (which is really easy to do in our processed food world) it can put you at risk for kidney damage, increased mortality, heart disease, and accelerated aging.

Calcium Disodium EDTA: This preservative is made from of formaldehyde, sodium cyanide, and ethylene diamine… yikes! Is this something you really want to drink every day? It has the ability to build up in the body, becoming more toxic if you drink it for several days in a row, which could possibly lead to health problems. It’s also known to lower your body’s ability to absorb vitamins (making all those B vitamins added to Propel pretty worthless).

Potassium Sorbate: This preservative has been shown to be genotoxic to white blood cells, which could lead to cancer. It has also been shown to induce DNA damage when combined with vitamin C (this combo is in Propel).

Citric Acid: Although this is naturally found in lemon and other fruits, the additive used in these drinks is typically derived from mold made with GMO corn (not from fruit). Frequent consumption is linked to an increase in tooth decay and also can irritate the gut.

Is Erythritol a safe sweetener?

Bai, Core, Hubert’s Diet Lemonade, Blossom Water, and Vitamin Water Zero are sweetened with the sugar alcohol erythritol. This sweetener can wreak havoc on healthy gut bacteria, which can lead to a whole host of diseases and if you’re trying to lose weight or stay slim, keeping your gut healthy is vital!

Erythritol is also known to cause diarrhea, stomach upset, headache when consumed in “normal amounts”, is a powerful insecticide, and can also increase appetite just like artificial sweeteners do so you’ll end up eating more food. Research by Cornell University shows that the body metabolizes erythritol and associates high levels of erythritol in the blood to weight gain, which has spawned more studies.

Although this is a naturally occurring sugar that is sometimes found in fruit, food manufacturers don’t actually use the natural stuff. Instead they usually start with GMO corn (unless organic or non-GMO verified) and then put it through a complex fermentation process to come up with chemically pure erythritol.

Some brands have versions that contain only two ingredients: water and natural flavors.

These drinks are better than a Diet Coke – but are they really as clean as they seem? I try to avoid natural flavors, especially if it’s in something that I’d consume often and in large amounts – like a drink.

Why you should avoid drinking “Natural Flavors”…

{Picture of natural flavors on display at the IFT Expo}

  • Each natural flavor may contain up to 100 ingredients, including synthetic chemicals such as the solvent propylene glycol, the preservative BHA, and GMO-derived ingredients (unless organic or Non-GMO Project verified).
  • The ingredients in natural flavors are considered proprietary and not disclosed either on the label or to a customer who inquires – so you have no clue what is in them.
  • Natural flavors can be derived from anything in nature, including animal parts. The only difference between natural and artificial flavors, is that natural flavors are derived from things found in nature (such as beaver glands).
  • They can also legally contain naturally occurring “glutamate” by-products that act like MSG, which is an excitotoxin. Excitotoxins make food irresistible to eat but can cause stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, obesity, migraines, fatigue, and depression.
  • Flavors are designed to have addictive qualities and increase food cravings, contributing to what David Kessler (former head of the FDA) calls a “food carnival” in your mouth. They trick your mind into wanting more and more. The Big Food Companies are hijacking your taste buds one by one, and lining their corporate pockets at the same time as we buy more products with these addicting synthesized flavors in them. If you are having increased food cravings while guzzling down drinks full of natural flavors, you may want to take a closer look at what you are drinking.

The Hint Flavored Water lawsuit is exposing natural flavors for what they really are…

Although the ingredient label on Hint Flavored Water just states purified water and natural flavors, Hint has been sued because their drinks contain propylene glycol – a synthetic ingredient. Propylene glycol is one of the hidden ingredients that was (and may still be) used in their natural flavors and doesn’t need to be listed on the label. This goes back to my point that whenever you are drinking something with natural flavors, it is not necessarily natural and you don’t know what’s really in the bottle.

