The science behind cacao water (and why you should be drinking it every day)
By now you’ve probably heard of coconut water, the clear liquid found inside coconuts, that some wellness experts swear is better at keeping you hydrated than regular water alone. But what about cacao water? Sure, it’s probably not the first thing you think of when you hear the word ‘cacao’ – we know, most people go straight to ‘chocolate’ – but cacao water is one of the many ‘extra’ products that come from the whole cacao that is often wasted in the traditional chocolate-making process. Cacao water is made from the cacao fruit – that’s the white, fleshy part of the whole cacao that surrounds the beans – and it’s full of superfood benefits that make cacao water a healthy alternative to plain water for advanced hydration and wellness benefits.
The Health benefits of Cacao Water
There’s no doubt about it: water is one of the building blocks of life, and remaining hydrated is essential to our physical health. The body needs to be hydrated in order to regulate temperature, maintain optimal joint function, and to make sure our cells and organs are getting the nutrients they need. But sometimes water alone isn’t enough, which is why some people turn to beverages like sports drinks, which are infused with additional vitamins and minerals for optimal functioning. However, the problem with these drinks is that the unhealthy added sugar content can negate whatever other health benefits they may offer – plus, they’re often missing out on vital nutrients, like antioxidants, that help repair and maintain our bodies.
- (: Cacao water is different. It’s an all-natural drink with no artificial sugars or sweeteners, and that alone makes it a healthier alternative to sports drinks that are sweetened with refined sugar or other artificial sweeteners. Whereas natural sugars are easily processed by the body and can play an important role in body function and disease prevention, refined sugars have little nutritional benefit and can cause unhealthy blood sugar spikes and crashes.
Cacao water: a sustainable superfood
- ? Fun Fact It’s a little-known (and sad) reality of the chocolate world that up to 70% of the whole cacao plant is wasted by chocolatiers who are only after the beans. We know we can do better than that, especially because whole cacao is an incredibly nutrient-dense food. Whole cacao is made up of three components: the shell, the fruit, and the beans. Each part is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that have proven beneficial to both the body and mind, so there’s no need for them to go to waste. Both the cacao’s shell and fruit can be made into a variety of different culinary products that are delicious and nutritious – and that includes cacao water.
- (: Did you know? By using the cacao fruit to make cacao water, we’re living up to the three elements of our whole cacao trilosophy.
- (: Did You Know? Cacao water is more than just a healthy beverage that’s good for you – it’s a sustainable one that’s good for both cacao farmers and the planet, too.
Not at all! While cacao water does indeed come from the cacao plant, it comes from the cacao fruit – that’s the fleshy part that surrounds the beans, which are used to make chocolate. Cacao water has a really unique flavor. People describe it as tropical or exotic; when you drink cacao water plain, the flavor is reminiscent of lemonade and passion fruit, but with the slightest hint of the vanilla orchid. It also adapts well to other flavor combinations, like chili, lime, and cardamom, or even cascara coffee and cinnamon. Mostly, the word that people use most often to describe the taste of cacao water is “refreshing.” Once you taste it, it’s easy to see why!
Cacao water comes from the whole cacao plant. There are three parts to the whole cacao: the shell, the fruit, and the beans. The beans are the part used to make chocolate, and unfortunately, that’s the only part of the cacao plant that we tend to use nowadays. More often than not, the shell and the fruit go to waste – but they don’t have to! Both the shell and the fruit of the whole cacao plant can be used and adapted in a variety of different ways. That’s where cacao water comes from: the fleshy cacao fruit that surrounds the beans.
Yes! Cacao water is incredibly healthy because it comes from whole cacao, one of nature’s biggest superfoods. Cacao water is rich in antioxidants, electrolytes, and soluble dietary fiber for microbiome health. The antioxidants in cacao water help keep your cells healthy, and the electrolytes potassium and magnesium help you remain hydrated, while also keeping your muscles and circulatory and nervous systems in balance. Finally, cacao water is a great source of dietary fiber, which helps promote good health by maintaining the good bacteria of the gut microbiome.
Antioxidants are one of the most powerful resources we have in the fight against inflammation and disease caused by free radicals. Free radicals are the result of a modern lifestyle that has included exposure to pollution and processed foods; they can cause serious harm to our cells and are believed to be the root cause of many diseases, including cancer and heart disease. However, antioxidants have been proven to repair the damage caused by free radicals and to prevent any further damage from occurring. Since cacao water has twice as many antioxidants per serving as 100 grams of blueberries, that makes it a true powerhouse in the fight against damage-causing free radicals.