Too Many Wellness Drinks
August 2, 2021 10:15 AM   Subscribe

 
My wife and I have gone through about six times our usual amount of San Pellegrino sparkling mineral water this summer, because we're drinking a lot of Rickeys. We're under no illusion of any health benefit, but when it's humid and over 90° F, "air conditioning in a glass" does seem worthwhile.
posted by fedward at 11:06 AM on August 2 [11 favorites]


Eh, as a sober person who has a drinking problem, I think I am okay with having a lot of options that aren't alcohol or soda. One I can't have, and the other I don't care for. At the end of the day, I'm a fizzy water gal and that suits me fine.

I have tried Daydream before and they were okay? I mean, nothing I'd want to spend that money again on, but I do like trying new things. The whole adaptogen and nootropics thing doesn't really resonate with me, but I do like novelty.
posted by Kitteh at 11:12 AM on August 2 [18 favorites]


I remember when "sparkling water" was called "seltzer" and we always had a bottle in the house to make egg creams.

I drink a lot of seltzer. I like La Croix (the lime and orange flavor, mostly), and have also imbibed a lot of San Pellegrino and Crystal Geyser in my day. And I have a SodaStream to make it at home, when the urge arises.
posted by hanov3r at 11:26 AM on August 2 [5 favorites]


Coca-Cola is mentioned a little bit, but I'm a little surprised that the Vox article didn't have anything about the history of Coca-Cola itself. It was created by Dr. John Pemberton, an American pharmacist, and was originally a patent medicine and advertised as a brain and nerve tonic. I mean, that's basically a "functional" drink. The linked Smithsonian article mentions that patent medicines in general were popular in the US back then because Americans were dealing with industrialization, urbanization and great social changes (like the Civil War). So, even the reasons of popularity are similar.
posted by FJT at 11:26 AM on August 2 [19 favorites]


The east coast does have a tradition of non-alcoholic lime rickeys, cf. the NYT's NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: NEW YORK UP CLOSE; Lime Rickey, Drink of Yore (and this excellent letter to the editor calling it "nearly unpalatable" without syrup). For a non-paywalled article, see New England Today. Growing up in Oklahoma, we went to Braum's for cherry limeades, which seem to be Rickeys by another name.

I would love to see more reasonably priced, bottled, "serious" nonalcoholic drinks for when I want the experience of a cocktail without the alcohol, and that's not to mention the ability to keep them on hand for our sober friends. There's a market for them now, but some of them come in at like $24 for a four-pack. I can get a 12-pack of Schweppes for the cost of one serving of one of those and dash it with my own bitters, so it's hard to pay that rate.
posted by fedward at 11:35 AM on August 2 [7 favorites]


I'm also a recovering alcoholic, and one that also has to avoid sugary drinks because of my diabetes... but I'm also not going to pay top dollar for a bunch of woo based on highly-questionable science. My current go-to non-caffeinated drink is diet ginger ale, which also comes in a diet ginger ale/lemonade mix. I also like non-sugar electrolyte drinks when I'm riding long distances on my bike; Nuun has some that include a caffeine hit.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:40 AM on August 2 [4 favorites]


Does the kombucha one buys off the grocery store shelf still have the live bacteria that's supposed to make it probiotic?
posted by LouCPurr at 11:43 AM on August 2


I recently discovered Olipop, which is ... well ... in its own words:
OLIPOP tastes like the soda you grew up sipping, but with the added benefit of microbiome and digestive health support. With plant fiber, prebiotics, botanicals, and a touch of magic, we made soda healthier AND more delicious!
It tastes nothing like the soda I grew up sipping. My mom was perpetually dieting, so soda in our house was diet variations of everything: Tab, Faygo, Fresca, etc. When the whole "scientists were actually giving lab rats the equivalent of 3 gajillion teaspoons of saccharine so of course all the rats died of cancer" story broke, there was no peace in the home: I was a hyper-rational sixth grader and my parents were Raised to Trust Scientists Who Surely Know What They're Doing. It got tearful.

Several of the flavors -- cherry, orange, and strawberry -- have a really appealing creaminess to them. Even the root beer and cola have that. Other "prebiotic" sodas have a more "DRINK IT, it's VIRTUOUS" vinegar note that only the hardest of hard core professional managerial class ascetics could embrace as "tasty."

