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It’s hard to ignore the growing number of enhanced waters showing up on your grocery shelves. Most of these rainbow-hued drinks are packed with promises ranging from weight loss to a good night’s sleep. And if you need help waking up, then there’s caffeinated H2O formulated to perk you right up without a java jolt.

I know folks who swear by these waters and sip them all day long. Truthfully, I have to make myself remember to drink water. And when I want a little punch, I choose Perrier or Lacroix. I don’t want my water flat and I like it flavored at times. Having said that, I don’t want it to taste cluttered or artificial, which is why I don’t gravitate to a lot of the enhanced waters.

I’m also practical. And when coupons came in the mail to try out KeVita Sparkling Probiotic Drink for free, well, color me in the pretty water department, pronto.

So, why would someone want probiotics in their water when they can get the live cultures in yogurt, powders and in pill form? Maybe because they don’t do dairy (soy yogurt aside), pills and powders. More likely, they fell under the spell of the marketing magicians, and water’s a hot commodity right now.

I recently tried a handful of KeVita Sparkling Probiotic drinks. Marketing hype or pretty good drink? My results follow.

 

KeVita Sparkling Probiotic Drink, about $3.50 for 15.2-ounce bottles at major supermarkets and Whole Foods. Note that some flavors are exclusive to Whole Foods.

First look: KeVita comes in chubby glass bottles with plastic screw caps. The drinks are certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan and many are low calorie. In fact, unless your dietary guidelines only allow you air and ferns, chances are you can indulge in KeVita. The drinks contain reverse osmosis purified water, organic KeVita probiotic culture – Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086, L.paracasei, L.plantarum, L.rhamnosus. Most of the waters also include coconut water, apple cider vinegar, and Stevia as a sweetener.

Flavors include pomegranate-coconut, Mojita lime-mint-coconut (exclusive to Whole Foods), Daily Cleanse lemon-cayenne (exclusive to Whole Foods), strawberry-acai-coconut and lemon-ginger.

Good news: My two favorite flavors of the ones I sampled are the Mojita lime-mint-coconut and the strawberry-acai-coconut. The strawberry tasted fresh with just the right amount of coconut. All of the KeVita drinks I tried only boasted a hint of sweetness, making them perfect thirst quenchers, rather than a drink that makes you crave plain water afterward.

I went for the drinks that had the fewest calories. The strawberry-acai-coconut contains 10 calories per serving, and each bottle contains two servings. However, since these are lightly carbonated, you’re probably not going to drink half and stash it in the fridge for later because you’ll lose your fizz. So, a 20-calorie drink is still a good deal.

The Mojita is even lower with 5 calories per serving. When you first taste the Mojita, you’re hit with a little bang of lime, quickly followed by cool mint, then the coconut. To me, KeVita Mojita taste so fresh and adult that I’d be happy to serve it to non-drinking guests at the next soiree.

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 KeVita pomegranate-coconut delivers for those who like a lightly tart drink with very little sweetness. The puckery pomegranate is tempered by the smoothness of the coconut water. It offers 10 calories per serving, or 20 per bottle, and only contains a trace of carbs. All of the drinks are low in sodium.

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Lemon-ginger contains the most calories at 45 per serving. It brought to mind ginger beer.

Bad news: You’re pretty much out of luck if you don’t care for coconut water because most of these contain an obvious amount. And, note that you’re instructed to mix the contents by shaking gently. This means to barely swirl the bottle because I shook, not gently enough, obviously, a bottle as soon as I got into the car. It wasn’t pretty.

KeVita drinks are pricy, so my budget won’t allow them to be my go-to drink several times a day. I’ll treat them as I do Starbucks, as an occasional treat.

Last words: A handy, flavor-packed way to consume your live microorganisms.