Best Flavored Waters

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

17 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
288 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best flavored water

Last Updated September 2020

Water makes up the majority of the human body; it’s what makes everything work. Throughout the day, however, nearly everything we do — from sweating to breathing — diminishes our precious water reserve. To keep functioning, we need to keep replenishing. But it can be an effort to stay hydrated. That’s where flavored water comes in.

Flavored water gives us the variety we crave, making it easier to drink all those required ounces every single day. The best brands may even offer something more, such as vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. However, what you don't want is an excess of chemicals and sugars. That is why it is so important to know every ingredient that is in your flavored water.

We’re here to help you make a wise purchasing choice. If you'd like to learn about the good and bad ingredients that flavored water may contain, keep reading. If you'd just like to try some of the best beverages available, consider the flavored waters we've spotlighted in this article.

You can use flavored water to help wean yourself off of sugary drinks.

Key considerations

If you're putting nearly a gallon of anything in your body every day, you want to be certain it's a gallon of something good for you. Knowing exactly what is in your flavored water should be your primary focus when deciding what to buy. Following are some of the most common additives you will find in flavored water. Only you can decide which ones you want to be consuming.

Flavor (intensity)

Some people prefer their flavored water to taste mostly like water; any flavoring should be limited to a hint or a trace at the most. Others may feel cheated if they take a sip and their mouth is not awash with a full, robust taste. The degree of intensity that you prefer has a heavy bearing on the brand of flavored water you will like best.

Artificial colors

Colors trigger expectations. If you see a bottle of red fluid and a bottle of blue fluid, the one that's cherry flavored will likely be red. Because certain dyes have been proven to have a negative effect on behavior, you may want to check for them in the ingredients list. Flavored waters can be clear and still taste great.

Calories

In most instances, people choose flavored water over soda or some other beverage because they want to increase their fluid intake and cut back on calories. If you check the label and find out that there are as many calories in your bottle of flavored water as there are in your glass of morning juice, you might want to consider another brand.

Artificial sweeteners

Some individuals have conditions that require them to avoid artificial sweeteners, but for the majority of people, artificial sweeteners have few health risks associated with them. Additionally, they can offer a number of benefits when it comes to concerns such as weight loss, blood sugar control, and dental health. Still, many people are wary about consuming foods that include artificial sweeteners. If you do not want your food to contain artificial substances, it is best to avoid flavored waters with artificial sweeteners in the ingredient list.

Alkaline water

Following artificial sweeteners, alkalinity is the second-most controversial aspect regarding drinking water. Proponents of alkaline water say water with a higher pH offers numerous health benefits, but studies have yet to confirm this. There is evidence that alkaline water is beneficial to specific conditions (blood viscosity, acid reflux, diabetes). However, these are typically not the benefits noted in the advertising (weight loss, immunity bolstering, anti-aging). Additionally, there is some evidence that suggests an excess of alkaline water may produce undesirable side effects such as hand tremors, nausea, and confusion.

Organic

When it pertains to food or farming methods, "organic" means that there were no chemicals, pesticides, or other artificial agents used in the food processing methods. Flavored water may contain ingredients, such as fruit, which can be certified as organic. Consequently, because of the diligence involved in its preparation, organic flavored water is typically only found at the highest end of the price scale.

Carbonation

Products such as club soda, seltzer, and sparkling water all have flavored options, as well. If you prefer your flavored water to have a bit of fizz, those are the products you should seek.

DID YOU KNOW?

Most flavored water comes from a city water source. If you are interested in flavored spring water, you will have to carefully research the product you are considering to make sure that is what it is.

Features

Although your primary focus should be knowing the ingredients that are in your flavored water, there are a few other aspects to consider to help find what's best for you.

Eco-friendly packaging

Flavored water is only available in conveniently sized bottles, so it means there will be waste. If you want to leave a smaller footprint, however, there are brands that use recycled materials for packaging.

Size

Speaking of size, not all containers are the same. If you like your servings to be smaller, you can find flavored water in six-ounce packets. However, if you prefer a more substantial hydration, look for packages with 20-ounce bottles.

Variety

If you crave variety, look for a variety pack of flavored water. The whole idea of purchasing flavored water is to encourage more drinking. If you don't get flavors that you enjoy, you will be less likely to meet your daily hydration requirements.

