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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  • ScottMc76

    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?

  • Erica Balk

    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.

  • ScottMc76

    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.

  • Snow Mann

    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.

  • Joel Finkel

    “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.