{Excerpt from complaint filed in the court case: Lisa Kim Madrigal, et al v. Hint Inc.}

{Excerpt of test results showing propylene glycol in Hint flavored water}

LaCroix states their flavors contain no artificial ingredients, but they also are not under any obligation to disclose exactly what’s in them, so we just have to take their word for it.

“There is no legal requirement to disclose what’s in the natural flavor. So customers have no choice but to believe companies when they say they don’t use artificial additives in their flavors.” ~ The Mysterious Allure of LaCroix’s ‘Natural Flavor’ – WIRED, December 15, 2016

I don’t consider it safe to drink out of cans often because of the BPA that is usually present in them. This is what LaCroix says about the presence of BPA in their cans, which I don’t find reassuring, especially since I know how inefficient the FDA is at setting “guidelines” for the chemicals in our food…

“All LaCroix products meet the guidelines set by the FDA and are completely safe to drink. Recently, media reports have raised questions about the use of bisphenol A (BPA) by can and bottle manufacturers. While can linings may contain trace amounts of BPA to prevent spoilage and protect food and beverages from direct contact with the can, these trace amounts are virtually eliminated during the curing process.” ~ Source: http://www.lacroixwater.com/nutritional-faqs/

I personally prefer the taste of a real squeeze of lemon or fruit juice in my water over anything that is found in these drinks – they just taste artificial to me and I like to know exactly what I’m drinking.

I feel like if something tastes like lemon, then it should actually contain lemon! And it honestly just takes two seconds to squeeze some fresh lemon juice (or grapefruit or whatever fruit you’d like) into sparkling water and know exactly what you’re drinking. That’s not to mention all the nutrients that you are getting from the lemon juice as well…because natural flavors may have zero calories, but they also have zero nutrition and provide zero health benefits.

What you are drinking is as important as what you are eating every day.

My main go-to drink is plain filtered water. I filter my own water at home and always carry a stainless steel or glass container of filtered water around with me – to the gym, in the car, to meetings, and even to some restaurants! Drinking toxin-free water makes a major difference in the way I feel and I consider it a vital part of my everyday life. But, it can be boring to just drink water all the time! These are some other healthy drinks I personally enjoy:

  • Organic Raw Kombucha – My favorite local organic brand is Lenny Boy.
  • Sparkling or Soda Water + Lime Juice + Organic Cranberry Juice (with no added sugar)
  • Filtered Water + Fresh Cucumbers + Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
  • Sparkling or Soda Water + Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice + Grated Ginger. Consider adding melon, cucumbers, or berries for different flavors!
  • 100% Raw Coconut Water
  • Organic Unsweetened Green and Herbal Tea (iced or hot). Peppermint and ginger teas are great for satisfying cravings for something sweet!
  • Fresh Pressed Green Juice

Here is a delicious recipe for flavored water from the Food Babe Drinking For Health Guide that you can mix up and keep in the fridge…

Food Babe’s Nutrient-Rich Flavored Water Serves: 8 cups Ingredients

  • 8 cups filtered water
  • 8 slices lemon
  • 8 slices lime
  • 8 slices orange
  • 16 slices cucumber


  1. Place all of the fruit and vegetable slices in a glass pitcher and fill with filtered water (plain or sparkling).
  2. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. If not drinking immediately, store in the refrigerator.

Notes **Please choose all organic ingredients if possible.** 3.4.3177

For more healthy and refreshing drink recipes, consider joining my meal plan program here – you’ll get a new set of recipes each month. If you know anyone who is drinking processed zero-calorie drinks by the caseload, please share this post with them. I hope these tips help you hydrate your body with the healthiest drinks and kiss the chemical-filled drinks goodbye!



Personal Finance

Coke vs. Pepsi: The cola wars are back

Gatorade is ditching sugar.

Gatorade Zero, a thirst quencher without sugar or carbs, hit stores around the country this week. It comes in orange, lemon lime, and glacier cherry, and is priced in line with the brand’s classic sports drink.

