14 Flavored Bottled Water Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

Flavored water bottle brands
Flavored water bottle brands - Static Media / Shutterstock

Bottled water is a great way to stay hydrated on the go and is one of the most preferred ways to drink water, according to a Tasting Table survey. Its history dates back to the 1850s, when bottled spring and mineral waters were sold as health tonics. Eventually, the bottled water market also expanded to include enhanced water, which have been touted by some as a healthier alternative to soft drinks and sodas.

There are two types of enhanced water. Flavored water is simply water with added flavoring, juice, or herbs to mitigate the blandness. That's great news for those who find plain water undrinkable. Functional water has additional perks, like caffeine, vitamins, probiotics, or even protein. Some products come very close to being sport drink substitutes, but they are still considered a separate class of beverages.

For this review, I tried several, readily-available flavored water brands, many of which also fit the category of functional water. Each water brand was ranked according to its taste, ingredients, and nutritional value.

Read more: 25 Popular Bottled Water Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

14. Protein20 Plus Energy In Blue Raspberry Flavor

Protein20 blue raspberry bottled water
Protein20 blue raspberry bottled water - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Protein in a bottle of water? Yes, it's true. Protein20 offers a high-protein water for people who don't care for protein shakes or powder. This drink contains both whey protein isolate (derived from milk) and caffeine, which provides an added boost of energy.

As someone who works out, I was excited to try the blue raspberry flavor to see if it could add more protein to my routine. But, both the taste and ingredients were a bit disappointing. Protein20 is sweetened with sucralose, an artificial sweetener that is also marketed as Splenda. While the FDA claims it is safe, research performed on rodents has correlated the sweetener with inflammation. More extensive research is needed, but it hasn't stopped some individuals from avoiding this sweetener.

Unfortunately, sucralose has a strong taste that ruined the flavor of this beverage. This was also the only drink on this list that had Blue 1 added to it. FDA-approved food dyes like this one are generally recognized as safe, but come with some controversy. I personally prefer not to drink them.

Finally, the whey protein isolate in this drink is derived from milk, making it a no-go for vegans and people with dairy allergies. Protein20 also has the highest caloric content on this list, with 70 calories in a 500-milliliter bottle. For these reasons, I ranked this flavored water last.

13. Propel Immune Support In Lemon Blackberry Flavor

Propel immune support bottled water
Propel immune support bottled water - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

The creators of Propel Fitness Water developed this product at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute and built upon the science behind Gatorade's line of hydration drinks. Just like Gatorade, Propel contains electrolytes, but this version also claims to provide immune support with ingredients like vitamins C, B6, and E, plus zinc.

Like Protein20, this drink has sucralose and other not-so-great ingredients, including preservatives like polysorbate 60 and calcium sodium EDTA. Both are FDA-approved and considered safe, but there are many other brands that don't include the sheer number of additives that Propel has.

Outside the ingredients, another issue I had with Propel was the flavor. Besides a strong sucralose aftertaste, the flavor of this beverage overall was overwhelming. This bottle was also not listed as purified, meaning it did not undergo any extra filtration to remove certain bacteria and viruses. But, since it contained vitamins and minerals, I bumped it out of the last place spot in the ranking.

12. Fruit2O In Peach Flavor

Fruit2O peach bottled water
Fruit2O peach bottled water - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Next up is Fruit2O. This flavored water comes in packs rather than individual bottles, which makes it an economical choice. Six 16-ounce bottles cost just a little bit more than the other individual bottles on this list. It's also available in nine flavors.

Fruit2O is the first water on this list that is purified. But, it's one of the few good things I can say about this brand. The peach flavor was tasty, but it left a strong and unpleasant aftertaste. That may be due to the long list of ingredients it contains. If it was made with juice or concentrate, it may have had a less overwhelming flavor.

On the upside, Fruit2O is a good value and is tasty, plus it comes in a variety of flavor options. For those who don't mind the taste of sucralose, this is an affordable choice that's perfect for an outdoor party or gathering.

