Bai calls itself WonderWater, suggesting that the company’s selection of drinks provides all the benefits of water, plus some extra ones. The appeal is easy to see too, as many of the products are loaded with antioxidants and other interesting plant-based compounds.
But, is Bai good for you in practice? After all, plenty of foods and drinks sound like they should be amazing, yet simply aren’t. Gatorade and Powerade are classic examples. Despite being loaded with electrolytes, the original versions of those drinks are also packed with sugar and additives.
While Bai is certainly more natural than Gatorade and Powerade, simply being natural isn’t the whole story. After all, natural foods can still sometimes be unhealthy and lead to weight gain. To find the truth about Bai, we need to dig deeper into the company's product range and see what the drinks have to offer.
Is Bai Good For Your Health?
- Bai Products
- Benefits Of Bai Drinks
- Limits Of Bai Drinks
- Could The Drinks Help You Lose Weight?
- Are Bai Drinks Healthy?
- Alternatives To Bai Drinks
Bai has seven main product ranges, with different flavors for each. Each type of product has its own features, so to consider health, we need to look at what product line has to offer.
These are the flagship products for Bai. There is a variety of flavors to choose from, including Brasilia Blueberry, Dominica Dragon Passion Fruit, Sumatra Dragonfruit, and Kula Watermelon.
As the name suggests, the drinks have added antioxidants. These come from coffeefruit, which Bai refers to as their secret superfruit.
The drinks just contain 10 calories each and use a combination of erythritol and stevia for sweetness. Some of the flavor comes from fruit juice concentrates, but there are natural flavors present as well.
Reviews suggest that the drinks really do taste good and have minimal aftertaste. You may need to experiment a little to find out which ones you like the most. After all, the flavors are quite different, and we all have our own personal preferences.
Interestingly, the drinks also contain 55 mg of caffeine, similar to the amount you find in green tea.
These drinks are similar to the antioxidant infusions, except that they’re sparkling and served in cans. This time you get 5 calories and 45 mg of caffeine per serving.
Erythritol and stevia feature as sweeteners again. There are fewer flavors compared to the non-sparkling option, but enough to help you find one or two that you love.
These products follow the same pattern as the previous ones, except they also rely on brewed tea. You may get extra polyphenols from the tea, although the caffeine content remains the same as with other products.
Coconuts are the feature ingredients for these drinks. However, the drinks are quite different than traditional coconut water, as they have extra flavoring ingredients, salt, caffeine, and antioxidants. The same sweeteners are present as well.
While the drinks tend to be popular, some people don’t enjoy the flavor or find that the drinks make them feel sick. You’ll need to experiment to see whether you enjoy them.
This product is actually similar to Smart Water, in that you’re getting pH balanced water with electrolytes added for flavor. This time there are no sweeteners, no calories, and few ingredients.
There are antioxidants present too, although the levels could be lower than in the other drinks.
The electrolytes deserve a special mention here. These are essential minerals that have an electrical charge and are particularly relevant for fluid balance.
Electrolytes are most famous because you lose some of them when you sweat and they don’t get replenished if you’re drinking regular water. This is why athletes often turn to electrolyte rich drinks instead.
However, there are two important points to make about electrolytes. First, most of us don’t sweat enough to actually need extra electrolytes. Second, Antioxidant Water just uses electrolytes for flavor. It isn’t a significant source of them and won’t be on par with Gatorade or even coconut water for electrolyte content.
There are just three lemonade products: Lanai Blackberry Lemonade, Burundi Blueberry Lemonade, and Sao Paulo Strawberry Lemonade. They all contrast the traditional lemonade flavor with some type of berry.
Despite being lemonade, the patterns are the same as most other Bai drinks. So, you’re still getting 55 mg of caffeine per serving, two types of sweetener, and some additives.
These drinks are similar to the original Antioxidant Infusions. The main difference is that they contain 110 mg of caffeine per serving, rather than 55 mg.
This puts them up there with a cup of coffee. They also end up being a fairly healthy alternative to energy drinks.
Benefits Of Bai Drinks
Helps To Hydrate You
The biggest benefit of Bai isn’t the antioxidant content. It’s the water. This isn’t just because water is essential for human survival, but also because we often don’t quite get enough.
We get enough water to live. That much is clear. Yet sometimes we end up mildly dehydrated throughout our day. It’s easy to do, as we simply get so focused on whatever else is going on and don’t stop to drink as much water as we need.
Getting enough water, whether from pure water, sparkling water, Bai, or something else, gives us the water we need and promotes optimal function.
A Low Calorie Flavored Drink
Another feature is that Bai drinks are all low in calories, yet they’re flavored. This is incredibly useful, as plain water isn’t that enjoyable.
Many of us find it much easier to stay hydrated if what we’re drinking actually tastes good as well. Bai drink works well in this arena, with many reviewers loving the flavor.
Much Better Than Soda
Bai is also much much better than many alternatives. For example, a 12 fl oz can of coke contains 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar, while a bottle of Bai has just 10 calories and 1 gram of sugar.
You could even say that Bai is better than fruit juice, as it’s lower in calories and sugar, while still offering antioxidants.
The lower sugar content also means that Bai is better for your teeth. It shouldn’t cause the same damage that you see with soda and other sugary drinks.
Uses Natural Sweeteners
Bai drinks get their sweetness from stevia and erythritol. While these sweeteners do have some issues, they’re much less concerning and controversial than artificial sweeteners or sugar.
So, out of all the possible ways to sweeten their drinks, Bai has chosen wisely.
