Hint Water Review: All You Need to Know

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Feb 26, 2020

Drinking nothing but tap water during the day can become tedious, but many people shy away from sugar-laden juices and sodas for health reasons. For those seeking some middle ground between these beverage options, flavored water seems to offer a solution.

Hint is a brand of unsweetened water flavored with natural fruit extracts. The beverages are free of calories, sweeteners, and preservatives.

The company currently bottles its beverages in Texas and New York and applies various purification techniques to ensure that the water is almost 100% pure and has low mineral content. These include reverse osmosis, de-ionization, and ultra-violet purification.

The water is then infused with natural flavors derived from fruit through pressing, heating, cooling, filtering, and other extraction techniques. Each batch is then pasteurized before bottling to ensure safety.

The resulting drink should have a clean, crisp taste as if you sliced up fresh fruit and let it infuse in water for several hours. Does this match the experience for those who tried Hint, and is the beverage as healthy as it claims? We’ll analyze what this beverage offers so you can decide whether to buy it.

Pros
  • No calories, artificial flavors, or sweeteners
  • You can save 20% with a subscription order
  • Available in carbonated and caffeinated versions as well
Cons
  • Customers have mixed opinions on taste
  • More expensive than other brands
  • Bottles may be difficult to reseal
  • “Natural flavors” label doesn’t show what’s really inside

Hint Water Product Line

Hint offers four unique product lines, which include the following:

Hint Still

As Hint’s original product, Hint Still is a carbonation-free beverage flavored with fruit extracts.

Flavor Options: watermelon, blackberry, pineapple, strawberry-kiwi, cherry, lemon, peach, mango, crisp apple, raspberry, mango-grapefruit, pear, pomegranate, blood orange, peppermint, clementine.

Price: $19.99–$20.99 for twelve 16-oz bottles ($15.99–$16.99 with subscription).

Hint Sparkling

These beverages have carbonation to give them a distinct bubbly taste. Like the original option, they are flavored only with fruit extracts.

Flavor Options: Watermelon, blackberry, peach, cherry.

Price: $19.99–$20.99 for twelve 16-oz bottles ($15.99–$16.99 with subscription).

Hint Kick

Each 16-oz beverage packs 60mg of caffeine (equivalent to a 20-oz Pepsi or a half cup of coffee) without any artificial preservatives or added sweeteners.

Flavor Options: Raspberry, apple pear.

Price: $19.99–$20.99 for twelve 16-oz bottles ($15.99–$16.99 with subscription).

Hint Kids

These kid-friendly flavors are packaged in 6.75-oz juice boxes and contain nothing but fruit extracts.

Flavor Options: Blackberry, apple, cherry, watermelon.

Price: $19.99 for 32 6.75-oz cartons ($15.99 with subscription).

Is Hint Water Healthy?

Hint Water claims to flavor its drinks with nothing but all-natural fruit extracts. What does this mean in plain language?

To start, Hint defines fruit extract as the essence of the fruit, which is removed using steam or alcohol extraction methods. This pulls out the taste while separating out the pulp and sugar. Extracts differ from fruit concentrates because the later involves removing much of the water content to intensify the sweetness.

Are natural fruit extracts good for you? Lisa Hugh, a registered dietician in Southern Maryland, believes there could be a reason for concern.

“As far as Natural Flavors goes, the term is very vague. Lots of things are natural but might not be good for individual people. [For example,] wheat may provide a natural flavor - but this would be bad for people with celiac or wheat allergy or wheat sensitivity.”

Hugh further explained that her primary concern with natural flavors is the lack of consistent labeling.

“My concern about this (as a dietitian and as a parent of children with food allergies) is that by using natural flavor on a food label, the manufacturer may change the actual ingredients from batch to batch.”

This might mean that someone with severe allergies could react to one batch of Hint water without having any problems previously, and the label wouldn’t indicate any differences between them.

Adding to this concern, the company shares that the beverage’s listed flavor isn’t always indicative of what’s actually inside. For example, the pomegranate flavor contains citrus essence in addition to pomegranate, but both will be on the label as “natural flavor.”

But beyond these concerns specific to allergy sufferers, Hugh believes that flavored water beverages like Hint make sense from a health standpoint, especially for those who have a hard time drinking regular water and would otherwise be sipping on sodas or fruit juices.