11. Krisp Fruitish Vitamin Spring Water With Electrolytes In Fruit Punch Flavor

Frutish flavored bottled spring water
Frutish flavored bottled spring water - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Next up is Krisp Fruitish, which is made with spring water and electrolytes. It's available in three flavors, coconut, fruit punch, and passion fruit, and contains vitamins B3, B5, B6, and B12, plus electrolytes.

I chose the most readily available flavor, fruit punch, which has a misleading bright yellow label that is better suited for pineapple or lemon flavor. The drink, sweetened with stevia, had a phony fruit punch taste and just did not hit right. Oddly, this was one of the few drinks that had salt, so be sure to take that into account if you plan on purchasing it.

The ingredient list was not bad, but it was unclear what Fruitish means by "natural spring water." It does not note if it is filtered or purified. Although Frutish is a viable, affordable option for some customers, it does have a heavy stevia aftertaste.

10. Splash Refresher In Lemon Flavor

Splash Refresher bottled water
Splash Refresher bottled water - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Splash Refresher is next on my list. These bottles, formerly known as Splash Blast, are not solid individually. Instead, they're available in six-packs that cost about the same as Fruit20. Unfortunately, the plastic bottles are very flimsy, so be careful when storing them.

Splash Refreshers are made with purified water and sweetened with sucralose. It did have a bit of an aftertaste, though it wasn't as strong as other sucralose-sweetened waters. This may be because it also contains another artificial sweetener, acesulfame potassium. However, it did have a good lemony flavor, as well as zinc sulfate and magnesium sulfate for added minerals. There are also other ingredients in this beverage, like sodium polyphosphate, that may not be suitable for people with certain medical conditions.

Splash Refreshers are available in five flavors, including wild berry, acai grape, mandarin orange, lemon, and pineapple mango, all of which have zero calories. I placed it in the middle of this list because it's purified and has a decent flavor.

9. Bai WonderWater In Raspberry Lemon Lime Flavor

Bai flavored water WonderWater
Bai flavored water WonderWater - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Bai's flavored water, which it calls WonderWater, is easily one of the most recognizable products on this list. The brand infuses filtered water with vitamin C and/or E and antioxidants. It has 1 gram of sugar due to the stevia leaf extract but contains no artificial sweeteners. Each 530-milliliter bottle has 10 calories.

I sampled the brand's raspberry lemon lime flavor, which was inspired by actress Sydney Sweeney. This drink started out flavorful and delicious but something about the combination was off, and I was left with a hint of soap-like flavor. Stevia was apparent in the aftertaste, despite being blended with monk fruit which, in my experience, usually tempers the strong flavor of the other sweetener.

Bai also recommends using its flavored water products in smoothies, cocktails, and mocktail recipes, which makes it a versatile choice. Bai's beverages can be found in most grocery stores. The brand also carries four different variety packs, some of which are available on Amazon. Bai wasn't the best-flavored product in this ranking, and its taste lost it a few points, but it still has a respectable spot among flavored water brands.

8. Lemon Perfect Hydrating Lemon Water In Original Lemon Flavor

Lemon Perfect lemon water bottle
Lemon Perfect lemon water bottle - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Lemon Perfect is the first USDA certified organic product on this list. It's also Project Non-GMO verified. This brand claims that lemons are a "research-backed superfruit." It also adds extra vitamin C to the drinks, too. I tried the original lemon flavor, which is made with organic lemon juice and organic stevia leaf extract. One thing I really like about this brand is that it states that the purified water in its products is filtered using reverse osmosis, a process that removes extra impurities in the water.

What about the taste? Lemon Perfect was more reminiscent of the fountain lemonade found at a fast food chain than fresh lemonade. It did have a stevia aftertaste too, but it's got a great lineup of other flavors that might tone down the aftertaste better.

In 2023, Lemon Perfect debuted its watermelon flavor, which is now part of its permanent line up. Other flavors include dragon fruit mango, coconut, peach raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry passion fruit, and the natural flavoring in these is also certified organic. This is also a feel-good brand because of its sustainability initiatives. For every bottle it sells, Lemon Perfect will fund the removal of equivalent waste from the environment to decrease its plastic waste footprint.

