5 Bottled Waters That Upgraded to Functional Beverages

By: Nikki Sepe on May 4, 2016

Bottled water is predicted to be the largest growing consumer category in 2016, finally surpassing carbonated, sugar-filled beverages according to Sloan Trends.  After the success and popularity of coconut water’s, beverage companies have been looking to other plants and trees as natural water sources to appeal to customers looking for water with added nutrients and flavors.  Some of the upcoming trends will spice up plain bottled water and appeal to consumers, especially millennials as a flavorful functional beverage. 

1. Flower Infused Water

Fruit-infused water has been in the industry for years, but now waters are popping up with flavors like pomegranate geranium, lemon rose, and grapefruit lilac.  It is common to find teas derived from flowers such as hibiscus or jasmine green tea, or even wine, now bottled as a refreshing beverage.  Flowers can add a unique, natural flavor to a beverage without synthetic additives.  The only downfall, consumers may be deterred by the 11 grams of added sugar in each bottle of Blossom Water sourced from agave nectar and the sugar alcohol, erythritol.

2. Artichoke Water

Normally, I would only see artichokes stuffed with breadcrumbs and baked or mixed into a plate of pasta, but now artichoke water is being marketed as an alternative to coconut water due to it’s claimed health benefits.  Artichokes are filled with nutrients including B vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C, sodium, potassium, iron and calcium.  They contain the antioxidants, cynarin and silymarin, which have been shown to be anti-inflammatory agents, antioxidants and protect the liver(1). 

3. Watermelon Water

Forget a water infusion, this “water” is made from only watermelon flesh, rind and organic lemon.  Watermelon is naturally high in lycopene, a carotenoid associated with the potential to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of prostate cancer while providing essential vitamins, high in vitamin C and providing 60% of the daily value per bottle.  Watermelon also contains the non-essential amino acid, l-citrulline, which is marketed to decrease muscle soreness.  Scientific studies show this amino acid can do more, including increase exercise performance in healthy adults and athletes while also improving the rate of heart rate recovery(2,3,4).  To top it off, watermelon is a great source of potassium and contains 740 mg per serving which can help to improve nutrition for Americans lacking this mineral.

4. Cactus Water

Cactus and Cocnut Water

Water with the addition of 200 mg of prickly pear cactus is rich in, polyphenols, vitamin C, vitamin E,vitamin K, carotenoids, antioxidant compounds, betaxanthin and betacyanin.  The prickly pear cactus contains unique betalains which have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and neuroprotective properties(5).

5. Maple Water

Extracted directly from tapping the sugar maple tree in Vermont, maple water is harvested similarly to the way of maple syrup.  The difference is that instead of boiling down to create the sticky syrup from the sap, it is pasteurized and packaged to create a refreshing functional beverage.   Within the trunk of this tree, the water composition contains a good source of calcium, a high content of manganese, and malic acid.  Malic acid in combination with magnesium has been shown to reduce muscle pain and tenderness and is often used to treat those with fibromyalgia.  Surprisingly, none of the chemical composition and antioxidant content is degraded through pasteurization(6). 

Waters are also available with added turmeric, carbon, fulvic acid, rose and ginger.  The success of these innovative waters leave the bottled water industry open to limitless possibilities.  While some may prefer plain unflavored water, trends are increasing for consumers willing to try something new.  Heard of any other unusual bottled water flavors? Let us know in the comments below!


1. Surai PF.  Silymarin as a Natural Antioxidant: An Overview of the Current Evidence and Perspectives.  Antioxidants.  2015 4(1):204-47. doi: 10.3390/antiox4010204.

2. Tarazona-Díaz MP, Alacid F, Carrasco M, Martínez I, Aguayo E. Watermelon juice: potential functional drink for sore muscle relief in athletes. J Agric Food Chem. 2013. 61(31):7522-8. doi: 10.1021/jf400964r.

3. Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM.  Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010.24(5):1215-22. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cb28e0.

4. Bailey SJ, Blackwell JR, Lord T, Vanhatalo A, Winyard PG, Jones AM. l-Citrulline supplementation improves O2 uptake kinetics and high-intensity exercise performance in humans. J Appl Physiol. 2015 119(4):385-95. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00192.2014.

5.  Karym El-Mostafa, Youssef El Kharrassi, Asmaa Badreddine, Pierre Andreoletti, Joseph Vamecq, M'Hammed Saïd El Kebbaj, Norbert Latruffe, Gérard Lizard, Boubker Nasser, and Mustapha Cherkaoui-Malki. Nopal Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) as a Source of Bioactive Compounds for Nutrition, Health and Disease. Molecules. 2014. 19(9):14879-14901. doi:10.3390/molecules190914879

6. Tao Yuan, Liya Li, Yan Zhang, Navindra P. Seeram. Pasteurized and sterilized maple sap as functional beverages: Chemical composition and antioxidant activities. Journal of Functional Foods.2013. 5(4):1582-1590