01.Bottled juice supplements
- Most brands do not have sufficient quantity of these extras to do you any good – and some of them raise safety concerns.
- It’s not worth paying extra for fruit juices with antioxidants or herbal supplements.
- Australians have quite a thirst for fruit juice. Collectively we drink about 400 million litres a year – on average that’s 100 glasses each – or 160 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The names are evocative – “Kickstart”, “Energy Lift”, “Green Recovery” – and the claims beguiling: “Helping you move into a wellness approach”; “Could help turbo-charge your life”; “Good for both body and soul”. Fruit juices with exotic supplements have spread from juice bars onto the supermarket shelves. But are these juices with feel-good extras really better for you than straight juice? And more importantly, are they really worth the extra money you pay for them?
CHOICE scoured the major supermarkets for refrigerated fruit juices promoting the virtues of herbal supplements, such as echinacea, ginseng or ginkgo, or boasting antioxidants or omega-3s. We then compared the claims on the labels with what these juices actually contain. CHOICE discovered that their claims simply don’t stack up.
See the table for the brands included in our research, their price (per litre) and the amount of "extras" they contain.
Please note: this information was current as of February 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market.
Most of the claims on the labels turn out to be little more than marketing hype. These juices are usually just apple juice (which is often the cheapest available) with a few extras. Straight juice is cheaper and just as good for you – or better still, eat the whole fruit. When juice is extracted, processing reduces the fibre content and releases fructose, a sugar that can damage teeth, especially if you drink juices frequently. Remember also that 200mL of juice gives you more flab-forming kilojoules than a beer or a can of regular Coke.