Where to Buy Hint Water

Every Hint product can be purchased online as a one-time order or through the company’s subscribe and save program. You can save up to 20% per order when you commit and will earn free shipping when you subscribe to receive three or more cases per delivery.

You can select your delivery frequency to be monthly, every other month, or every two weeks. It’s possible to cancel at any time without penalty through your online account.

It’s also possible to purchase Hint Water in stores. The product website includes a store locator feature so you can find your closest locations.

Analysis of Customer Reviews of Hint Water

HighYa readers have a lot to say about Hint Water. They rated this beverage company at 2.9-stars after 76 reviews. Here’s our analysis of what they said:

Better Taste Than Other Flavored Water Brands

Many Hint reviewers reported that they loved the subtle flavor of this beverage, especially compared to other flavored water brands.

These users shared that other brands tasted like hairspray to them, but Hint tasted like it genuinely had a hint of fruit in it without an overpowering aftertaste. Many of these reviewers appreciated that the drink didn’t contain any sweeteners.

Great Alternative to Soda

Several Hint Water drinkers used the beverage as a substitute for soda. They appreciated that Hint satisfied their craving for sipping something other than water but didn’t give them unwanted calories or artificial flavors.

Many wrote that they were surprised how sweet-tasting and refreshing the drinks were without them.

Strong, Artificial Taste

Not everyone who tried Hint Water liked the taste. Many complained that it was too strong and artificial tasting and that it hurt their stomach after they took a few sips.

In a few cases, users shared that most batches of Hint Water tasted fine, but that they occasionally purchased bottles with a less pleasant taste.

Bottle Design Problems

One common complaint about Hint Water concerns the bottle design. Many users found them hard to close after they opened them because they felt like they were stripping the threads of the bottle with the twist cap. This often made them feel like they had to drink the full bottle at once.

Too Expensive

Many Hint Water customers loved the drinks but shared they wouldn’t buy them often because of how expensive they were. They shared that the flavor and benefits seemed too subtle to justify the cost for what was essentially just water.

Key Takeaways

Whether you like Hint Water will come down to personal taste preferences. Some users thought the flavor too mild, while others found it too strong. We suggest purchasing a bottle or two for your first taste trial, so you can see where you fall on the tasting spectrum.

Hint Water vs. LaCroix and JUST Water

There are plenty of options for satisfying your flavored water fix without consuming unwanted calories. LaCroix is one option that dominates store shelves, so we compared it—and another popular online brand—to Hint Water to see how they compare.

Hint Still LaCroix JUST Water
Price Per Bottle $1.75 per 16-oz About $0.50 per 12-oz $1.66 per 16.9-oz
Are Carbonation Options Available? Yes Yes (default) No
Caffeine Available? Yes No No
Ingredients Filtered water, natural fruit extract Filtered water, natural fruit extract Filtered water, natural fruit extract
Total Calories 0 0 0
Packaging BPA-free plastic bottle Aluminum can Paper carton
Is Subscription Available? Yes No Yes

Deciding between these three brands (and the dozens of others in the flavored water marketspace) comes down to determining what you’re interested in. All three offer zero-calorie drinks flavored with natural fruit extracts, so they each offer identical nutritional profiles.

Hint Water is the only company we looked at that that offers regular water as well as carbonated and caffeinated varieties. This might keep things less monotonous if you’re planning to commit to one brand for the long term.

LaCroix is the most well-known brand on this list, and it's available in grocery stores across the country. In contrast, you might need to buy Hint and JUST water online if you want it regularly. Though this means you need to factor in shipping costs to the pricing, but you can also save money by signing up for either company’s subscription program.

Finally, the water’s packaging might be a deciding factor for you. JUST water’s cardboard carton is made from 82% renewable resources, and the included plastic is made from sugarcane. This gives the brand a lower ecological footprint, which is something to consider if you plan to be a regular customer.

Key Takeaways: There are numerous options for choosing a fruit-flavored water brand without extra ingredients, and your decision will likely come down to taste preferences.

LaCroix’s low cost and convenience make it a natural choice for many, but Hint Water is worth considering if you don’t mind ordering online and prefer a variety of water styles to choose from.