The final benefit of Bai drinks is that they’re convenient and practical. There’s no preparation required at all; you simply buy one and drink it as needed.
This is ideal when you’re away from home and need fast hydration.
Limits Of Bai Drinks
The Antioxidants May Not Be Powerful
Antioxidants themselves are powerful. By decreasing oxidation, they're able to protect your body against free radical damage. This effect provides many benefits, potentially even decreasing your risk of various diseases.
However, most antioxidant benefits have been found in whole foods, particularly fresh fruit. There’s much less evidence that adding antioxidants into foods and drinks helps at all.
Doing so could even be harmful – a pattern that’s been shown with antioxidant supplements.
Plus, antioxidants aren’t interchangeable. They all have different properties and effects in your body. Their activity is also influenced by the other chemicals and nutrients in the food you’re eating.
These patterns all mean that the antioxidants in Bai drinks aren’t going to be as powerful as simply eating antioxidant rich food. Honestly, the antioxidants are mostly just a marketing ploy.
Not As Natural As You’d Expect
Bai avoids artificial sweeteners and flavors, which makes the drinks sound natural. Yet, in practice, the company is still using two different types of alternative sweeteners, along with natural flavors and some other additives.
This highlights an important distinction. Natural additives may be a little better for you than artificial ones, but they’re still not amazing.
Natural flavors are even more concerning, as the term just means they’re derived from nature. These flavors may still be heavily processed and can even use synthetic additives in their production.
Honestly, there are still huge gaps in our understanding of natural additives. They may be safe, particularly in small quantities, but they’re certainly not as natural as the name implies. Most don’t offer health benefits either, so it might be best to limit your intake as much as you can.
Some natural additives could come also come with risks that we’re yet to identify.
Could Make You Nauseous
Bai drinks contain two different types of sweeteners, both of which can make you feel nauseous.
Thankfully, side effects from sweeteners are uncommon. Plenty of people can use stevia and erythritol regularly without any problems.
The risk simply means that you should be cautious when you first have Bai drinks. Start with a small serving, that way you notice any side effects before they become serious.
The use of two different sweeteners is a little frustrating, actually, as it means that anyone sensitive to stevia or erythritol will struggle with Bai drinks. Drinks with just one type of sweetener tend to work better for more people.
All The Drinks Contain Caffeine
Caffeine is a great energy booster and could even offer some health benefits. Yet, it’s not always what you’re looking for.
Too much caffeine can lead to considerable side effects, including anxiety, insomnia, headaches, shakiness, and more. Some people are also sensitive to caffeine, so they need to be very cautious about the amount they consume.
Bai drinks are a problem here, as they all contain some caffeine. The amount isn’t high – just what you’d see in a mug of tea. However, this could still be too much for anyone sensitive to caffeine.
The only drink without caffeine seems to be the Antioxidant Water, which is simply water. So, if you are caffeine sensitive or already consume too much of it, you might need to give Bai drinks a pass entirely.
Could The Drinks Help You Lose Weight?
Low calorie drinks like these can be relevant for weight loss. They give you something delicious to enjoy, without adding anything to your waistline.
Bai drinks may even be better than most because they contain some caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and may increase your metabolism in the short term, leading to a slight increase in fat burning.
Any weight loss effect is strongest if you’re using Bai drinks instead of something more calorie dense, like soda. Swapping soda for Bai regularly could easily decrease your calorie intake and help you lose weight.
However, the sweeteners in Bai drinks complicate matters. While these sweeteners don’t contain calories, they have been linked to other problems, like increasing cravings for sweet food and harming gut bacteria.
This means you should always pay close attention to yourself. How do you respond to Bai drinks? Do they help you to consume fewer calories or do you find your calorie intake increases instead?
If the latter is the case, then Bai may not be right for you.
Are Bai Drinks Healthy?
The best way to categorize Bai drinks is to say that they’re healthier than many alternatives on the market, but they’re still not ideal. After all, they rely on two types of sweetener and added flavors.
However, if you’re having a Bai drink every so often instead of soda then you’re likely to see health improvements. The drinks are also useful options when you’re away from home and need easy hydration.
Then there’s the antioxidant content. This is the biggest selling point of the drink, but isn’t actually that great. It’s always much better to get your antioxidants from natural sources, rather than processed foods and drinks with antioxidants added in.
Besides, when you rely on whole foods, you get a variety of types of antioxidants. Bai drinks tend to rely on coffeefruit for antioxidants. That’s just one type of antioxidant, whereas whole food will provide a variety of antioxidants.
Alternatives To Bai Drinks
Rather than turning to Bai, it’s much healthier to make your own drinks. This way you can skip the additives entirely.
The simplest answer is, of course, water. There are no concerning ingredients to worry about and water will easily keep you hydrated. If you don’t like the taste of water straight from the tap, you could try filtered water instead.
Sparkling water is a useful alternative. There are still no additives to worry about, but the bubbles help to keep your drink interesting.
What about flavor?
Well, one trick is to add some lemon or lime juice to your water. This gives you a vibrant splash of flavor, while adding barely any calories. You could use other types of fruit juice as well, but watch out for the amount of sugar.
There’s also infused water. This is a fun style where you’re leaving pieces of fruit in your water for at least a few hours. Herbs and some vegetables (like cucumber) work surprisingly well too.
Basically, the different ingredients all tweak the flavor of your water, making it tastier without adding much at all to the calorie content. You might even get tiny amounts of antioxidants and nutrients from the fruit.