The flavor is really what's keeping me, because I have an limited but earthy number of ways to assess the gut biome benefits of anything I start eating or drinking, and I cannot report any changes. They just taste kind of good and provide an alternative to the "homeopathically flavored fizzy water" thing that LaCroix pioneered, the usual diet suspects, and plain old sugar water.

I kinda feel like I'm supporting a scam drinking it, but it does taste good. The little squeeze bottle of sugar-free Tang flavoring I squirt into soda water I make with my Sodastream feels a little more down-to-earth, and I wonder if I could just do that with some milk or cream or something and get the same sort of flavor as the orange Olipop without feeling like a Goop subscriber.
posted by mph at 11:43 AM on August 2 [8 favorites]


I recently discovered Olipop . . .

I misread this as Oulipop, and I thought: "Is the constraint that there's no sugar?" Sadly, too obscure to be real.
posted by The Bellman at 11:50 AM on August 2 [23 favorites]


Does the kombucha one buys off the grocery store shelf still have the live bacteria that's supposed to make it probiotic?

I can't vouch for all brands, but GTs Raw Kombucha (which is one of the most popular) definitely does. Some of the flavors will have enough floaty bits of culture to harvest a SCOBY and make your own kombucha.

Regarding the article, I am a big fan of the health drink trend because it has led to low calorie tea or fruit-based energy drinks with good flavors being pretty common. I hate the taste of coffee so I'm always looking for good replacements, and I drink a lot of the V8 Energy Pomegranate/Blueberry
posted by JZig at 12:09 PM on August 2 [6 favorites]


Eh, as a sober person who has a drinking problem, I think I am okay with having a lot of options that aren't alcohol or soda. One I can't have, and the other I don't care for. At the end of the day, I'm a fizzy water gal and that suits me fine.

They're probably not widely available outside the St. Louis area, but Urban Chestnut's sparkling hop waters are pretty great. They don't try to taste like beer at all. There's no malt or yeast flavor, just sparkling water, hops, and (for those varieties) ginger or grapefruit flavor. They're also not too spend-y, at ~$2 per 16oz/473mL can. Since they're entirely non-alcoholic they can be easily ordered online in the US, but Canada might be out of luck.

If you like more intense floral/perfume-y hops, Lagunitas has a "Hoppy Refresher" that might be more widely available. It has a touch of yeast to it, but it's still fundamentally a hop-flavored seltzer.
posted by jedicus at 12:26 PM on August 2 [9 favorites]


(Coke) was originally a patent medicine and advertised as a brain and nerve tonic.

Hey don't forget 7-UP, which had lithium in the formula until 1949.
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:36 PM on August 2 [30 favorites]


Yes, another sober person who doesn’t like sugary drinks who is all about it. I’ll try most anything. I love Olipop, too! The Lagunitas hop water is weird but it’s grown on me.

A current favorite is a lemon spindrift with a dash of lavender bitters.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 12:54 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


"Health claim" beverages are mostly marketing hype, buuuuuuuut I will say that Vitamin Water Squeezed (i.e., diet) lemonade made my hyperemesis gravidarum a lot more bearable. Almost the only thing I could drink and not immediately throw back up was ice cold water with lemon, so Vitamin Water ticked those boxes AND one of the things that reduces the severity of HG is taking extra B vitamins. But I couldn't keep the vitamin B pills down, so they couldn't help. Stupid Vitamin Water lemon is FULLLLLLLLLL of B vitamins and I could keep it down.

Of course they don't market it for morning sickness, but maybe they should.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:21 PM on August 2 [11 favorites]


Not quite sure what the point is...we drink a lot of different beverages, trends change, there's some suspect hype over health benefits (but no actual study mentioned), something, something, neoliberalism...
posted by blue shadows at 1:28 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


As another (now) sober person, I've been pretty happy to find there's a bit of craft NA beer popping up lately alongside hop water infusions and stuff, like Wellbeing in St. Louis and BrewDog. (I also got a carbonator and found some hop extract drops to add to it - a little goes a very long way.) Options are nice. It'd be nicer if more of that stuff were available out and about, though, but maybe that's just my area.
posted by mrg at 1:30 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


currently on the no-booze train, you can pry my pellegrino outta my cold dead...blah blah. I love fizzy water!!!
posted by supermedusa at 1:34 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


I love fizzy water too, but I stopped drinking it because it comes in plastic bottles, and then there was an apparently pandemic related shortage of food grade carbon dioxide for awhile, and it was no longer an option.

