Recently there has been a lot of hype about a new hot beverage in town. Websites the internet over extol its miraculous qualities with such zeal you’d be convinced it’s the next elixir of life! What am I talking about? I’m talking about maple water, this season’s “it” drink.
So what are people saying?
According to companies selling the beverage, like Oviva and Seva, maple water is packed with vitamins and minerals—46 bioactive compounds plus magnesium and calcium according to Oviva— and is full of electrolytes. These compounds supposedly make it the perfect refreshment after a workout and on hot days. Some are even claiming it has essential nutrients, probiotics, and holistic health properties singular to the product. And maple water is much better for you than maple syrup, which is boiled down, super concentrated maple water (it takes 20 to 50 liters of sap to boil down into 1 liter of syrup.) But does all of this sudden interest mean we should embrace maple water as a wealth of healthful properties?
Let’s check the the facts.
Maple water is basically just fresh, sterilized maple sap; the clear, sweet nectar that runs out of maple trees. Since maple water isn't concentrated it’s much less sweet only having around 6g of sugar and 25-90 calories per 8 oz serving. So this drink is not going to be a significant source of calories. Interestly, maple water was used as a tonic by the First Nations people of Canada, but there are far too few peer reviewed, scientific studies on maple water to draw any conclusions about its benefits, or potential risks if over consumed. And remember all of those wonderful minerals and compounds you’re hearing about? Well they’re there, but in amounts so small you’d have to drink a lot of maple water to get enough to meet your needs. So I think rushing to the conclusion that we should start guzzling the drink in cocktails, smoothies, soups, stews, etc is a bit rash. Perhaps all this sensationalization is just a clever marketing strategy?
With that said, while maple water probably won’t denote any more benefits than other comparable, lightly sweetened beverages, it is a natural drink and if you enjoy the taste and find it reasonably priced I see no reason to not give maple water a try. If you try out the product just remember that the key to healthful living and wellness isn’t achieved by seeking out a “miracle” product, health is what you gain from having a simple approach to eating that includes a variety of wholesome, unprocessed foods.