In this blog post, I’ll review the question of whether Smart Water is healthy or not? Find out what this product’s nutrition pros and cons are, plus some healthier alternatives you may wish to consider.

smart water bottles stacked on each other.

Smart Water Facts 

Smart Water first appeared in 1996 as a premium-quality bottled water that is “vapor-distilled with added electrolytes to give it a crisp, pure taste.” Vapor distillation is a type of distillation process to filter water.

Energy Brands, a subsidiary of the Coca-Cola company, owns Smart Water.

Energy Brands created Smart Water for “people interested in healthy living and healthy hydration.” The nutrition label states that the water contains zero calories and tiny amounts of calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and potassium bicarbonate. 

In 2019, the brand added two new lines of water, Smart Water Alkaline and Smart Water Antioxidant. The range grew to include flavored and infused options.

Smart Water is now available in the following variations:

  • Smartwater Alkaline
  • Smartwater Antioxidant
  • Smartwater Cucumber Lime
  • Smartwater Passionfruit Mango
  • Smartwater Pineapple Kiwi
  • Smartwater Strawberry Blackberry
  • Smartwater + Clarity
  • Smartwater + Renew
  • Smartwater + Support
  • Smartwater + Tranquility
water being poured into a glass from a bottle.

Smart Water Ingredients

Smart Water is vapor-distilled water. It also contains calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and potassium bicarbonate as electrolyte sources.

The electrolytes are added for taste and do not make a significant nutritional impact. Smart Water Alkaline and Antioxidant also contain selenium, and Smart Water + Support contains added zinc.

Here are some of the major ingredients found in Smart Water.

Natural Flavors

There is no formal definition of “natural flavors,” and they may include lab-produced flavoring.

Smart Water is flavored with fruit, flower, and plant essences derived from various fruits, ashwagandha, ginseng, green tea, and dandelion. These essences are obtained by heating the fruits and plants or using enzymes to extract their flavor compounds.

Natural flavors enhance taste, but it’s not enough to contribute nutritional value to the water.

Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is an inorganic compound and a common ingredient in bottled water. It’s added as an electrolyte to improve the water’s taste but does not have significant nutritional value in such small quantities. 

Calcium chloride is also used for making cheese, brewing beer, and as a firming aid in canned vegetables like pickles. It is a preservative, and if you ingest it in large quantities, it can have a harmful effect on the human body. 

small bits of calcium chloride on a gray background.
Calcium chloride.

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride is an inorganic compound used in medicine as a source of magnesium essential for cell health, muscles, bones, nerves, and the heart. It has numerous health benefits if you consume enough of it.  

In this product, the amount of magnesium chloride added improves the taste of the water, but it does not provide any significant nutritional value.

Real foods like pumpkin seeds, almonds, and spinach contain high concentrations of magnesium chloride.

Potassium Bicarbonate

Potassium bicarbonate is an inorganic compound essential for heart health, muscle function, and bone health. It supports the ability of muscles to contract and can improve digestive health. 

Studies show that potassium bicarbonate can be beneficial in preventing and treating osteoporosis. In small quantities, like in Smart Water, potassium bicarbonate has no significant nutritional value.

You can get potassium bicarbonate in real foods like avocados, bananas, spinach, and potatoes.

Selenium

Selenium has a multitude of health benefits, including supporting healthy thyroid function, improving hair and nail growth, and boosting the immune system.

It is also a powerful antioxidant that can help people with coronary heart disease. 

You can get selenium from brazil nuts, seafood, and organ meats. Too much selenium can cause health problems like hair loss, digestive issues, muscle tremors, and respiratory distress.

Smart Water Alkaline and Antioxidant contains 10% of the recommended daily allowance of selenium, so it’s important not to have too many servings per day. 

selenium on a periodic table.

Zinc

Zinc is a trace mineral, so the body only needs small amounts of it. It’s essential for creating DNA, growing cells, building proteins, and supporting a healthy immune system.

You can naturally get zinc from meat, seafood, poultry, and plant foods like whole grains and legumes.

Smart Water + Support contains 20% of the recommended daily allowance for zinc. 

Nutrition Pros 

Smart Water does not contain artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors and has zero calories.

It is also sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free and does not contain allergens like eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, artificial colors, or wheat.

Smart bottles provide hydration because it’s water. Bottle water brands can help remind people to drink enough water and maintain hydration levels because the bottles are portable and convenient.

And, of course, drinking water is always a better option than drinking sugar-sweetened beverages like soda or soft drinks.

Additionally, filtered water brands can help reduce heavy metals and other contaminants from tap water. See my related article on the benefits of reverse osmosis water.

Nutrition Cons

Although Smart Water is likely not an unhealthy product, but it is expensive and comes in a plastic bottle. It’s generally always best to use a glass bottle for your water to avoid microplastics. Plastic water bottles are also very wasteful and not good for the environment.

It’s also important to note that people with kidney disease should avoid alkaline water unless advised otherwise by your healthcare provider.

Additionally, it is possible to have too much daily water intake. Speak to your doctor or healthcare provider if you have questions about your daily hydration needs.

You may also like my article, Is Blk Water Good for You?

water being poured into a glass.

FAQs

Is Smart Water healthy?

Smart Water is water, so it’s healthy and a better choice than some of the available sports drinks. However, it is not more beneficial or nutritious than most other bottled water options. 

Regular water, pure water, purified water, reverse osmosis water, mineral water or plain water are probably just as healthy as Smart Water. That said, it’s important not to consume too much water.

Can I buy Smart Water in a glass bottle?

No, it’s only available in a recyclable plastic bottle. It’s likely always better and more earth-friendly to use containers that can be used repeatedly, like glass bottles. 

The best Smart Water bottles would be stainless steel or glass, but they are only available in plastic right now.

Is Smart Water a sports drink?

No, it’s not a sports drink. The electrolytes contained in Smart Water are not enough for it to replenish electrolytes lost during exercise or physical activity.

It’s better to choose real food ingredients and make a sports drink homemade if you need more electrolytes. Or, just drink regular drinking water with a pinch of sea salt which would be a great choice with fewer calories than sports drinks.

Is it good to drink alkaline water with meals?

It’s okay to have a little alkaline water with meals, but it’s best to drink larger quantities of it 30 minutes before or around an hour or two after your meal.

Although having alkaline water is not a health risk, your stomach needs acid to digest food, and the alkalinity in the water can decrease acidity in the stomach. 

Conclusions

Although Smart Water is a better choice than most sports drinks on the market, it’s always best to use real food ingredients to make your own sports drinks at home if you need additional electrolytes. Smart Water is expensive if you only need hydration without added electrolytes, and it only comes in plastic bottles. However, some people who like the brand choose it because of its crisp, pure taste.

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About the Author: Carrie Forrest has a master’s degree in public health with a specialty in nutrition. She is a top wellness and food blogger with nearly 10 million annual visitors to her site. Carrie has an incredible story of recovery from chronic illness and is passionate about helping other women transform their health. Send Carrie a message through her contact form.

Note: this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations related to your individual situation.