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Anyone heard of Hint Inc. "Flavored Water Beverages"...Sound legit?

by (10)
Updated about 2 hours ago
Created June 29, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Now I know nothing beats the sweet nectar of the gods (water), but I gotta admit I wouldn't mind switching up for a water like beverage that isn't coconut water and isn't terribly unhealthy. So they have a website and a lot of interesting flavors (cucumber, watermelon) and apparently they have no artificial flavors, preservatives, and all natural flavors.

Anyone tried this or seen the label on this? Trying to decide before I order some from the website.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106
19120 · April 12, 2013 at 11:46 AM

"Natural flavors" are *never* (I yes, that is an absolute statement) sourced from what you would assume they are sourced from. Raspberry? Beaver anal gland. Confectioner's glaze? Beetles. These are all natural. Being "vegan" actually makes them scarier - at least I know what lac beetles are.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106
19120 · April 12, 2013 at 11:44 AM

+1000 .

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106
19120 · April 12, 2013 at 11:41 AM

@wheelhouse "castoreum" or "beaver anal gland" just doesn't sound as good as "natural flavor" ;-)

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8
868 · December 08, 2012 at 8:15 PM

The reason for the runaround is that the company has no clue what the flavors consist of. You need to talk to their flavor source (often there are multiple sources and a product will have flavors from a variety of flavor labs).

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8
868 · December 08, 2012 at 8:13 PM

I used to work in a flavor lab, so I can speak to this to some degree. The fact is, all flavors, natural or artificial, are processed in lab. They have to be, because the process has to be kept sanitary and safe. Flavors can be quite volatile, so it's not something that can be done on site with other food products. The flavors can also be quite susceptible to heat, so they need to be sterile to add to products after processes like pasteurization. So yes, I would agree that there is nothing "natural" about the "natural flavors", but they do come from a natural source.

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8
868 · December 08, 2012 at 8:09 PM

What could be more natural than a beetle? Sounds like the very definition of paleo.

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8
868 · December 08, 2012 at 8:08 PM

"Natural flavors" are often the "secret recipe" of a product. If they let you know the combination of flavors and which ones they used, then they wouldn't be in business anymore, since everyone could copy it. It's not that they're trying to hide any health issues. If you want, you could ask which company sources their natural flavors--then ask that company how they develop their natural flavors for an idea of the process.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84
17402 · September 26, 2012 at 2:54 PM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castoreum mmmm... raspberry/strawberry/vanilla flavor... oh wait, it comes from WHERE??!?!?!?!

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350
1303 · July 12, 2011 at 5:53 PM

I love the Dr. Ayala Herbal Water! The ginger/lemon and the lemon verbena/geranium are particularly good.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f
11581 · July 12, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Spam, spam and more spam. Wish there was an option for -10 for spam.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f
11581 · July 12, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Seriously! This is so easy. I keep rotating glass pitchers or jars - mint, lemon, lime, sour cherry, what ever. Squash the flavoring a bit, throw it in the pitcher, add water, add some tea if you want, put it in the fridge to steep. No plastic, no excessive energy use for transporting H2O and plastic or glass xxxx miles, your own tap water with a filter will be better that what the corporates use. AND you save lots and lots of $$$. Plus everything mentioned by jesuisjuba.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949
1716 · June 29, 2011 at 11:49 PM

That made me less comfortable about trying them somehow.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · June 29, 2011 at 6:53 PM

natural flavors = kidney poison!!!

Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a
4276 · June 29, 2011 at 3:16 PM

I would wonder what "other natural flavors" includes. Seems like if you are pushing that you dont have anything weird in you beverage, you would not have to hide behind such an ambiguous term.

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10 Answers

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e
7
20519 · June 29, 2011 at 7:21 PM

But.. but.. but.. you GUYS! Why don't you just make your own instead of purchasing this stuff? Then you know what you're getting as it has your fingerprints all over it. I keep mason jars of different tea in the fridge - green, black, herbal, and add selter, herbs, sometimes I'll muddle up some berries with a little acid and chinoise into a glass and top with seltzer, etc. Chunk up a watermelon, or any melon or berries for that matter, puree, toss into a jar and use that cut with water, or again my favourite seltzer, as a tasty drink. When I lived in Guatemala that was what you drank at all the open Mercados, sometimes with a little cream or milk, and it.was.awesome. You'll support your greenmarket, your local farmer, no bottles to recycle, and you bod will be happy.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f
11581 · July 12, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Seriously! This is so easy. I keep rotating glass pitchers or jars - mint, lemon, lime, sour cherry, what ever. Squash the flavoring a bit, throw it in the pitcher, add water, add some tea if you want, put it in the fridge to steep. No plastic, no excessive energy use for transporting H2O and plastic or glass xxxx miles, your own tap water with a filter will be better that what the corporates use. AND you save lots and lots of $$$. Plus everything mentioned by jesuisjuba.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5
3
18417 · June 29, 2011 at 3:42 PM

I've tried them all. They are very well done and have the perfect balance of flavor because all of them are very subtle. The only questionable in their ingredients is "natural flavors" which could mean anything.

So I wrote to the company to inquire about exactly what that means. I can't access my personal email right now so I can't copy/paste their reply, but they said something like... "We use only natural ingredients to match the flavor as closely as possibly and we take great care to make sure it's healthy" or something like that. It sounded like a dodgy answer, but at the same time, I did get the notion that they understand that people might be concerned about it and somehow, overall I was comfortable with their reply.

