A new brand of trendy plant water just hit the Whole Foods shelves. Before you roll your eyes, manufacturer Steaz claims that its cactus water is not only the perfect post-workout recovery drink, but can also fight pimples and make your skin glow. Oh, and it supposedly prevents hangovers.
Skeptical? Between all the supposed hangover cures out there, like on-demand doctors who will show up to your home with an IV drip, chugging Pedialyte and drinking a nice big glass of pickle juice — yep, it’s a thing — it’s hard not to be a little jaded. Here’s everything you need to know about this new “miracle drink.”
What it is
The desert may seem like the last logical place to look for hydration, but it’s precisely because of the lack of rain that cacti have adapted to store water much longer than other plants. Hey, if you were stranded in the desert, chances are you’d drink up too.
The water is extracted from the prickly pear cactus, known for its sweet fruit. (Props to the people who endured the prickly process of harvesting it.) Since the water comes from a fruit, it has a naturally sweet, berry-flavored taste, with less sugar and calories than coconut water.
OK, so it tastes good and is low in sugar — awesome. But why is it generating buzz among fitness fanatics? It turns out prickly pear juice is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which all help athletes recover faster after a workout.
Related: 5 secrets to living longer
Will it really make you prettier?
Truth be told, the main key for keeping your skin from looking dry and flaky is hydration, so drinking regular old tap water will still work wonders, but plant water has vitamins that regular H20 doesn’t, so it does give a little something extra.
If you’re part of the coconut water squad, you already know about its anti-inflammatory qualities, which help keep skin looking fresh. Cactus water has antioxidants too, and one in particular — betalain — is know in the beauty biz for being the secret cure to under-eye puffiness. Added bonus: Cactus water’s essential fatty acids act as a natural oil barrier, actually helping to prevent pimples.
About that hangover cure
Anything with electrolytes helps regulate hydration — the almighty key to curing your morning-after headache — so that puts cactus water up in the ranks with Gatorade for what to stock your fridge with when you’re getting ready to rage.
The only true way to prevent a hangover is to moderate your alcohol intake, but if you’re set on a wild night out, cactus water isn’t a bad idea for a mixer, especially since it's naturally sweet (unlike mixing your vodka with coconut water or maple water, which just sounds gross). We’re all about the prevent-while-you-party mindset, to here are three cactus water cocktail recipes for your next pre-game:
Cactus Water Cosmopolitan
Clear spirits — like the vodka in this cocktail—are less likely to lead to a hangover than congener-heavy spirits like whiskey and brandy. So just consider vodka cactus water’s more spirited, sassier party partner in crime.
1/2 oz lime juice
1 oz Steaz Original Cactus Water with Green Tea
1 1/2 oz vodka
Directions: Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and serve.
Cucumber and rosewater downplay the natural sweetness in cactus water and give it a more complex taste. Your friends will be crazy impressed with this one.
Cancun Cactus Water Margarita