Move over coconut water, there’s a slew of new flavored H2O drinks in town. In fact, there are quite a few new waters encroaching on your territory and staking claims for health, wealth and wisdom. Well, maybe not wealth.
When coconut water first exploded onto the gourmet drink scene, it was touted as a miracle product with a seemingly endless list of potential benefits to body and soul (and come on, Angelenos, you know we couldn’t get enough of the stuff). Most of these benefits have been debunked, with potassium (a little more than a banana) and hydration being the two most validated perks of the drink.
For those looking for the fountain of youth in a bottle—and an alternative water source because, you know, the drought—there are a slew of new offerings trumpeting their salubriousness. Here’s a few of the big ones.
Cactus water: This Los Angeles-based (okay, so maybe this one won’t help with the drought) Caliwater proclaims “ancient beneficial nutrients with ultimate hydration in mind.” Made from a prickly pear puree harvested from local desert opuntia cactus plants, the water cites many specific health benefits. Besides relieving dehydration with “five naturally occurring electrolytes,” the manufacturer claims, “the prickly pear cactus fruit is the only known plant to contain 24 of the known betalains, which are rare & potent antioxidants associated with skin revitalization.” Better skin? Possibly.
Artichoke water: Artichoke water? Yes, artichoke water. ARTY, which is infused with bioflavinoids extracted from the plant commonly used in dip recipes, is another option for those with aspirations of getting the most bang for their buck, health-wise. According to the maker of the drink, it’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins from A to B9, calcium, potassium, iron, minerals and all that good stuff. Its mix of nutrients may also help reduce post-workout oxidative stress levels. Plus, those bioflavinoids are known to soothe inflammation and help curb muscle pain.
Maple water: DRINKmaple, water punched up with straight-from-the-tree maple sap, is another player in this crowded, flavored field. The lightly sweet drink touts 46 naturally occuring vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, prebiotics and more. It’s also low in calories (just 20 per container). Kale devotees, this drink purportedly has more magnesium than a cup of the leafy green.
Are these new waters—there are plenty more, too, like watermelon water, chocolate-mint water, and even birch water—just a passing fad? Perhaps, but they might be fun way to relieve the monotony of the tap, and at the very least, they will indeed hydrate you, like say…water. They certainly seem healthier than soda or drinks loaded down with sugar, dye, and other chemicals.
Of course, if you are content to stick with plain old water, there is still plenty of variation to be had. At Ray’s and Stark Bar, Water sommelier Martin Riese serves up 20 different waters from all over the world, with the taste differentiated simply by terroir. What a way to sharpen your palate while keeping your thirst quenched.