I Tried Swapping My Sports Drink for Maple Water, and I Finally Feel Like I Can Replenish My Electrolytes Without Getting a Stomach Ache

Photo: Stocksy/ Marc Tran
For Kate Weiler, a nutritionist, hydration expert, and co-founder organic bottled maple water beverage company Drink Simple, finding the most optimal way to stay hydrated is vital. Aside from being a business entrepreneur, Weiler is a competitive athlete and a 13-time full-distance Ironman Triathlon finisher (yes, like a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, plus a full marathon). Weiler first discovered maple water while completing a triathlon in Canada—and it has become her go-to drink for maintaining optimal hydration ever since.

Maple water, derived from pure sap from maple trees, isn’t as sweet or sticky as the kind we slather on our pancakes. Rather, it’s packed with loads of plant-powered nutrients, like prebiotics and antioxidants, as well as major hydration benefits.

Experts In This Article

We caught up with Weiler, who shared more about what makes this plant-derived drink so good for maintaining hydration linked to longevity (among a bevy of additional health perks). Plus, I tested out drinking maple water for two weeks to see its impact on my digestion...and let’s just say it’s a new staple in my daily hydration rotation.

How maple water benefits your health, according to a hydration expert

According to Weiler, aside from the delicate (and very enjoyable) flavor sap adds to H2O, maple water is packed with some health benefits that go beyond hydration. “Research shows that our maple water is made of 46 phytonutrients with electrolytes, antioxidants, prebiotics, polyphenols, and organic acids,” Weiler says. Most notably, maple water is loaded with antioxidants that have been shown to fight free-radicals and decrease oxidative stress.

What’s more, a recent study showed that athletes that consumed maple water had improved oxygen consumption (VO2) abilities during exercise compared to those that drank a placebo. And unlike many other sweet sports drinks, this beverage has no artificial sugar or added sweetener—the only sugar content it does contain is naturally-occurring. “Studies show that 75 percent of people are chronically dehydrated, and many folks are excited when they find out that our product is free of any sort of sweetener or added sugar,” Weiler says.

I tried drinking maple water, and it gave me a much-needed boost of hydration

I tried drinking Drink Simple maple water for two weeks to see if it had an impact on my digestion and hydration. Though I didn’t exclusively drink maple water to meet my daily hydration quota, I used it to replace any sports or electrolyte-rich drinks I’d normally consume post-workout and as a healthier alternative to drinking sugary soda throughout the day.

To take it from the top, Drink Simple comes in two varieties: plain maple water and flavored sparkling maple water. While working out, I’d consume the organic plain maple water, which was not only super tasty and mildly sweet but also a source of phytonutrients like electrolytes, polyphenols, minerals, and antioxidants. The best part? It contains only seven grams of sugar per 12-fluid-ounce serving. (To put that into context, popular sports drinks can have upwards of 21 grams of sugar per same-size serving.) During my trial run, I found that it was a great alternative to sugary electrolyte drinks that often upset my stomach and give me indigestion.

Meanwhile, when I wasn’t working out and going about my everyday routine, I’d sip on sparkling maple water that was equally as delicious as hydrating. (And a great motivator to drink more water.) Drink Simple’s sparkling waters come in four nostalgia-inducing flavors: orange cream, tart cherry vanilla, blackberry lemon, and raspberry lemon. My favorite was a close call between orange cream and tart cherry vanilla, though they’re all so good.

In all, I found that plain maple water was exceptionally great for supporting a rigorous workout when I needed more than what plain water could offer to support my hydration needs and keep my electrolyte levels in check—and finally without the stomach ache I always get from sports drinks. When paired with the sparkling waters during my recovery time in between workouts, it was a match made in hydration heaven.

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