Hiyo Review: Healthiest Sober Drink?

Hiyo Review: Healthiest Sober Drink?


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Hiyo is a non-alcoholic beverage brand that’s focused on a healthier experience. The company describes itself as the “better-than-alcohol alternative,” and claims to provide “organic adaptogens” and “natural nootropics.”

But does Hiyo provide effective doses of these active ingredients, or are these just marketing claims? What’s actually in Hiyo and is it healthy? Does it have any questionable additives? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of these drinks?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in Hiyo based on medical studies to give our take on whether these drinks are likely to have nootropic and adaptogenic effects, or if these are just marketing claims.

We’ll also share our thoughts on the overall healthiness of the brand, feature unsponsored customer reviews and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells Hiyo for the best price.

Ingredient Analysis

Hiyo peach mango flavor ingredients

The ingredients in the “peach mango” flavor of Hiyo are shown above.

There is more sugar in this drink than any individual fruit juice, because sugar is listed before organic peach juice concentrate as the fourth ingredient.

There is only 3 grams (g) of added sugar in each can, so while sugar in excess is clinically shown to be associated with negative health outcomes, we don’t consider this dose to be concerning in otherwise healthy adults.

There are some adaptogens in this drink, but the problem with taking adaptogens in drinks and foods is that the dose is not typically listed (as is the case here).

Without the individual ingredient doses, it’s impossible to determine whether or not the adaptogenic and nootropic ingredients are likely to have an effect.

As an example, Hiyo peach mango contains l-theanine, which is an amino acid shown in a 2008 clinical trial to increase alpha brain wave activity and have a “significant effect” on mental alertness.

But the linked trial used a dose of 50 milligrams (mg). We don’t know how much l-theanine is in Hiyo, so we can’t determine whether or not it’s an effective dose.

Most of the ingredients in Hiyo are nutritious and naturally-derived, like organic cordyceps mushroom extract, organic orange juice and organic ginger extract.

We think that, on balance, this is a healthy drink, and certainly healthier than alcohol (in excess), but we have no reason to believe Hiyo has nootropic or adaptogenic effects until the brand publishes individual ingredient doses.

There is only one inactive ingredient that we consider questionable from a health perspective.

Citric acid is clinically shown to cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals, as we discussed in our article on is White Claw unhealthy.

Overall, we consider Hiyo to be relatively healthy and to be a good option for people pursuing a sober lifestyle. We don’t currently recommend this brand because of the inclusion of refined, added sugar and citric acid.

But how do real users describe the taste and effects of Hiyo? We’ll feature some unsponsored user reviews in the next section of this article.

Real People Try Hiyo

A YouTube creator named Emily tried the same Hiyo flavor that we analyzed in the previous section:

YouTube creators with a channel called “Club Zero” tried a variety of non-alcoholic drinks including Hiyo, and compared them:

Does Hiyo Cause Side Effects?

Hiyo drinks don’t appear to have been studied in any clinical trials, which makes it more challenging to say whether or not they’re likely to cause side effects.

However, we can make an educated guess based on the ingredients in Hiyo.

While citric acid may cause side effects in a small percentage of the population, there are no dangerous ingredients in Hiyo, or ingredients that we consider likely to cause side effects in otherwise healthy adults.

High doses of ashwagandha are clinically shown to cause side effects in some people like nausea and vomiting, as we documented in our Moment Drink reviews article.

While we doubt there is a high dose of ashwagandha in Hiyo, we again urge the brand to publish individual ingredient doses (at least for active ingredients), so consumers can make an informed purchase decision.

How to Make Healthy Mocktails at Home

It would likely be much cheaper than Hiyo to make healthy non-alcoholic cocktails ("mocktails") at home.

A YouTube video published by Anders Erickson features four homemade mocktail recipes and has over 900,000 views:

Where to Buy Hiyo for the Best Price

Hiyo 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: $44.99 (plus $4.99 shipping, link)

Vitamin Shoppe: $47.97 (free shipping, link)

Walmart: $47.97 (free shipping, link)

Hiyo is cheaper on Walmart and Vitamin Shoppe by 4% when factoring in shipping fees. 

However, the brand's website is a better option for consumers that want recurring purchases, because the brand offers discounts that exceed 4%.

Pros and Cons of Hiyo

Here are the pros and cons of Hiyo in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Mostly whole food ingredients
  • Relatively low sugar
  • Beautiful branding
  • Healthy alternative for sober individuals

Cons:

  • Active ingredient doses not clearly published
  • Expensive
  • Contains refined sugar
  • Contains citric acid
  • We can't find any reason to believe these drinks have effective doses of nootropics and adaptogens
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Hiyo is a relatively healthy option for sober individuals, or for people who prefer the taste of non-alcoholic cocktails.

Most of the ingredients used by this beverage brand are nutritious whole food ingredients or concentrates.

This drink does contain refined sugar (although a small amount), and we think it would be healthier if the brand replaced that with fruit juice.

Hiyo also contains citric acid which is an inactive ingredient clinically shown to cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals.

Hiyo suggests in their marketing that their drinks have nootropic and adaptogenic effects, and while there are nootropics and adaptogens in these drinks, we can't find any information about the dose of these ingredients so we have our doubts about efficacy.

Third-party retailers currently have better prices on Hiyo for a one-time purchase than the brand's website, when factoring in shipping fees.