Is Mio Water Flavoring a Good Way to Drink Water or a Health Hazard?

water color

Water is the life-force of the earth and nothing would exist without it. It is free, pure and accessible. The human body is about 70 percent water, and it is necessary for every cellular process.

If all of these things are so, why do so many people pass on water for other high calorie-sugar laden drinks that provide zero energy and do nothing to promote health and well being?

Perhaps water is just too simple and unassuming, or perhaps we value only that which comes with a hefty price tag. Whatever the reason, beverage manufacturers have worked hard to put a new and alluring twist on plain old water.

One of the latest charades to mask the goodness of water comes from Kraft, which makes Mio Water Flavor Drops in sporty little bottles with a catchy label. This zero calorie water enhancer seems basically harmless, until you dissect its innards. gives 17 of the Mio Water Flavorings an F rating and the tangerine flavor a C-.

The Ingredients

Water, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Malic Acid, Contains Less than 2% of Natural Flavor, Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium (Sweeteners), Potassium Citrate, Red 40, Blue 1, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative).

What’s Inside?

Propylene Glycol – a bitter liquid used to prevent food discoloration during storage. This dangerous substance is used in the production of polyester and antifreeze. It is also used to produce fake smog and smoke. Animal studies indicate that propylene glycol may cause serious health conditions when consumed over time.

Acesulfame Potassium – this artificial sweetener is 200 times sweeter than sugar and contains methylene chloride, a known carcinogen. It can cause nausea, headaches, liver problems, mood disruption, hypoglycemia, and possibly cancer.

Potassium Sorbate – Although this mold inhibitor is regarded as safe, its synthetic composition can lead to allergic reactions, diarrhea, nausea and nutrient loss in food.

“Natural Flavor” – both artificial and natural flavorings are concocted in a laboratory using what many people would consider less than natural. Because the regulations regarding natural flavorings are so loose, there is lots of wiggle room for strange ingredients.

Keep in mind that regardless of the origin of natural flavors, food manufacturers are not required to provide information about the chemicals used to create flavor. The flavor could actually be the result of hundreds of mixed chemicals. Suffice it to say, the lack of transparency here should leave us all a bit nervous.

Sucralose – This highly dangerous artificial sweetener is sold under the popular name of Splenda.  A study conducted at Duke University found that sucralose, a synthetic compound, negatively alters gut microflora and absorption of nutrients. This means that anything good that water has to offer is lost when you use the Mio water flavoring. Additionally, there is concern that sucralose can cause bowel and kidney disturbance and an increased risk of tumor growth.

water colorDon’t Waste Your Money: Drink Pure Water Instead

So, while the high priced Mio Water Flavoring may seem like a neat and practical way to boost your water, you are getting nothing good in return from a health perspective. As always, we suggest drinking filtered water over any other beverage. If you really want some flavor, try putting some fresh lemon or lime in your glass or infusing some fresh berries in a glass of ice water.

-The Alternative Daily

“Common Food Safety Questions from FSIS – Natural Flavorings on Meat & Poultry Labels.” USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Home. Web. 16 May 2011. .

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  1. ScottMc76 says

    How many people in the past year have been sickened by chemical sweeteners vs. those who have been sickened (or dropped dead) from obesity? If a fat person uses Mio to wean themselves off of high-calorie soft drinks or simply to drink more water, how is that a bad thing? Better yet, tell me… how many people in the past year have gotten sick or died from food borne pathogens thanks the ridiculous “organic” lobby convincing a bunch of lemmings to ignore 100+ years of technological advancements in agriculture? You people are ingesting so much bacteria on that organic produce, it’s a wonder you’re not sick every other week. Oh wait… you are. Everyone I know who eats organic foods religiously is sick much more than us “normals”. How many people did Chipotle sicken this year with their “responsibly sourced” ingredients?

