SmartWater is a brand of bottled water produced by the Glaceau company — the same company that makes those colorful VitaminWaters. I was surprised to learn Glaceau is a subsidiary of Coca-Cola. But what makes SmartWater so special? Is it really any different from regular water? Here’s what we know:
- SmartWater is “vapor distilled” water. From what I can understand, pretty much all water is vapor distilled, meaning it originally came from clouds.
- According to their website, most SmartWater is procured from “municipal water systems.” Read, “tap water.”
- Then the SmartWater goes through Glaceau’s proprietary filtration process, that removes just about everything from the water except two H’s and an O.
- SmartWater then adds back in the electrolytes calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and potassium bicarbonate “for taste.” I think the “for taste” part is important because the nutrition label still reads 0 mg of sodium, and the amounts of electrolytes added have essentially zero “gatorade-effect”. In fact, the amount of electrolytes found in SmartWater is less than in other brands of “non-electrolyte-added” bottled waters. Two independent taste-testers (Bryn and I) could not taste any difference between SmartWater and Brita-filtered tap water.
- They write in all lower case letters, which definitely seems trendy even if not necessarily “smart.”
It seems like the water in the SmartWater bottle isn’t anything amazing. It’s not going to raise your IQ or replenish your body of lost nutrients any more than any other water would.
So what really makes SmartWater smart?
Its business of course!
- Globally, bottled water is a $100 billion dollar industry.
- Glaceau has found a “smart” way to buy tap water for a national average price of $0.002/gallon, clean it up, and sell it for more than $5/gallon. A 250,000% markup makes for an insanely profitable business.
- By calling it SmartWater, Glaceau is basically calling every other bottled water brand StupidWater. If you’re buying bottled water (arguably not the smartest activity to begin with), are you going to pick the regular bottled water or the SmartWater? Good choice, Einstein.