The new drink is a tacit admission that the heyday of sugary sports drinks is winding down.

Related: Trouble in Big Food: America’s cereal, soda and soup companies are in turmoil

Gatorade has controlled the nearly $8 billion US sports drink industry for decades, grabbing about 75% of the market, according to research firm Euromonitor International. The brand has been a boon for Pepsi, which has owned Gatorade since 2001.

The drink is a fixture of sports sidelines through sponsorships with pro leagues and endorsement deals for global stars, including Michael Jordan, Serena Williams and Lionel Messi. Gatorade’s 1991 “Be Like Mike” commercial helped propel the Jordan craze, while Glacier freeze and fruit punch Gatorade baths have become marks of Super Bowl-winning coaches.

Michael Jordan drinking Gatorade during a 1995 NBA game.

But Gatorade is showing signs of fatigue. Sales ticked down 0.5% last year to $5.9 billion in the United States, according to Euromonitor. The brand lost market share, too.

Although high on electrolytes that help athletes rehydrate as they sweat, a 20-ounce drink has 34 grams of sugar, 36 grams of carbohydrates, and 140 calories. Health-conscious athletes have grown wary of sweeteners and added carbs.

“Athletes have heard ad nauseum about the need to hydrate,” said Leslie Bonci, a longtime sports dietitian who is currently a consultant for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. “They know electrolytes are important, but they are looking for options.”

She said many players are pushing away Gatorade for coconut, sparkling, electrolyte, and flavored waters with natural ingredients and enhanced functional benefits to meet their changing training regimens.

Related: How fruit juice got boxed out of the health craze

Health shifts and the explosion of new drinks and flavors to compete with big brands on store shelves have reshaped the beverage industry. Carbonated soft drink volume sales have fallen 13 years in a row, according to trade publication Beverage Digest.

“The same trends that emerged within soft drinks in the last decade are revealing themselves in the sports drink market,” said Beverage Digest executive editor Duane Stanford. “A growing number of consumers are moderating their sugar intake, and some don’t want sugar at all.”

Related: Pepsi vs. Coke — the new cola wars are here

Gatorade has responded to the trends by expanding its lineup in recent years to give athletes more choices.

In 2016, it added higher-priced G Organic, which came without artificial coloring and had fewer ingredients and sugar than the traditional version. Last year, it redesigned its G2 low-calorie line to make “lower sugar” stand out on the bottle, Stanford said.

Those changes have not resonated. “We worry that Gatorade’s artificial and sugary ingredient profile (plus lack of awareness on low-sugar versions) has caused its brand image to shift toward being less healthy than alternatives,” Barclays analyst Lauren Lieberman said in an April research report.

Zero is Gatorade’s newest play to reach consumers who’ve turned away from sports drinks.

Gatorade Zero debuted this week.

“Gatorade Zero will address the large and growing demand by athletes for additional hydration options,” Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi told analysts in April. “Zero will give our athletes more flexibility.”

With the new drink, Gatorade will take on Coca Cola’s (KO) Powerade Zero for the first time. Coke launched Powerade Zero a decade ago, and it has been a bright spot in the sports hydration market.

Gatorade Zero could also help the brand fend off BodyArmor, an upstart sports drink that counts Kobe Bryant as a top investor, and markets itself as a “more natural” choice for athletes.

Related: How much money Kobe Bryant made playing basketball

BodyArmor’s sales grew 78% in 2016 to $235 million as it entered into more stores with the backing of Dr. Pepper Snapple’s (DPS) massive US distribution network.

“They’re capitalizing on consumers’ desire to try new beverages within well-known categories and also move to natural ingredients and flavors,” Stanford said.

BodyArmor is now targeting Gatorade directly. It’s running a new ad campaign featuring James Harden and Mike Trout with the tagline, “Thanks, Gatorade. We’ll take it from here.”

“James Harden wouldn’t go to the game wearing outdated fashion,” says a narrator in the ads. “So why would he choose an outdated sports drink?”

