It’s More Watery Than Water

On a recent journey through Wal*targ the other day, while passing rows of cheap plastic crap from Asian netherworlds, I came across an aisle marker that read “Enhanced Water”.  What the heck?  Isn’t every drinkable liquid simply enhanced water?  Orange juice is water enhanced by oranges.  Coffee is water enhanced by coffee grounds.  Mud is water enhanced by dirt.  Eye of the beholder, no?

But that lead me to think about these so called energy drinks.  Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster, whatever.   People are going crazy for this enhanced sugar and caffeine water.  Researchers have actually called them a “gateway drug” due to the high caffeine content.  Gateway drug! 

Back up a smidge Chicken Little.  Whether or not these drinks enhance any performance is besides the point…but calling the amount of caffeine in these drinks a gateway drug, you’d better stick a warning sign up on all the Starbucks in town as well.  Most of these drinks are similar in caffeine content to your decaf mocha crapochino with lite whip.  Is that cup of brewed enhanced sugar and caffeine water a gateway drug too?

I’m not condoning over use of caffeine or sugar but talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  Don’t lose your heads over this one.  What’s the take home point? If you don’t want your kids to down shots of double espresso, you should probably limit their intake of other enhanced waters as well.

Have an opinion on this?  I’d love to hear it.


  1. Dr. Gray said,

    September 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Hey, Doc, good blog. Just found you today, and am looking forward to collaborating.

    Although the caffeine is definitely a neurological stimulant, I think it has become a scapegoat. Obviously, taken in amounts beyond moderation, the consequences will begin to outweigh the benefits. Whether there are any true health benefits from caffeine can be debated, but natural caffeine has been used for health purposes throughout the centuries.

    In my research, I’ve found the biggest negative ingredient in these and similar drinks is the excessive amount of sugars, sweeteners, artificial additives, and other chemicals. Sugar being the main culprit, these drinks lead to significant complications in the metabolic system, as well as the cardiovascular system.

    Back to your point… I agree that we don’t need to go overboard in reacting to these things. However, I do believe it is necessary for parents to teach their children about moderation and healthy choices.

    Check out my blog at Hopefully, we can begin assisting each other in carrying these messages to our patients.

    Dr. Gray

  2. David Hill said,

    September 24, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    I guess smog is enhanced air. Great post!

  3. Irv Salisbury said,

    November 2, 2008 at 3:24 am

    First, a disclaimer. I don’t have medical training beyond 4 years of college. So, this is only anecdotal evidence with a bunch of internet research….

    When I was in high school, I first read about the negative effects of caffeine. I was at least a 3-4 coke a day person (coca cola that is) During my week of giving it up, I was amazed at what my body went through. Not only did I have nighttime sweats and shakes, I had anxiety attacks, mild chest pain, and had difficulty in sleeping. After this first week, I was more energetic than I ever was.

    One negative of giving up caffeine is that if I have even a very small dose of caffeine now, it has a huge impact on my body. Now, this can be used to my benefit. If I have a late night that is necessary, often half of a pepsi is all it takes to “rev my engine”.

    I recently watched a friend who had been a huge long time “diet coke addict” give it up. He went through what I went through and then some.

    Not really sure what everyone’s definition of drug is, but I can tell you caffeine has a definite drug like effect on my body and many others I have witnessed.

    If you are unsure, and you have a few coffee’s a day, give it up and see for yourself. From my experience in watching many people go through it, it takes on week to work it out of your system. Your body will naturally pick up the slack and you will never look back.

  4. January 16, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    […] in September I wrote about enhanced water (It’s More Watery Than Water).  Looks like the Coca-Cola is now going to have a little trouble with their VitaminWater […]

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