Is Flavoured Water Good For You?

Fruity, sweet and delicious – is it any wonder that flavoured water has surged in popularity in the UK? The fact it presents itself as a healthier alternative to traditional sugary beverages is just another plus point in its corner. 

With supermarket shelves and social media feeds brimming with bottles that tout everything from fat loss to enhanced focus, it’s hard to ignore the flavoured water trend. But what really lies behind these vibrant labels? Is flavoured water the solution to hydration woes, or does this trend carry hidden drawbacks? 

Here, we delve into the world of flavoured water, examining both commercially available and homemade versions. We’ll explore what flavoured water is, its potential health benefits, and any concerns it may raise. 

Whether you’re a health enthusiast considering ditching sugary sodas or simply curious about this fashionable drink, join us as we look to the facts to determine whether flavoured water is good for you. 

What is flavoured water? 

Flavoured water is essentially water enhanced with aromas from fruit, herbs, or artificial flavours. It’s designed to provide a more appealing option for those who may not enjoy the taste of plain water, aiming to increase fluid intake through a more delicious and palatable experience. There are two main varieties of flavoured water: commercially produced and homemade. 

Commercially produced flavoured water 

Several different brands manufacture these drinks, which are readily available to shop from the shop shelves. They often contain added flavours, both natural and artificial, and sometimes they will include things like sweeteners and preservatives to enhance the taste and the shelf life. 

  • Naturally Flavoured: These waters are infused with extracts and oils derived from fruits, herbs, and other natural sources. They tend to avoid sweeteners or contain only natural ones like stevia, aiming to offer a health-conscious product.
  • Artificially Flavoured: Some flavoured waters contain synthetic flavours and added sweeteners like sucralose or aspartame, which can mimic the taste of natural ingredients but at a lower cost and with longer shelf stability.
  • Enhanced Water: Some flavoured waters are also enhanced with vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, or even oxygen to cater to specific health needs or boost physical performance.

Homemade flavoured water 

This version involves infusing plain water with natural ingredients, such as slices of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Popular ingredients include:

  • Fruits: Lemon, lime, orange, berries, watermelon, and grapefruit
  • Vegetables: Cucumber and celery
  • Herbs and Spices: Mint, basil, ginger, and lavender

This method allows for complete control over the ingredients, avoiding the additives and sugars that can sometimes be present in commercial products. 

The Benefits of Flavoured Water

Flavoured water offers several advantages that make it an appealing choice for those wanted to increase their water intake, without resorting to sugary or artificially sweetened beverages. 

Here are some of the key benefits associated with flavoured water: 

Enhanced hydration 

Thanks to the variety of flavours available, flavoured water can make hydration more enjoyable, especially for those who find plain water unappealing. For those who don’t drink enough fluids in the day, flavoured water is a great option to up your water intake. 

What’s more, flavoured water can satisfy the craving for a sweet drink without the high sugar content of fizzy drinks and fruit juices. 

Low in calories 

Many flavoured waters are low in calories or have zero calories, which makes them ideal for weight management compared to high-calorie drinks. 

Replacing high-calorie drinks with low—or no-calorie flavoured water can reduce overall calorie intake, which is beneficial for weight loss. 

Variety of options 

From citrus fruits to berries and even herbs like mint and lavender, there is a wide range of options available to cater to different taste preferences. 

Making your own homemade flavoured water also allows you to have complete control over the ingredients, allowing you to create a flavour suited entirely to your palate. 

Nutrition enhancements 

Some manufactured flavoured waters are fortified with vitamins and minerals that can contribute to your daily nutritional intake. 

Certain types of flavoured water contain electrolytes, which are beneficial to hydration, particularly during sports and physical activities. 

Dental Health 

Most flavoured waters are lower in sugar than fizzy drinks and juices, which is beneficial for dental health as it reduces the risk of cavities and tooth decay. 

Potential downsides of flavoured water 

While flavoured water can be a beneficial hydration option, it’s not without its drawbacks. Understanding these can help you make informed choices about incorporating flavoured water into your diet. 

Here are some potential downsides of flavoured water to consider: 

Additives and sweeteners 

Some flavoured waters contain artificial flavours and sweeteners, which can be a concern for those who need to avoid synthetic substances because of health or dietary reasons. 

Research has shown that artificial sweeteners may have adverse effects, including potential impact on gut health and glucose metabolism. For instance, some studies suggest that artificial sweeteners may disrupt the body’s ability to process sugar and control glucose levels, though results are mixed, and more research is needed. 

Dental health concerns 

Flavoured waters, particularly citrus flavours, are acidic because they contain citric acid or similar additives. Over time, this can erode tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. A study by the British Dental Journal noted that regular consumption of acidic drinks is a major cause of dental erosion. 


Buying flavoured water can be significantly more expensive than drinking tap water, especially if you consume it regularly. The cost will add up over time, making it a less economical choice compared to plain water. 

Environmental impact 

Buying flavoured water contributes to plastic waste, as they are often sold in single-use plastic bottles. This environmental impact concerns waste management and pollution, as plastic bottles are a major contributor to ocean and landfill waste. 

The production, packaging, and transportation of bottled flavoured water involve significant carbon emissions, which contribute to climate change. 

Misleading health claims

Some brands of flavoured water might make health claims that can be misleading. For example, vitamins added to water are often in such small amounts that they don’t significantly benefit health. You might be misled into thinking that these types of drinks are more beneficial than they are. 

Is flavoured water good for you? 

Flavoured water, thanks to its variety of flavours and potential health benefits, offers a refreshing alternative to sugary drinks and plain water. It can play a significant role in enhancing hydration, providing dietary variety without excessive calories, and even contributing positively to nutritional intake when vitamins and minerals are added. However, like most food and drink, it comes with caveats. 

The potential downsides, which come from the inclusion of artificial sweeteners and additives, environmental concerns and misleading health claims, mean that you should enjoy with caution. 

Like most shop-bought items, you should read labels carefully, look for products with natural ingredients and no added sugars, and consider the environmental impact of your purchases. 

Making flavoured water at home is an excellent way to enjoy all the benefits while controlling the ingredients and sidestepping the negatives like plastic waste and unnecessary additives. 

Ultimately, whether flavoured water is good for you comes down to your choices. By selecting wisely and consuming in moderation, flavoured water can indeed be a part of a healthy and hydrated lifestyle. It’s about finding the right balance that works for you—enhancing taste without compromising health. 

So, go ahead, infuse some water with your favourite slices of fruits and herbs, and hydrate yourself deliciously and healthfully.