Pepsi’s Nooyi didn’t mention BodyArmor on its last earnings call, but she said a “new competitor” had dropped prices and chipped away slightly at Gatorade’s market share when it first landed on shelves.

Yet Gatorade is trying to play the long game. It plans to hold prices steady, even if means temporarily sacrificing share. BodyArmor’s sales fell off after initially entering new stores and its lower pricing strategy is “not sustainable in the long term,” Nooyi claimed.

“Gatorade just has to be very responsible and very careful in its response,” she said. “It’s got to be surgical, and that’s what we are doing. We are watching Gatorade shares like a hawk.”

CNNMoney (New York) First published June 20, 2018: 7:50 AM ET

NEW YORK — Coca-Cola’s PowerAde is giving Gatorade a run for its calorie count.

On the heels of Gatorade’s rollout of low-calorie G2, No. 2 sports-drink brand PowerAde is going all the way — to zero calories. Trying to build on the success of diet drinks Coke Zero and Sprite Zero, PowerAde Zero is going into stores now.

Traditional sports drinks, such as regular PowerAde, provide calories for energy as well as electrolytes to replace those lost in vigorous exercise.

“PowerAde offers carbohydrates for those with intense workouts,” says Matt Kahn, vice president of marketing. “But there’s a whole group of calorie-conscious gymgoers. This is the first major brand to give hydration and electrolytes with zero calories.”

Tennis star Venus Williams will endorse the drink in print ads next week. Other ads in Us Weekly and Men’s Health will tout its zero calories vs. Gatorade products by showing calories per 8 ounces: 50 for Gatorade, 25 for G2 and 10 for flavored Propel Fitness Water.

Williams drinks pink lemonade PowerAde on the court, but says she’s wanted a lower-calorie alternative for less intense workouts.

“I have a nutrition plan and need to rehydrate without the calories,” says Williams by phone from a photo shoot for Shape magazine.

Says Kahn, “We think even an elite athlete is going to be careful about consuming wasted calories.”

Zero comes in strawberry, mixed berry and grape, artificially sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

“I can’t keep it in my refrigerator — everyone takes them,” Williams says. “Grape is my favorite. Purple is my favorite color, and grape is the best flavor, and that’s the one that’s always gone.”

PowerAde sees Zero as a way to revive growth. Volume for PowerAde’s line, which has 19% of the sports-drink market, slid 1.5% in the first quarter, according to trade publication Beverage Digest, while volume for all sports drinks grew 1.3% and Gatorade rose 2%. Reduced-calorie G2 has been out just four months and already has captured 8% of all sports-drink sales.

In addition to the push for Zero, PowerAde is ramping up its marketing overall for summer. It recently became a Little League Baseball sponsor and added 15 new athlete endorsers, including NBA star Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia pro baseball player Ryan Howard.

Entering the peak season, Kahn says, “We think we have the right strategy … to take PowerAde up a notch. We expect big things from PowerAde Zero.”

Is Powerade Zero Keto Friendly?

Table of Contents

Keto is one of the best diets for fat loss, but it works its magic by limiting your carb intake to less than 50 grams per day, and usually closer to 20-30 grams. This means bread, rice, pasta, cereals, and potatoes are all off the menu. As well as cutting high-carb foods from your diet, keto also means eliminating high-carb beverages too. That means no soda, no fruit juice, no smoothies, and no milkshakes.

But what about Powerade Zero? Is that particular sports drink keto friendly? The short answer is yes. But, before you rush out and buy a dozen cases, make sure you read all about this sports drink so that you understand it’s uses, benefits, and drawbacks.

It’s also important to differentiate between Powerade Zero and regular Powerade. Regular Powerade contains about 35 grams of carbs per 20 ounce serving, which means you’ll be out of ketosis before you finish the bottle! Powerade Zero is keto-friendly, but regular Powerade definitely isn’t.

