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Drinking maple sap fresh from the bucket is refreshing rural rite of passage.

Impressive Health Benefits

Derived from Drinking Maple Sap

Drinking maple sap fresh from the maple tree is a secret Canadian rural rite of passage. There are two ways to drink maple sap fresh. People may put their mouth directly under the spigot and let the sap drip into it or they collect it in a bucket and guzzle the sap ice cold – known as the Canadian maple sap bucket challenge.

Hearty rural Canadians will grab a full bucket of maple sap right off the tree and down the whole thing during the long cold hours of a maple sap boiling. The sap provides them the energy required to pull the sugar shack all nighters. Without this fresh maple sap they would be unable to craft maple syrup because the sap to syrup  process is very long and tiring.

Maple water is packed with electrolytes, charging sappers with energy similar to a sports drink, allowing them to crush through the night. Consider maple water, Mother Nature’s sport drink. Unlike some sports drinks, researchers have determined that maple water doesn’t fully quench a thirst, but apparently this is a good thing because your body will continue to rehydrate.

Though sensations of thirst remained elevated with MW, indicative of a potential for enhanced ad libitum rehydration. Antioxidant potential was higher in maple water and increased urinary antioxidant capacity.

Rehydrating efficacy of maple water after exercise-induced dehydration | Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition | Full Text

The replenishing power of maple water has led to products like Sapsuckers, which is a great way to enjoy maple water. 

This local Grey Highlands company has found success selling their upmarket products in grocery stores like Rosedale’s Summerhill Market. Locally it’s available in one of my favorite shops, Kimberly General Store, which for any Toronto visitor is worth dropping into after hiking Old Baldy or tripping around Blue Mountains. 

After a great hike, sit outfront Kimberly General with your fellow Torontians, enjoy the Beaver Valley views, and replenish with the Sapsuckers lineup.  The Original One does not have any added flavorings, but Sapsuckers offers a lineup of flavored maple water. The pure product is best imo, and purest when it’s from your own maple tree.

Tips for Drinking Maple Sap

Drinking maple sap is best before the spring fully awakens. Otherwise the maple water may contain small little black bugs or worse, a moth. These can be strained off easily, but early in the season there’s no bugs floating in sap.

Maple water is best enjoyed during a long hot summer day, and it’s easy to prepare. However it does require extra freezer space – all rural people have a chest freezer or two – the sap can be poured into plastic food grade jugs and then frozen. When Ontario weather turns ghastly hot, take out of the freezer, place outside to thaw, and serve.

It’s actually way easier to collect maple water for drinking than to boil sap for maple syrup. Maple water is strained through a cheesecloth into the plastic food grade jug and then put in the freezer. Boiling maple sap for maple syrup is a twenty-four hour process, at least. With a business like Sapsuckers collecting maple water from local producers, the all nighters are becoming less frequent.

I really wanted to work a Dune movie quote into this blog post on maple water, but I just couldn’t figure out how. The drinking maple water video does have a satirical Dune bit, but I’m not going to give away any spoilers, you will just have to watch it.

Watch My Maple Water Drinking Video

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Matt Mernagh

The author Matt Mernagh

I’m a twenty-year communication professional, experienced in innovative corporate communication and disruptive marketing strategies, website content creation, podcasting, video storytelling, good ole fashion book writing and newspaper journalism.