Couldn’t help myself.
Seasons ago, Real Housewives of New Jersey’s prodigiously ego’d sons, the Manzo brothers, appeared to develop a product called blk. water.
Upon first look at blk., you probably share similar thoughts that I did: black water? Gross. It’s not even appealing in a deep purple-Vitamin Water type of way. It looks…black. I was taught in Girl Scouts not to drink water that was 1) bubbling and/or 2) discolored. I thought for certain that this project had failed, but I noticed around Christmas, it was still being stocked in stores, next to actual water. This is technically water, but I think a number of us share similar questions:
what is blk., why is it black,
and why the hell should I (or shouldn’t I) drink it?
According to blk.’s own description:
Our proprietary blend of fulvic acid (a derivative of plant matter) is mined from an 80 million year old source deep within the earth. Naturally black in color, the formula binds to the molecules of our pure Canadian spring water giving blk its signature black color, with no artificial dyes, coloring, or additives. Fulvic acid is critical in the growth of plant life, helping the transportation and absorption of nutrients. Fulvic acid’s small molecular structure allows for the fast absorption of over 77 different trace minerals and elements, powerful electrolytes, and antioxidants.
Roll up your sleeves, there is a lot to unpack here.
For starters, fulvic acid is actually yellow to yellow brown in color. Humic acid is actually black in color:
I assume the proprietary blend probably includes both. There’s also a little bit of coloring to give it color. Unless you are a plant-human hybrid, you don’t really need fulvic or humic acids. Sharon Hill from CSI (The Committee from Skeptical Inquiry) has an excellent article about black water. She writes:
“Humic substances result from the partial decomposition of plant materials under low oxygen conditions, such as those found in peat bogs and swamps.
By all accounts, fulvic and humic acids in water do not apparently pose health hazards—unless they are a sign of some other form of contamination. The FDA notes, however, bottled water in general has a good record of safety.”
Like all brands of black water, blk included, they use a “proprietary blend” of minerals. We don’t really know what it is blk or any of the black waters on the market. Hill writes,
“supposedly this mineral content creates a superior electrolyte with antioxidant properties that makes black water better for hydration than regular water. Since hydrate means “to add water,” I’m not sure how black water can be more hydrating than any other kind.”
Hill also acknowledged Jacqueline Laurita’s blk water propaganda.
Laurita on Real Housewives of New Jersey says, “Scientists called it [fulvic acid] the miracle molecule because it’s so small.” She added that drinking blk. water would make your hair, nails, and skin glow and could also help with hangovers. Wow! I bet it cleans my car too. What doesn’t it do?
Pro-tip: any time an item can solve everything and it isn’t a magic eraser (those are indeed magical), it is wise to scrutinize.
blk. water like all other brands of black water are nothing more than hyped up gimmick that tries to offset its hues with benefits. Most of us wouldn’t consume dark water because it looks dirty, they have to sell it off somehow. Surely drinking water does help with hydration, so naturally it might help you feel better after a night of drinking. We also know staying hydrated helps your skin. But regular consumption of water does that; fulvic and humic acids aren’t vital to that process.
Jacqueline’s claims about blk water’s aesthetic effects aren’t the worst claims she could make. Water is after all, hydrating. She also implied blk. can treat or help with diseases and/or disorders, specially autism.
I think the Fame Whorgas blog actually does a fantastic job of breaking down the coincidence and promotion of blk. water to “treat” autism. (Full article here.) I ended up condensing my post because honestly, that blogger NAILS it with facts and evidence about blk water. Seriously, give them some props for their work.
With the Lauritas coming back onto the RHONJ scene, I wonder if we will see more blk product placement and/or continued claims or subtle nods to the product improving autism. She was already engaging in some questionable treatments for her son with autism, so it will be interesting to see if she has changed her views or if her role on the show will only reinforce them. The RHONJ haven’t been on in almost two years, but they come back in 2016 and are filming currently.
Coming up on the next blog posts of the Real Skeptics of TV:
- As requested, a series on the various psychics who have appeared on the show. I’m starting with the Queen of the Dinner Party from Hell herself.
- As the story line on Yolanda progresses this season, I may revisit, if only to share my own frustrations with watching and listening to this past week’s episode when Yolanda confronts Rinna.