I’ve got no problem suffering for the sake of my health on occasion… if it’s warranted.
Take coconut water for instance.
I think it tastes pretty gross. But after a workout, nothing rehydrates and replaces electrolytes quite like it.
And it’s far healthier than sugar-laden sports drinks that also contain electrolytes.
But not everything that flaunts a supposed health boost actually brings one to the table.
I had just such an experience this past weekend…
A Bitter Realization
A juice bar reopened around the corner from where I live over the weekend. In an attempt to support a local business, I jumped in line.
After patiently waiting 6 feet apart from everyone else and wearing my mask in the hot June heat, I was looking for something refreshing – something that would cool me down and rehydrate me.
Aloe vera juice was what I was looking for, they said.
They threw in some other things like ginger, cucumber, citrus fruits and the like. But the heavy hitter in this concoction was the aloe vera.
It’s packed with hydration power, they said.
Not one to walk away from an opportunity to try something new, I gave it a go.
And let me tell you, this stuff is rough.
It’s bitter… It tastes kind of like how oven cleaner smells.
I tried to treat it like medicine. This stuff is good for me, right? So I might as well finish it.
In the end, neither Mary Poppins nor a spoonful of sugar could have convinced me to choke down a whole serving of the stuff.
But I admit I was still slightly intrigued. Maybe I could figure out a recipe that properly hides that astringent taste…
But first I needed to check out the bona fides of aloe vera juice before I spent any more time imagining sucking down another sip.
Let’s start with the so-called hydrating powers of aloe vera…
I discovered that this plant is very water-dense. But at the same time, its contents are no more hydrating than a glass of tap water.
So if I ever find myself in the desert on the brink of dehydration and stumble across an aloe vera plant, sure, I could imagine squeezing some juice out. But under normal circumstances, I’ll stick to water and coconut water.
I did discover that aloe vera juice happens to contain nutrients like vitamins B, C and E… but nowhere near the levels of staples already in my diet.
To make matters worse, aloe vera juice can be dangerous.
Folks diagnosed with diabetes, kidney disease or intestinal issues should definitely avoid drinking it.
It can also negatively interact with diabetes and blood pressure medications.
It can even cause complications for those who have simply taken a laxative.
Unpurified aloe vera juice can cause diarrhea and cramping because it contains anthraquinone, which is a laxative in its own right.
And in a small study, aloe vera has been found to be a carcinogen in rats.
That’s a big strike three for me.
Despite all of this evidence, juice from the aloe vera plant is still widely available at health food stores and juice bars.
But now that I know all this, I’d consider it anything but healthy.
From now on, I’ll stick to using it topically anytime I get a little too much sun.
And when I’m looking for something that’s refreshing and good for me, I’ll turn to what we call the “Perfect Drink.” This simple three-ingredient recipe packs quite the healthy punch… gives me all-day energy… and tastes great. Get all the details here.