THE TREE SAP YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

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?

Herworld (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

This lat­est “su­per thirst-quencher” is mak­ing a splash here. What’s the hype?

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 bit­ter­sweet­ness 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.

GET YOUR FIX: You can get Tapped’s range of birch water at Red­mart (https:// red­mart.com) and Sal­ad­stop! stores. TEXT JASMINE TAY PHOTOGRAPHY FRENCHESCAR LIM PHO­TOS OF TREES 123RF STYLING ALICE CHUA

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