If there is some sort of marketing that I get suckered into, it would be trying new drinks. It started in grade school when my friends and I would go to the local Krauszer’s and picking any cool labels or oddly shaped bottles. I mostly remember Snapple’s element drinks and the whipper snapple drinks. Yes, Snapple sure knew how to take my money. But now that I am older I am less interested in sugary drinks, and more about healthy drinks. So now I try out all the new naturally sugary drinks that are at Whole Foods. Okay not all drinks are sugary, but most are sweetened in one way or another (including stevia) Lately I’ve been noticing bottles of maple water, and after my awful hangover, I decided why not? I was getting sick of normal water anyways.
So you are probably like me and wonder what the heck maple water is? It is pretty much the most raw state that you can buy maple tree sap. We all know maple syrup, but it has been boiled down to a thicker, sugary, and more flavorful state. Since the drink is pasteurized but not boiled down, it has much less sugar than maple syrup but has a similar nutritional profile. There is one company selling raw maple water, which I find perplexing since I thought most maple sap would ferment with some alcohol with a few days.
A lot of companies are selling maple water in the same vain as coconut water- full of electrolytes but with less sugar and calories. Less calories yes, coconut water has about 46 calories per cup and maple water has about 25. Maple water has about 5 grams of sugar per cup, while coconut water has 6 grams. After looking at all the different brands, it seems the nutritional values vary, usually having about 1-2% calcium, 30-40% manganese, 1% potassium, and 50 different phytonutrients.
The drink is surprisingly watery- totally clear. It tastes pretty much if I put a small drop of maple syrup in my water and stirred it around. It is a little weird, as I am expecting there to be more body to the drink. I think it would be pretty refreshing after a workout, more so than just water since it does have a little bit of sugar in it. And using maple water instead of plain water in a protein shake would be pretty awesome as well, adding a hint of maple to the mix.
Naturally I am a little wary. None of the companies are REALLY saying what is in maple water. It doesn’t seem like it has a long list of vitamins in it, and there aren’t many studies on the drink. So most of the health claims seemed to be pulled out of their asses. Is the drink good for you? Better than sodas and sweet teas, sure. It is a nice way to mix it up when you get bored guzzling water, but unless you really enjoy the flavor, I wouldn’t say to force it down your throat.
But what IS rad about this drink is that they are almost all tapped in the United States. That means if you are replacing all your coconut water with maple water, you are avoiding shipping tons of liquids overseas, leaving a lighter carbon footprint. The method is great for the environment as well, one that has been used for many years (remember it is the same stuff as maple syrup.) If you are in Europe, there is apparently companies that make birch water, which seems to be very similar nutritionally.