It can sometimes feel like there are too many health trends to keep up with. What with Kombucha, electrolyte tablets, and homemade juices? You may be feeling like there are too many “super drinks” out there. But if you haven’t tried maple water, you’re in for a treat. Maple water is the latest trendy drink to rocket to popularity.
Maple water is especially helpful for athletes and even people with diabetes. It’s vastly different from maple syrup, although both come from the same maple tree. While it may be less popular than coconut water, maple water can provide more electrolytes in half the amount of sugar.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of maple water and why it is a great drink for athletic performance, keep reading.
- What is Maple Water?
- Health Benefits Of Maple Water
- Maple Water and Diet
- Maple Water vs. Coconut Water
- The Best Maple Water Brands
- Homemade Maple Water
- Final Thoughts – Why Maple Water?
What is Maple Water?
Maple water is the pure maple sap that comes from maple trees during the spring. This sap flows naturally but can be harvested only in winter using special techniques. The water is highly nutritious, containing
- 95% to 97.5% water,
- 2% sugar,
- A range of essential minerals, amino acids, polyphenols, and bioactive compounds.
Unlike the sweet albeit natural taste of maple syrup, maple water tastes quite delicate and subtle. Many people find maple water a far more palatable alternative to coconut water.
How is Maple Water Created?
Maple water is made naturally inside the maple tree. During winter, the water stored in the tree infuses with a range of nutrients and is then extracted in the spring. Although this might appear to be a recent trend in the US, drinking maple sap is not new. People have been drinking it in countries where maple trees grow prominently. Geographically, these will be places in the Northern hemisphere, such as Canada and Eastern Asia.
Maple trees have always been present in nature. It has been present in history, especially in areas where birch or maple trees abundantly grow. In many Northern and Eastern European countries, sap collection has been observed as early as the 14th century in Germany.
A study that reviewed the historical data showed that countries like Scandinavia, Poland, and Romania used saps extensively. They often used it as a refreshing drink, included in cooking, medicine, or making alcohol. In recent years, the US has just started to get back on the trend. But it’s been prevalent in their communities for European countries with easy access to these trees ever since.
What’s the Difference Between Maple Syrup and Maple Water?
Unlike Maple water, Maple Syrup is the maple sap boiled and reduced, leaving a concentrated solution. To make one gallon of maple syrup, you will need 40 gallons of sap. For maple water, one gallon of sap will make an equal amount of maple water.
What’s more, the best time you can harvest a tree for its sap is in early spring. Throughout the year, one tree could produce an average of 3 gallons of sap per year making it more economical to produce maple water over maple syrup.
Health Benefits Of Maple Water
The list of the purported benefits of maple sap is lengthy and impressive. Here are some of the most notable ones:
1.Supports A Healthy Digestive System
Maple sap contains oligosaccharides, which are natural carbohydrates that have a small number of simple sugars. These carbohydrates take on the role of a Prebiotic, which is a food source for healthy bacteria. The digestion-resistant nature of these carbohydrates makes them excellent for constipation, mineral absorption, and metabolism. Other foods that include oligosaccharides include artichokes, onions, legumes, and asparagus.
Most of the sugar we consume in western diets is ‘digestible.’ As humans, we need ‘digestible’ and ‘indigestible’ sugars. Including maple water in your diet can help you get those indigestible carbs.
2. Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels
Maple water contains ABA or Abscisic Acid. This natural acid has been proven to help control blood sugar. It is significant for people with type 2 diabetes or obesity. In a study examining ABA in fig extract, the Abscisic acid improved glucose tolerance and assisted with insulin release.
3. Provides Relief from Inflammatory Diseases
Antioxidants are crucial for fighting internal inflammation. Maple water has as many as 24 antioxidants, making it an excellent anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown that the antioxidants in maple water may help prevent the formation of a range of severe inflammatory diseases, including arthritis, IBS, and heart disease.
4. An Electrolyte Replenishment
Electrolytes, like potassium, magnesium, and calcium, are crucial for the body to function. We tend to lose electrolytes when we sweat or vomit. If you are dehydrated, your lack of electrolytes will seriously impact your muscles and brainpower. Many athletes, for instance, use energy drinks for electrolyte replenishment. However, maple sap is also filled with electrolytes, making it an excellent drink to tackle dehydration.