I don't produce any stomach acid at all, according to my hematologist, and fizzy water is mildly acidic, but beyond that, the parietal cells which produce gastric acid use CO2 to produce much stronger hydrochloric acid, and I gather the needed CO2 comes from CO2 dissolved in blood, though I haven't seen anything definitive to that effect.

I've wondered whether fizzy water could serve as an alternative source of CO2 for the parietal cells, but haven't found anything which addresses the question directly.

If it does that might account for its reputation as a digestive aid and its presence on dinner tables, but you might also expect such a role to cause it to worsen GERD.

There are plenty of blog posts out there telling people with GERD to avoid it, but the most recent review article I found doesn't give much backing for that advice:
Conclusions: Based on the currently available literature, it appears that there is no direct evidence that carbonated beverages promote or exacerbate GERD.
posted by jamjam at 3:05 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


The author of the article makes a hell of a lot of sweeping statements, with very little to back them up:

At this cultural moment, drinking for drinking’s sake is considered a waste of time — people want their beverages to do something ...

These drinks help us in other ways, too, telegraphing to the world that we’re health-conscious, with their symbolic power as potent as their health benefits ...

But the fact remains that American consumers view them as trends, and nobody wants to miss out on the next big thing ...

But instead of admitting that drinks can just be fun, we invented new reasons to consume them ...

Nobody wants to admit that drinking something can just be functionally useless fun ...

Beverages have become just another way for people to signal allegiance to a certain lifestyle or to tell ourselves that we are working toward something better.


Jeez, that was exhausting. I felt like I was talking to a college sophomore who just learned how marketing works and thinks they're the only one who knows how manipulated we all are.

I kinda want to tell the author to just speak for themselves. I like LaCroix because the designs are soothing, the cans get really cold, and the flavors are good. I also like that it's a reliable way for me to get myself to drink water. I occasionally drink one kind of Vitamin Water not because it's good for me, but because that one flavor tastes like the low-sugar punch we used to have at summer camp and it's a nostalgia hit. I never got into kombucha because it tastes like juice that's gone bad.

I'm sure marketing has had some level of influence on my drink choices, but that's true of literally every consumer product on the market. But I kept waiting for the point of the article, and it never came. This feels like a first draft that needs a lot of fat cut out of it.
posted by lunasol at 3:37 PM on August 2 [17 favorites]


At this cultural moment, drinking for drinking’s sake is considered a waste of time — people want their beverages to do something ...

This is something I noticed in my last trip to California, that is basically not true at all where I live or anywhere else I’ve been - that every bottle of flavoured sugar water you’ll come across markets itself as some sort of magic potion with some sort of quasi-mystical reinvigorating, rejuvenating, refrobulating effect. I only ever saw that in Tech-heavy US coastal cities, nowhere else in the world, and I travelled a lot.

It’s a weird, alienating cultural artefact of a weird, alienated place, not a universal truth.
posted by mhoye at 3:45 PM on August 2 [12 favorites]


Great article. I read it while drinking a fancy sparkling fermented sour cherry cordial. It didn’t come in a fancy can because I made it on my counter. I’m also a certified mushroom dealer and I’ll just say cordeyceps, reishi and all of the other “healing” mushrooms taste like dirt and the amount you’d need to consume to see any benefit is staggering. You’re not going to get that in a fancy expensive drink. Mushrooms should be delicious and cooked with butter.
posted by misterpatrick at 3:50 PM on August 2 [11 favorites]


I don't really care about the health claims, but I do appreciate being able to get something to drink that tastes interesting and that doesn't have artificial sweeteners, alcohol, or caffeine, or lots of sugar. Don't need the calories from sugar and alcohol, can't drink beer in the middle of the school day (quel dommage) , can't drink too much caffeine or I have trouble getting sleep, and I dislike the taste of artificial sweeteners and don't care to get used to them.

Before the current surge of "healthy" sparkling waters, I drank a lot of herbal tea. If other people think complex-flavored, well-balanced beverages with botanical essences are going to make them healthier, cheers to them. I'm willing to spend the money for something tasty to drink that doesn't have a lot of dietary downsides. Rishi Sparkling Botanicals are my current jam.
posted by BrashTech at 4:04 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Americans demand options; we believe it to be our right. The beverage aisle is clear evidence of this.

