Maple water is the maple sap that flows directly from a maple tree. It's a common misconception that all sap is sticky. Maple sap actually looks and feels just like regular water. Maple water goes through a natural process that infuses it with nutrients. In early spring, maple trees pull water from the ground and filter it through their roots. This water collects nutrients stored in the tree all winter and provides hydration and nourishment that enable the tree’s growth and rejuvenation in the spring season.
Harvesting maple water is a very sustainable practice that encourages responsible forestry and provides incentives to keep trees standing. The practice of tapping trees has been around for hundreds of years and according to the Boston Globe, North American explorers dubbed maple water as “the wholesomest drink in the world” more than 300 years ago.
1. Hydrates Faster than Plain Water
Due to the electrolytes, minerals, and small amount of natural sugar that are all naturally in maple water, it is ultra-hydrating. A study by University of NorthernTexas showed that maple water was faster hydrating than plain water. This is why professional and amateur athletes alike rely on maple water to help keep them optimally hydrated. Maple water is the ideal drink to have before a workout “to hydrate the body without the unnecessary added sugar or heavy calories coming from standard sports drinks," says Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD.
2. Full of Plant Powered Nutrients
Maple water is naturally full of phytochemical nutrients such as antioxidants, minerals, polyphenols, and organic acids. A study done by Dr. Navindra Seeram et al. at University of Rhode Island found 46 bioactive compounds and strong antioxidant activity present in maple water. Antioxidants have been shown to fight free radicals and decrease oxidative stress. An abundance of free radicals have been connected to inflammation and diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. A study done by Dr. David Bellar showed that maple water decreased oxidative stress due to the antioxidant levels present in maple water
3. Boosts Aerobic Performance/VO2 Max
Additional new research done by Dr. David Bellar et al. found improved oxygen consumption (VO2) abilities during exercise when athletes consumed maple water versus drinking a placebo. Kelly Jones, Sports RD says that VO2 Max, (or the maximal amount of oxygen one is able to consume during exercise of increasing intensity), is a representation of the body’s ability to use oxygen for energy metabolism in muscle cells. Greater VO2 Max correlates with greater energy production, and therefore enhanced aerobic exercise performance.
4. May Prevent a Hangover
A Study in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine found that drinking maple water before alcohol can boost the rate at which alcohol is metabolized in the body. Therefore, this could potentially reduce, or lessen the severity of a hangover. Or drink maple water instead of the booze and you will have the best chance of skipping the hangover. Drink Simple Maple Water was named one of the top 15 non-alcoholic drinks to buy by Eat This Not That.
5. Naturally Low in Calories and Sugar (and no sweeteners!)
Maple water is created by nature and there is no need for added sugars or sweeteners. It is naturally low in calories and low in sugar. It is ¼ sugar of juice and ½ sugar of coconut water. Livestrong named Drink Simple Maple Water one of the Top Low Sugar Drinks to drink if you are tired of plain water. It is important to avoid drinking high sugar drinks, but those that also those that have added no-calorie sweeteners. Numerous studies have shown that drinking beverages with No-Calorie Sweeteners are just as bad as their sugar counterparts (yes, we are also talking about the “natural” no-calorie sweeteners like stevia, erythritol, or monk fruit). The no-calorie sweeteners (even the natural ones) have been linked to decreased cardiovascular health, weight gain, and other health outcomes.
6. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Maple water is an excellent source of manganese. Manganese has been shown to help control blood sugar.
Dr Yves Desjardins found that maple water contains significant quantities of abscisic acid. Abscisic acid has been shown to help with blood sugar homeostasis by stimulating insulin release through pancreatic cells and to increase the sensitivity of fat cells to insulin, which makes it a potent weapon against metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
7. Healthy Digestive System
Maple water contains Prebiotics which are essential for a healthy digestive system. Prebiotics are the source of food for your gut’s healthy bacteria and feed the probiotics. Both are necessary for a healthy gut and healthy digestion. Registered dietitian Lauren Manaker suggests adding maple water to your grocery cart to make sure you are getting enough prebiotics. Digestive health has been linked to immunity, mental health, antioxidant functions, metabolism, and more.
8. Supports a Healthy Immune System
Maple water contains antioxidants, zinc, and prebiotics all of which are shown to help support a healthy immune system. Because hydration is also a very important component of staying healthy, maple water’s ultra-hydrating benefits contribute to a strong immune system in multiple ways.
9. Strong Bone Health
Maple water contains minerals such as manganese and calcium. Both of these minerals have been associated with strong bone health. The New York Times reported that Koreans have known about the treasured elixir of maple water for years known as gorosoe which translates to “tree good for the bones.”
10. Decreases Oxidative Stress and May Enhance Quality of Life
Dr. David Bellar et al. conducted research studies that found that maple water decreases oxidative stress. An abundance of oxidative stress has been connected to age-related diseases. In the same study, they also found that people reported increased quality of life and overall improved mental wellness when maple water was swapped in for other beverages.