Vitamin drinks might be too much of a good thing
It is an $18 billion a year industry in the U.S. and growing- drinks that advertise high levels of vitamins and antioxidants. You might think you're making a healthy choice. But some nutrition experts are sounding the alarm, warning you could be consuming too much of a good thing. It's hard to miss the explosion of vitamin infused drinks on store shelves. Some promise improved energy, focus and immune function, thanks to a massive boost of antioxidants and vitamins. We asked Mercy family physician Steven King to look at the ingredients of several vitamin and antioxidant infused drinks. "Well the caffeine jumps out at me," said Dr. King. As a recent study points out, many of those drinks have vitamins like B6, B12, and niacin in quantities well in excess of the average daily requirements, sometimes double or even triple that amount. While vitamins are good for you, Dr King says you're much better off getting them from whole foods. "You know, fruits, vegetables," said Dr. King. "Those things are what our bodies know how to process." With half of adults already taking a daily vitamin, add in these drinks, and some nutrition scientists warn consuming too much of certain fat soluble vitamins could be potentially harmful as they can accumulate in your tissues. They also warn too many antioxidants can throw off a delicate balance with free radicals in your body. Dr. King says it would take consuming a massive amount, not just an occasional vitamin drink, to cause any harm."I wouldn't say it's bad for you," Dr. King said. "I would say it's not optimal." Dr. King's biggest concern with the drinks we showed him is all the sugar and sugar substitutes loaded into them. And he urges parents to pay particularly close attention to the amount of caffeine. "I would be concerned with children drinking these and thinking these could be a healthy drink for a child," he said. Added vitamins are good for certain people, like women who are pregnant or nursing and those with specific deficiencies. Vitamin D is a common deficiency.