7. Hellowater Prebiotic Beverage In Cucumber Lime Flavor

hellowater infused bottled water
hellowater infused bottled water - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

hellowater offers two types of flavored water: Defense and Prebiotic. The prebiotic beverage, which I tested, contains chicory root fiber. This ingredient feeds the microbiota in the gastrointestinal system, thus helping support a healthy gut.

The cucumber lime is a great flavor combo with an interesting taste. This drink is made with stevia, and there was a bit of aftertaste. But, the strong blend of flavors canceled out most of it.

The prebiotic water comes in three other flavors, including mixed berry, pineapple coconut, and orange mango. The brand also carries a variety 12-pack with all four flavors. While I did not see it in my stores, hellowater claims on the bottle that its Defense line "eliminates toxins."

This brand uses filtered water, which is always a plus for me. While I liked the flavor, it was a bit intense for me, which earned it a spot in the middle of the ranking.

6. Hint Water In Crisp Apple Flavor

hint water bottled
hint water bottled - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Hint is the aptly named option for those of us who prefer more mild flavors in our bottled water. These waters really reflect that sentiment. They contain a bit of fruit essence -- and nothing else. There are no sweeteners here. Hint was the closest to drinking plain water out of all the brands, in terms of ingredients and flavor. Hint claims that its natural flavors come from fruit essence and explicitly states that it doesn't use sweeteners, preservatives, gluten, animal products, or MSG in the extraction of these essences.

Crisp apple Hint water tasted exactly like that -- a crispy yellow apple that's not particularly bitter or sweet. If I had to rename it, I'd call it "autumn water." This brand has a massive variety of flavors, and subscriptions are available for those of us who would like to try the whole line. Hint also offers vitamin-infused flavored waters.

Hint undergoes purification and also pasteurization, a process that kills off certain pathogens. This is a great choice for those who don't like plain water but also don't want a ton of flavor in their beverage.

5. Karma Probiotic Water In Berry Cherry Flavor

Karma probiotic bottled water
Karma probiotic bottled water - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Karma makes flavored probiotic water. I thought this brand deserved high marks for creativity. The probiotics are stored in the cap, which has a built-in plunger that releases them when it's time to drink. Once the seal is broken, the probiotic can be shaken into the water. Karma claims to store its choice of probiotic, called BC30, in a shell that keeps these cultures alive until they can be absorbed by the digestive tract.

Karma Probiotic Water comes in five flavors: blueberry lemonade, strawberry lemonade, watermelon wild berry, pineapple mango, and the one I evaluated, berry cherry. This water had a hint of stevia, but otherwise the flavor was really good. In many drink brands, the cherry flavor is too overwhelming, but this combination was just right.

Besides BC30, this probiotic drink contains vitamin B complex and vitamin E. However, in addition to sweeteners, it also has 5 grams of cane sugar and comes in at 20 calories per bottle. The first ingredient is "pristine water" but there is no explanation of what this actually means. While the quality of the drink is good, I can't help but wonder what this term refers to, which bumped this down in the ranking.

4. Vitaminwater In Watermelon Peach Flavor

Vitaminwater bottled water
Vitaminwater bottled water - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

It's no surprise that Coca-Cola's vitaminwater lands in the top five. There are a ton of vitaminwater options, but they all start with a choice between regular and zero-sugar vitaminwater, the latter of which is sweetened with stevia and monk fruit.

There are eight varieties of zero-sugar vitaminwater, including a dark chocolate option. I chose to sample the watermelon peach, which also contains Gutsy, a prebiotic.

I love that vitaminwater put reverse osmosis water right on the ingredient label. Other ingredients include vitamin C, vitamin B complex, electrolytes, and beta-carotene (an antioxidant).

