Kraft recently sent me a promotional sample pack of their new MiO Energy flavor line. As many of you likely remember, I reviewed MiO when it was first being introduced about nine months ago, and I really liked it. But to be honest, I was a little bit nervous going into MiO Energy. I've never been a fan of the taste of most energy boosting beverages, and I have been disappointed in the past by companies attempting to branch out into the energy drink market. However, I am happy to report that MiO Energy maintains the ease of use and great taste of the original, and I think that both the black cherry and green thunder varieties are great additions to the MiO brand.
It should be said, however, that the secret to MiO maintaining the elements that made the original product so good is the fact that MiO Energy isn't really all that different from the original. In fact, it is essentially just two new flavors of MiO with caffeine added into the mix. But this is by no means a bad thing. The size of each bottle has been scaled down to approximately 12 (8 oz.) servings per bottle, and each serving contains about 60mg of caffeine; about the same as a typical cup of coffee. I have always been somewhat impervious to the effects of caffeine, especially in smaller quantities, so I can't really attest to the "energy-giving" capabilities of MiO Energy, but the 60mg of caffeine should be enough to give most drinkers a quick pick-me-up. Both flavors do contain trace amounts of other energy enhancers such as taurine and guarana extract, but not enough to really affect the flavor in any way (so no worries there). Both flavors are still sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame potassium, but the typical "diet" taste is subdued and is not nearly as intrusive as it is in so many other artificially sweetened beverages.
Both flavors are quite tasty, although I am partial to the black cherry. The black cherry is pretty straightforward, and has a sweet, cherry taste without being overbearing or cough syrupy. The green thunder, on the other hand, has a more generic, acidic energy drink taste. Normally, I would consider this to be a bad thing, but this time I don't. Although it does have that energy drink taste (some refer to it simply as "citrus punch"), it is not nearly as acidic as the usual energy drink, and has a much less abrasive and more mild flavor. I actually like the taste a good bit, and any doubts I initially had about the flavor were based purely on precedent.
Overall, MiO Energy is a very worthy addition to the already impressive line of MiO products. My only real complaint is that the "squirt nozzle" on the MiO bottles is still a bit hard to control, and I often find myself accidentally adding a bit more flavoring than I necessarily meant to add. Other than that, I find very little about MiO Energy to dislike. This is definitely one to try out. Especially the black cherry.
Samples provided by Kraft Foods, Inc.