Is Mio Bad for You? (Explained by a Registered Dietician)

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MiO is a popular water enhancer that adds flavor and variety to plain water. However, there is increasingly more interest in the health effects of MiO particularly since it contains artificial sweeteners.

With the use of artificial sweeteners, food colorings, and preservatives, it’s important to consider the potential health effects of consuming products like MiO regularly.

In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into MiO’s ingredients, explore potential health concerns, and offer some insight on this product so you can make a more informed decision as a consumer of this product.

๐Ÿ“Œ Key Takeaways

  • MiO is a zero sugar, zero calorie liquid water enhancer.
  • Using MiO can be a fun way to help meet your daily fluid goals if you have difficulty drinking plain water.
  • MiO is not bad for your health. However, artificial sweeteners should be consumed in moderation due to their controversial nature.
  • There are healthier alternatives to add flavor to your water including lemon or lime slices.

๐Ÿค” What is MiO?

MiO is a zero-sugar, zero-calorie, liquid water enhancer. With just a few drops you can change the flavor profile of your glass of water. You can use as many or as little drops as you like.

MiO is available in multiple flavors and different product lines: MiO Original, MiO Energy, MiO Sport, and MiO Vitamins.

This sounds great right? Is there a catch? What’s in it and is MiO bad for you?

Mio water for sale in a store

๐Ÿ”Ž What is in MiO?

So, if MiO is zero calories and zero sugar, where does the flavor and sweet taste come from? The sweet taste comes largely from artificial sweetener and flavorings. It also contains food colorings and preservatives.

Artificial Sweeteners

You have probably heard of these at some point or another.

An artificial sweetener is a low calorie or calorie free sweetener that is used in sugar free products like diet sodas and sugar free candy. They provide that sweet taste without the extra sugar and calories.

The most common artificial sweeteners that you have probably heard about are sucralose and aspartame. All of the MiO product lines contain the artificial sweeteners called sucralose and acesulfame potassium (Ace-k).

The most common type of sucralose is Splenda, which is a sweetener used in items such as coffee and tea.

Food Dyes and Preservatives

The MiO product lines all contain food dyes and preservatives such as red 40, yellow 5, and yellow 6. While the Food and Drug Administration labels food dyes as safe, they can cause an allergic response.

Some claim food dyes are linked to lymphomas and tumor growth but there is no evidence to support these claims.

It also contains preservatives called potassium sorbate, citric acid and propylene glycol.. Potassium sorbate is used to keep unwanted molds and fungus away.

Water in glasses diluted with food dyes


The MiO energy line is made with some caffeine (60mg per serving) – hence the name “MiO Energy”. Ginseng, taurine and guarana are also present in the MiO energy flavors.

Stevia Leaf Extract

There are also some MiO products that contain stevia leaf extract. Stevia is a plant based sweetener that is extracted from a plant native to South America.

Even though it is about 50-350 times sweeter than sugar, it does not cause tooth decay.

It has also been shown to have some health benefits including anti-inflammatory effects, antidiabetic, and antioxidant properties.

The health benefits of stevia still need to be studied more but recent studies are promising.

Vitamins and Minerals

Three of the MiO product lines (MiO Vitamins, MiO Electrolytes, MiO Energy) all contain about 10% of the recommended vitamins B3, B6, and B12.

๐Ÿง How is it Used?

It comes in small bottles that easily fit in a purse, bag, or pocket, making it a convenient way to customize your water on-the-go.

Not only is it convenient, but it is a popular choice for people who find plain water boring or are looking for ways to limit their calorie intake.

This product is sold in small bottles that contain less than a 1/4 cup of liquid. Even though it’s a small size each bottle contains about 10-24 servings depending on the product line (ie. MiO Energy vs. MiO Vitamins).

The serving size is about 1/4 teaspoon to flavor 8 ounces of water. Since it is meant to flavor water and is a concentrated liquid, it should not be consumed on its own.

Additionally it should be used within 30 days of opening the bottle.

Hand holding a Mio water enhancer

๐Ÿฉบ Potential Health Benefits of Using MiO

Zero Sugar and Calories

MiO is popular among people who are looking to reduce their sugar and calorie intake. This is because it allows them to add flavor to their water without adding any additional sugar or calories.

This can benefit people who are trying to achieve weight loss or have diabetes for example. When trying to lose weight, one of the easiest items to tackle is liquid calories.

Calories from drinks add up fast, which can lead to weight gain or make weight loss more challenging.

If you cut out high calorie or sugary drinks like Coke and replace it with a diet soda or a drink like MiO, this can assist with weight loss.

Individuals who have Diabetes Mellitus may also opt for sugar free drinks like MiO to provide flavor without the excess sugar from sugary drinks that can contribute to high blood sugar levels.

