Despite the fact that h20 is literally as old as time itself, that hasn’t stopped people from trying to make it a new health trend by putting different spins on it. In the last few years, we’ve seen countless people try to dress it in pretty packaging and sell it for $10 a bottle, or make their own ‘alternatives’ out of maple, watermelon and god knows what else.
Now, the latest water trend involves adding little extras to your bottle for an added health boost—and no, we’re not talking about greens powder. But do we really need to give our water a health upgrade, or is just fine on its own? Read on for our lowdown on the latest souped-up water trends.
“Wait, but isn’t water already made of hydrogen?” you may ask. You’d be correct! However, some companies like Dr. Perricone are adding more of the gas to their drinks, as it’s said to increase energy and improve post-exercise recovery. Do you need it? While there isn’t much research yet, a handful of studies suggest that adding extra hydrogen to water can reduce oxidative stress. According to Marie Spano, a sports nutritionist for the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Braves, and Atlanta Falcons, this could improve performance. But unless you happen to be a professional athlete, it may not be worth it.
Similarly, water already contains oxygen, but extra oxygen molecules are added. This is said to go directly into the bloodstream (as opposed to through the lungs like when you inhale it) to supposedly boost your energy during a workout. Do you need it? While a small study of 25 runners showed that it did nothing to improve performance, it did show that it helped clear lactate concentration from the blood, which could assist with post-workout recovery. Again, it couldn’t hurt if you’re a professional athlete.
Spiritual types are creating ‘high vibration’ water by infusing their h20 with crystals. The thinking is that it helps you absorb the healing benefits of the crystal, as well as improve digestion, metabolism, and organ function Do you need it? I mean, if spirituality is your jam, then you do you! But you certainly don’t need it and there’s no research to suggest that it has any health benefits. If you do decide to this, don’t just chuck any old crystal into a water bottle—some can dissolve and even release toxic chemicals. Opt for the crystal water bottles sold by companies like Aura Bottle.
Australian brand BODIEZ has created the world’s first protein water—h20 infused with 20-30 grams of whey protein isolate. It also vitamins, electrolytes and branch chain amino acids, which assist with muscle growth and recovery. Do you need it? Of course, you could get your protein dose in other ways. But if you’re on the run after the gym, this is actually a pretty convenient way to refuel after your workout.
While BODIEZ contains electrolytes, other companies like Sportwater do this as their whole thing. The brand says that the 330 mg of magnesium, potassium, and calcium help “put more oxygen into your muscles faster,” which assists with recovery. Do you need it? While there’s no research to confirm that electrolyte water speeds up recovery, there’s no doubt that minerals are essential to help the body recover. So, there would be no harm in trying this. It may also be helpful for people on a ketogenic diet, as you can become deficient in electrolytes which can lead to the sensation of ‘keto flu.’
This is one has been around for a while, and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. With a higher pH than regular water and with additional minerals, it’s said to be better at rehydrating your body. Do you need it? There’s one study that suggests that alkaline water was better at helping people rehydrated after a workout than regular tap water. However, as it was a small sample size (100 people), it’s hard to draw conclusions. This is probably one water trend you can leave on the shelf.
CBD oil, the chemical compound in the hemp plant has been popping up everywhere lately, and water is no exception. CBD water companies claim that it can do everything from reduce stress and anxiety, decrease pain and inflammation and improve immunity and neurological function. Do you need it? While there are no peer-reviewed studies proving the benefits of CBD water, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest it does these things. If you’re in need of some stress relief or a cognitive boost, there’s no harm in trying it—just make sure you source it through a reputable company.