The bottled-water industry is a $13 billion business with the wherewithal to turn mere water into flavor-infused, vitamin-fortified concoctions for our trend-driven satisfaction, according to AdWeek.
The latest buzz-worthy beverage: Maple Water. It’s not what you think. You’re not guzzling a beverage likened to the sticky stuff that keeps IHOP in business.
Sold in about 1,300 locations in the Northeast (soon to enter the Southwest via Whole Foods), Drink Maple water is made from maple tree sap. That's the stuff that farmers typically tap and boil down to make maple syrup. But in its raw form, maple sap is really just ground water a tree has, well, drunk first. It boasts 46 nutrients—such as manganese, which controls blood sugar levels, and other prebiotics, electrolytes, antioxidants, and minerals—has a light maple taste, is low in calories (30 calories per one 12oz serving) and sugar (5g), is gluten free, and non-GMO. While the water is filtered prior to hitting store shelves, no other ingredient is added at the processing plant. (Plus, it’s helping to encourage “responsible forestry,” and who could argue against the benefit of sustainability?)
Whether or not you’re in favor of maple, we’ve gathered five other alternatives to plain water to keep your body hydrated, and your taste buds interested.
Its ingredient list is short, but impactful—just fresh watermelon (flesh and rind, but not the skin) and organic lemon make up WTRMLN WTR—a super-hydrating, electrolyte-filled, low-calorie (60 calories in 8 oz) beverage to enjoy day or night.
The Benefits: According to the site, WTRMLN WTR has six times the electrolytes (740mg of potassium) than typical sports drinks and the same amount as coconut water. It contains 520mg of citrulline, which helps your exercise performance and recovery by reducing lactic acid build up, and supports blood flow in muscle tissue. Though it’s a bit high in sugar (12g in 8oz), it’s about the same as coconut water and 45 percent less than orange juice. Aside from the vitamin C (60 percent), you’ll enjoy some sex-boosting properties from lycopene (9.5mg), too.
Caliwater Cactus Water is a blend of prickly pear cactus extract, prickly pear cactus juice, and water to create the perfect balance of hydration and nutrients. Get ready for this mouthful: It’s certified Kosher, non-GMO, gluten free, vegan, not from concentrate, 100 percent natural, and void of preservatives and added colors. An 11.2oz serving has only 35 calories (though 9g of sugar).
The Benefits: Cactus water naturally contains five electrolytes, as well as a slew of vitamins, minerals and rare antioxidants, but prickly pear cactus fruit is the only fruit that contains all 24 known betalins (powerful antioxidants revered for their skin revitalizing benefits). It has an earthy, berry flavor that is replenishing and refreshing.
You’ve seen hungover college kids and fitness fanatics alike gripping a Vita Coco coconut water. The "it" recovery elixir is made from pure coconut water and packs tons of vitamin C (100 percent). However, at 45 calories and 11g of sugar in one 8oz serving, knocking back a few too many of these may pack on the pounds.
The Benefits: Dubbed the "ultimate sports drink", coconut water has been around in terms of popularity. It’s high in potassium (about five times that of Powerade and Gatorade, according to research from the American Chemical Society), and low in sodium, which is good unless you’re engaged in strenuous workouts (in which case Powerade or Gatorade are a better option).
Happy Water is sourced directly from two Canadian mountain springs, which contain both spring and mineral water for a rare combination of naturally-occurring lithia, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, which create something called an alkaline state. Essentially, alkaline water has a higher pH (Happy Water has 7.4 pH—ideal for the body) than regular tap water. It’s said that it can neutralize acid in your blood, boost metabolism, absorb nutrients more fully, and even slow the aging process, according to the Mayo Clinic. And just like regular tap or bottled water, Happy Water has zero calories and sugar. It'll be available in the States this fall, according to their site. In the meantime, other alkaline waters are stateside such as Essentia Water.
The Benefits: This is a natural mineral- and electrolyte-filled water void of additives and processing with eco-friendly packaging to boot.
Juice Press Aloe Vera Water may freak you out a bit since you’re used to slathering the goopy green stuff on your sunburn, but once you get over that, you'll find it's a refreshing alternative to plain water. Made from just filtered water and aloe vera (to dilute the leave's sour taste), Juice Press Aloe Vera Water has no calories, fat, or sugar.
The Benefits: Aloe water is high in vitamins and minerals, said to accelerate skin repair, help the absorption of important nutrients and antioxidants, balance the acidity in your stomach, and even soothe digestive discomfort.