๐Ÿงช Is MiO Bad For You?

It is important to note that while artificial sweeteners can be a helpful tool in reducing calorie and sugar intake, they should be consumed in moderation.

Some research suggests that regular consumption of artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and acesulfame potassium may have unintended health effects. But, more research is needed to fully understand their effects on health.

Gut Microbiome

One of the growing concerns about artificial sweeteners is that they affect the composition of the gut microbiome. This is concerning because the gut microbiome plays a key role in the many processes of the body.

In mice studies, the artificial sweetener, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), increased weight gain and disrupted the gut microbiome.

However, most of these studies have been conducted in mice and more studies are needed to determine if the composition changes observed in the intestinal microbiota of mice also occur in humans.

Drinking artificial sweeteners causes weight gain

Obesity, Type 2 DM, and Heart Disease

There is also concern that some artificial sweeteners may contribute to metabolic disturbances that lead to obesity, Type 2 DM, and cardiovascular disease.

It was originally believed that artificial sweeteners like sucralose were indigestible and therefore could not raise blood sugar levels.

However, it is important to note that there have been several animal and human studies that report artificial sweeteners like sucralose are partially digestible and can increase blood sugar and insulin levels.

Increase Cancer Risk

Artificial sweeteners such as Sucralose have potential mutagenicity. This term is used to describe a chemical agent that has the potential to induce genetic mutation.

Substances that are mutagenic may increase your body’s risk for developing cancer and DNA mutations. However, human research is necessary to confirm these findings.

๐Ÿ”€ Alternatives to Flavor Water

Adequate hydration is very important and the majority of adults do not consume the recommended amount of water per day.

As mentioned previously, some people have difficulty drinking water due to the lack of variety and flavor. That’s where MiO can be beneficial.

Drinking MiO infused water still counts as water intake.

However, there are natural flavors found in real foods that can help you meet your water goal without using artificial sweeteners like MiO.

Lemon and Lime

One of the easiest ways to add flavor to your water is with lemon or lime. A little bit goes a long way and doesn’t add calories.

Fruit Infused Water

If you’re looking for variety outside of the classic lemon or lime, try making fruit infusions and let it steep over a few hours. This helps to add natural flavor to your water.

To add some carbonation, try some fruit infusions with sparkling water!

Fruit infused drinks in a mug

Herbal Tea

Herbal teas are a great way to stay hydrated without caffeine and also add flavor to an otherwise plain glass of water. Enjoy it hot or cold!

Add Herbs

Infusing your water with rosemary or cilantro can be a great way to add flavor. Try adding these herbs to your fruit infused water!

Make Your Own Seltzer Water

Seltzer waters are very popular these days and can be another way to spice up your water intake! Especially if you enjoy the carbonation from soda but are looking for a healthier alternative, give this a try.

๐Ÿ“‘ In Summary

MiO water enhancers are a concentrated liquid that you can use to add flavor to your water. Products like these can be helpful for many people, particularly if you have a difficult time drinking enough water throughout the day.

One of the other positive sides is that it doesn’t add any additional calories or sugar into your diet.

On the other hand, MiO energy and the other MiO product lines contain artificial sweeteners like acesulfame potassium (ace-k) and sucralose. These artificial sweeteners are controversial and need more research to understand the long term health effects.

At the end of the day, if you choose to drink MiO it is completely up to you!

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that there are many alternative ways to add flavor to your water without artificial sweeteners, food dyes and preservatives.

โ” Frequently Asked Questions:

Is MiO Worse Than Soda?

MiO is not “worse” than soda. Soda is high in calories and does affect blood sugar levels. MiO is zero sugar and zero calories so may be beneficial for those looking to lose weight or better manage their blood glucose levels.

Is it OK to Drink MiO everyday?

If you struggle to drink enough plain water, MiO water enhancers may be a way for you to meet your daily water goal. If you can, try to meet your daily water needs by adding natural flavor to your water (herbal tea, fruit infusions, lemon, lime).

Does MiO Make You Gain Weight?

While there are some studies that have suggested artificial sweeteners like acesulfame potassium lead to weight gain in mice, there is not enough evidence to support this in humans.

Are There Side Effects To Drinking MiO?

To date, there is not enough evidence to support any side effects of drinking MiO. However, more research is needed on the long term health effects of artificial sweeteners found in MiO.

  • Roxanne Trotter
    MS, RDN

    Registered Dietitian Roxy, fueled by her love for food and wellness, tackles misinformation head-on. Her Master's in Human Nutrition and diverse experience (weight management, hospitals) equip her to translate complex health topics, especially those related to water quality. Through her own practice (Nutremedies LLC) and writing for Water Filter Guru, Roxy empowers readers with accurate, evidence-based information, helping them make informed choices for a healthier life, one sip at a time.

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