The growing importance of bottled water enriched with vitamins, minerals and herbal ingredients means that the simplest of food products has now become a major driver of growth in the nutraceutical market.
A new report, The U.S. Market for Bottled and Enhanced Water, from Packaged Facts, says that bottled water enriched with vitamins A, C, B-3, B-6, and B-12, minerals such as calcium, zinc, potassium and magnesium, and herbal ingredients such as echinacea, ginseng, astragalus and schizandra is now commonplace in the US, and has contributed significantly to the overall bottled water market, estimated to be worth $6 billion.
Bottled water has always had a healthy image, but the growing of number of products offering additional health benefits mean that water has now become a major part of the functional food market.
Ingredients as diverse as black cohosh, calcium, chlorophyll, damiana, echinacea, evening primrose, ginseng, goldenseal, guarana, magnesium and St. John's Wort are all available in bottled water brands throughout the US, the report said.
While the late 1990s saw the launch of a number of waters containing caffeine, the most recent developments is the introduction of caffeine-free water which contains other natural ingredients designed to give a similar energy boost.
Among these energy-boosting drinks are oxygenated bottled waters, which claim to enhance physical performance, fight fatigue and shortness of breath, accelerate recovery time after exercise, improve mind clarity, stamina and endurance and reduce cramps and muscle soreness.