Is Hint Water Healthy? A Dietitian Answers

Is Hint Water Healthy? A Dietitian Answers


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Hint Water is a fruit-infused, flavored water brand that’s available at a wide range of popular retail stores in the US, as well as online. The brand is marketed as a healthy flavored water option, with claims such as “no diet sweeteners” and “preservative free” on the brand’s website.

But what’s actually in Hint Water and is it healthy? Does the brand use any questionable additive ingredients? How do real users rate and describe the taste of Hint Water? And which retailer sells this product for the best price?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in Hint Water based on research studies to give our take on whether the brand is healthy or not.

We’ll feature unsponsored customer reviews, compare the healthiness of Hint Water to other popular bottled water brands like Liquid Death, and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells Hint Water for the best price.

Ingredient Analysis

Hint Water Watermelon flavor ingredients

The ingredients in the Watermelon flavor of Hint Water are shown above.

The good thing is that this is a simple formulation free of sweeteners and other highly questionable additives like synthetic preservatives.

Natural flavors is an ingredient description that we consider to be questionable from a health perspective, for reasons summarized in a 2017 medical review:

"In reality, ‘natural flavors’ are a far cry from what consumers might expect, as they can contain both artificial and synthetic chemicals (often used as processing aids).” 

Without knowing the specific chemical compounds used for the flavoring, it’s challenging to make a safety assessment.

It’s also notable that Hint Water is packaged in plastic bottles.

As we documented in our Karma Water reviews article, water bottled in plastic was shown in at least one medical review to have higher levels of potentially endocrine-disrupting microplastics than tap water.

Overall, we consider Hint Water to be a decently healthy option, but we don’t currently recommend this brand due to its packaging and the addition of natural flavors.

But how does Hint Water stack up from a health perspective to other popular bottled water brands? We’ll share our thoughts in the next section of this article.

Hint Water vs. The Competition

Liquid Death, Smartwater and Crystal Light are three of the most popular water brands in the US. Here’s our take on how Hint Water compares to each in regard to healthiness:

Liquid Death

Liquid Death offers unflavored versions of their water, and their products are packaged in aluminum cans which we consider to be a much better choice than plastic.

A 2020 medical review reported that bisphenol A (BPA), which is often used in the production of soft plastics, can have estrogenic effects in the body.

Winner: Liquid Death

Smartwater

Like Hint Water, Smartwater is packaged in plastic bottles. However, as we documented in our article on is Smartwater good for you, there are no flavoring additives in Smartwater Original.

Winner: Smartwater

Crystal Light

Crystal Light is the most similar to Hint Water of the three brands listed above, because it’s flavored.

Some flavors of Crystal Light contain artificial dye (which is clinically shown to be toxic to human cells in certain circumstances), citric acid, artificial sweeteners and a number of other unhealthy additives.

Crystal Light is sold as a powder, but its ingredients vastly outweigh our concerns over single-use plastic.

Winner: Hint Water

We Tried Hint Water Ourselves

Hint Water UGC

As the author of this article, I wanted to try Hint Water myself to share my thoughts on its taste and the overall product experience.

I purchased the Blackberry version at Stop and Shop and drank it with the a healthy post-dinner snack.

The smell is very pleasant and aromatic, and I found that this drink has a better smell than any of the flavored waters I've tried to date in an Illuminate Health review.

I'm curious if the smell is from essential oil(s).

The taste was similar to blackberry, and it was subtle with no lingering aftertaste. I don't really enjoy flavored water, but this one tastes much better than the average flavored water brand I've tried.

I don't purchase water bottles from single-use plastic for health and cost reasons, but I do think this is a high-quality product from a sensory perspective.

Overall, I'd rate this product a 6/10.

Can Water Cause Weight Loss?

A YouTube video from the popular “BuzzFeedVideo” channel has real people trying a 30-day water challenge to investigate whether it causes weight loss and improves skin quality:

Real People Try Hint Water

A YouTube creator named “A Little 4 A Lot” did a taste test on several different Hint Water flavors:

A YouTube channel called “Brand NUE Weight Loss” run by a medical professional discusses whether Hint Water is a good option for those on a keto or low-carb diet:

Where to Buy Hint Water for the Best Price

Hint Water is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here’s a price breakdown for a one-time purchase of a 12-pack at the time of publishing this article:

Brand website: $22.99 (plus shipping, link)

Target: $14.99 (plus shipping, link)

Walmart: $13.98 (plus shipping, link)

Amazon: $13.96 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Hint Water is currently around 50% cheaper on Amazon than the brand’s website when factoring in shipping fees.

Our Clean Water Flavoring Pick

Pique Daily Radiance is our top flavor enhancing packet that can be added to water.

This product comes in convenient stick packs that can be mixed into water, and is naturally flavored with nutritious, whole food ingredients like organic elderberry juice concentrate (which is clinically shown to support the immune system) and organic lemon juice concentrate.

Most importantly, Pique's flavor enhancer is entirely free of citric acid, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and flavoring additives. There are no ingredients in this formulation that we consider to be unhealthy.

Interested consumers can check out Pique Daily Radiance at this link to the product page on the brand's official website.

Real Customers Review Hint Water

Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

The drink has been reviewed over 50,000 times on Amazon with an average review rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Michael McDonald" who gives the product a 5/5 star rating and likes its convenience, taste and health benefits:

"The 12-pack is incredibly convenient, allowing me to enjoy this delicious and hydrating treat throughout the week. If you're looking for a refreshing and flavorful way to stay hydrated, Hint Water Blueberry Lemon is an excellent choice"

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Casper & Boo" who claims the product has a bad aftertaste:

"it is like they sprayed a ‘hint’ of flavored air in bottles before bottling these up for once that air escapes out of bottle when you first open it, you are literally left with plain water that has a chemical like aftertaste"

Hint Water has an average customer review rating of 1.43 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website at the time of publishing this article, but the company is responding to all customer complaints which is a sign of a high-quality brand.

Hint Water currently has an average customer review rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google.

Pros and Cons of Hint Water

Here are the pros and cons of Hint Water in our opinion:

Pros:

  • No added sugar
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • No preservatives
  • Healthier than some competitors
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Contains natural flavors
  • Packaged in plastic
  • Regular tap water may be healthier
  • Brand website charges for shipping
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Hint Water is not a bottled water brand that we currently recommend, because we can't see any advantages it has over most competitors from a health perspective.

Hint Water may be free of highly questionable additives like preservatives and artificial sweeteners, but it contains natural flavors and is bottled in plastic, both of which downgrade it in our opinion compared to a brand like Liquid Death.

This brand is cheaper per-can than most bottled water brands, and Amazon currently has the best prices.

Average online customer review ratings for Hint Water are highly favorable, other than the BBB website which has low average reviews for nearly all brands.

We hope that in the future, Hint Water specifies the chemical compounds used for their natural flavoring.