Have you heard? The creator of bullet-proof coffee has just come up with a new drink – FATwater (www.fatwater.com). The website claims that this $4 bottle of water will “give you powerful hydration you can feel and clean burning energy from quality fat.”
Save your money! I think it’s a ripoff. Let’s take a look at the ingredients – and the claims (from a science perspective, rather than a marketing one…designed to thin your wallet, not your waist):
- Purified water – whoop-de-do! While it sounds much better than “water”, this is the same stuff we get in a bottle at the grocery store for about 12 cents (when we buy a 24-pack)…water that has been mechanically filtered or processed to remove impurities.
- Artificial sweeteners xylitol and stevia. While the website claims these have a “zero glycemic index”, realize that ANY zero-calorie sweetener ranks zero on the glycemic scale. So, saccharine and aspartame are also zero.
- B vitamins are added to the bottles (not the packets). The website claims that, “B vitamins support our body’s energy production and normal function of the nervous system.” Sure, any nutrition textbook will tell you that’s the function of B vitamins. But, don’t get sucked into thinking that if you take MORE B vitamins than you need you’ll have MORE energy. It doesn’t work that way. The reason why many of us don’t have energy, is not because of a deficiency of B-vitamins (that’s rare). If you’re really worried about not getting enough B vitamins in your diet, then get a wide spectrum of nutrients from a 100% multi vitamin/mineral supplement for just pennies!
- Medium-chain triglycerides from coconut oil – The website claims that these fats are “easily and quickly absorbed and do not need enzymes and bile to make them absorbable” and that they are “absorbed in the small intestine into the portal vein” and “travel to the liver”. Does that impress you? It shouldn’t. That’s the way ALL medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are absorbed. In fact, MCT have been used for decades in the treatment of fat malabsorption (and it’s rare to have a malabsorption problem…if you did, you’d be suffering from severe diarrhea and weight loss). The rest of us have no problems using enzymes and bile to absorb fats. Truth is, the drink has just 20 calories worth of fat. But, since the average intake of fat is 34% of our total calories, do we really need more?
Finally, let’s talk about this elusive thing called “energy”. Energy is defined as the “ability to do work” (for humans, it’s about keeping our brain, muscles, liver, etc working…keeping us alive and functioning). Energy comes from food and drink that have calories. (Look it up: “calories” are simply a measurement of energy). But let’s face it, since 2/3 of all Americans are overweight or obese, we’re already eating more calories (or “energy”) than we need in a day, and every holiday teaches us that eating more calories never makes us feel “energetic.” So, will this drink give you “energy”…well, it DOES have calories. But will FATwater make you feel more energetic? Fat chance!
Dr. Jo Lichten is a PhD nutritionist, registered dietitian, professional speaker, and author of REBOOT – how to power up your energy, focus, and productivity (http://amzn.to/1xVbaqt). To find out about how to power up your energy by making small changes in the way you eat, think, move, and sleep, check out www.DrJo.com.