The beverage aisle has evolved with the times. It’s still pouring false promises down our throats.

Wellness culture has taken over the beverage aisle, Vox reports. Monster Energy and Red Bulls of the aughts have given way to flavored seltzers spiked with CBD (commonly used to address anxiety and insomnia) and reishi mushrooms (supposedly good for improving cardiovascular health). As Vox associate editor Melinda Fakuade notes, “The invention of soda led to diet sodas. The invention of sugar-sweetened beverages led to sugar-free beverages. … It’s a liquid ouroboros.” As the beverage industry proved long ago, it doesn’t take much to sell a drink: People are more than willing to pay for plain water. Companies will continue to invent new reasons to shell out for beverages as long as we have our wallets open. Now, can someone pass the Liquid Death?

The Counter Stories by our editors.