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Best Drink Brands

2012 Food Awards

Although water is usually the best option when it comes to healthier beverages, sometimes you just want something different with a lot more flavor. Soda and energy drinks are definitely not good choices because of all the sugar and chemical additives, but how do other drinks stack up? It is important not to use up a lot of calories for drinks because they are not filling, and too much sugar in a drink is also an easy way to add unneeded calories. With all the flavored waters out there, we knew there had to be one that was perfect.

Nutrition Criteria

< 40 calories, 0 trans fat, 0 saturated fat, 0 sodium, < 10 grams of sugar, and no additives except citric acid, calcium, beta-carotene or vegetables for coloring.


  1. Glacéau Vitamin Water Zero: This is free of calories, sodium, and sugar and includes vitamins C, B6, and B12. It tastes fine, but we actually liked the taste of Kroger's off-brand version better as it was fruitier and left a nicer aftertaste. Vitamin Water uses fruit and vegetable juice for color, which is great, but also adds things like glycerol ester of rosin, which is made from trees. Vitamin Water is naturally sweetened with Truvia, as both brands are owned by Coca-Cola.

  2. Metromint Water: This is a great choice for nutrition, but only if you love the taste of mint. Their Goodberry Mint variety ingredients' list is purified water, mint, and natural berry flavors, and it really has nothing else. No sodium, fat, calories, or sugar made it almost perfect, but the strong flavor was off-putting; we likened it to drinking gum-flavored water.

  3. Cascade Ice Sparkling Water: Is a popular newcomer to the flavored water scene. It is essentially naturally carbonated water and fruit flavor. We tried the organic citrus twist flavor, which tastes similar to Perrier water but with even stronger carbonation. There's nothing negative in this drink so it's a great alternative to a soda when you want something fizzy.

  4. FRS Healthy Energy: This is a fruity drink designed to give you a boost of energy without using unhealthy ingredients. It has 20 calories, 2 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of fiber, interestingly enough. The Peach Mango bottle touts its use of no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, gluten, or GMOs. Unfortunately, we didn't care for the flavor at all.

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