Mio is a popular brand of liquid water enhancer that is used by many. If you use Mio frequently or want to try Mio, you may be wondering, is Mio bad or good for you?
While this is a rather complicated answer, this article will take a deep dive into the potential risks, benefits and other concerns about Mio.
Variations of Mio
Mio products come in a few different categories and have a variety of flavors in each category. All come in the form of a concentrated liquid which is meant to be added to plain water. The categories include:
All categories of Mio contain zero calories and are sweetened from artificial sweeteners.
Mio Original is meant to simply add flavor to your water, it has no other benefits. It comes in several flavors, including Strawberry Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Lemonade, Berry Grape, Berry Pomegranate, Cranberry Raspberry, Sweet Tea, Blueberry Lemonade, Mango Peach and Cherry Blackberry.
Mio Energy contains 60 mg of caffeine and is therefore meant to help boost your energy. It comes in a variety of flavors, including Wicked Blue Citrus, Black Cherry, Tropical Fusion, Green Thunder, Strawberry Pineapple Smash and Acai Berry Storm.
Mio Vitamins are not your typical vitamin tablets. It’s a liquid concentrate that contains vitamins B3, B6 and B12. This version is available in three flavors, Orange Tangerine, Orchard Apple and Orange Vanilla.
Mio Sport contains electrolytes and B vitamins to help aid your recovery from exercise. It comes in four flavors, including Berry Blast, Arctic Grape, Lemon Lime and Orange.
Safety of ingredients in Mio
The ingredients for Mio Original are as follows: water, citric acid, sodium citrate, gum arabic, sucralose, natural flavor, sucrose acetate, isobutyrate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, rosemary extract and yellow 5.
The other varieties of Mio contain similar ingredients with some additional ingredients, such as caffeine, taurine, guarana extract, ginseng extract, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, acesulfame potassium, potassium citrate, and other artificial coloring.
I know that some of these ingredients sound scary, but that’s typically because they have hard to pronounce scientific names. This tends to elude that they were made in a dingy lab somewhere and couldn’t possibly be good for our health.
It’s important to not fall into the “appeal to nature” fallacy and assume just because an ingredient doesn’t sound natural, it must be harmful. It’s important to delve into the research and see what the evidence has to say.
Let’s go through a few of the ingredients in Mio to see if there are any safety or health concerns.
Citric acid is an acid compound found in citrus fruits. It is created by fermentation of carbohydrate solutions in lemon or pineapple juice and is commonly used as a food additive.
As for safety, citric acid can cause serious eye irritation and may cause respiratory irritation if inhaled. In the long term, it may have effects on the teeth in the form of erosion.
The Food and Drug Administration or the FDA has labeled this food additive generally recognized as safe or GRAS.
In large and repeated doses, it can potentially cause diarrhea, indigestion, nausea or a “burning” sensation. But this was only seen when citric acid was consumed as a medication.
Sodium citrate is derived from citric acid and is used as a flavoring agent. It may cause eye and respiratory tract irritation if inhaled, similarly to citric acid.
If very large doses are consumed, it can lead to alkalosis or depressed heart function. This isn’t a concern in a product like Mio, where the amount used is very small.
Gum arabic is a dried gummy secretion from the stems and branches of Acacia trees. It is a food additive that can be used as a source of dietary fiber or as a thickener, emulsifier or stabilizer.
According to the FDA, gum arabic is generally recognized as safe or GRAS. In animal studies, it was shown that mice who consumed a diet of 5% gum arabic showed no increased incidences of tumors.
While gum arabic was associated with dermal and bronchial hypersensitivity in workers handling acacia dust, the evidence for allergic potential was weak.
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute. It has an intensely sweet taste, so only a small amount is needed to sweeten a food or beverage.
It has an acceptable daily intake of 0-15 mg per kg of body weight. In human studies, it was found to not affect short-term blood sugar control in diabetics and no abnormalities in temperature, pulse or blood pressure were found.
There are some cases found where sucralose caused migraine. If you get migraines from sucralose, I recommend avoiding Mio.
The term “natural flavor” refers to the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate or the flavor constituents from any food (such as fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, dairy products, yeast, etc.).
The safety of natural flavors shouldn’t be a huge concern unless you have a specific allergy. That being said, if there are allergens present in the food product, it should be listed in the “contains” and “may contain” allergy section of the nutrition facts label.
Sodium benzoate is an organic sodium salt that is typically used as a preservative in food. It can cause mild eye irritation if it gets into your eyes.
The FDA has labeled sodium benzoate as generally recognized as safe. It is limited to a maximum level of 0.1% of food.
Overall, the presence of sodium benzoate in Mio is not a concern since it is only present in very small amounts and is used as a preservative.
Potassium sorbate is a potassium salt used as an antimicrobial food preservative. It inhibits the growth of mold and yeast in various foods.
Potential side effects include skin and eye irritation in work settings. It is considered generally recognized as safe by the FDA.
The acceptable daily intake is 0-25 mg per kg of body weight. Mio is in the safe range and the presence of this preservative shouldn’t be a concern.
Acesulfame potassium or Ace-K is approved for use as a sweetener. It is about 200 times sweeter than sugar, meaning you only need small amounts to sweeten a beverage.
The FDA regulates acesulfame potassium as a food additive and it’s generally recognized as safe or GRAS. They reviewed over 90 studies on this additive to determine its safety.