For me personally though, I can't drink these anymore. Almost every time I do, even just a few sips, I can feel a bit of pain in my kidney's shortly after. It's the pain I'm familiar with from kidney stones. Not sure what to make of it, but unfortunately these don't work for me. YMMV.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949
1716 · June 29, 2011 at 11:49 PM

That made me less comfortable about trying them somehow.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · June 29, 2011 at 6:53 PM

natural flavors = kidney poison!!!

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8
868 · December 08, 2012 at 8:08 PM

"Natural flavors" are often the "secret recipe" of a product. If they let you know the combination of flavors and which ones they used, then they wouldn't be in business anymore, since everyone could copy it. It's not that they're trying to hide any health issues. If you want, you could ask which company sources their natural flavors--then ask that company how they develop their natural flavors for an idea of the process.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1
2
15443 · February 28, 2013 at 2:19 AM

Oh fer god's sake just drink water. Don't fall into the Big Beverage trap of trying to sell you colors, sugars, chemicals, and preservatives while trying to convince you that they are harmless or even good for you. It's crap.

You can live the rest of your life drinking nothing but water, and the occasional broth or stock, and be happy, healthy and satisfied. Maybe you think that a deep part of your soul won't be satisfied unless you drink artificial orange flavor twice a day, but once you give it up you'll realize how silly that is.

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19120 · April 12, 2013 at 11:44 AM

+1000 .

09c2739d62bea99ef84bc13df0c4ffae
1
10 · December 08, 2012 at 7:33 PM

My daughter tried the strawberry-kiwi and broke out in a rash, her chest got tight and her tongue felt "fuzzy.". Called the company because my daughter is not allergic to strawberries or kiwi and I wanted to know what "other natural flavors" consisted of. Got the run around. No answers. Still waiting for a call back (over a month now) once they "look into it more". They did send a case of the stuff to us to make up for our inconvenience. What am I going to do with that stuff? Yikes!

I don't like the secret ingredients, whatever they are. They are obviously not "natural".

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8
868 · December 08, 2012 at 8:15 PM

The reason for the runaround is that the company has no clue what the flavors consist of. You need to talk to their flavor source (often there are multiple sources and a product will have flavors from a variety of flavor labs).

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8
868 · December 08, 2012 at 8:13 PM

I used to work in a flavor lab, so I can speak to this to some degree. The fact is, all flavors, natural or artificial, are processed in lab. They have to be, because the process has to be kept sanitary and safe. Flavors can be quite volatile, so it's not something that can be done on site with other food products. The flavors can also be quite susceptible to heat, so they need to be sterile to add to products after processes like pasteurization. So yes, I would agree that there is nothing "natural" about the "natural flavors", but they do come from a natural source.

Ebfb3be3c455a597b4171e42d3027551
1
10 · September 26, 2012 at 5:28 AM

yeah whats the "natural flavors" last time I heard that it meant crushed up beetle parts at Starbucks. It could mean anything. Shady.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84
17402 · September 26, 2012 at 2:54 PM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castoreum mmmm... raspberry/strawberry/vanilla flavor... oh wait, it comes from WHERE??!?!?!?!

Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8
868 · December 08, 2012 at 8:09 PM

What could be more natural than a beetle? Sounds like the very definition of paleo.

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835
1
1607 · June 29, 2011 at 3:33 PM

I've tried most of the flavors and they're all pretty good. No sweeteners, artificial or otherwise. I'm a fan of the strawberry kiwi myself. I also love the Metromint waters, the Ayala's Herbal Waters (amazing flavors like clove/cardamom!) and the La Croix sparkling waters. If you want to avoid the sugars and artificial sweeteners, they're a great alternative to tea and plain water.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350
1303 · July 12, 2011 at 5:53 PM

I love the Dr. Ayala Herbal Water! The ginger/lemon and the lemon verbena/geranium are particularly good.

5dd96d8909981f2844f8a7602ba479e2
0
0 · February 28, 2013 at 1:49 AM

Natural flavors are under the umbrella of MSG...Check any page about how MSG is hidden in foods...

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3946 · June 29, 2011 at 2:57 PM

I LOVE this water. Just a Hint of flavor. Most flavors are good, but some taste like flowers to me. I like the watermelon and the rasberry-lime and the mango-grapefruit. Here is the label for the watermelon:

Ingredients: Purified water, watermelon and other natural flavors

Calories: 0 Fat: 0 Sodium: 0 Carbs: 0 Protein: 0

"The idea behind Hint is simple: nature's original refreshment accented with natural flavor. With no sugar or sweeteners, Hint is a refreshing alternative to soda, juice and other sweetened drinks and it tastes great."

Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a
4276 · June 29, 2011 at 3:16 PM

I would wonder what "other natural flavors" includes. Seems like if you are pushing that you dont have anything weird in you beverage, you would not have to hide behind such an ambiguous term.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106
19120 · April 12, 2013 at 11:41 AM

@wheelhouse "castoreum" or "beaver anal gland" just doesn't sound as good as "natural flavor" ;-)

8cc5e11350019505ed4fdd30c6964fd5
-1
-2 · April 12, 2013 at 12:45 AM

It says no MSG no preservatives and vegan and gluten free. I think it's from the actual fruit

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106
19120 · April 12, 2013 at 11:46 AM

"Natural flavors" are *never* (I yes, that is an absolute statement) sourced from what you would assume they are sourced from. Raspberry? Beaver anal gland. Confectioner's glaze? Beetles. These are all natural. Being "vegan" actually makes them scarier - at least I know what lac beetles are.

92c314444132636bf27ad059c2d6d440
-2
-4 · July 12, 2011 at 9:32 AM

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5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f
11581 · July 12, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Spam, spam and more spam. Wish there was an option for -10 for spam.

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