Beneficial additives

Pricier flavored waters are often fortified with beneficial additives such as vitamins, minerals, or electrolytes. These are not needed if all you desire is hydration, but they can allow your water to multi-task, so to speak, providing you with other items that your body needs besides fluids.

DID YOU KNOW?

Although aspartame is a controversial artificial sweetener, it has the approval of a number of agencies including the FDA, the World Health Organization, the American Heart Association, and the American Dietetic Association.

Flavored water prices

Flavored water is available in a variety of packaging options. Some can be purchased individually; others are only available in 12-packs. The following price examples are estimates for six-packs of flavored water.

Inexpensive: Flavored water that costs less than $3 for a six-pack is mostly what you would expect: water with flavoring. It's hard to go wrong with these products because at this price, there's usually not much added. However, it is always wise to check the label for undesirable ingredients.

Mid-range: From $3 to roughly $8 per six-pack, you are getting water that could contain nearly anything, from added sugars or sugar substitutes to artificial flavors and vitamins. There is a wide selection available in this price range, and it's easy to grab something with a similar content to soda, so be sure to read the label so you make a healthy choice.

High-end: The flavored waters in this category will likely have words such as "organic," "Non-GMO," "vegan," "natural," and/or "gluten-free" printed on the label. These may cost from $9 to $15, and sometimes more, for a six-pack. As with the other price ranges, be sure to read the ingredients, as words like "natural" do not necessarily mean healthy.

DID YOU KNOW?

Signs that your body is not getting enough water include being thirsty, being hungry, feeling fatigued, muscle cramping, rapid heartbeat, dark urine, and headaches.

Benefits of staying properly hydrated

Everyone knows, or at least has been told, that water is good for you. But knowing the specific benefits of staying properly hydrated can inspire individuals to make drinking the daily recommended amount more of a priority. Following are some of the main benefits of staying properly hydrated.

  • A properly hydrated body functions better.
  • Without water, the muscles don't work as well, and they are more prone to cramping.
  • Water helps clear the kidneys of sodium and toxins, which can decrease the potential for kidney-related problems.
  • When properly hydrated, you have more energy and can think more clearly.
  • Staying properly hydrated bolsters the immune system.
  • When you are properly hydrated, there is a greater chance of being regular.
  • If you suffer from chronic headaches, staying sufficiently hydrated may decrease your symptoms.
Drinking the recommended daily amount of water can give your skin a more youthful appearance.

FAQ

Q. Why is water so important?
A.
More than half of the human body is water, and it’s the medium where bodily chemical reactions take place. Just a 1% drop in hydration can cause significant changes in how your body functions. Water keeps everything healthy, from skin to hair and nails. It is needed to control body temperature, heart rate, and even blood pressure.
 

Q. How much water should I drink?
A.
The medical community used to suggest that eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day (64 ounces) was sufficient for everyone. However, the current stance is that everyone is different. Weight, level of activity, and even the climate where you live are all important factors to consider. The new recommendations are that we need one-half to a full ounce of water for every pound of body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, then, the minimum you need to drink is 75 ounces (a little more than nine 8-ounce glasses) per day. However, if you are extremely active and/or live in a hot climate, you may need as much as 150 ounces per day (nearly nineteen 8-ounce glasses). Note: this amount of water must be gradually consumed throughout the entire day, as the kidneys can only process 32 ounces of water per hour at most.
 

Q. Does flavored water count as water?
A.
Although many will claim it doesn't count, the truth is hydration is what is important. You can fulfill some of your daily water needs by eating fruits and vegetables or even by drinking milk or soda. The water in water is the same water that is in flavored water. What makes certain flavored water bad for you is the other ingredients it has: sugar, artificial flavoring, and other chemicals. Alternately, if what you are drinking has a diuretic effect (increases your urine production), it may not be as beneficial for hydration.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Allen Foster
    Allen Foster
    Writer
  • Ciera Pasturel
    Ciera Pasturel
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer Manfrin
    Jennifer Manfrin
    Writer
  • Melinda Snowden
    Melinda Snowden
    Web Producer
  • Melissa Nott
    Melissa Nott
    Senior Editor

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