Our team rated the waters on nutrition, taste, and packaging.
Sugary drinks are out, and flavored water is in—big time. Just two years ago, sparkling water sales rose by 22 percent, according to a Neilsen report; and market research forecasts sales of $24.4 billion by 2023, which would be a 29 percent growth from 2018. But it’s not just the fizzy stuff that’s having a moment. Flat waters now come in a whole host of interesting flavors like blood orange, cherry blackberry, and strawberry-kiwi (yum). With all the H2O options in the beverage aisle, which should you sip?
To help you choose, we decided to pit eight top brands against each other. I gave the waters a nutrition score based on their ingredients, and a team of thirsty Health editors rated them from 1 to 10 for taste, as well as packaging. Our overall champion turned out to be a bubbly water, but we tested and scored still waters too, since not everyone can handle carbonation. (It can trigger bloating and burping in some folks.) Read on to see how the rankings shook out.
But remember, while flavored waters do contribute to hydration, you should still rely on good old plain H20 as your main source of fluid. Think of these flavored waters as extras, or alternatives to products that contain sweeteners (real or artificial).
Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health's contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a nutrition consultant for the New York Yankees.