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16 July 2012 @ 06:16 pm
Marketing at its "best"  
So in an effort to consume less cans of diet A&W at work (because A&W is moderately expensive, and more importantly heavy and awkward to cart into the office) i've been trying to drink more water instead. But i can't drink plain water very easily (i don't know why) so i normally add some kind of sweetener to it.

Lately i've been using various kinds of stevia extract (Purevia, Truvia, generic Trader Joe's-via) but when i went to the store over the weekend i decided to pick up some more packets of instant iced tea mix. Unfortunately when i got there i found that they no longer seemed to have my favorite brand. Instead they've replaced about two shelves of drink mixes with the new "Mio" stuff.

I'd mostly been avoiding the stuff because their commercials are rather meh. (Not super offensively dumb as best as i can remember, just meh and somewhat annoying when repeated incessantly.) However since they didn't have the stuff i actually wanted i ended up grabbing two bottles of it, one regular and one "energy."

So clearly bribing(?) stores to ditch competing brands and stock mainly your product is a much better marketing tactic than commercials, though possible a more expensive one, i dunno.

But anyways, this stuff does seem to be fairly convenient. Squeezing some concentrated liquid into a bottle of water is easier than tearing open packets of stuff, and it does mix a lot easier than the iced tea powder did.

However i was looking at the nutritional info for the "energy" version and it got me thinking. It contains 60 mg of caffeine per serving. There are 18 servings per small 1.62 oz bottle, for a total of 1080 mg of caffeine. A 8 oz cup of drip coffee has about 145 mg of caffeine. So 1.62 oz of this stuff is equivalent to about 7.5 cups of coffee. Of course i think my cups of coffee are a little bigger than 8 oz, but it's still at least 4-5 cups of coffee.

Doing a little more math (or just cheating and using the "Death by Caffeine" website =) 11 or 12 bottles would be enough to kill me. (Or more technically, get me to the ld50.) That means 20 oz total, or little enough to fit in a moderately large water bottle. Now admittedly the stuff _is_ pretty concentrated so you'd have a tough time chugging 20 oz of it, but still, it's got to be one of the more lethal things commonly available in a grocery store. (Obvious caveats: Out of stuff that's meant to be eaten/drunk and not some cleaning product or such, and which isn't obtained from the pharmacy aisle.)

But in any case, i'm wondering if i should look around for some off-brand alternatives. I feel kind of bad buying something for which i've seen so many commercials =P
受け継がれる意志: ZoroLu report timedoctorskuld on July 17th, 2012 03:54 am (UTC)
Have you thought about just straight up drinking tea? I know it's bitter, but if you acquire the taste, it's probably the healthiest alternative to water, especially since you're trying to lose weight and shake the diet soda addiction.

DonAithnen: happydonaithnen on July 17th, 2012 11:36 am (UTC)
Trying to drink a little less diet A&W =/= trying to shake the diet soda addiction :)

Also, making 10-12 cups of tea a day is a bit more energy that i'm willing to invest in this project.
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on July 17th, 2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
There's always herbal teas and flavored teas... (and a couple teaspoons of real sugar won't kill you. A tsp of sugar has 15 calories, and a packet is a teaspoon.)

Since I had to give up caffeine thanks to migraines, I've been drinking herbal tea every morning. Celestial Seasonings has some really nice fruity ones, though my favorites are Mandarin orange spice and Bengal spice.
DonAithnen: happydonaithnen on July 17th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
I have no problem with the flavor of tea, but as previously mentioned it's the quantity involved. I often drink more than 90 oz of fluid in a day, and i don't really want to make that many cups of tea.
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on July 17th, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
1) Why do you drink 90 oz a day? Doctors barely even recommend 64 these days.

2) If you're spending the money anyway, why not buy flavored seltzers?

3) Good god, you're drinking a lot of caffeine.
DonAithnen: happydonaithnen on July 17th, 2012 07:25 pm (UTC)
1: Because i feel like it? I don't know, i just drink lots of stuff given the opportunity. When going out to a restaurant i'll often drink three or four or sometimes more glasses of diet coke or iced tea if they're prompt about refilling. Admittedly i do tend to drink less on the weekend when i don't have access to a water cooler, so part of it is probably just availability.

2: Wouldn't flavored seltzers cost a ton of money though? Currently i'm buying a case of diet A&W every week or two plus a packet of some kind of sweetner/flavoring every couple of weeks. Plus part of the idea was avoiding have to cart in cases of diet A&W to work, carting in cases of flavored seltzers instead doesn't seem a great improvement.

3: It's not _that_ much caffeine =P Most days i have a cup of coffee, one or two cans of diet coke, one or two cans of diet A&W, and... maybe three to six bottles of water? I tend to lose track of how many times i refill the bottle, and the number of times i do refill it can vary quite a bit from day to day.

One cup of coffee and two diet cokes isn't that much caffeine is it? Of course there are days where i also drink a can of Monster or get a 44(?) oz diet coke from Del Taco or Subway, but those are more the exception than the rule.

