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What is Fitness Water?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Fitness water is now being made and marketed by a number of companies. Among them, probably the best known is Gatorade’s Propel® Fitness Water. If you look, you’ll find numerous other brands, many with a variety of ingredients and flavors, and most with claims that they are superior to drinking plain water.

Some fitness water types are flavored. Propel® for instance, comes in over ten flavors, and it does contain electrolytes, sugar, Splenda® or sucralose and a variety of other ingredients. Other types claim to help with fat burning by adding different herbs. Green tea extract is particularly popular, since it adds some caffeine to the water, which may slightly increase energy and physical output for those who work out.

You do really have to look at some of the different fitness water brands to see what they contain. The SoBe® company’s LifeWater® is hugely different from Propel. If you note nutritional information, LifeWater purports to have 50 calories per serving, yet a bottle of the stuff provides you with 2.5 servings, or essentially 125 calories. Though this water contains vitamins and electrolytes, it’s pretty high in calories as opposed to plain water.

Propel®, in contrast, cuts calories by adding Splenda® and has about 10 calories per serving. Again, there’s more than one serving in a container, so drinking a whole bottle of Propel® will add about 30 calories to your diet. This amount is negligible, but some people are wary of artificial sweeteners, particularly in light of studies performed that suggest diet soda may make people gain weight. Note that most diet sodas studied contained aspartame and not sucralose (Spenda®).

While you can purchase some fitness water by the bottle, other types are available in small packets that can be added to the water of your choosing. This may be a slightly less expensive way to consume this flavored water, and can allow you to use more environmentally friendly metal bottles instead of purchasing more plastic. There has been significant argument over the use of plastic bottles for water of any type, and some cities in the US have banned the sale of plastic bottles.

Some believe that fitness water is just a marketing technique. Others argue that some people simply have trouble drinking water, but will drink more if the water is flavored. If you are using fitness water, do be sure to read the ingredients. You shouldn’t give caffeine-enhanced types to young children, and some herbs in the more “natural” brands, may be of some concern if you have certain medical conditions or on some kinds of medication. For example, if you take the blood thinner Coumadin® (warfarin), you’d want to watch Vitamin K amounts in any type of fitness water you use.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By bmessinger — On Nov 10, 2012

Shaklee Performance (sports drink)has more science behind their product than any other company.

If you read the peer reviewed papers, you'll see that importance of proper hydration for oxygen transport during physically demanding exercise is only the tip of the iceberg.

Electrolytes: to maintain the salts that are missing when one goes into hyponatremia (as you mentioned with unaware marathoners drinking too much water).

Carbohydrates for steady fuel replacement: Three different types to stagger the absorption and burning rates.

See the Daedalus project that the MIT engineers put together, designing the first real human-powered flight. They had to find athletes capable of pedaling the aircraft for the experiment (over the Aegean sea from the island of Crete to Santorini {about 71 miles} as in the fable of Icarus).

Shaklee's team of scientists developed this performance drink so the athletes could perform this feat that turned out to be like running two marathons back-to-back! Talk about the power of proper "hydration"!

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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