The importance of hydration on the keto diet

What you eat is crucial for successful dieting, but what you drink is equally important. Not only from the view of calories and carbs but because hydration is critical to your health and performance.

Your body contains a considerable amount of water. In fact, about 60% of your body weight is water. Your body uses water for a wide range of functions including:

  • Temperature regulation
  • Lubrication of your joints and digestive tract
  • Transport of substances around your body
  • As a medium in which to mix chemicals

While you can go for several weeks without food, your body can only go for a couple of days without water. Chronic dehydration will quickly lead to confusion, unconsciousness, and death. Mild dehydration causes headaches, loss of energy, cramps, and nausea, not to mention making your skin less elastic and more prone to wrinkles!

Water is essential regardless of what diet you are following, but it’s especially vital during the keto diet. With keto, you limit your carb intake, which forces your body to burn more fat for fuel. But, before that happens your onboard supplies of carbohydrate, called glycogen, must be depleted.

Glycogen is glucose bound to water. For every gram of glucose stored in your body (mainly within your liver and muscles), your body also stores 3-5 grams of water. When you cut carbs, your body initially turns to its glycogen stores to make up this shortfall. As it uses your glycogen, your body releases the accompanying water which is then excreted via the urinary system. Getting rid of what can amount to a lot of water will soon lead to dehydration.

With keto, you skip the carbs so that your glycogen stores are not replenished. Once they are all used up, your body makes the switch to burning fat for fuel. Unfortunately, your brain and muscles cannot function on fat alone. To provide your body with a source of energy it can use, some fat is converted into ketones. Making ketones takes a lot of fat and energy, which is what makes the keto diet so good for fat loss.

However, while you don’t want to eat carbs to replenish your glycogen stores, you do need to replace the water your body has excreted. If you don’t, you’ll make the keto flu much worse.

What is keto flu? Good question!

Keto flu is the collective term for the symptoms that many people experience as their glycogen stores are depleted, and they make the switch to using ketones and fat for fuel. You cannot enter ketosis until all your glycogen stores have been used up.

This grey area between using carbs and ketones for energy can leave you feeling unwell. The good news is that once you enter ketosis, the signs and symptoms of keto flu will magically vanish. These symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty focusing (“brain fog”)
  • Changes in taste and smell
  • Lack of motivation
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Sugar cravings
  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Increased urination
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fruity breath
  • Strong-smelling urine

Dehydration is responsible for many of these symptoms, and the symptoms not directly caused by dehydration will be worse if you don’t drink enough water.

Unfortunately, water is not a very exciting beverage. It’s tasteless, and even though most people know they should consume about 64 ounces per day as a minimum, it’s hard to get motivated about drinking plain water, even though it’s so important.

If you aren’t on a keto diet, you can slake your thirst with a wide range of beverages, including fruit juice and soda. Unfortunately, their carb and sugar content means that many of these drinks are off the menu, and even a small serving will put the brakes on your fat-burning efforts.

Luckily, there are alternatives to plain water and high-sugar sodas and fruit juices – one of which is Powerade Zero.

What is Powerade Zero?

Powerade Zero is a sports drink made by The Coca-Cola Company. It’s widely available, and because it’s a mainstream beverage, you can buy it almost anywhere that Coke is sold. That includes gas stations, convenience stores, and vending machines. It’s good to know that, even on the keto diet, you should have no problem finding a keto-friendly drink to slake your thirst.

