Nutrition Facts: Nature’s energy drink

About a month ago, I was rummaging through my family’s pantry for something to snack on and noticed a white cardboard box on the bottom shelf. Curious, I pulled it off the shelf and found it contained about 12 bottles of maple water. I’d never heard of this drink, so I looked it up online.

Turns out, maple water is pure maple sap—the water that flows out of maple trees in the spring. This pure maple sap water naturally contains at least 46 nutrients, including phytonutrients, minerals, active antioxidants, electrolytes, and amino and organic acids. Nutritionist and Registered Dietician Shira Lenchewski, who writes about healthy lifestyles on several websites, says that because the maple water is pulled from the ground and tree, it contains an abundance of nutrients—like manganese—that are essential in fighting free radicals in our bodies. (Free radicals are uncharged molecules which can cause damage to DNA and the cell membrane.)

With around seven grams of sugar as opposed to coconut water’s 11 grams, maple water is a great option for daily hydration, Ms. Lenchewski says. And it has grown in popularity among athletes in recent years because it seems to help with recovery after workouts. But many people still question whether coconut or maple water is more beneficial. Even though coconut water has more sugar, it does contain more electrolytes, which is especially beneficial for long-distance athletes. I guess the choice just depends on what activity or daily routine a person has.

Maple water has also become popular among bartenders, who use it in cocktails. Food Republic describes maple water as the “perfect addition to low-alcohol cocktails,” and restaurants like Tempo, in Waltham, which serves it in some drinks, seem to agree. If you buy it at the market, don’t worry—maple water is filtered and sterilized before it hits the shelves.

I finally tried maple water a few days ago, and it tasted a bit sweeter and more earthy than regular water. Personally, I did not enjoy this taste at first, but like most foods I don’t initially care for, it tasted better the second time around.

My dad purchased the maple water to drink after bike rides and is still deciding whether it will become one of his go-to beverages. Maple water won’t have a consistent presence in my daily hydration, but I still encourage everyone to give it a try. Maybe it will be the new twist on water that you’ve been needing.

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