The Bottom Line

Hint Water offers a refreshing way to hydrate for those tired of sipping on regular water. While the taste is polarizing for many people, those who liked it found plenty of flavors that met their preferences and appreciated that they could choose between flat and carbonated water.

If you are already a fan of flavored water, you might find that Hint’s flavor is too subtle for your tastes.

It’s also important to note that the brand has the highest cost per unit of any we looked at, and that’s not factoring in the $5 shipping costs. For many, that might be worth it for the flavor variety and convenience of an auto-ship program.

For those who find themselves turning to juice and soda instead of water throughout the day, Hint products are a healthier alternative that will hydrate you as well as regular water.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of Hint Water:
  • 80 Customer Reviews
  • 41% Recommend This Company
2.9 out of 5
5 star: 40% 4 star: 2% 3 star: 3% 2 star: 11% 1 star: 42%

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To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

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  • Cannot believe I paid for this

    I was so excited to finally receive my Hint water. I purchased the Flat Pineapple flavored and the Sparkling Peach flavored varieties. I popped a few in the fridge and the next morning eagerly opened a peach one. I was SO disappointed. There was barely any flavor at all. Next, I tried the pineapple and could not detect any flavor at all. It was just like drinking tap water.

    Now I have three cases of expensive water. I may try adding some juice to them to see if that makes any difference. I would never recommend this product.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Not so natural

    • By Michael,
    • SF Bay Area,
    • Oct 18, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Okay, redefining the word "natural" doesn't make it so. Fruit in its natural state contains natural sugars and calories, like it or not. Take for example blackberries, there are 65 calories and 7 grams of sugar in a cup of blackberries. In order to remove those calories you have to remove the sugar, in order to remove the sugar you have to process the berries. It says right on the bottle "Contains No Juice." If there is no juice to flavor this product, there are no sugars to sweeten it, then whatever is used to flavor it can't be natural, because it's processed.

    I don't know if you all know this or not, but natural sugars and calories aren't the enemies, it's when they are consumed in excess that they become poison. 3 or 4 blackberries muddled with a leaf or two of mint in 16oz of filtered water contains 6 calories, is naturally sweet and contains vitamins that our bodies need to survive.

    Yes, I have tried this product, apple and the blackberry, and didn't care for it. The apple tasted like someone dropped a green apple JollyRancher into ten gallons of water and the blackberry tasted nothing like blackberries. I also don't like the price and the fact that we are introducing even more single-use plastic into the environment, already seeing these bottles blowing around in parking lots and laying in ditches.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • I Like but read below

    • By Sharon M.,
    • Hartford, CT,
    • Mar 27, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    For the most part I enjoy HINT. Some flavors tasted like lipstick (pomegranate, raspberry) and flavors I usually don't gravitate toward (mango) I actually really enjoy using HINT.

    I picked up more flavors recently as they were on clearance at Target, and really liked strawberry kiwi. Green apple was okay but not my favorite. Watermelon is just so-so.

    Stop & Shop makes a version of this water too and their watermelon is worse, but the S&S lemon is very good, much stronger flavor and almost tastes sweetened. Cucumber as S&S is just so-so as well but it's worth trying the S&S for the price.

    I am going to order some lime and mint via the web as these flavors are impossible to find. Pear is at whole foods and is so weak in the 2 bottles I bought, that it's not worth it.

    A cheaper alternative is Wegmans plus they make many different unique flavors and 12 bottles is $6.99. There is also herbal water by Dr Ayala with flavors like lemon ginger, and lemongrass and mint lavender.

    My final suggestion was for the user who said they got 'dry mouth' or anyone else here. Just take your regular bottled waters and put them in a brown paper bag with things like mint, or even basil, and the label on the bottle will absorb the fragrance and oils.

    As you drink the water, you're not tasting the stuff but the scent almost tricks you into it being flavored. I thought basil would be gross but it makes it such a refreshing experience to drink plain bottled water while smelling the basil.

    I have tried it with spearmint and prefer this than a flavored mint because a mint water (like METRO which isn't made anymore) used to repeat on me and give my gastro tract the tingles. Good luck!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Hint Water is named appropriately!

    I attempted to purchase 2 cases of Hint Water "watermelon". First, they shipped my water via FedEx to the incorrect address. Hint Water does not have a telephone number that a customer may call to log a complaint. Therefore, you must send an email.

