Saturday, March 14, 2020

Fit & Active Mango Tropical Flavored Water Beverage (Aldi)

You're better off drinking regular water, no matter how much you hate it.
I’ve mentioned it a trillion times in previous reviews, but I hate drinking water. Hate it. So naturally, if I’m drinking a flavored water drink, I don’t really want it to taste like water. At all. That’s what I like so much about Fit & Active's lemonade version of this drink: aside from the info on the label, nothing about the taste screams “water”. It might not be the greatest lemonade you’ve ever had, but for what it is, a calorie-less water-based beverage - and for being sugar free - it has a great abundance of flavor, and even somehow manages to hit that counterbalance of tart and sweet that the fruit is known for. And it's that combination that makes it so inherently drinkable.

Fit & Active's Mango Tropical version, however, falters by presenting us with a watered-down version of a flavor that would already be a tough task to translate to a 100% juice, let alone a flavored water. The unconvincing mango flavor doesn’t hit nearly as hard as mango should (nor is it even remotely tart), while the remaining “tropical” is represented by a flavor akin to orange powdered drink mix; only, someone forgot to add any sugar, because it's weak as hell. It's further impacted by a complete lack of interplay: the lemonade, as mentioned before, has the competing tartness and sweetness working in its favor, delivering an equal amount of both. This, on the other hand, just has a weird, vaguely-tropic flavor that starts off fairly sweet, and then dissipates almost into unsatisfying nothingness. You wait, expecting there to be something to rile up your tastebuds...and then you swallow in disappointment; there are no “peak” points on the flavor scale that hit your tastebuds noticeably harder, or anything that would bring excitement: it’s just…bland. Not quite as horribly bland as real water, but way too close for comfort.

At $.69 per 33.8 oz. bottle, value is pretty strong, and the lack of sugar, calories, caffeine, and minimal sodium is a good thing (along with the 60mg of potassium per 12 oz. serving). But even factoring those into the mix, this is an underwhelming beverage that I wisely avoided (subconsciously) for all these years, and will now continue to consciously do for the rest of the foreseeable future.

Overall: 3.5/10. It starts off not good, and then somehow gets worse and worse the more you drink it. Unlike the lemonade version, which is pretty tasty, this one starts off with an weak and uninspiring flavor that just kinda…disappears, offering absolutely zero reasons to look forward to the next swig, let alone the next bottle. The $.69 retail price (for a 33.8 oz. bottle) is a great value, and the lack of caffeine, sugar, calories, and low sodium are also factors preventing this from scoring lower. But, arguably, in the end, it's all about taste, and this one falls so short on that front, that there are literally zero reasons I can think of (besides curiosity) that you should ever subject your poor tastebuds to this sloppy combination of what appears to be vague sweetness and orange powdered drink mix.

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