Look around you and you will find a myriad of branded beverages offering added vitamins and minerals
in good ol’ plain water.
Based on the growing demand from consumers, these drinks are flying off the shelves at an alarming rate.
In order to keep up with the demand, more and more companies are introducing a wide range
of drinks and beverages with supplemental nutrition to juices, ales, sports beverages and bottled water.
Although the amount of added vitamins and minerals to beverages are basically tiny, a growing number
of food experts and nutritionists are concerned that people might be consuming unnecessary and potentially
harmful levels of vitamins and nutrients that might otherwise be absorbed by the body during the course
of the day, in other meals.
“The average individual today
is exposed to
elevated levels of minerals
and vitamins through
processed foods and drinks.”
Are We Consuming Too Many Dietary Supplements?
In their natural state, fresh fruits and vegetables contain naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals.
Individuals who have a healthy diet–in addition to consuming supplements as well as fortified foods–
could be building up an excess of nutrients in the body, which can eventually become harmful.
The average individual today is exposed to elevated levels of minerals and vitamins through
processed foods and drinks.
A greater number of people consume multivitamins and dietary supplements than ever before.
Packaged bread, bottled milk and other daily staples are now fortified with vitamins A and D, niacin
and folic acid.
All this points out to the fact that caution must be exercised when reaching out for basic
water with added vitamins while questioning oneself whether it is really needed.
According to a recent study published in June 2014, by the Institute Of Medicine, it was seen that
a greater number of individuals were exceeding safe limits of vitamin and mineral intake.
In a number of cases it was seen that individuals who consumed dietary supplements were often
the ones that needed them the least.
Are Fortified Drinks Over-Kill?
Dietary experts and nutritionists are particularly concerned about the explosion of fortified drinks
marketed specifically for high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
In its natural state, the body uses antioxidants to neutralize free radicals that destroyed healthy
cells and DNA.
However, at the same time, it also requires free radicals to combat carcinogenic cells and infections,
and if excess antioxidants are present in the body, it can take an adverse turn.
“A large number of fortified drinks
contained vitamins and minerals
in quantities that far exceeded
the average daily requirement
for young people.”
Another study conducted recently last month, examined over 40 fortified drinks– with and without
glucose– sold in major retail stores along with bottled water.
It was seen that a large number of these drinks contained vitamins and minerals in quantities that
far exceeded the average daily requirement for young people.
Over 15 of these beverages contained approximately three times the daily requirement for B6.
Ten and more had twice the requirement for B12 while over six drinks had more than tripled the
requirement for riboflavin or niacin.
Almost every beverage was marketed to improve immune function and heighten energy levels,
while a few of them promised, “daily functioning and emotional advantages connected to nutrient
preparations that surpass traditional nutritional knowledge”.
Some of the basic nutrients that are supplemented in fortified beverages were vitamins that are
already found in sufficient quantities in an average individual’s diet, so the additional inclusion is
nearly altogether uncalled-for.
“Fat-soluble vitamins taken
in excess can result
in adverse reactions.”
Food scientists warn that when specific vitamins are consumed in excess, it could accumulate in muscle
tissues causing potential risks for the individual.
Some water-soluble vitamins are excreted by the body, but fat-soluble vitamins if taken in excess can
result in adverse reactions.
Drinking a sufficient amount of water throughout the day can help in clearing the toxins from the body
as well as replenishing the body with necessary fluids after a workout.
If required, a heavy workout schedule could be supplemented with electrolyte beverages, although
it must be taken under medical supervision.
Natural Alternatives to Fortified Waters
Infused waters are a great alternative to vitamin-enriched drinks.
They are excellent for staying hydrated while you are working out.
And they are so easy to make.
All you need are glass jars, organic fruit, organic herbs and filtered water and you have everything
you need to “brew” these delicious infusions.
Thinly slice the fruits into small slices or chunks and add to jar with a few sprigs of fresh herbs.
Cover with filtered water or coconut water.
Refrigerate from 12 hours to 24 hours.
Remember, the longer it “brews”, the more intense the flavor will be.
There are so many combinations to try you could never get bored with water again.
Here are some of our favorite infused water combinations to try:
Fennel & Citrus
Watermelon & Rosemary
Strawberry & Basil
Blackberry & Sage
Pineapple & Cilantro
Apricot & Peach with Vanilla Bean
Pineapple & Mint
Grapefruit, Orange, Lime & Mint
Raspberries, Blueberries, Orange, Rosemary, Min
Lemon & lavender
Raspberry & Lime
Cucumber & Lemon
Pineapple & Strawberries
Vitamin B Infused Water
Add the following sliced organic fruit to pitcher:
5 or 6 chunks of Watermelon or Pineapple (B6)
15 Raspberries (B5)1 sliced lemon (B2)
1 Peach (B3)
Sprig of rosemary (B1)
Fill the pitcher with filtered water.
Allow the mixture to infuse in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
You can also pour your infused water into a portable bottle and take it with you to the gym
or wherever you go!
Best of all, you can refill the jar with liquid up to 3 times.
Natural Alternatives to Fortified Sports Drinks
There is no need to buy high-priced, heavily-sweetened, fortified sports drinks when you can easily
make your own.
The primary ingredients for most electrolyte drinks are lemons, limes, oranges, sea salt, natural
sweetener, filtered water, coconut water, strawberries.
Here are two combinations to try:
Citrus Electrolyte Water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 ½ to 2 cups of filtered water
1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
2 tablespoons natural sweetener, to taste
Strawberry Coconut Electrolyte Water
-3 cups of coconut water
-1 cup of strawberries
-1 cup of fresh water
-1 cup of ice
-1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
-2 tablespoons natural sweetener to taste
In short, vitamin enriched beverages and sports drinks may not be necessary for you, hence refrain from
reaching out for the bottle each time you feel thirsty.
The good news is that you can hydrate safely with water, infused waters and homemade electrolyte drinks.
About the author
This article is written by Carol, a passionate blogger about overall fitness subjects. She also actively participates in online forums and occasionally writes reviews on weight loss products, especially on Pure Garcinia Fruit Extract, Green Coffee Bean Extract and HCG Drops, which are interest of her blog audience.
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