  2. Erica Balk says

    Well, I’m one of those normals and I’ve had two completely separate unrelated cancers , one in the small intestine, before age 40. Lots of artificial sweeteners and other ingredients we a regular part of my diet. I also have diabetes, chronic joint problems, small fiber nerve damage and am prone to getting every little bug that comes by. I take 8 medications daily to manage these issues. This is despite what most would think is a relatively healthy lifestyle free of sodas and lots of sweets, daily exercise, etc. My mother is a back to the land hippy (I’m sure you’ve got lots to say about that too). She grows most of her own food and lives very simply. She just turned 70, looks about 50 and has no chronic medical issues, takes no daily medications and is rarely sick. My father is an organic gardener who smokes like a chimney and drinks nothing but coffee (my stepmother is a heavy smoker too). They run an organic farm stand and mostly eat what they grow. Despite an ‘unhealthy’ lifestyle they have no chronic health issues either and also take no regular medications and rarely get sick. I attribute this to their diet. So I don’t know where you get your dubious facts about those who eat organic getting more sick than your so called ‘normals’, but my personal experience says that’s more personal opinion than scientific fact.

  3. ScottMc76 says

    Sorry to hear about your health conditions. However you seem oblivious to the irony of calling my facts “dubious” because they are based on anecdotal evidence and then turning around and basing your own conclusions on your own health and the health of your parents. My “sample” may not be statistically significant, but I can guarantee you it’s a larger group than three.

  4. ScottMc76 says

    Some interesting information here about the link between organic foods and food-borne illnesses…

    “The UN agency (World Health Organization) released findings from an upcoming study that found 582 million cases food-borne illnesses in 2010, which resulted in 351,000 deaths. Salmonella, E. coli and norovirus were the most common of the 22 food-borne illnesses reported.

    ‘Thousands of cases a year of food illness are triggered from organic
    products,’ said Stuart Smyth, a professor at the University of
    Saskatchewan’s bioresource policy, business and economics department. ‘It’s largely due to the process of them using manure slurry as
    fertilizer and coming down to improper household food preparations in
    terms of making sure that they’re properly washing organic food.'”
    *url redacted*

  5. j8888 says

    My family and I have been eating mostly organic food for three years now, and we have not gotten sick since. I had poor digestion, but even that’s gone since I cut way down on caffeine, alcohol, sour and spicy foods. I got here because I love the Mio black cherry flavor, but I’m trying to find a more natural alternative instead.

  6. Snow Mann says

    I have type 2 diabetes and now starting to have kidney problems (I’m 67). Anyway, to put this bluntly I HATE just plain water. I don’t care if it’s spring water, distilled water, designer water, it all sucks. The only way I can drink water is to add some type of flavoring to it. My doctor told me to increase my fluid intake and recommended “Gator Aid” type drinks. I guess I should add that I’m a coffee addict and was drinking 6 to 10 cups a day. I have cut back on the coffee until I see my doctor next week and if she says coffee is okay, I’m back to my coffee.

  7. Joel Finkel says

    “Propylene Glycol – a bitter liquid used to prevent food discoloration during storage. This dangerous substance is used in the production of polyester and antifreeze.”

    No, that is Ethylene Glycol. I do not trust anything in this article if you cannot even get that right.

  8. wendygoerl says

    Nice. Now go look at pasteurized milk vs. organic–you’ll find most of the outbreaks of dairy food poisoning since “organic” has been a health thing are linked to PASTEURIZED milk. And wasn’t there something about peanuts a few years ago (Nope, not organic ones)?

    Seriously, if you follow the money, you’ll find that most of these articles are written by organizations funded by Big Food, which doesn’t want to lose profits from their dirty, factory-farming practices to homegrown organics.

  9. wendygoerl says

    Your sample is about as statistically significant as report on the benefits of smoking cigarettes issued by Phillip Morris!

  10. ScottMc76 says

    And yet it’s still exponentially larger than your sample of yourself and your family members. You people troll message boards with your anecdotal nonsense and then get all offended when people point out actual scientific evidence to the contrary. So you resort to logical fallacies to dry to distract from the sad truth that your argument has no basis in fact.

  11. wendygoerl says

    I didn’t take a “sample of yourself and your family members.” I’ve got an entire folder on my hard drive dedicated to articles of “raw vs. pasteurized milk” (not to mention GIGABYTES of data on Government/Industry suppression and sanitization of unfavorable data).

