Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How to Make Your Own Vitamin Water by Deborah Dolen, Editor

How to Make Your Own Vitamin Water by Deborah Dolen, Editor
(Photo owed by Dolen Images/API The petals were from edible impatiens that grow abundantly in Florida shade)

DIY Vitamin Water

As the heat beats down with summer approaching the need for us to hydrate kicks up a notch making the pastel colored vitamin waters look more and more inviting. The fact bottled vitamin water contains some vitamins and minerals makes us feel less guilty about the price-we had to hydrate anyway, so we look at it as a big bonus. More clever marketers like BORBA are focusing in on vitamin related results such as “Face Firming” “Age-Defying” and “Skin Toning” as they prominently display the vitamin attributes on their labels. Although I have no clue as to their claims of efficacy, I just see a lot of “B” vitamins and know they help greatly with stress. Vitamin B is known as the “transitional” vitamin. I also know vitamin “C” helps with the immune system, I know I do not take enough and so I buy them. The BORBA bottles are so nice I save them to recycle and pour my own home made vitamin water in. I am far from the only one that has succumbed to vitamin water. Vitamin water is so popular Coca-Cola just bought GlacĂ©au Vitamin Water for a cool $4.1 billion. Ten bottles [a gallon] is about $30 retail. Unfortunately the plastic count on the environment is surreal.

With distilled water approximately .88 cents at Wal-Mart, you can make a gallon of your own vitamin water for under $3 a gallon. Buy distilled when possible. Oddly it is the same price as “purified” and I know what can be in purified. When making your own vitamin water you can even make ice cubes and in just about any flavor you want! Easiest to use pre-mixed, just mix up pre-measured powder packets with the sweetener, flavor and vitamin elements so you can add to a gallon of distilled water on demand, or split a gallon and make two flavors in two 64 ounce pictures. For uniformity I would blend all ingredients dry in a magic bullet b

ut that is not necessary. I work in a laboratory so I enjoy personally buffering things together. Select water soluble vitamins and minerals-sources discussed below. Also keep in mind some people say the sugar in vitamin water negate any nutritional value. That makes sense, and sugar does turn to acid in our bodies. For this reason I use stevia, a zero carb herb 3,000 times sweeter than sugar. I am not even crazy about fructose crystals used to make most vitamin water, but I would think second best to the zero calorie stevia. Always buy Stevia in bulk. I think small amounts of stevia or liquid stevia are far can be far over priced.

Flavor ideas can include lemon, lemon-lime, lychee, acai berry, strawberry, banana and or coconut-pineapple. Cherry & coconut works well as a blended flavor, so does raspberry and blueberry. The flavor possibilities are truly endless. Since coconut rarely comes as a “flavor” I will usually add 16 ounces of coconut water to my gallon formula. It is great for the kidneys, naturally anti-microbial and a little sweet. Some people do facilitate Kool-Aid flavoring and coloring and use stevia for sweetener. They buy the kind you add sugar. I am OK with this since I also use flavors and color in my lab and I know they are well under 1% of the formula. I know it is the 99% percent rule that matters. Such as drinking 99% questionable water sources can far outweigh any use of color or flavor-and many people do not question their water source. I only use distilled unless I know the mountain source of any water. There are few pure sources anymore. In my research someone did a funny and in-depth report of Kool-Aide flavors. I smiled they were “so into it”- go to this link for that!

Sweetener choices include stevia, which is my favorite, crystalline fructose, or just plain cane sugar as the popularity of unrefined sugar is escalating. You can also use Splenda, I am just leery of any artificial sweeteners these days. Stevita is another way to secure flavor and color, a stevia product. http://www.nextag.com/stevia-flavored-drink-mix-powder/products-html I am still OK with a little Kool-Aid and adding my own stevia. The point of vitamin water is that it is not as flavorful and more like water. Stevita makes a Strawberry [God I adore strawberry!] and 2.8 ounces is reported by users as making 3 + gallons. The company does not stress how much 2.8 ounces makes is the only issue. Amazon does seem to be the cheapest right now at $4.80 a jar. Bonus – it seems to have 183% daily recommended vitamin C in it. Unclear what shipping would be. 16 ounces sizes are available and more economical by far.

Vitamins, here is the great news! If you buy powdered vitamins they will last a long time in a dark area of your fridge. You can use them in skin care preparations. I think Vitamin B6 is just awesome in lotion for rashes or hives. This is the operating ingredient in Gold Bond itch cream. That and menthol. Typically $10 an ounce retail I opt to just make the effective cream for myself. I can make 16 ounces for under $5. Vitamin C can be used to easily make Vitamin C “serum.” Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. Again, it is on the acid spectrum so take care as to the dosage when you make that.

As far as vitamins in Vitamin water-understand your vitamin palette. Buffered C powder is ascorbic acid whose sourness is balanced by calcium, magnesium, and potassium—in other words, electrolytes. So, Buffered vitamin C powder is the basis of making any vitamin water. People do use Emergen-C brand to make their own vitamin water. If you plan to use Emergen-C do your calculations. Do not consume too many vitamins, you could potentially over tax the kidneys. So, weigh out in your mind how much you would drink a day of your vitamin water and gauge your dosage accordingly. You can modify the recipes below. When just starting cut your batches by 1/10 to make sample batches. It is usually easy to calculate a recipe down to 10%. Here you are just trying to figure out your comfort level on vitamin taste. Your local vitamin store may be the best way to secure buffered vitamins. I will post some sources on the internet once I use and like my sources.

For best suspension mix your powder with a few ounces of the water before you add that to the whole gallon. I always mix a few ounces in my Magic Bullet before I stir it into the gallon.

Kool Water Recipe
Each recipe makes a gallon. You can half the recipe to make ½ gallons.

1 gallon distilled water
2 Teaspoons buffered C powder
2 teaspoons liquid super vitamin B complex [Twin labs is one brand]
1/2 ounce stevia powder or 6 ounces crystalline fructose, splenda, and/or sugar
Optional - Flavor and color

Optional 1 capsule Guarana seed extract (Usually $8 for 90 capsules) Guarana is known as a Dietary Supplement from the Maple family that has twice the caffeine of coffee. When it comes to herbal supplements you can get as weird as you want! The main key is to secure powers that do not have overbearing flavors in and of themselves.

*The crystalline fructose is about $1.20 per pound in bulk

Other interesting links:

Making Your Own Vitamin C serum


Making your own energy drinks


Read about Ringo a dog flown in from Katrina. Official Bio of his owner and short Bio. RSS Syndicated Feeds on the environment. How Twitter is best used. Deborah Dolen Books on Amazon. Review of her books on Open Library, Paperback Swap, Good Reads and ReviewScout. You can also read Google Profile. Deborah Dolen on MySpace Facebook, and Flickr. This is our favorite blogspot. See Deborah Dolen on YouTube and her last book written London Apothecary and book.