    The customer service representative told me that I gave them the wrong address. After a constant battle back and forth they agreed to send me two more cases of the Watermelon water.

    I really wish I had just asked for a refund to my credit card. They call it Hint because the company "scares" the water with such a small "hint" of flavor the customer cannot taste anything but the water!

    Never waste your money purchasing this product! There are so many other brands that actually have a taste of fruit.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Deceptive

    • By Helen Heron,
    • Paoli, PA,
    • Sep 20, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was very disappointed to hear that Hint Water had 60 mg of natural caffeine. I have been having trouble sleeping for the past two months. I feel as though it should have been noted on the bottle.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Chemical taste from propylene glycol

    • By Nick J.,
    • New York, NY,
    • Sep 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It has a strange kind of chemical-sweet taste and an aftertaste that lingers. It's weird. This is probably from propylene glycol that is an ingredient according to a lawsuit over the use of the ingredient. Propylene glycol is synthetic.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Not enamored

    I never heard of Hint until I saw it in an Aldi's (discount) grocery store. It was a 12-pack consisting of blackberry, watermelon, pineapple, and cherry, for $9.99. Always looking for a healthy alternative, I googled it and saw the same variety pack at Walmart, priced at $19.89, so I deemed it worth the risk. Bad decision. Quite frankly, I would give it zero stars if that was an option. It is nothing more than a typical flavored water, and barely at that, thus the "hint," which tells you that you're not going to taste very much flavor at all, and also, should be your "hint" not to buy it. I'm guessing the fancy bottle, the printed claims, ie: non-GMO, authentic vegan, etc., justify a price that is more than double that of waters that I feel are far superior. Grossly overpriced product.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Flavor of Hint

    • By Eller J.,
    • North Carolina,
    • Feb 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I saw Hint advertised on TV so I decided to try it. The catch words sparkling refreshing was exactly that catch phrases. They will make you interested in trying Hint. I must say I was deeply disappointed. The water tastes like city water that you get from the faucet. The hint of the flavor is just that a hint that's almost not present. Perhaps that's why it got its name - Hint. It is made from purified water. Save yourself some money. Fill a pot with water from your faucet let it boil. Squeeze your flavor from fresh fruit and viola, you have made your own hint of flavored water. It will be even better if you use spring water. Try it you might like it better. I do! Spring water by itself tastes 100% better that Hint. Add your own fresh fruit and it tastes 200% better than Hint. Of course this is all just my opinion so you try my suggestions and compare them to Hint. You be the judge.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • No sodium but dry mouth? Skeptical of Hint's claims.

    My wife is one of those folks who grew up drinking everything BUT water, so the idea of just drinking water with no flavoring is unpalatable to her. She found Hint Water and bought a few bottles for both of us to try. She didn't like the flavor profile and was done after one bottle ("too much like plain water," she said). I enjoyed the first bottle (Watermelon, specifically) and gave it a couple more chances.

    While it lives up to its name (there’s just a hint of fruit flavoring, enough to give it some flavor without being overpowering), I’ve discovered that it makes my mouth ridiculously dry, the same as when I drink purified water that has sodium bicarbonate in it. It claims to have no sodium and no such electrolyte additives, but I’ve now tried three more flavors over the course of a week and all three have had the same dry mouth effect. After drinking a glass of my typical double-filtered tap water, the dry mouth issue goes away.

    This leaves me thinking that if Hint Water was just water and fruit essences with no sweeteners or sodium, there shouldn’t be any dry mouth issues. This makes me wonder if someone over at Hint Water isn’t telling the full story. If I need flavored water, I think I'd rather go back to just using an infuser bottle and deal with the natural fructose from the bits of fresh fruit used.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Don't be fooled

    Folks, this is tap water infused with a little fruit. It smells great, but the taste is weak. You can use your own water for a penny and top it with a slice of pineapple or a slice of green apple for less than a nickel. Taste your Hint Water and call me a liar.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Taste like water

    • By Karleen K.,
    • New London, MN,
    • Feb 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I wish I could say something good about this water, but I can’t. I’ve had trouble with artificial sweeteners and was hoping this product would’ve been my saving grace.

    I tried the raspberry infused and it tasted like WATER! Just water. No raspberry taste at all.

    I’ve made my own infused water and it tasted way better than Hint.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


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Hint Water Review: All You Need to Know