July 20, 2015

When Life Give You Lemons...

By Crabby McSlacker

Yes, it's time for another petulant post! This one is about an evil product I buy sometimes, one that totally pisses me off.

So why is it an incredibly stupid and annoying product?  And if it is indeed an abomination, why am I such a dumbass that I'd buy it in the first place?

The Evil Temptation of Zero-Cal Lemonade-Flavored Glaceau Vitamin Water:

It is almost the sort of beverage I could really enjoy drinking, without incurring too much guilt:
  • I like the taste. It's like lemonade. Not quite as good, too weak to be truly delicious, but not bad.
  • It's low cal and sugar free.  Do I need to be quaffing a sugar-filled recreational beverage? I do not.
  • The water is sweetened with stevia and erythritol, not sucralose. Sucraclose can screw around with gut bacteria. Also, artificial sweeteners have been linked to weight gain, which, WTF? That makes no sense! But whatever, enough studies have come in now that it seems to be a thing. I haven't (yet) seem similar studies on natural low cal sweeteners like erythritol and stevia, so fingers crossed.
  • I'm 55 years old, and despite decades of trying, I have not yet convinced myself that plain water, with or without a squeeze of lemon, is any fun at all. Sure, I down plenty of it, but tasty alternatives are nice to have.

Why Vitamin Water Zero is an Asinine Thing to Purchase Generally, and Glaceau's Is a Particularly Bad Choice.

We do not need vitamins in our water.  Who thinks this is a good idea? Not experts on nutrition.  But consumer-sheep have been indoctrinated to think adding vitamins to things means you don't have to eat real foods like kale and brussels sprouts, and they think, cool, I'd rather drink a fruity beverage than eat vegetables any day! Bring it on!

But some vitamins taken as supplements are worse than others. Remember Tiffany's post about the dangers of antioxidant supplements?

So what does my pseudo-lemonade naturally sweetened beverage contain?  Among other unnecessary additives, they go out of their way to include...

Vitamin A and Vitamin E!!! Studies are starting to show that taking Vitamins A and E supplements is linked with increased cancer risk.

Gee, thanks Glaceau!

Glaceau is a subsidiary of Coca Cola, gosh, do you think they have the resources to consult scientists and find out if it's a good idea to add Vitamin A or Vitamin E to their water? Of course they do! But they leave it in there anyway, because to many uninformed consumers, it sounds healthier.

At least some naturally-sweetened vitamin-water hawkers limit their additives to mostly relatively benign water-soluble vitamins like B's and C. SoBe's Life Water has some like this; unfortunately they don't have a flavor I like as quite as much as the Evil Glaceau Lemonade.

Why Can't They Sell Low-Cal, Naturally-Sweetened Beverages that Are at Not Pumped Up With Any Vitamins At All?

Just askin'. Seriously, why is this so hard? Am I the only one who wouldn't mind a reasonably healthy sweetened beverage to drink on occasion?

A Better Alternative:

When I'm not feeling too lazy, I sometimes squeeze a lemon or two into some water and add stevia, plus a little monk fruit if I have it around. (But monkfruit isn't quite as sweet as stevia and it gets expensive to use enough to really sweeten things.)  It's a pretty low-cal beverage: the first source I googled said the juice of a lemon only had 12 calories, and a lemon is an actual real food: bonus!

But alas, often I am indeed too lazy to bother, or I want something to take with me on the road, and it just seems easier to grab a couple of bottles of the evil stuff when it goes on sale. Sigh.

So, dear Glaceau/Coca-Cola people:  could you please stop being such asshats and just take the f--cking vitamins out of your lemonade?  Thanks!!! --Your pal, Crabby.

Are you guys all virtuous plain-water drinkers, or do you have any favorite alternatives?


  1. Death Ride GrandmaJuly 20, 2015 at 12:41 PM

    Yeah, it's annoying, but I sort of doubt anyone actually takes in enough to get hurt. I have managed to get myself over to the plain water side - took years, but I actually really dislike all sodas now, and I don't really care about other flavored drinks. What I now like: sparkling waters, but if I drink too much, they irritate my stomach a bit. Sigh. I do really depend on ice and lemon in my tap water, though. We were out of lemons this morning and I almost had to go back to bed! Oh, and on a hot day after a long ride, I just order plain old lemonade and don't worry about the sugar.

  2. I usually drink plain --filtered--water. But when I want a beverage put out by the Coca Cola company I go with Coke. It's a stomach settler and will prevent a person from getting many of the interesting digestive disease whilst travelling.

    1. Stomach settler? [boggle] As a lifelong hater of fizzy stuff, I am on a different planet here.

    2. I love coke even though I know it's bad for you. But what I find fascinating is that minus the added fizz (C02) and at room temperature, it is a completely unpalatable drink!

  3. I drink a ton of water, and plain doesn't bother me in the slightest. We won't talk about the diet soda monkey I have on my back. I should probably cut down. (I'm not kidding myself that I'll give it up - I've done it for challenges, but it never sticks forever, so let's be realistic.)

