June 10, 2009

SoBe Lifewater

For the record, I considered writing this review with all lowercase letters in honor of the packaging on the holistic water genre, but decided it was too difficult to read. Ironically, unlike product designers I'm concerned about function over form.

Vitamin Water elicits a pretty wide range of reactions from people. Some really like it, others dislike it. But what's interesting about Vitamin Water is that there is a whole group of people whose opinion of the stuff is best summed up with a shrug.

"Eh. It's kind of bland."

Well, that's probably where the "water" part comes from. See, if it was all fruit flavor, Vitamin Water would be just Vitamins and fruit juice -- and there are other products out there that have been delivering that combination a lot longer than Vitamin Water.

Today we're not here to spend an entire review talking about Vitamin Water and its ability to elicit underwhelmed feelings, though. We're here to review Vitamin Water's less popular brother from another corporate mother, SoBe Lifewater.

Lifewater is the same basic premise as Vitamin Water -- watered-down-fruit-juice-tasting water loaded with healthy stuff. Vitamin D, herbal extracts, whatever. They all have something dissolved in them that supposedly helps your body function.

For the most part the taste is the same, too. I find Lifewater to be a little sweeter than Vitamin Water. Most recently I drank the blackberry grape variety, dubbed "enlighten" (that's right, no capitals on the bottle here!) and found it to be surprisingly sweet.

The bottle is a different story. Lifewater's bottle has a fascinating shape to it, full of curves and creases. If a sculptor designed one mass-produced beverage bottle, this is it. Unfortunately that sculptor wasn't matched with a very good cover artist, because the label is a little busy.

You're asking whether I really just included the label as a criteria in my food review. My answer is yes. Once you get past the fact that Lifewater is a little sweeter than Vitamin Water, there isn't a whole lot to talk about.

If you like the holistic water genre, you'll probably like it, unless you're averse to sugar. If you don't you won't. Other than that, there really isn't a lot to talk about here ... it makes me want to shrug.

Apathy seems to be the trademark of these drinks. Three sporks out of five.


  1. their is plenty to talk a lot of the reason that VitaminWater fans and even naysays like SOBE lifewater is due to the fact the average VitaminWater has 32.5g of sugar, Life water 0g and a can of Coke has 39g put that in perspective

  2. Anonymous11:36 PM

    how about the 3 different artifical sweeteners in it?!

  3. Anonymous9:20 PM

    Erythritol the sweetener is just as synthetic as Sucralose is and according to Wikipedia you will get the same Laxative effect you get with Sucralose if you drink enough of it.
    So their Lifewater product has no special sweetener in it that the others don't have its just Splenda with a different name..

  4. Anonymous6:13 PM

    erythritol isn't synthetic.....
    its a natural sugar alcohol, that UNLIKE OTHER SUGAR ALCOHOLS does not produce a laxative effect. The other sweetener in sobe 0 cal is an extract from the stevia plant, which has been used as a NATURAL sweetener for years by many different cultures.

    SO NO it's not splenda with a different name. Nothing about splenda is natural any way you stretch it. Try to do some real research and not rely on wikipedia...

  5. SoBe has a ingredient but im not shure what that rots your enamel

  6. marywilsonmd@cs.com5:35 PM

    My husband is in the hospital after heart surgery, aortic valve replacement, and your life water is the only one he will drink.
    the best is the pomegrante+ ginger.
    difficult to get. A great drink.

  7. Stephanie Addante3:42 PM

    I'm struggling with the fact that 1 bottle has more than 15 carbohydrates, but no sugar....what's that all about.

  8. Anonymous11:48 PM

    My bottle (mango melon) has 6 grams carbohydrates.

    Has anyone else noticed that these bottles are EXTREMELY difficult to open?? My hand hurts!

  9. Anonymous8:00 PM

    Check your bottle again...it's probably 6 grams of carbs per serving. There are 2.5 servings in the bottle.

  10. Anonymous10:29 AM

    I find that the bottle is easy to open and was surprised by this. Much easier than a plastic soda bottle. I have been searching for a drink that does not have aspartame or sucralose and so far this is the only one. I think it is a great drink that has the added benefit of having something in it that is good for you.So it gets my vote even if it is a little pricey! :)

  11. Anonymous9:14 AM

    I really want to know about the 15 carbs also. Is that due to the erythritol which on other labels is listed as sugar alcohol and doesn't really count as carbs. I am on a low carb diet and 15 carbs for one bottle about does in my carbs for the day.

  12. Anonymous7:50 PM

    I bought my first case of Lifewater at Cosco and love the fuji apple pear. I too went on line to read the hard to read ingredients. I am concerned about the overload of ingredients and think I will go back to my favorite drink, water (often Pellegrino or Perrier) with a splash of fruit juice like pomegranate or mango juice). Just eat "real" food.

  13. Anonymous5:32 PM

    How is possible to have 0 calories and 20g of carbs in a bottle of lifewater

  14. Anonymous8:10 PM

    I also find the bottles extremely difficult to open!! I have sores on my hand to prove it. I had one bottle that was impossible to open. I ended up having to cut a hole in it to drink it! I have contacted Sobe about the problem and hope they can resolve it.

  15. Anonymous2:42 PM

    it IS very hard to open! They need to change up the bottles... We bought 36 of them for a party, And EVERY SINGLE PERSON at the party, had problems opening them! Majority of us just gave up, and poked a hole in the top! We found it was Pointless to continue to buy a drink that takes 5 minutes to open! CHANGE YOUR BOTTLES!! Great drink though!

    1. I use a large pair of pliers to open them

  16. Anonymous12:39 PM

    I like Sobee Lifewater it taste much better than Vitaminwater. Does anyone out there have any negatives about the content in Sobe

  17. We have been great fans of lifewater since my Aunt introduced us to it a few years ago. We tend to buy them by the crate at CostCo. With regards to the "difficult to open" lids issue, we've found tremendous inconsistency. We purchased 3 crates from CostCo last week and found that the first crate had almost impossible-to-open lids. Yes, we did the hack job on a few of them. We just started on the next crate and the lids are really easy to open. So, if you've given up on it because you got a bad batch of lids, I suggest trying again as the lid tightness can be inconsistent.

  18. The difficulty level of lid-opening can be very inconsistent. We picked up a few flats of the stuff at CostCo last week and went through one excruciatingly difficult flat of bottles. We just started on the second crate and have been having a much easier time of it.