Health-conscious hydrators are positively drowning in a tidal wave of new ‘Super waters’ available on the market, which are extracted from super foods like cactus, birch, aloe — and even artichoke- it’s H2Overload! These new ‘super waters’ boast a myriad of health benefits, from improving digestion and skin health to reducing hangover symptoms, and are set to take the health and fitness world by storm this summer.
This hot new water is said to be even more hydrating than H2O itself. Cactus water has long been popular in South and Central America and is extracted from the fruit of the cactus plant, the prickly pear. It is packed with antioxidants, like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, and it has less sugar and calories than most brands of coconut water. Lots of people also prefer the taste: it’s a little fruitier than its nuttier sister, and as an added bonus, it also contains betalains, an antioxidant which could help reduce hangover symptoms. Just remember to drink it before you consume alcohol!
Bird water is harvested from the sap that comes from birch trees in the spring. Like coconut water, the drink contains electrolytes like potassium, magnesium and calcium which boost hydration in the body, so it’s a great post work-out drink as it gives you a nice energy boost and replaces minerals lost through perspiration. It also boasts polyphenols, a group of nutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, some people are skeptical of its health benefits, and are concerned that it’s jumping on to the ‘healthy water’ bandwagon, although birch water is already a traditional drink and medicinal ingredient in certain parts of Eastern Europe and Canada, so there may be some truth to the claims, although that remains to be seen. Silver birch has long been used in herbal medicine, as it acts as a natural diuretic and is beneficial for lymphatic health, although this is likely to be a more concentrated tincture made from bark, leaf and resin than a drink.
Maple water is the purest form of the sap that runs through maple trees, and are raving about its health-boosting properties. It contains antioxidants and minerals that help to control sugar levels and enhance thyroid function, and it’s being hailed as the new ‘wonder water’. However it’s so new that there is little research to support the claims, so it remains to be seen whether this ‘health drink’ lives up to the hyper. While we wait for the scientists verdict, you can simply enjoy maple water for what it is: a natural, sweet, and hydrating drink.
Coconut water is low in calories, naturally fat- and cholesterol free, has more potassium than four bananas, is super hydrating, and contains easily digested carbohydrate in the form of naturally occurring sugar and electrolytes. And whilst health conscious hydrators are well aware of benefits of sipping on coconut water, many of the supermarket brands are often laced with added sugar which somewhat negates the health benefit of this drink. In 2016 the coconut water trend will see protein coconut waters gaining in popularity as they blend protein and hydration together.
If you dry skin or other skin issues including psoriasis, you can help promote healing from the inside out by choosing foods that are anti-inflammatory, like aloe juice. Aloe water is packed packed with vitamins, including B, C, and vitamin E, as well as folic acid, which fortify the body’s immune system, and leave you with fantastically clear, healthy looking skin. It’s also rich in antioxidants, which help protect cells against skin-damaging free radicals in the environment like pollution or the sun. However, it’s best to stay clear of aloe water if you’re taking medications for digestive issues, a blood disorder, or diabetes, as aloe can have mild laxative and blood-thinning effects, and can cause a drop in blood sugar in diabetics with already low levels.
According to ARTY, who produce the drink, the artichoke water is extracted from Californian artichokes, a plant which is rich in health-boosting silymarin and cynarin. The water is said to contain minerals including iron, potassium, vitamin C and magnesium, and artichoke-derived bioflavonoids are known for their excellent anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce joint pain and muscle soreness, making it a good drink to indulge in after a workout. However, the drink is sweetened with agave syrup and fruit juices, so if you’re drinking this drink for the health benefits of the artichocke, then you’re better off eating the vegetable in it’s pure, natural form as this is more nutritious.