Tuesday 23 April 2019

Five other alternative waters

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Coconut water: Coconut water is heralded as a refreshing, thirst-quenching drink. It's the clear liquid obtained from immature, green coconuts. Nutritionally, it's unlike coconut milk, cream and oil, which are made from the flesh.

The water has many proven benefits: potassium, magnesium, and especially electrolytes, so if you're doing lots of sport, it can help replace them.

The problem, as Lily Soutter points out, is in the marketing, with many unaware of the relatively high sugar content. Coconut water's sugar is free sugar, which is the type found in cane sugar, honey and agave. It's the stuff we need to cut down on - Government targets are set at around 25g per day. If you downed a carton of coconut water, you could have up to 60g.

Maple water

Maple water comes straight from the maple tree, but is thinner and less sugary than maple syrup. It's tapped in a short window before it can be boiled down to syrup.

There are supposedly up to 50 nutrients, and bone strengthening and anti-inflammatory advantages. According to Soutter, maple water has a lot of manganese, which is crucial for nutrient absorption, bone development and the production of digestive enzymes. "But people don't tend to be deficient in that mineral," claims the nutritionist.

It's more commonly found in whole grains, nuts, leafy vegetables and teas, a lot cheaper than maple water which retails at around €3.49 for 350ml.

Bamboo water

Bamboo water has hydrating properties, is sugar-free, and is calorifically almost negligible. It supposedly prevents ageing by boosting collagen production and contains silica, promoting healthy skin, hair and nails.

It's incredibly sustainable, as bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants and has been consumed by the Chinese for years. But again, the science behind it is still in its infancy.

Cactus water

Made from the prickly pear cactus, this water has antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, can give your immune system a boost and has anti-inflammatory properties. But again, the science is inconclusive and it's expensive at 30c per 100ml.

Aloe water

"There is research out there in terms of aloe vera helping with digestion and blood sugar levels," says Soutter. "While it can be helpful for some people, it is also a natural laxative and can cause stomach cramps and allergic reactions."

Irish Independent

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