If you find plain water boring or miss your daily glass of orange juice, you’ll be happy to hear that Powerade Zero is available in five different flavors. These flavors are:

  1. Mixed Berry (blue)
  2. Grape (purple)
  3. Orange (orange)
  4. Fruit Punch (red)
  5. Strawberry (pink)

Powerade zero doesn’t contain any carbs or sugar, but it does contain electrolytes, which is why it is categorized as a sports drink. During exercise, you sweat more than usual. But you don’t just lose water, you lose minerals called electrolytes too. Electrolytes have some essential functions, including:

  • Regulation of heartbeat
  • Muscle contractions
  • Control of body temperature
  • Bladder control
  • Regulation of hydration
  • Energy production
  • Proper function of the nervous system

Given that electrolytes are essential for so many essential bodily functions, it’s clear that these minerals are very, VERY important. Your body needs a wide range of minerals to function correctly, but the electrolytes are especially critical. The minerals that make up the electrolytes are:

  1. Chlorine
  2. Calcium
  3. Magnesium
  4. Potassium
  5. Sodium

But, you may be thinking, I don’t do any exercise, and I don’t sweat much – why do I need electrolytes? The answer is that, as you enter ketosis and pee more than usual, your body also excretes electrolytes. Yes, the substances you normally sweat out of your body are also in your urine. Subsequently, every keto dieter needs to increase its intake of electrolytes to replace lost minerals. Dehydration plus electrolyte imbalance will make all of the symptoms of keto flu much worse!

You can replace lost electrolytes using foods that are high in sodium, chlorine, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, but that isn’t always easy. Do you even know which foods contain chlorine, for example?! Alternatively, you could make your own ketoade, a homemade drink that contains electrolytes. Bone broth is another good way to replace lost minerals.

In most cases, it’s easier to replace lost electrolytes with a sports drink. Of course, you need to ensure that your chosen beverage is sugar and calorie-free so as not to disrupt ketosis.

Powerade Zero nutritional facts

To be successful on the keto diet, you need to get into the habit of reading nutrition labels. A lot of foods and drinks contain hidden carbs and sugar. They are added to make food taste good. However, even hidden carbs will kick you out of ketosis, so it’s important to make sure you double-check everything you eat and drink to ensure you aren’t inadvertently consuming carbs.

Powerade Zero nutritional facts are as follows:

  • Calories – 0
  • Sodium – 10%
  • Potassium – 2%
  • Niacin – 25%
  • Vitamin B6 – 25%
  • Vitamin B12 – 25%
  • Fat – 0
  • Sugar – 0
  • Cholesterol – 0

As you can see, it really IS sugar, carb, and calorie-free, making it ideal for the keto diet. But what about Powerade Zero ingredients? What is in this popular keto-friendly beverage? According to The Coca-Cola Company, this is what goes into Powerade Zero, mixed berry flavor:

Water, less than 1% of: citric acid, salt and mono-potassium phosphate and magnesium chloride and calcium chloride (electrolyte sources), natural flavors, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, vitamin B3 (niacinamide), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), blue 1, ascorbic acid (to protect taste), calcium disodium edta (to preserve color).

Are artificial sweeteners ok on the keto diet?

Powerade Zero tastes sweet but contains no sugar. How is this possible? The answer is artificial sweeteners. Powerade Zero features two non-sugar, calorie-free sweeteners: sucralose and acesulfame potassium, also known as acesulfame K or ace K.

Sucralose is made from sugar, but it has been chemically changed to make it all-but indigestible. In scientific terms, some of its hydrogen-oxygen content has been replaced with chlorine atoms. This also makes sucralose about 600 times sweeter than sugar, which means a little goes a very long way. Sucralose is usually marketed under the brand name Splenda.

Acesulfame potassium is about 200 times sweeter than sugar and is usually used alongside other artificial sweeteners. It has a noticeable aftertaste and blending it with other sweeteners makes this much less noticeable. That’s why Powerade Zero contains not just one but two artificial sweeteners.

Both of these sweeteners are FDA-approved and widely used. However, some nutrition experts have concerns over their safety. After all, artificial sweeteners are chemicals and, in most cases, adding chemicals to your food is not a good idea. Some experts believe that artificial sweeteners can be linked to a wide range of illnesses and diseases, not least cancer. However, the studies that suggest this link are few and far between and are mostly animal studies.