    And who’s the “people troll message boards with your anecdotal nonsense”? I’ve been on this mailing list for two years. I save articles from SIX different health/medicine email subscriptions, including a whole folder just for Alternative Daily, and another for Alliance of Natural Heath articles. Here’s a few of them:

    “Why We Can’t Trust the Mainstream Media about Drugs and Vaccines”
    “When Does Crony Medicine Become Fascist Medicine”
    “Vaccine Studies Debunked”
    “Small and Organic Farmers Survive Latest Round of FDA Rulemaking”

    And here you come on this ALTERNATIVE medicine/nutrition site spewing the government/industry spin-doctored MAINSTREAM party line. Who are you quoting? The UN (a coalition of governments whose official stance are dictated by lobbyists for industries that would lose power if they couldn’t require expensive, damaging processes that small and independent producers can’t afford), a college (that gets Government funding, and therefore “expectations” about what kind of research will be done and what kind of results will be published).

    So who’s the “troll” in this picture?

  12. ScottMc76 says

    The troll is the one attempting to resurrect an argument that ended 6 months ago. If you want to dedicate your life to trying to win an argument, fine. But you might want to find a more fruitful outlet than some obscure message board from a tiny little fringe publication that no one reads or cares about.

    And by the way, I’m not interested in what you may or may not have collected to form your opinion. I’m interested in what you presented as your argument in THIS debate, which was nothing more than your opinion.

  13. wendygoerl says

    YOU are the one using friends and relatives for your sample (“Everyone I know who eats organic “), and then accusing ME (“your sample of yourself and your family members”) of doing so.

    Fact is, organic is not Big Food, and Big Food doesn’t like the competition. So it lobbies in Congress to get favorable reports from the FDA and CDC, and funds university studies that would support its contention. If you want to get an unbiased picture of organics in in our diet, you have to balance government/university studies against studies done by organizations that have no connection to them. I’ve done that. You’ve only quoted a couple of people who, from their positions, would have an obvious bias against organic–or they’d be out of a job.

    You want numbers? Fine.
    Between 2009 and 2011, cheese made from RAW (maybe organic) milk was linked to 1 outbreak and 15 illnesses. In that same time, cheese made from pasteurized (definitely NOT organic) over the same time period was linked to 5 outbreaks and 36 illnesses.
    (There’s a nice list of non-organic food outbreaks here:

    And while Chipotle emphasizes locally-grown and minimally-processed foods, those criteria alone are insufficient for the label “organic.” To be truly organic, the land must be documented to be pesticide and herbicide free for at least four years.

  14. ScottMc76 says

    I understand you have an agenda to promote, but you can’t come 6 months late to a debate and then cherry pick comments out of context in a debate that didn’t even concern you just because it conveniently makes your point. I responded with my own anecdotal observations in response to another commentor’s anecdotal observations to make the point that I have observed a much different reality. I then quoted directly from a World Health Organization study in my very next comment.

    Now, as to the numbers you stated, there’s a very important statistical error in the point you’re trying to make. You state the total number of illnesses stemming from pasteurized vs. organic dairy products as though they are equal samples. But the fact of the matter is that there are exponentially more pasteurized products produced in this country vs. organic products. So the ONLY comparison that matters is a per-capita number of cases — the number or percentage of food-borne illnesses per product consumed.

    In other words, the only reason there are more food-borne illnesses from pasteurized products is because there are vastly more pasteurized products than organic ones.

    Currently, only 11 states even allow the sale of raw milk. I have searched for but have yet to find a definitive statistic about the percentage of raw vs. pasteurized milk that is consumed currently in the U.S. But simply using your stats related to organic dairy-related illnesses and a ratio of 5 to 1 to represent the states where these products are illegal vs legal, you can surmise that pasteurized milk could result in approximately 5 outbreaks and 75 illnesses and still be at parity with the food-related illnesses from raw milk. And that assumes that nearly 100% of milk sold in those 11 states is raw, which I assume we can agree is not the case. It is likely a small fraction of total milk consumed.

  15. says

    MIO was responsible for nearly putting me in the hospital. Stomach cramps, constipation, gas…. it was a veritable nightmare until I figured out what it was that was causing my condition… it was that MIO crap! I also ran across similar symptoms while using Crystal Light.

    So far the only water additive that doesn’t make me extremely sick is Tang.

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