We all know the importance of staying hydrated, but it can be easy to forget to do it when we get busy. In fact, around 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Water on its own is tasteless, and that’s not for everybody. Why would you drink plain water when there are so many other flavored options out there? That’s where products like liquid MiO come in, but there can be a handful of side effects.
Before dumping MiO into your water thinking it’s going to solve your dehydration problem, it’s important to understand what liquid MiO is and the side effects that can come from drinking a lot of it. So, let’s look at MiO and alternatives to keep you hydrated and healthy.
What is MiO?
To put it simply, MiO is a liquid water enhancer manufactured by the Kraft Heinz company. It comes in a little bottle you can throw in your bag and take on the go. It’s heavily concentrated, so all you need is a few drops in your water bottle to get the effects.
The word MiO means “mine” in Spanish, and the company states this is supposed to send the message that users have the power to make their water taste however they want. Since water is ultimately tasteless, a lot of people have trouble drinking it throughout the day when there are so many other options out there. Products like MiO are supposed to encourage people to drink water and enhance the flavor.
MiO comes in a liquid as opposed to the powder form of other water enhancers. You can put it in water, soda water, or anything you want to realistically. Every MiO product is also kosher and vegetarian, so you don’t have to worry about that. There are several MiO product lines and they are all caffeine-free except for the energy line. Here are the different types of MiO:
- MiO Original
- MiO Vitamins
- MiO Electrolytes
- MiO Energy
What’s in It?
So, MiO is a water enhancer, but what’s actually in it? The brand advertises that their products provide 10% of your daily vitamins including B3, B6, and B12. Each of the MiO products comes in a variety of flavors. They also contain artificial sweeteners such as acesulfame potassium and sucralose. All of the MiO products have different ingredients. For example, some of them are naturally sweetened with Stevia, instead. So, it’s important to do your research before buying.
How Do You Use MiO?
Dehydration is a huge problem in adults. According to Healthline, 16-28% of adults are often dehydrated. When you’re dehydrated, you don’t feel good and can have less energy. If you are dehydrated enough, you may even end up in the hospital. Products like MiO were developed to motivate people to drink more water by putting more benefits into it and giving it a different taste.
Using MiO is pretty easy. All you need to do is open a bottle and put drops in your water bottle, soda water, or even a cocktail. If you’ve seen a bottle of MiO, you know it’s tiny. Each bottle is only 1.62 ounces, but if you look at the serving size, each one can be 10-24 servings. Use your MiO sparingly, because less is more with this product.
To put it into perspective, ideally, one MiO serving is about ½ a teaspoon. Since you probably won’t have a measuring spoon with you at all times, you can eyeball it. MiO is highly concentrated and should always be added to something else to dilute it before ingesting.
The bottles are small and easy to transport, so you can pop one into your bag to take with you and add it to your water when you remember to drink it. All of the MiO products are also 0 calories, so you don’t have to worry about that. The idea behind the product is to get people to drink more water, but unfortunately, there are a lot of side effects that can come from using liquid MiO.
Side Effects of Liquid MiO
Liquid MiO itself does not have side effects, but the ingredients in it do. The ingredients in liquid MiO that are likely to cause side effects are going to be the sweeteners that are used. Keep in mind that you’d need to be using liquid MiO all day every day to see bad side effects, but if you are prone to problems that can come from sweeteners, it may be best to avoid MiO altogether.
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that finds itself in many liquid MiO products. Sucralose is commonly known as Splenda, the most popular form. It’s 300-600 times sweeter than regular sugar so less is more when it comes to sucralose. The draw to this ingredient is that it can sweeten food and drinks without adding extra calories as regular sugar does. The problem is that it can alter your blood sugar levels and can potentially cause cancer.
Acesulfame potassium, or Ace-K, is another artificial sweetener found in liquid MiO. The biggest issue with this one is that it contains a carcinogen called methylene chloride. If you’re exposed to a lot of it, you can experience headaches, depression, nausea, and even kidney and liver problems. Now, will you see these intense side effects with the occasional use of liquid MiO? Probably not, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Stevia is a plant-based sweetener found in some of the liquid MiO products. It’s one of the least studied sweeteners used, but from research is shown to be the least bad. Stevia may also be anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants which are both good for the body. So, if you’re planning to use liquid MiO, you will get the least amount of side effects by using products with Stevia.
Alternatives to Liquid MiO
While the liquid MiO products containing Stevia have fewer side effects, you may want to avoid it altogether. There are plenty of other ways to flavor your water naturally without any junk such as:
- Lemon Slices
- Lime Slices
- Orange Slices
You can also drink healthy beverages that aren’t water to keep you hydrated. For example, drinking tea is a great way to keep your fluid intake high even if you aren’t crazy about drinking regular water. You SHOULD drink regular water along with tea, too.
Instead of grabbing a sugary tea from the gas station, we suggest trying Half-Day Tea Tonics. They only contain 3g of sugar, as well as plant fiber. They are gluten-free and made with all-natural ingredients so you know what you’re getting. Not to mention, they taste amazing!
You can also brew your own tea at home to drink, too. If you want to try naturally flavoring your own water, we recommend making a pitcher and soaking the fruit in it overnight for optimum flavor. Since you’re using all-natural fruits, you won’t be risking any side effects like with liquid MiO.
The bottom line is that products like liquid MiO can come along with unwanted side effects. It’s not the product's intention, but it comes with the territory of artificial sweeteners. Some of their products use Ace-K which contains a known carcinogen.
To stay on the safe side, try flavoring your water naturally at home with fruits and vegetables. You can also drink tea to help you stay hydrated while getting a boost from the caffeine. Even if you drink tea, it’s always important to remember to drink your water too. Stay hydrated!