Providing you don’t drink gallons of Powerade Zero, or any diet soda for that matter, your consumption of both sucralose and acesulfame K will be very low. After all, they are both so sweet that even a large-sized serving of Powerade Zero contains only a tiny amount of both of these sweeteners.

Does this give you license to drink Powerade Zero all day long? Of course not! But, if you want something sweet to drink that won’t derail your diet, this beverage is a good choice, and the electrolytes are always beneficial on the keto diet.

When to drink Powerade Zero

There are several situations where drinking Powerade Zero will be especially beneficial. Those times include:

During exercise – while you don’t have to exercise to lose weight on the keto diet, doing so can help. Working out will get you into ketosis sooner and help you burn fat faster. The ingredients in Powerade Zero will give you energy despite not containing calories. The B vitamins are especially important for energy production.

After exercise – sweaty workouts can leave you not just dehydrated but also low in electrolytes. Replacing both water and minerals will speed up recovery so that you can get back to training sooner. Drinking Powerade Zero during and after your workout is a good way to rehydrate and rebalance your electrolytes.

Instead of soda – regular soda is loaded with sugar. A standard 12-ounce serving of regular soda contains nearly 40 grams of sugar. That’s more than enough to put you out of ketosis. If you usually drink soda, try replacing it with sugar-free Powerade Zero. It tastes just as sweet but won’t ruin your keto diet.

Instead of fruit juice – orange juice is a popular breakfast beverage. Unfortunately, despite being high in vitamin C and tasting great, it’s not suitable for keto. Missing your morning OJ? Try a glass of chilled Powerade Zero instead. There is even an orange flavor version that may help cure your OJ cravings.

When sugar cravings kick in – giving up carbs and sugar are great for weight loss but can also trigger cravings. With willpower, you may be able to resist those cravings for a few hours or even a day or two, but they can increase in severity and make you want to quit your diet. Sweet-tasting but sugar-free drinks like Powerade Zero can help satisfy your sugar cravings without putting you out of ketosis. Try having Powerade zero instead of candy or a dessert.

If you have keto flu – all of the symptoms of keto flu are worse when you are dehydrated, and your electrolytes are out of balance. Powerade Zero addresses both of these problems and can help lessen the severity and duration of keto flu.

When it’s beer or wine o’clock – many people like to unwind at the end of the day with a beer or glass of wine. While one small alcoholic drink may not put you out of ketosis, two or more probably will. Avoid this problem by relaxing with a chilled Powerade Zero instead of a beer or whiskey. This may seem odd initially, but you will soon break your beer habit with a drink that won’t disrupt ketosis.


Powerade Zero is a sugar-free, calorie-free, keto-friendly sports drink. It contains electrolytes, so it will help restore mineral balance as it rehydrates you. Available in five flavors, it tastes sweet, and it’s refreshing too, especially when it’s chilled. It’s not just for exercisers either – you can drink Powerade even if you aren’t a gym-junkie!

Widely available, you should be able to buy Powerade Zero anywhere you see Coco-Cola for sale. After all, it’s made by the same company. If you get hit by thirst or sugar cravings, you can buy a bottle from most gas stations and convenience stores.

Remember though, your body needs water, and Powerade Zero is just one way to slake your thirst. Most of your fluid intake should be in the form of plain water. If you don’t like the taste of water, add a squeeze of lemon juice or some cucumber slices to make it more interesting. Alternatively, try some unsweetened iced tea.

Is Powerade Zero keto friendly? You bet!

No-Cal, Low-Cal Sports Drinks Better For Kids

Sports drinks quench our thirst, but how healthy are they? There are low-calorie and even no-calorie versions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good for kids.

A sports drink with no calories, Powerade Zero, just hit store shelves. Its goal is to dribble some business away from G2, the low-cal Gatorade.

“All the boys play soccer, I thought this would be something great for either before or after,” says mother Veronica Cooper. “No sugar, that’s a big, huge thing.”

So we decided to put Powerade Zero to the test with kids and their moms.