On the other hand, now that i've got a squeeze bottle of super-concentrated caffeine those numbers may go up a bit :) Though a bottle of water with that added is only about 1.5 cans of diet coke, or about 0.4 cups of coffee.
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on July 17th, 2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
The flavored seltzers at Harris Teeter (which I think are also available at Target) are 1 liter for like a dollar.

You made it sound like you were drinking 90 oz of soda a day in your original post & comments.

Either way, though, I agree with Skuld: suck it up and drink plain water. Buy a squeeze lemon and keep it in your work fridge if you have to to ease the transition (a couple drops of lemon juice will be plenty), but plain water is the best thing to drink for normal hydration purposes. (There are reasons to drink Gatorade in other situations, but sitting in one's office isn't one of them.)

The artificial blah blah isn't good for you.
受け継がれる意志: ZoroLu report timedoctorskuld on July 17th, 2012 06:23 pm (UTC)
Somebody mentioned down there that if you're drinking that much fluid, what you could do is just make a giant thing of tea with a few teabags, and after it's brewed, just put it in the fridge afterward so you can have iced tea. This is a pretty common thing to do. If you make it the day before, it's not all that hard to just brew a big batch every day and then consume it.

Besides the concern of caffeinated teas, there'a also rooibos teas that are uncaffeinated. You can also buy decaf tea bags anywhere, like at supermarket or at Trader Joe's.

That said, I know you're watch your weight, but in all honesty, I still think that the best way to hydrate is just to suck it up and drink water. After subsisting off of juice for most of my life, I made the transition in college. You just gotta suck it up and deal, man, and then after a bit you'll get used to it. Now I prefer water or tea over just about everything else.
DonAithnen: happydonaithnen on July 17th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
I think having to bring giant things of iced tea into work on a daily basis would be even more of a hassle than bringing a case of diet A&W in every week or so.

Also, on the topic of drinking more water and less diet pop, isn't that where we came in? =P I've just been discussing alternate things to add to the water that i'm already drinking.
受け継がれる意志: ZoroLu report timedoctorskuld on July 17th, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
I dunno, lugging a giant jug in with your stuff every day doesn't seem to be that much of a hassle.

Think my point regarding the water was just to suck it up and drink the water straight. Don't add anything to it, just drink it. You won't like it for the first few days, but then you'll get used to the flavor of just water. Just do it cold turkey, otherwise you'll just have dependence on another type of powdery sweetener thing with weird ingredients. Bring a water bottle, and just drink from that.
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on July 17th, 2012 05:23 am (UTC)
I guess this demonstrates just how far removed I am from pop culture. I've never heard of Mio.

DonAithnen: happydonaithnen on July 17th, 2012 11:38 am (UTC)
The commercial shows up a lot on at least one of the stations i watch fairly regularly... probably Comedy Central?
balivatnbalivatn on July 17th, 2012 06:31 am (UTC)
Tea is good - I have a vanilla cola one that's awesome. I also use True Lemon to flavor my water.
DonAithnen: happydonaithnen on July 17th, 2012 11:39 am (UTC)
Vanilla cola tea? That sounds strange. Does True Lemon have some kind of sweetener in it? Or is it just, well, lemon?
Melissa B: Puppy Benji Maltesethumbie on July 17th, 2012 02:34 pm (UTC)
Does the bottle make it really obvious that you're not supposed to drink it straight? Also, I have the same problem with water - we often squirt a bit of lemon or lime juice in ours, teeth enamel be damned!
DonAithnen: happydonaithnen on July 17th, 2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
Well the biggest indication that drinking it is not the right way to go is the bottle design. It has a flip top lid that covers some kind of indented nozzle that sprays a stream of the stuff when you squeeze the bottle. So you could squirt the whole thing into your mouth, though it would probably take multiple squeezes, but there's no way to just drink it straight up without mangling the container.

Aside from that it says "liquid water enhancer" on the front which is kind of a hint, and on the side it has some oddly formatted directions saying "FLIP IT unlock the flavor TIP IT each squeeze into water adds more flavor SIP IT your drink your way CLICK IT twice to lock tight --- one squeeze for each 8 oz serving --- always dilute concentrate"

Plus i believe the commercials make a big deal out of how to use it.
Avani: 0wn3davani on July 17th, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
Get something that makes tea in big batches? If I'm making iced tea for a group, I fill a milk jug with water, drop in 3-4 tea bags, and leave it in the fridge overnight. Now all you need to remember to do is re-fill it before you leave work and you're set.

Also, LJ seems to insist that this is the only userpic I can use.

Edited at 2012-07-17 04:45 pm (UTC)
DonAithnen: happydonaithnen on July 17th, 2012 07:21 pm (UTC)
Uh, wouldn't that mean having to lug in a huge container of iced tea to work every day?
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on July 17th, 2012 08:00 pm (UTC)
Not if you have a fridge at work and coworkers who don't steal your clearly labeled stuff.