The flavor combination of watermelon and peach was spot on with a not-too-sweet taste. There was much less stevia flavor and aftertaste than the other brands, presumably thanks to the monk fruit. But, the cloying flavor was still present. This was also one of the larger bottles at 591 milliliters, but it only had 10 calories. The good flavor, great ingredients, and use of reverse osmosis water gave this brand a spot near the top. But, the flavor of the other top-ranked beverages was just better overall.

3. Essentia Hydroboost In Peach Mango Flavor

Essentia Hydroboost bottled water
Essentia Hydroboost bottled water - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

In addition to its alkaline water line, Essentia offers Hydroboost, a line of enhanced water products. The Hydroboost line comes in three flavors: lemon lime, raspberry pomegranate, and the one reviewed here, peach mango. Be aware that this product lists sugar as the second ingredient; the bottle I sampled contains 5 grams of it. The company also uses stevia, which brings the caloric content to 30 calories per 450 milliliter bottle. The other ingredients are amazing, and include B-complex vitamins, electrolytes, potassium, and magnesium, as well as carrot, pumpkin, and lemon juice concentrate for flavor.

Thanks to its flavor combo, Hydroboost comes off a little like a mild juice. And despite the sweeteners, it's neither too sweet nor too bland. This water offered a nice feel on my tongue and was a pleasure to drink. Clearly this needed to be in the top three, but the sugar content brought it down a few notches.

2. Blk. In Watermelon Flavor

blk. flavored water bottled
blk. flavored water bottled - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Some of us may have heard of fulvic acid. This naturally-occurring compound, which can be found in soil or compost, has many health benefits. According to blk., which has built its entire drink line around this compound, fulvic acid is a natural detoxifier that can support gut health, the immune system, brain function, and more. This ingredient give blk.'s flavored water its dark color.

Despite the off-putting color, which is more like deep burgundy than black, the taste was amazing. I found it was neither too sweet nor too flavorful, with a mild shot of watermelon flavor that was exactly right. The bottle claims it contains over 77 trace minerals, electrolytes, antioxidants, and amino acids.

blk. comes in 12 flavors, including unique options like lychee, yuzu fruit, and orange vanilla. The brand even allows customers to build their own variety packs. Oh, and of course, it is made with purified water. This one is a keeper because it's loaded with nutrients and contains zero calories.

1. Organic Treo Nutrient Enhanced Water In Strawberry Flavor

Treo enhanced bottled water
Treo enhanced bottled water - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

Organic Treo filtered water features organic birch sap. This natural sweetener contains xylitol, which, according to Treo, is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes.

The brand notes the strawberry flavor is one of the sweetest from this label. It contains both organic erythritol and stevia as additional sweeteners. The real reason this bottle got the top spot was not the nutrients or the certifications on the bottle, though; it was the taste.

There was no stevia aftertaste or strong birch flavor. It was simply the feel and experience of eating a strawberry, including a slight, puckery tartness. The liquid tasted just like the fruit, which made it a pleasure to drink.

This bottle has 15 calories and 1 gram of natural sugar. Treo comes in five other flavors: blueberry, peach mango, raspberry lemonade, kiwi watermelon, and a coconut colada. It also carries five-bottle sampler pack, too. Organic Treo came in on top because of its unbeatable taste.

Methodology

empty flavored water bottles
empty flavored water bottles - Gina Badalaty/Tasting Table

These flavored water brands were all available at my local grocery store. I tried to pick a variety of flavors to cover different preferences. I did not include sparkling waters in this category. Several of these products are also functional water, which include added ingredients, such as prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and whey protein isolate. Several brands also used artificial preservatives or coloring agents.

Flavor was the factor I considered most in this ranking. In other words, did it recreate the flavor faithfully? Was the flavor too mild, too strong, or just right? For brands that used flavor blends, like cucumber and lime, I assessed whether or not they were a good flavor combination.

Nutritional content also affected these rankings. I preferred brands that utilitze juice or concentrates, rather than synthetic additives, as well as those brands that use purified water for their products. Brands also got bonus points for things like organic and non-GMO certifications, as well as responsible packaging. Those that contained purified water were also ranked higher.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.