“The Powerade is sweeter than the G2,” says 8-year-old Zachary Schumann.

“The taste is good,” says Lacey McDowell.

“It’s sweet,” say Robbie and Sophia. “It’s better than pop.”

Their moms like the nutrition label. G2 has 25 calories, 110 milligrams of sodium and seven grams of sugar, compared to Powerade Zero’s no calories, 55 milligrams of sodium and no sugar.

“I think we all need to be as health-conscious as possible, starting early in life,” says Cooper.

Is this really a healthy option? Pediatrician Dr. David Kaufman at Children Physicians Hospital says that depends. “In today’s environment where we’re seeing really an epidemic of childhood obesity, any empty caloric source is just not a good idea, so the zero calorie ones aren’t a bad thing to give.”

The electrolytes may help active kids or teens when alternated with water. “I just drink them basically when I play sports, just to keep me hydrated,” says Marian High School sophomore Kara Mlnarik.

Moms like Terri Welch give sports drinks for a different reason. “Only when they’re sick.”

“I would not recommend a zero calorie product for a child who’s sick with vomiting and diarrhea,” says Dr. Kaufman. That’s when Dr. Kaufman says children need the sugar. In that case, he recommends Pedialyte or regular sports drinks.

Dr. Kauffman says sports drinks are designed to be used during intense exercise lasting longer than an hour, but generally he says, drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated and healthy.

Ask The Diet Doctor: Should You Drink Flavored Water?


Every day, we’re presented with new, potentially better-for-us options when it comes to re-fueling after our intense training sessions. Flavored and micronutrient enhanced water is the latest option to enter the market. These drinks fall somewhere between water and a traditional sports drink. Should you use them? First, let’s look at what the three most popular drinks are offering you.

Zero-calorie VitaminWater offers flavored waters that are enhanced with a variety of select vitamins and minerals. Depending on the flavor you select, a bottle of VitaminWater Zero will contain 6 to 150 percent of the recommended daily value for a combination of the following vitamins and minerals: potassium, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin B5, zinc, chromium, and magnesium. (Did you know Vitamin D May Improve Athletic Performance?)

Low-calorie Gatorade, G2 Low Calorie, is slightly different from VitaminWater Zero, as it contains 30 calories per 12 oz (and 7g of sugar) and is enhanced only with electrolytes, potassium, and sodium.

Powerade Zero is more similar to VitaminWater Zero, as it contains zero calories and is enhanced with the electrolytes-sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as vitamins B3, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. (Find out The Truth About Vitamin B12 Injections.)

With all these flavored water options containing subtle differences, it can be confusing to determine which is best for you, or whether you should just drink water? If you exercise long enough (more than 60 minutes) and are sweating a significant amount, thus losing key minerals called electrolytes, then the use of a flavored zero calorie beverage to replace these lost key nutrients during exercise is recommended. In this case a flavored water with electrolytes is better than plain water. (See what the Diet Doctor has to say about Restoring Electrolytes.)

However, the use of flavored water over regular water after exercise is more of a matter of personal preference. The lost electrolytes lost during exercise will be replenished once you eat your next meal. And the other non-electrolyte vitamins and minerals provided in these kinds of drinks are not generally nutrients of concern in women’s diets as a whole, so you’ll get adequate levels of these vitamins and minerals simply by eating a well-rounded and healthy diet. B-vitamins are added to sports and energy drinks with the claim that they help your body convert food to energy. While this is true, it is a misleading truth, as this is not energy that you feel, like with caffeine-it’s chemical energy that your cells use. There is also no evidence to show that taking in extra B-vitamins will give your cells a greater ability to produce energy. (Check out 7 Caffeine-Free Drinks for Energy.)

So, whether you drink a sports drinks, flavored water, or plain ol’ H2O, the most important thing to do post-work is simply hydrate. Bottoms up!

  • By Dr. Mike Roussell

How many vitamin water zeros can I have a day?

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