Overall, Ace-K is safe, especially at the doses used in Mio, so it’s nothing to worry about unless you have a specific allergy or intolerance.
The artificial food dyes used in Mio include red 40, yellow 5 and blue 1. Recently, there has been a lot of stir around the danger of artificial food coloring, especially related to childhood ADHD.
There are even claims that these food dyes are banned in Europe and other countries. This statement is incorrect. They are typically labeled differently as “E” numbers.
When determining if a food additive is safe or not, the FDA considers how much is typically consumed, the effects of chronic consumption, expert opinion and methods to determine purity.
The food dyes present in Mio are considered to be safe in normal dosage. Therefore, they aren’t a huge concern unless you are consuming very large doses.
Effects of caffeine in Mio
As for consuming caffeine in any form, there are going to be potential health risks. That being said, it’s harder to over consume caffeine in more “natural” forms like coffee or tea. But for products like Mio, it can be easier to go overboard.
The FDA has determined that 400 mg of caffeine or about 4-5 cups of coffee should be safe for the average adult. One squeeze of Mio contains about 60 mg of caffeine.
So considering this, you should limit your Mio to 6-7 squeezes per day. This seems like a lot, but it’s also important to consider that it’s easy to overpour and include 2-3 servings in one long squeeze.
Potential benefits of Mio
While Mio can potentially lead to negative effects on your health, there can also be several benefits of using Mio to sweeten your water.
Firstly, it could be a better choice compared to sugar sweetened beverages that are high in added sugar. Mio contains no calories and won’t contribute to weight gain compared to sugary sodas and other drinks.
Along with this, Mio is a great way to boost your water intake. Despite some commonly held beliefs, plain water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated. Adding some water can help increase your liquid intake and help prevent dehydration.
Finally, some varieties of Mio, like the Mio Vitamins and Mio Sport, contain B vitamins. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, these supplements can help prevent vitamin B12 deficiency.
Who should avoid Mio
There are a few people who may need to avoid Mio based on various health conditions.
Firstly, if you are allergic to any ingredients in Mio, please avoid it. Allergic reactions can be life threatening in some cases, so it’s best not to take any chances.
Along with this, if you are a pregnant woman, you will want to avoid consuming high levels of caffeine. Please speak to your doctor to see if Mio Energy is appropriate for you.
Other than this, if you have any health conditions that require reduced caffeine intake or digestive issues, please consult your physician to see if Mio products are a good fit for you.
Alternatives to Mio
If you have decided after reading this article to this point that Mio isn’t the best choice for you, don’t worry. There are plenty of alternatives to Mio that can work great if you don’t like the taste of plain water.
You can always choose various sugary drinks if you don’t mind the added sugar, but a healthier alternative would be sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice or fruit infused iced water.
Energy drinks also may seem like an enticing option, but many have high amounts of caffeine, so be sure to check the label beforehand.
You can also try other brands that sell “water enhancers” like Crystal Light, Liquid IV and Stir.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Mio zero sugar?
Yes! Mio contains zero sugar in its whole line of products including Mio Original, Mio Energy, Mio Sport and Mio Vitamins.
That being said, they do contain artificial sweeteners to make their products taste sweet. Mio products are sweetened with either sucralose or Ace-K.
There are other water enhancers that are zero sugar and contain “natural” sweeteners like stevia extract, sugar alcohols and monk fruit such as Stir and Liquid IV that you can also try.
Is Mio good for weight loss?
Mio products are zero calories, so they can be good for weight loss if they are used to replace sugary beverages. If you consume them instead of plain water, there will likely be no weight difference.
In order to lose weight, you must reduce your overall calorie intake, increase your energy expenditure or both. For weight gain, you will need to do the opposite and consume more calories than you expend.
Is Mio safe for diabetics?
Since Mio products contain zero carbohydrates they should be safe to consume for diabetics and should not affect blood sugar levels or insulin levels.
Speak to your doctor before adding any new supplements to your diet and make sure you are checking your blood glucose levels on a regular basis as prescribed by your physician.
Is it healthy to drink Mio every day?
Mio products are safe to consume on an everyday basis. This being said, there is such a thing as consuming too much. Mio Energy, for example, contains caffeine that can lead to health issues if consumed in large doses in a short amount of time.
As long as you are consuming one or two servings of Mio daily, it shouldn’t be a concern. If you have any health conditions, please speak to your doctor before trying Mio products.
Is Mio or Crystal Light better for you?
Mio and Crystal Light are similar products and are both used as water enhancers. Mio uses sucralose and Ace-K to sweeten their products while Crystal Light uses aspartame, Ace-K, sucralose and/or sugar.
Neither is “healthier” than the other considering all the above sweeteners are considered safe. Some Crystal Light products may contain some added sugar and in those cases, Mio may be the “healthier” option.
Is Mio safe for kidneys?
Yes, consuming Mio in moderation is perfectly safe for your kidneys if you are a healthy adult without any underlying health conditions.
If you do have any health conditions, especially those that affect your kidneys, speak to your doctor before trying Mio.
What is the healthiest way to drink water?
The “healthiest” way to drink water is plain. That being said, adding some fruit slices, fruit juice, water enhancers or other flavor enhancers doesn’t necessarily make water “unhealthy”.
When adding flavor to water, make sure to consider moderation. Also try to avoid adding large amounts of added sugar to your water.