Birch water is the latest “super thirst-quencher” you’ve got to have post-workout, and it’s been making a splash here. So what’s the hype?
GET YOUR FIX: You can get Tapped’s range of birch water at Redmart (https:// redmart.com) and Saladstop! stores.
1. Birch water comes from, well, birch trees
Or rather, what you’re drinking is clear sap drawn from these trees. Birch trees – which grow in temperate forests in Nordic countries – are only tapped once a year in spring, when the sap is rising through the trunks. The process is carried out over a period of just two weeks. The sap is then pasteurised so it can be kept for longer and drunk all year round.
2. It tastes like Japanese sake.
Kind of. Pure sap has a similar mouthfeel to water, but with a tinge of bitters weetness that’s similar to Japanese sake. It’s best drunk chilled. If that’s not your thing, Tapped, which distributes birch water here, also offers it flavoured with elderflower, apple and ginger, as well as bilberry and lingonberry.
3. It’s supposed to be good for you
Pure sap has diuretic effects, so it can relieve the discomfort of water retention, says dietitian Derrick Ong of Eat Right Nutrition Consultancy. It also contains xylitol – which reduces tooth decay by preventing cavitycausing bacteria – and saponins, which help lower cholesterol levels. Birch water also has less sugar than its coconut counterpart. “In contrast to coconut water which contains around 6g of sugar a cup, birch water has only 2-3g of sugar a cup,” says Derrick. Still, he notes that extensive studies have not been done on the benefits of birch water, so if you want to lower your cholesterol, for example, you’re better off seeing a doctor and eating better.
4. Birch water doesn’t hurt the environment
Seasonal extraction means trees are not harmed, or cut down.
TEXT JASMINE TAY PHOTOGRAPHY FRENCHESCAR LIM PHOTOS OF TREES 123RF STYLING ALICE CHUA
THE ALTERNATIVE WATERS
If you want something other than regular H2O, these are legit alternatives. And yes, you can drink them every day.
The inky colour is from fulvic acid, a substance found in soil and plant sediment. Drinking this supposedly enhances your health.
An alternative to protein shakes. Each bottle contains a whey protein isolate blend which offers more protein and less carbohydrate than a protein shake.
Contact with natural minerals or using a water ioniser changes the pH of water from neutral to alkaline. Fans claim that it helps neutralise acidic blood. This ups oxygen levels and improves energy and metabolism, as well as prevents acid reflux.
Coconut vs Birch: Coconut water has 6g of sugar in each cup, while birch water has 2-3g.