Examining claims and myths of detox water


Photo Credit: Wikimediacommons

by Olivia Traphagen, Senior Staff Writer

Detox water is all the talk, or is it all talk?

Detox water claims to cleanse the body and rid it from the toxic chemicals consumed in everyday lives. Not only does it taste great, but it supposedly makes the consumer feel great too.

Some nutritionists are supportive of detox waters and teas, yet others find the claims doubtful, saying that there is a huge difference between facts and popular myths.

Sara Cowlan is a nutritionist from Glen Rock and has her own practice in New York City. She believes that self-care is living an overall healthy lifestyle and that detox water is not all its made out to be. Movement, sleep, being with friends and family, laughing, kindness, and keeping a balanced diet throughout the day are all a part of living a healthy lifestyle.

For her, detox water’s health claims all boil down to water.

“They make far too many health claims like improving mood, flushing toxins, water weight loss, and release fat cells among others. Yes, you will get filled up and feel better if you are hydrated, period,” Cowlan said.

She explained that adding fruit would be beneficial mainly because it would influence people to stay better hydrated.

“Most of the benefits come from drinking more water. If infusing it with fruits or other for flavor and you drink more, then it’s good for your body,” said Cowlan.

Drinking detox water may be comparable to plain water, but it certainly is a healthier option than very sugary drinks.

A regular bottle of Gatorade contains 32 ounces of sugar, while a can of soda contains 40 grams. Detox water contains only natural sugars from fruit. It is also simple for students to make before school starts and easy to replenish during the day from a hydration station.

Some students at Glen Rock High School stay hydrated by bringing their own detox waters to class.

“I drink detox water to help my body and keep my body hydrated. It has additional benefits over regular water and tastes better. I have a glass every morning and then have a water bottle of it during the day,” said junior Sydney Carr.

Yet Cowlan adds that the benefits of drinking more infused water may be balanced out by the amount the additives make one have to urinate.

“Water loss comes from the diuretic effect of some of the things they add, like watermelon and cucumber,” Cowlan said.

On the flip side, there are purported health benefits of the additives.

The liver and kidneys have the ability to detoxify in the body, which are reputedly assisted by the additives in detox water. Fiber and herbs can remove toxins in the body, and fiber can bind to cholesterol and take it out of blood. Herbs also can act as diuretics or stimulate the intestines.

Other students, however, agree with Cowlan. Detox water may just be a flavorful goodness for normal water, but staying hydrated and healthy is more important.

“You should drink normal water because it’s very healthy for you,” said junior Kevin Callahan.