Welcome to Fitness Week! All week long we'll be posting stories about fitness, with a distinctly Fashionista spin.
Fancy water has been a phenomenon ever since Evian slapped that pink and blue mountain label on their chic, chic bottles. Now, however, it's not only about being the coolest water in all the land -- it's about being the healthiest.
Water is being wrung from all sorts of dubious sources lately and touted in the wellness community as the next big thing. I collected a few of these and brought them to my colleagues in the Fashionista office, where I then made them taste test them blindly out of adorable ducky Dixie cups.
Here are their reactions, as well as the things you need to know about each drink:
OK, so most people have tasted coconut water, but I wanted it to be the starting point for my taste test, because it's going through a bit of an, erm, identity crisis lately. According to a recent article in the New York Times, coconut water is part of a $400 million global craze. But it's not all it's cracked up (haha!) to be. VitaCoco, one of the big players, was sued a few years ago for exaggerated ingredient claims. Then there's the study -- ironically funded by VitaCoco -- that found that neither coconut water or sports drinks hydrate you better than plain old tap water. Fashionista's take:
Eliza: This is VitaCoco, right?
Alyssa: Eww, no I don't like that.
Steff: If you wanted to drink this you could put some mint leaves in it and it would probably taste better.
Dhani: I think it’s refreshing.
Eliza: I think I grew to love it because in college, I thought it cured hangovers. I have this weirdly positive association with it, I think because I always drank it while I was still drunk, preempting the hangover. And it tastes really good then.
Dhani: Does that work?
Eliza: No, not at all!
Verdict: I personally think coconut water is disgusting, and would much rather just eat a banana after working out, but it's not a completely offensive flavor, if you're into beverages that taste like slightly sweet sweat. As for hangovers, you're better off with a greasy bacon sandwich.
Because of some of the issues listed above, the world has been searching for THE NEXT COCONUT WATER. Enter: maple water. Before you get excited, don't. It's not suitable for pancakes. Maple water is the sap that comes directly out of the tree before it's boiled down to make proper syrup. Like coconut water, it contains sugar, but not many other nutrients that have been proven to do anything beneficial. The jury is still out on whether or not it will become the new healthy beverage. Fashionista's take:
Eliza: This smells like the stuff you use to dye...
Steff (interrupts Eliza): None of these are going to kill me, right?
Alyssa: It tastes kind of like tea to me for some reason.
Eliza: Oh, that’s very pleasant. It’s more pleasant than coconut water. It’s smoother.
Steff: It’s like melted soy mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Eliza: Wait, that’s so true. Watered down.
Dhani: I don't really taste anything.
Alyssa: It’s subtle, which I like.
Tyler: It just tastes like a sweetener that I would put in coffee or something.
Verdict: It is indeed much tastier than coconut water, though it has a disconcertingly viscous consistency (at least the brand we tried, HappyTree) that lies somewhere between regular water and actual syrup. But it was like drinking a sweet flower. I bet it would taste amazing in a rocks glass with a shot of vodka and lots of ice.
Apple Cider Vinegar Water:
Apple cider is the coconut oil of the vinegar family. According to internet lore, it can do pretty much everything: help your digestion, strengthen your bones and teeth, assist with weight loss, and much more. The downside? You have to drink vinegar. One savvy vinegar producer, Bragg's, decided to market it in a more palatable drink sweetened with stevia, a natural no-calorie sweetener. Let's see how Bragg's did:
Eliza: This smells disgusting. Is it vinegar?
Tyler: NO! If it’s vinegar, I can’t, I won’t.
[Unclear who said this on the recording]: It’s fucking disgusting.
Eliza: Oh my god, this is delicious!
Alyssa: I tasted it. It was not good.
Eliza: I went through a period this winter when I was taking shots of apple cider vinegar in the morning because I heard it was good for you. But then I heard it hurts the enamel on your teeth.
Dhani: I don’t like it.
Steff: Honestly the smell is deterring, but after drinking it, I don’t mind it. If I didn't smell it before drinking I feel like I would enjoy it more.
Verdict: If someone could come up with a non-stinky vinegar, it would be a wellness coup. Otherwise -- ew.
Aloe Vera Shots:
Another usually gooey substance, aloe, gets the water treatment. Free People even did a tutorial last year teaching you how to DIY your own. All the juice shops are selling it in shot form. Its claim to fame is that it supposedly contains lots of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances, resulting in glowy skin. Our take:
Eliza (makes disgusted face): I feel like you’ve betrayed our trust a little bit, Cheryl.
Then, a cacophony ensues: OHHH. UGHH. ICK.
Alyssa: No no no not good.
Dhani: It’s just disgusting. I would never drink that again.
Alyssa: It tastes like toilet bowl cleaner.
Steff: It burned the back of my throat! Is that bleach?
Verdict: I don't think it needs any further explanation.
In conclusion: Just drink water.