Strong student essay written to meet a word count vibes.
posted by betweenthebars at 4:04 PM on August 2 [24 favorites]


Hey misterpatrick -- as someone who enjoys tinkering in the kitchen, drinking refreshing summertime drinks, fermented things, and - above all - sour cherry, my eyes got really big when I read 'homemade sparkling fermented sour cherry cordial'. Care to share the recipe?
posted by theory at 4:41 PM on August 2 [8 favorites]


Nobody wants to admit that drinking something can just be functionally useless fun

I mean, there's not a lot of fun bottle/can/box (I'll call them 'packaged' for short) drinks in the US in the first place. Packaged drinks outside the US (and especially that come from East and SE Asia) usually have more variety in flavors/ingredients, more variable bottle/container shapes, and just more flashy designs. Like Taiwanese bubble milktea drinks are kind of popular in the US, but in Asia there are drinks with suspended coconut, or grass jelly, or aloe vera in them. Or there's marble bottle soda drinks, which have no equivalent in the US at all. And just from the variety itself, you'll get both "fun" drinks, "healthy" drinks, and everything in between. I think this is partly because a larger share of packaged drinks are sold from vending machines and convenience stores in those regions than in the US, where I think where the majority are sold from the supermarket. So, that shifts the focus of selling single bottles/cans at a time to four-packs, six-packs, jugs, family-size bottles ,etc.

However, I think if you consider more than just packaged drinks, the US does have some version of fun drinks. It's just usually they're done by fast food/drink places like Starbucks and their promotional drinks (e.g., Unicorn Frappe, Viral drinks).
posted by FJT at 5:36 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


I agree about unsubstantiated claims re: These drinks help us in other ways, too, telegraphing to the world that we’re health-conscious, with their symbolic power as potent as their health benefits ... However.

I did have a coworker who never threw out his LaCroix cans. He just stacked them on his desk, labels facing out, whatever colors/flavors (no pattern). There was a recycling bin less than forty feet away. He could have been saving them for the return, but seemed unlikely given the environment (corporate technology). I never asked him about it because I couldn't figure out a way to bring it up without being grossed out about there being stacks of literal trash on his desk.

The article mentions Liquid Death, which I'd love to have a case of for my car. My mom kept the trunk of the family car well-stocked with single-use bottled water, so I have an Ancient Family Need to tote water about. Would prefer to use metal cans if possible; I also really enjoy their shtick.

I know humanity at large is really into, well, simple and quick fixes of all kinds, but I have to wonder about societies with substantially less Christian DNA than modern USA. Eucharistic practices and snake oil / patent medicine have a lot of mental pattern in common. Drink of this wine, for it will flush out the toxins for the remission of your sins. something something MLMs etc.

...Come to think of it, I think a friend was buying from a non-alcoholic drinks MLM last year.

It’s a weird, alienating cultural artefact of a weird, alienated place, not a universal truth.

I can't favorite this comment enough times.
posted by snerson at 5:46 PM on August 2 [4 favorites]


I kinda want to tell the author to just speak for themselves.

This is my reaction to almost any article which makes statements about what "we" are drinking now, or watching, or wearing, etc -- and I've never even heard of any of that stuff before. Keeping me in the know: Metafilter.
posted by Rash at 6:22 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Soda water, any juice without extra sugar, 1/4 lime squeezed in, and ice. All summer long.
posted by morspin at 7:51 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Topo Chico ride or die.
posted by jasondigitized at 8:07 PM on August 2 [7 favorites]


My parents made homemade kombucha in the 90s, and I can't drink the stuff. I remember the little bits of fungus in the water; I remember the fungus on top that gives its the carbonation, an extra-terrestrial mushroom growing in the pantry.

Yes, I appreciate this sounds kind of cool, but imagine if the idiots in Prometheus took their masks off and then started sipping alien egg goo
posted by Merus at 8:12 PM on August 2 [8 favorites]


A few decades ago, a cousin of mine was one of the founders of a company that sold “enhanced waters” along with blended fruit and tea drinks that were marketed with a health angle. It was sold to one of the giant soft drink commnglomerates, making him a very wealthy man. He’s now the CEO of a company that makes drinks whose selling points include “symbiotic microorganisms” and non-GMO ingredients. (To his credit, he’s also spent millions on philanthropic projects.) I haven’t seen him since we were kids (Dad got that side of the family in the divorce).

