Something happened a few summers ago that changed the way we drink forever: coconut water. It started with an entry to health food stores in familiar and tropical cardboard boxes, soon after it was at the juice shop around the corner, and now it’s hard to enter a New York bodega without seeing at least twelve different brands and varieties of coconut water. Almost too many, you feel me?
Fortunately for all of the acai bowl addicts, and post-workout hydration believers, the plant based bottled drink doesn’t stop at coconut water. From cactus to watermelon, we live in a time that is fantastic for those who want more than just, well, water. Some of the ways to hydrate bring great packaging design to your fridge, and some are loaded with flavor and benefits. Hydration is key during the warmer months, so let’s take a look at some of the crazy H20 variations out there.
The OG alternative water. This stuff tastes mildly sweet and almost creamy and can come canned, bottled, boxed, and raw. It’s high in potassium and magnesium, which is why so many people like it in their recovery smoothies, and relatively low in sugar when compared to other fruit juices. Here’s the catch: the raw stuff tastes a lot better, and is higher in nutrients than the pasteurized shelved water. Bonus: it feels really good to chug this stuff after a late night out and a few too many.
If you’re eating loads of kale for manganese, you might want to consider switching to maple water. The roots of the maple tree pull up filtered sap, and when it’s added to bottled maple water, you consume double the amount of manganese of those leafy greens. With three brands already popular in my local market, maple water demand is on the rise. The flavor is milder and less sweet than coconut water, but it’s a great way to hydrate without all the sweetness.
Just like the almond butter you’re addicted to digging into at 11pm, this stuff tastes good. Unlike the almond butter you’re addicted to, almond water as no fat, or nutritious benefits. However it tastes refreshing and a bit sweet and floral, similar to rainbow cookies due to the almond extract. Add a splash of rum, a bit of basil and lime, and you’ve got yourself a happy hour recipe everyone will be asking for.
What do Patrick Dempsey, Katie Lee, and Steph Curry all have in common? Glowing, healthy skin. Lycopene, a nutritious pigment found in tomatoes, carrots, and watermelon can help increase that summer glow, as well as anti-aging properties. Once a common drink found in juice and smoothie shops, watermelon water is now sold by WTRMLN WTR at most grocery stores. It’s packed with flavor, like biting into ripe juicy melon, and is way easier than juicing a whole watermelon yourself.
No this is not the succulent you keep in a small terra cotta pot near your bedroom window. Most bottled cactus water is from the prickly pear, and is sweet like a strawberry. Cactus water is high in taurine which reduces inflammation, and helps transports oxygen – basically it helps athletes perform. It’s also high in antioxidants which help under eye puffiness, and boost skin plumpness and glow. Drink this for a hangover, or if you want to attempt multitasking, make a drink with the cactus water!
Article as featured in Whalebone’s eighth issue, the Water Issue.