So, you know those anti-fizzy drink memes you see getting shared on social media?
The ones with pictures of your favourite carbonated beverages, lined up next to the piles of sugar cubes that the meme-makers claim are their equivalents?
Those annoy me immensely. Let’s get real: if you’re drinking a brown, fizzy, sugary-sweet substance, you were hardly doing it for the health benefits, right?
I’ve written before about my love for Coca-Cola: I love the aesthetic of the brand, which fits right into my 1950s diner kitchen daydreams; and frankly I love the taste of it. An ice cold Coca-Cola, poured slowly into a chilled glass full of perfectly-cubed ice on a hot summer’s day? Yes please. In moderation, of course.
Imagine my distress, therefore, when I was told I was going to have to seriously restrict my intake of my favourite drink on health grounds. In my case, it has little to do with the sugar content (thereby ruling out that vile, chemical swill they dare to label as “diet” Coke as any kind of poor replacement). No – my problem is that enamel erosion at the back of my front teeth makes any kind of fizzy drink a bad idea. Although I can get away with using a straw if I desperately need my sugar-and-caffeine fix.
Now, I’m not one of those people who moans about how they don’t like the taste of water. Like, it literally tastes of nothing. How can you not like it? During the day, particularly when I’m at work with access to chilled filtered water on tap, I’m super hydrated and happy as can be. But it’s nice to have access to a tasty, healthy alternative – particularly when lunchtime rolls around.
As is often the case with things that seem to inexplicably be everywhere all of a sudden – tragic hipster that I am – I am deeply suspicious of the purported health benefits of coconut, at least in its oil or water forms. It doesn’t help that, to me at least, coconut water simply doesn’t taste of coconut – not in the way that a bottle of Malibu does, anyway. So I confess that when a hamper full of Vita Coco drinks* showed up on my doorstep a few months ago, it took me a good few weeks to actually try any.
Although Vita Coco comes in a range of fruit flavours, neither of the ones I tried (pineapple; and a peach and mango variety I had such high hopes for) were strong enough to take away from the quite frankly weird aftertaste of the coconut water itself. Seriously – I can’t tell you what it tastes of. Only that I don’t like it. Which also puts paid to any thought of using up the original in some kind of cocktail or other, which was the first thing that sprung to mind when I saw how many cartons of the stuff the company had very generously sent me.
I did like one of the drinks though, almost in spite of myself: the iced cafe latte variety, which was lovely and creamy without having the heaviness of similar pre-prepared cold coffee drinks. You’ll probably never catch me loading up my supermarket trolley with cartons of the stuff, but I wouldn’t rule it out as part of a meal deal or something if the notion struck me – as long as they take the snide “bikini friendly” nonsense off the side of the carton, anyway.
It’s a trade-off, I guess, between packing your drink with empty calories and leaving them out at the expense of flavour. But it’s a trade-off that Vithit*, a health drinks brand from Ireland that I’m now starting to see pop up all over the place, seems to have gotten exactly right. Available in six flavours, each of which contains a different blend of teas and vitamins aimed at a different health and wellness purpose, Vithit drinks are really tasty – and every one of them clocks in at 35 calories or less.
Although I was sent a couple of different varieties to try, the Immunitea blend was a fast favourite. Dragonfruit, yuzu fruit and Ceylon tea are blended together for a smoky yet fruity, unusual flavour, while the drink also contains 100% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of seven vitamins plus zinc and vitamin C. I’m not normally one to fall for spin, but – placebo or not – this drink made me feel so much better as I was fighting off a cold while hurrying to meet several pre-holiday deadlines that I went straight out to buy a second bottle once I finished it. The mandarin and green tea Detox blend is great too – really refreshing, even if I refuse to vouch for the health benefits.
Have you tried either of these drinks? What did you think?
This post contains PR samples, but all views are my own and unbiased.