5. Boosts Workout and Aerobic Performance
Several research studies have shown the effects of Maple water on one’s body during and after an exercise. A study by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette saw that you could get more oxygen during your workout if you drank Maple water beforehand. Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition (JISSN) research concluded that Maple water is as adequate as water in rehydrating you after an exercise.
6. Hydrates Better than Regular Water
The JISSN study not only saw maple water in equal footing with water in terms of rehydration. But they also found that the Maple drink has the added benefit of antioxidant properties. Moreover, the University of Northern Texas conducted a study that shows that Maple water can hydrate twice as fast as water.
7. Low in Calories
Finally, maple sap has a very low-calorie count, along with low sugar content. If you are looking for an alternative to other electrolyte-packed drinks, maple water is a great option.
Maple Water and Diet
Maple water has tons of great health benefits but can’t take the place of an overall healthy diet. If you’re currently on a diet like Keto or Paleo, you might be wondering if you can fit this drink into your routine. Here are some tips on how to drink maple water as part of a healthy diet.
Is Maple Water Keto Friendly?
It depends. Maple water is an excellent alternative to soda and other sugary drinks because of its low sugar (carb) content. An 8oz serving from most brands will be about 6g- 9g of sugar. If you have the room in your macros to pull this off and want to try it, this is a great occasional healthy drink.
Is Maple Water Paleo Friendly?
Yes. Maple water is natural and unprocessed. Many people claim that indigenous peoples have consumed it for thousands of years. Of course, some brands might tinker with the beverage, adding sugars, so be careful to purchase all-natural, pure maple water if you are on a paleo diet.
Maple Water vs. Coconut Water
You have probably heard of the mythical powers of coconut water. In the past few years, this “natural sports drink” has skyrocketed in popularity. It’s famous for its unbelievable powers of hydration and healthy ingredients like amino acids, potassium, and antioxidants.
While coconut water has more potassium, maple water packs in more manganese, iron, and calcium so, as far as hydration goes, maple water is slightly more helpful than coconut water!
Maple water also has fewer calories and sugars than the more popular coconut water. For example, in an 8-ounce bottle of coconut water, there are 45 calories and 11 grams of sugar. For a similarly sized bottle of maple water, there are only about 15 calories and 6 grams of sugar.
The Best Maple Water Brands
If you’re interested in drinking maple water and giving it a try, you must find a trustworthy brand that delivers the best, purest beverage in a bottle. Here are a few of our favorites:
Drink Simple was founded by a pair of triathletes who fell in love with maple water for its natural hydration while in Quebec. This maple water is treated to kill off yeast and pathogens while all of the good nutrients remain. They add nothing to their water and have a range of subtle flavors available.
Pure Maple Water
This 100% pure water has no additives or preservatives. It purportedly contains 46 bioactive compounds. The drink comes in recyclable, resealable cartons, so you’ll be helping both your body and the planet stay healthy.
Maple 3 Organic Maple Water
This Canadian branch offers up completely pure maple water in eco-friendly packaging at an affordable price. They also offer a range of fun recipes on their website so that you can experiment with including maple water in your smoothies, coffee, and cocktails.
Homemade Maple Water
Unless you have your maple trees, it will be challenging for you to make your maple water. However, if you want to learn how to make your maple water or harvest this water, the process is pretty simple.
Keep in mind the following:
- Most trees are tapped in the spring. It often happens when temperatures oscillate between above and below freezing and when the sap is flowing.
- Aim to tap the tree about three feet off the ground. If the tree has been tapped before, avoid tapping within six inches of the old hole.
- Use a drill to create a hole around 2 inches deep in the tree. Insert a spile and tap this into the tree. Sap should automatically start dripping from the spile. Then, hang a bucket with a lid to begin collecting your sap.
- You should be able to store it for up to two years. Tetra packs of maple water should also last this long.
Here is a youtube video you should check out if you want to do this at home.
Final Thoughts – Why Maple Water?
This natural, healthy beverage comes with tons of excellent benefits while being completely natural and eco-friendly. Compared to the world-famous Coconut water, Maple water can provide you with more electrolytes and half the amount of sugar. It’s easy to see why so many people are drinking maple water for their hydration needs. Whether you’re an athlete or simply after a refreshing, healthy beverage, maple water appears to be a better choice than most.