5 Things To Look For In A Water Enhancer
Growing up, the only water enhancers I knew of were actually powdered packets that would turn water into a completely different drink. Think Tang and Crystal Light, drink mixes that ensured that your water was no longer water. Now, the market has changed. Water enhancers, rather than drink mixes, have taken over, each boasting a list of ingredients and benefits that might make choosing the right one a little confusing.
People use water enhancers for numerous reasons, from flavor to caffeine to electrolytes, and there are numerous options out there for each. But those options may leave you scratching your head, wondering, is mio bad for you? Does Liquid I.V. work? Are they addictive? No matter your reason for turning to water enhancers, here are a few things to consider as you choose which one is best for you.
Do You Want Caffeine?
One reason many people turn to water enhancers is for a boost in caffeine that saves money or eases them off of a coffee addiction. Some brands of water enhancers always include caffeine, some are caffeine-free, and some have a separate line of product specifically for those seeking a little energy boost. For example, Mio water enhancers have a separate line called “MiO Energy,” which will give you about 60 mg of caffeine per drink; that’s slightly less than a cup of coffee, a perfect amount to start with if you’re hoping to lessen your caffeine intake. It’ll also save you money, as one bottle of Mio can make 36 cups of caffeine-enhanced flavored water and cost you less than one iced coffee.
Flavor + Nutrients
Depending on your lifestyle and health needs, you may want to opt for a water enhancer that contains more than just flavor. More often than not, water enhancers also have electrolytes and vitamins. If you’re an athlete, electrolytes are almost never a bad idea, so choosing a water enhancer that gives you a boost on that front might be best for you. The popular brand MiO (mentioned above) has two product lines that contain a little something extra: MiO Sport, which has electrolytes and B vitamins, and MiO Vitamins, which has vitamins B3, B6, and B12 (but no boost in electrolytes). So if you’re wondering if Mio is bad or good for you, it’s important to first consider what line of products you’re drinking.
If you’re drinking MiO or other water enhancers to replace soda (diet or not), then you might want to think about the kind and amount of sweetener that your chosen water enhancer contains. Most water enhancers have either trace amounts of sugar or none at all, replacing that sugar with sweeteners of various kinds to alter the taste of water. But even if the sweetener contains no calories, it can still affect your glucose levels and incite sugar cravings, which might negate your decision to ditch soda in the first place. Artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin, and aspartame are just a few on the list to avoid. Not only might they make your cravings increase, but they can also have a negative effect on the balance of bacteria in your gut. So before you hit the search engine and enter “is MiO bad for you,” take a look at the ingredients list and see if you can decide for yourself.
If you’re really trying to kick sweeteners, consider using citrus to enhance your water. There are even packaged and portioned water enhancers that are essentially just citrus, though these may contain up to three grams of sugar. Ultimately, the amount and kind of sweetener you should allow in your water enhancer depends on why you’re using it in the first place. If it’s simply for water that tastes good, then just get the kind you like the best. If you’re trying to kick a sugar or soda craving, then you might want to pay a little more attention to the sweeteners used and the effect they may have on your body.
Powder, Liquid, Or Solid?
Having grown up with Crystal Light powder packets of iced tea, the variations of water enhancers on the market these days might give you pause as you’re choosing the right one for you. A good place to start is to choose your favorite type of water enhancers. Some, like MiO, come in a small bottle from which you squeeze drops into your drink; others come as a powder, either in a tub with 20+ servings or in individual single-serving packets. There are also solids, which you drop into your drink and wait for them to dissolve. Each form has pros and cons. The powder packets are the most portable for on-the-go use, but they’re harder to control just how much you’re putting in as they come pre-portioned. Having a small liquid bottle on you, like with MiO, allows you to put as much or little in your water as you want. Dissolvable solids, on the other hand, are the most restrictive when it comes to how much you can put in your drink and also take the most time, as you sometimes have to wait a couple of minutes for them to fully dissolve.
Water Is Best
At the end of the day, the simple way to avoid any worries when it comes to liquids is to just drink water. It contains no artificial ingredients, it won’t increase cravings of any sort, and it’s simply the best way to hydrate. That being said, few people are going to describe the taste of water as “satisfying” or “delicious” and there’s nothing wrong with needing a little flavor in order to get your eight cups a day down. So whether you opt for caffeine, electrolytes, powders or solids or liquids, as long as the water enhancer is getting you more hydrated than before, you’re making progress.