That was a very interesting article. We really have become spoiled for choice in the soft drink market. I dimly remember a time when Gatorade was something you only drank if you were playing sports or dehydrated from vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Now, if we could just sell the idea that everybody has a right to potable water even if they can’t afford to buy it in a bottle.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:54 PM on August 2 [8 favorites]


Counterpoint to this article: Achewood in 2016
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 11:35 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


We haven't talked much in this thread about yogurt or kefir based drinks, and maybe those are somewhat in decline. I'm so isolated I really can't tell.

But if so, I think they might be able to come back if they can make the transition to non-diary milks -- as I write, the idea of an almond milk kefir is very appealing to me, for example.

And as long as they're moving to a new substrate, maybe we can change an aspect of yogurt and kefir I have always found very puzzling in a probiotic: their ideal culturing temperature is quite a ways from average human body temperature.

What sense does it make to expect yogurt, which is happiest at ~110 ºF, and kefir, which prefers 65-85 ºF, to grow and thrive inside us and protect us from pathogens and mere undesirables which have adapted perfectly to our ~100 ºF body temperature over many millennia?

It would surprise me if you couldn't pull yogurt and kefir ideal temperatures a lot closer to ours by by slowly, slowly changing incubation temperatures over many generations, but I've never heard of anybody making the attempt.
posted by jamjam at 11:47 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


It would surprise me if you couldn't pull yogurt and kefir ideal temperatures a lot closer to ours by by slowly, slowly changing incubation temperatures over many generations, but I've never heard of anybody making the attempt.

Wouldn't that potentially make them a pathogen?
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:54 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Interesting question!

But I dont think so. There are something like 3500 separate species of bacteria in a normal oral microbiome alone, and most of them have never been cultured. The vast majority are not pathogens, and are probably perfectly adapted to our body temperature.
posted by jamjam at 12:01 AM on August 3


10-15 years ago when I was working at the natural foods co-op, some Austin company left us some samples of water whose claim to fame is that it was "hand vortexed." I had a picture in my mind of some dude's hairy arm up to the armpit in a vat, a-whirling and twirling that water into a vortex. No one even wanted to try the samples.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:13 AM on August 3 [19 favorites]


I don't know, Joe in Australia, the more I think about it the more I think you could be right about potential undesirable effects if yogurt and kiefer were perfectly adapted to us.

In parts of the world where they've been consuming these things for 100 generations, there are probably already strains of yogurt and kiefer bacteria in people's microbiomes if there's any potential for that. It would be interesting to see what happened if you tried culturing milk with those strains instead of the usual cultures.
posted by jamjam at 1:30 AM on August 3


Here in Georgia, almost all pandemic related health guidelines have been ignored, but all of our campus water fountains and water bottle fillers have been turned off with by "By order of the CDC" signs. (The CDC also says wear a damn mask, but we're sure not going to do that). As a result, If I'm on campus all day, it is virtually impossible to bring sufficient water to drink. I inevitably end up at the vending machine. Short of just purchasing Dasani, I've found Vitamin Water to be the least offensive thing on offer. Pleasant flavors, not too sweet, none of the artificial sweeteners that either give me a headache or have a laxative effect. And a bunch of preposterous claims on the bottle about boosting my brainpower.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:56 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


I keep it simple. When I drink water, it's out of the tap unless we're on the road. I still cherish that time at Yellowstone when I filled a big thermos full of spring water. Other than tap water, three cans of Coke Zero and whatever is in the beer fridge (if god brewed anything better than Bell's Two-Hearted, she's keeping in for herself). Trends are lost on me.
posted by Ber at 5:36 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Just try to buy a V-8 veg juice in the gas station's store; forget it. But the refrigerator case has 10 doors with hundreds of offerings of this other crap. Seldom even a shelf at the bottom in the corner with the apparently old-fashioned stuff.
posted by lathrop at 6:17 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Hey Theory - here’s a simple cordial recipe that’ll work with any fruit you’ve managed to pick.
3 cups fruit
7 cups water
2.5 cups sugar
Tsp lemon juice or some citric acid

Mix everything is a big ‘ol jar. Cover the top with some muslin or cheesecloth. Let it sit in the counter and give it a stir every day and a little taste. You want the wild yeasts on the fruit skin and in the air to eat those sugars. It’ll start to foam after a few days or more of it’s being stubborn. When it is tart enough and nicely fizzy strain and keep in the fridge to stop fermentation. Mix with a bit of club soda over ice or use as a mixer in cocktails etc. delicious!
posted by misterpatrick at 8:40 AM on August 3 [5 favorites]


I dimly remember a time when Gatorade was something you only drank if you were playing sports or dehydrated from vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Mitch Hedburg had jokes about that

