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Ask Tufts Experts September 2018 Issue

Q. What is maple water, and is it a healthy beverage choice?

Adam Korzekwa | Getty Images

Maple water is the pasteurized or sterilized sap from maple trees. It has no proven health benefits.

A. Judith C. Thalheimer, RD, LDN, managing editor of the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, answers: “Maple water is the sap from the maple tree. This clear liquid is typically boiled down to create maple syrup, but if it’s pasteurized or sterilized, it’s safe for human consumption. Health claims for maple water include improved bone and thyroid health, anti-inflammatory benefits, and improved digestion and absorption of various nutrients, but none of these claims have been verified.”

“According to Navindra Seeram, PhD, a leading maple syrup researcher from the University of Rhode Island’s Bioactive Botanical Research Laboratory, maple water is 98 percent water, with a diversity of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (including antioxidant polyphenols), and enough natural sugar to provide a hint of sweetness. According to Seeram’s research, the pasteurization process does not change the nutrient content.”

“Maple water is marketed as an all-natural functional beverage. While this new beverage option does contain small quantities of some nutrients, plain water is still the best choice for quenching thirst.”

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