  4. My mind started to wander reading this post and started to equate it to when I get mad buying store cookies when I know it is better when I make them (better tasting...better for you? Debatable). Ha! Not really even in the same category. Anyway, yeah, I drink water. I have no idea if it is virtuous or not, but I do OK with it. I even go through lemon in the water stages. :)

  5. I drink straight water on my hikes in my hydration pack. I wouldn't want to put in anything that might grow stuff in there. And the rest of the time I drink coffee and tea, mostly. Oh, and beer. :-)

  6. I think that's the product that 50 Cent made 50 million dollars investing in!

    I had the same thought you did just before I scrolled the page :-)

  7. Yes, i drink plain water, all the time. Since i started doing that over 30 years ago, i'm pretty used to it.

  8. Petulance for the win! I'm a water drinker by preference, not for health, but ingredients lists in general drive me mad. Why, manufacturers, why?

  9. Giggling!

    I'm not a vitamin water drinker, as I actually DO enjoy the taste of plain water (after it has sat out for a bit to let the chlorine taste go away) or water with a nice splash of lemon juice added to it... but I definitely have other silly products that I will buy even though I KNOW they're ridiculous.

    I think that important thing is to KNOW that these products aren't actually nutritious (funny that they added fat-soluble vitamins to water... *shakes head*). It's when we THINK that we're doing something that's healthy that it gets frustrating! But awareness is the big thing :) Go with it and enjoy your vitamin water!

  10. I drink water, but I'm fussy about the water I drink; I don't care what anyone says, it does not all taste the same. I don't like any of that de-mineralized, ozonated stuff, which means I tend to be limited. I like Evian. Nestle spring water is good, but I hate to buy that because I know Nestle is kind of evil. (Have never heard anything about Evian, please don't burst my bubble).

    If I'm not drinking water, there's a good chance I'm drinking Coke. You know, the real and sugary stuff. You may be better off with your vitamin water. :)

  11. Oooo. Vitamin Water Zero.... It's my go to when we're out and about, my family has downed all 3 water bottles I've packed, and I refuse to buy bottled water. :D

    I have no problem drinking tons of plain water. I do have a soda addict on my back. I've kicked it pretty well, but every once and again (see: movies, hot summer days) it shows up. I'm also a HUGE sweet tea fan but now that I've found stevia I don't feel so guilty over it. One spoonful of stevia easily replaces 2-3 of plain sugar. And on a really hot summer day my go to is 2 parts sun tea (with a spoonful of stevia), 1 part lemonade, and a shot or two of limoncello. ;)

  12. Plain water is my second favourite. My first is mineral water and I prefer San Pellegrino. Hopefully they listen to you and take the vitamins out!

  13. I buy some of the flavored waters at the Walmart type stores with no calories a s a treat at night but I try to drink the plain stuff during the day.. I agree - flavor is better! :) Sometimes I put a couple drops of flavored stevia in it.

  14. NO WAY. I had no idea about the Vitamin A & E supplementation either.
    For some reason the Vitamin Water always tastes like punishment to me...and thats saying a LOT.

  15. I've never tried any of the vitamin waters; I figured they wouldn't taste good. And I am one of the weird folks who loves plain water--preferably ice cold! It feels so good going down cold. And I hate it when restaurant folks put lemons in my water. But you know what is good? A cucumber slice in water. Seriously. I probably drink a gallon of water a day. I don't drink many diet sodas any more. I replaced those with San Pellegrino (yep, Kimberly, I love 'em too!). But I did find myself wondering while reading this why I stopped making iced tea with stevia. Love that too!
    And is too early for that bottle of wine in my fridge? Hmm. . . I should probably at least work out first, right?

  16. Hi Crabby!
    I didn't know a lot of that interesting background info, thanks!

    My take is a little different - when I drink something like that, even if it tastes good and won't cause immediate pleurisy, I feel stupid for responding to that sort of advertising. And I don't like that, the idea of neurons wasting away. So I might grab one if I'm en route somewhere and on the verge of dehydration collapse, but that's the only time.

    With other types of diet drinks, the universe is defending me: I tried Nutrasweet drinks and some variants, and it gives me loads of agita (Italian for OMG my stomach is burning!), so no way, Giuseppe! :) It's apparently not the substance itself but the ingredients that go with it, the little evil delivery system, so to speak.

    I also drink lots of water. And it's largely as boring to me as it is to the whole gang. If it's very cold, I have less trouble with the boredom factor. The lemon thing is great for me because I'm one of those odd people who love sour things, particularly lemons and limes. When I crave some sugar, I might drink a glass of water rapidly, then have 1/3 of a glass of orange juice, which is incredibly sweet.


  17. I think they think consumers are lazy - like rather than actually eat my vitamins I can just drink this water and I'm all good. I drink seltzer or plain water (lemon or lime in my seltzer if I'm getting fancy). Lisa at RunWiki makes her own electrolyte drinks with coconut water and fruit!


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