What is FATwater? Should you buy it?
Let's have a little chat about the latest water hitting the US market. As Australia is about 5 years behind most of the cool foodie things happening over there, I have no idea when it will hit our shores but until then, let's look at the facts.
What is it?
Water. Just plain water. With fat added. Yes fat. But it's that 'magical' MCT (medium chain triglycerides) that paleo and high fat diet enthusiasts adore.
So, fatty water eh, sounds….delightful…..
Here's the thing. It's being touted as a natural, caffeine free energy drink. Fatty water. Energy Drink. What?! (insert scrunched up face)
It contains 2g of fat per serve and only 20 calories. 'Only'!
Should you drink it?
Are you someone who exercises more than 2 hours a day, at moderate-high intensity? It may be beneficial to help you hydrate. It would certainly be better than those sugar-full electrolyte drinks. But unless you're a serious athlete training hard, then it's just another source of fat in your diet.
Are you someone who follows a high fat diet? And actually sticks to it for more than 1 week, 1 month, or 3 months? It may give you a smidge more energy. Because you're body is running on fat as fuel. That's a whole other 'ketogenic' story which we can chat about later if you're unfamiliar with it.
Are you someone who feels better knowing you're 'up' with the latest diet/health/fad/food or drink being shared on Instagram by girls in bikinis on the beach, or in crop tops and shorts pre-workout? Then it will definitely help you! Seriously. This is right up there with maple water, coconut oil and activated almonds. Two of which I eat, but not because they possess magical powers. Because they just happen to fall within things I like as part of my balanced diet.
In all seriousness, why?
From the horses mouth, aka, David Asprey, aka the guy who kickstarted that trend of adding butter to your coffee, aka that guy who produced a 'clean' coffee bean and subsequent brand called 'Bulletproof' claiming to make you just that. He says:
"The patented nano particles help your body to absorb water"
Thanks Dave. Your body does a great job of absorbing water already. What else you got?
"FATwater….the next generation of energy drinks that don't rely on stimulants or sugar"
Cool. I can get behind less sugar and stimulants. But how does 2g of fat give you the equivalent energy? Show me some good quality evidence for this one. I am honestly curious. If you're reading this and have some papers, please send through!
The beverage "delivers hydration with quickly metabolised and sustained energy".
Ok so you got that right. Drink water, you get hydrated. Add some MCT fats which go through the liver instead of the full digestive process and you get a quicker source of energy. But let's note something here - if you're not on a high fat diet, you're just drinking fat. Not an energy shot. Also, fats in general provide energy, lots of it. 9kcal per gram but you also get 7kcal from 1g of carb or protein, and with the right low GI, high fibre carb, or lean protein, you'll also get sustained energy.
"If you're going to drink water, you might as well make it count". Seriously David? Water counts. That's a ridiculous statement.
Don't like drinking fat? No problem. Their patented technology allows you to just drink water "but wetter". That's right, the fat particles are so small, your water just seems 'wetter'. ..
But if wetter water isn't enough, you can get it in berry, orange or lemon flavour. Flavoured FATwater, that gives you, as a direct (overhyped) quote, "extreme hydration".
A 'noticeable difference' that you get from 'actually being hydrated'. Now of course, my cynical mind and scientific background is telling you it's a waste of your money. But then he mentions a few other things...
- It also contains B vitamins, and spices such as turmeric for anti-inflammatory (and colour) benefits. Plus there's no artificial sweeteners.
I can live with that. That's pretty good - anti-inflammatory, quick hydration, a source of energy - they've marketed it hard to athletes and weekend warriors. Yet the nutritional benefits of those added bits and pieces may not be so amazing once it's been sitting on the shelves for some time.
- You can add it to green juices and smoothies etc.
Now that's where it gets interesting for me. Adding a fat source to fresh produce helps you to absorb more fat soluble nutrients. Using this water instead of coconut water or regular water may assist you to absorb more nutrients. And they will market that heavily to you. But guess what else helps? Nut butter, tahini, avocado, coconut butter. They also are sources of fat, that taste amazing, don't cost a huge fortune (usually), and also offer up a whole other range of nutrients. So, it's a cool idea but you've got better options.
Currently only available in the states, it will set you back $3.95 USD for a 473ml bottle (16 oz). Current conversion rates sets you back $5.42 AUD. That's more than $10 a litre. If you're up for that, great. If not, don't sweat it. You don't 'need' it.
Buy it if you want, let me know if it works. But the facts and marketing at the present time point to it being an expensive addition to a high-fat diet, that doesn't work for everybody anyway.