Almost two years ago, I switched to a new doctor. This new doctor, unlike the previous quack general practitioner, wanted to see how healthy I was by giving me a physical. After some blood tests and an ultrasound, it was determined that I had a fatty liver and a small, or “silent” kidney stone.

During our post-test consultation, we discussed the fatty liver and the kidney stone. He asked me how much soda was I drinking, informing me that regular soda consumption can cause kidney stones. Wanting to be honest, I blurted out. “Maybe 4 cans a day,” which was a good per-day average. He continued, “You really need to be drinking less soda and more water and juices.”

Not wanting to give up my love of soda, but also really believing my doctor knew what he was talking about, I decided to try and ween myself off soda [goodbye Dr Pepper… I will miss you, with the exception of those occasional one-night stands].

Today, I drink maybe one soda a week (mostly mixed with alcohol – Crown and Coke is pretty tasty) and consume more water and juice. I’ve never been a juice person, but last year, I finally found one that I like: Vitamin Water XXX acai-blueberry-pomegranate.

Vitamin Water XXX acai-blueberry-pomegranate

This flavor is great and having tried some of the others, I really prefer this one. I know it’s got some carbs and calories, but who gives a shit about that… it’s the taste that matters, and more importantly, it’s not soda.

But at a buck a bottle on sale and as much as $1.99 at the corner convenience store, regular consumption can start to get pricey. So I started looking for alternatives.

My fiance’s sister makes a trip to Costco on a regular basis. So I asked her to pick me up some Vitamin Water, specifically the blueberry pomegranate flavor. She returned with a 24-pack of Kirkland VitaRain, and there were more flavors than just my favorite.

The 4 flavors in the 24-pack

My first instinct was just to give away the other flavors and only keep their version of the blueberry-pomegranate. But I figured, what the hell, I’ll see what the others are like.

  • Tropical Citrus – This shit was horrible. Too sweet. Tang has a much better taste than this crap.
  • Dragonfruit – Not bad. Not sweet and went down pretty good. No carbs, calories or sodium. And packed with vitamins (heavy on the C). It could be a good substitute.
  • Kiwi Strawberry – Same zero levels of nutrition as above, but a bit sweeter with less vitamin content. It’s ok.
  • Blueberry Pomegranate – Very close to the Vitamin Water brand. It seemed a bit weaker, but that could just be a taste bias on my part.
  • And The Winner is…..

    excuse the quick Photoshop job
    * original boxing ring image can be purchased here

    Based on the informal taste test I went through, I found there really was no difference between the two brands. But I’m going to have to stick with the Vitamin Water brand since Costco doesn’t sell a case of just the blueberry pomegranate flavor of VitaRain. Although once they do, I may switch over for the purpose of saving a few pennies.

    FWIW, the 5 remaining VitaRain Tropical Citrus bottles are going to be placed inside the community fridge at work, hoping someone will take them.

    I taste good, honest ;-)