Topo Chico ride or die.
It even has it's own theme song
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:06 AM on August 3


Short of just purchasing Dasani, I've found Vitamin Water to be the least offensive thing

As a former plastics scavenger I must point out that Vitamin Water empties are way more desireable than the Dasani, because the latter are made with that really flimsy plastic, but Vitamin Water bottles are among the thickest and therefor heaviest and most valuable at the recycling station. However, as a friend of the earth, which is the better choice?
posted by Rash at 12:52 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


That's where I'm at right now. I've always been judgy at the wastefulness of people buying bottled water, and then realized how much Vitamin Water I consume, and I really need to stop buying plastic bottles of anything. I just want something that tastes good and is easy to grab and throw in the car or backpack as I leave the house. What I want is Vitamin Water in a can. But despite the myriad choices available, I can't find anything like that. All the canned stuff is carbonated, or unflavored. The closest I've found is Flow water, which is a lot less plastic, but it's going for the just-a-hint of flavor thing, and I apparently crave grown-up Kool-Aid.
posted by team lowkey at 2:05 PM on August 3


Our campus recently changed vending machine contractors, and the new one removed all the machines that sold cans. It's only plastic bottles now.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:29 PM on August 3


A few years ago I learned about the concept of "drinking vinegars." I try not to prejudge anything but I couldn't suppress a WTF and a nooooooooooooo.
posted by bendy at 6:49 PM on August 3


As someone who often suffers from acid stomach, I’ve always been curious about those drinking vinegars (a nearby store sells a carbonated version.) Anyone here tried any of those and what did you think?
posted by Atom Eyes at 7:16 PM on August 3


I really love me some low calorie flavored water but I feel like there’s a missing piece of this story.. The grocery store has a truly overwhelming selection of flavored drinks. Why? What changed? Are people drinking alcohol less and this is a substitute? Are the margins amazing? Is it easier to get capital for this kind of business? Or has it always been this way and I didn’t notice?
posted by phoenixy at 12:56 AM on August 4


I drink shrubs on a pretty regular basis during my work day. A shrub is basically an oz of drinking vinegar and 4oz of seltzer poured over ice. It's refreshing but not great for my GERD.
posted by zrail at 4:36 AM on August 4


As someone who often suffers from acid stomach, I’ve always been curious about those drinking vinegars (a nearby store sells a carbonated version.) Anyone here tried any of those and what did you think?

I tried a vinegar soda the other day, they put a teeny tiny bit of apple cidervinegar in the soda. Probably would not have noticed it if I didn't already know what to look for.
posted by GoblinHoney at 7:47 AM on August 4


The grocery store has a truly overwhelming selection of flavored drinks. Why? What changed? Are people drinking alcohol less and this is a substitute?

I think it's the result of the very successful US tap water smear campaign. I've known many people who'd never touch the stuff (although testing shows it's often safer than bottled).

Are the margins amazing?

Probably. It's mostly tap water. Dasani's just filtered tap water. You could filter it, yourself.
posted by Rash at 9:01 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


As someone who often suffers from acid stomach, I’ve always been curious about those drinking vinegars (a nearby store sells a carbonated version.) Anyone here tried any of those and what did you think?

It's worth a try. For *some* people, acid reflux anyway can be a result of too little acid (rather than too much). For me, if I find that I'm feeling a bit prone to reflux, taking a shot of apple cider vinegar in water, or eating a salad with a strong vinaigrette really helps to soothe my stomach.

Vinegar is quite an acquired taste, of course. Personally, I crave it. Start with some sweet pickle juice and go from there. :)
posted by hydra77 at 9:24 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I worked in advertising for vitamin water and can confirm that the name of the game was “how close to the line of saying this sugar water has medicinal benefits can we get without stepping over said line”
posted by tummy_rub at 4:03 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


A few years ago I learned about the concept of "drinking vinegars." I try not to prejudge anything but I couldn't suppress a WTF and a nooooooooooooo.

I'd wonder if it were less acidic than a soda.

"My favorite beverage is a 2,000-year-old energy drink from ancient Rome"
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:06 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Dairy didn’t make it out of this beverage shift unscathed either. A steady decline in milk consumption in the 2010s led to Dean Foods, the country’s largest dairy processor, to file for bankruptcy by 2019.

Or it could be because they got bought by a private equity firm.
posted by ckape at 7:39 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]


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