How to Drink Cactus Water for Health

Three Parts:Incorporating Cactus Water for HealthUsing Cactus WaterStaying Well Hydrated

A new type of water to hit grocery store shelves is cactus water. You may be familiar with coconut water or even maple water, but cactus water is a fairly new item. It's made from the cactus fruit and purified water. Cactus water has been getting a lot of attention from the antioxidants, amino acids and electrolytes it contains. Initial research is showing that these components have some health promoting effects - like minimizing dehydration related to drinking alcohol.[1] Consider trying cactus water if you can find it as a source of hydrating fluids and beneficial antioxidants.

Part 1
Incorporating Cactus Water for Health

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    Drink cactus water during exercise. Sip on this drink in place of your regular water. Cactus water (like many plant waters) is full of electrolytes and simple sugars (from the cactus fruit puree) and can help you during and after exercise.
    • One particular component of cactus water is taurine which is an amino acid. It helps the body reverse muscle tissue damage (like after exercise), repair and build muscle.[2]
    • In addition, taurine has been shown to help the body consume and use oxygen more efficiently during exercise.
    • Outside of athletic performance, cactus water also has a little bit of sugar and electrolytes which can help replace the fluids you've lost through sweat during exercise.
    • Sip on cactus water during and after exercise for the most beneficial effect.
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    Sip on cactus water before drinking alcohol. No one enjoys going out for a fun night of drinks and waking up feeling a little nauseous and hungover. However, drinking cactus water might help curb those unpleasant hangover symptoms.
    • Studies have shown that cactus water may help prevent and even relieve symptoms of a hangover. Betalain (the antioxidants in cactus water) is responsible for relieving symptoms like nausea and dry-mouth.[3]
    • However, those same studies showed that the morning after headache is not affected or changed by cactus water consumption.
    • Cactus water consumed before, during or after alcohol consumption was shown to be beneficial. Try consuming 8 oz before you go out and wake up to another 8 oz if you're feeling a little sick.
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    Choose cactus water when you're sick. Cactus water may also be beneficial when you're feeling a little under the weather. Drinking adequate fluids, including cactus water, can help support your immune system when you're sick.[4]
    • Any type of fluid is important when you're sick. Although you may not feel like drinking (or eating), it's important to drink fluids to help keep you hydrated and flush any toxins out of your body.
    • Cactus water in particular may be good because its got a little bit of sugar, calories, antioxidants and electrolytes. This is the perfect combination when you're feeling under the weather.
    • If you're feeling a little sick, aim for a minimum of 64 oz of fluids daily. If you want, you can make half or more of these fluids cactus water.
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    Drink cactus water during the day. Cactus water and other plant waters do come in quite useful in certain situations (like during exercise or before going out on the town). However, that doesn't mean you can't drink cactus water more regularly.
    • If you have trouble getting in regular water because it's not appealing or lacking in flavor, drinking cactus water might help you meet your fluid needs everyday.[5]
    • Cactus water may be beneficial if your other options would be to use artificially sweetened flavored waters, powdered drink mixes or sports drinks. These are highly processed and can contain a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
    • Cactus water is a much more natural source of antioxidants and electrolytes while still doing a great job at keeping your body hydrated.
    • As long as you can maintain your weight and can stay within an appropriate calorie goal, drinking cactus water throughout the day should be appropriate.

Part 2
Using Cactus Water

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    Make a breakfast smoothie. Since cactus water is full of nutrients and electrolytes, it makes an ideal liquid for a smoothie. You can blend it with your favorite fruits and vegetables for a nutrient packed breakfast.[6]
    • Start your smoothie the day or night before. Freeze cactus water into ice cube trays so you have frozen cactus water chunks.
    • Place about 1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite fresh fruit into the canister of a blender. In addition, add in a tablespoon of honey and a 1/2 cup of greek yogurt. Blend until just combined.
    • Last, add in about 1 cup of the cactus water ice cubes. Blend until your smoothie is creamy and smooth. Serve immediately.
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    Mix with your favorite alcohol. Since cactus water does such a great job at blunting a hangover, consider drinking it with alcohol. Mixed together with your favorite spirit, this plant water can help keep you a little better hydrated.[7]
    • Cactus water's naturally sweet flavor pairs well with spirits like vodka or tequila.
    • For a mixed beverage, shake together 2 oz of cactus water, 1 oz of tequila and 1 oz of seltzer water.
    • You can also mix 2 oz of cactus water with 1 oz of vodka and a splash of cranberry juice as well.
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    Make a cactus water vinaigrette. Another great little trick to use cactus water (and other plant waters) is in a vinaigrette salad dressing. The lightly sweet notes pair well with salads and other dressing ingredients.[8]
    • In a small bowl combine 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard, 2–3 tablespoons (29.6–44.4 ml) of cactus water and the juice of one lemon. Stir to combine.
    • While stirring, slowly drizzle in about 1/4-1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil. You want to stir until it's combined well.
    • Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste. Give the dressing a quick taste and adjust for seasonings.

Part 3
Staying Well Hydrated

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    Drink an adequate amount of fluid. Regardless of what type of fluid you drink each day, you need to aim for an adequate amount to stay well hydrated. If you don't meet your fluid needs you run the risk of becoming dehydrated.
    • Most health professionals recommended consuming at least 64 oz or about 8 glasses of hydrating liquids each day.[9]
    • This amount may change depending on your age, gender and activity level. Depending on these factors, your fluid needs may be up to 13 or more glasses daily.
    • For example, if you run 3 miles (4.8 km) every day, you will most likely need more fluid to stay hydrated.
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    Stick to hydrating fluids only. When health professionals recommend drinking 8 glasses of fluids daily, they're talking about specific types of fluids. Not all beverages count towards that recommended 8 glasses.
    • It's most commonly recommended to drink 8 glasses of water daily. It's naturally no calorie, sugar-free and caffeine free. It's the best option.
    • However, there are other beverages that can hydrate you. Cactus water and other plant waters (like coconut water), decaf coffee, decaf tea, sparkling water and flavored waters all count towards your fluid guidelines.
    • Sweetened, alcohol or caffeinated beverages do not count towards your 64 oz. Don't count sodas, coffee drinks, fruit juices, beer, wine or sweet teas.
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    Keep water with you at all times. To help you meet those guidelines for all that fluid, you'll need to drink water consistently throughout the day. However, if you are busy or forgetful, it can be hard to stay on top of that fluid goal.
    • To help you meet your specific fluid needs, keep water on you at all times. If you constantly have a bottle of water or cactus water with you, you may be tempted to drink more frequently.[10]
    • If you don't want to continuously buy bottled waters, consider purchasing a reusable plastic or stainless steel water bottle. They're environmentally friendly and all you to fill up anywhere.
    • Keep water bottles everywhere you go as well. Keep one for your desk, keep one at home and also have one you leave in the car.
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    Check for signs of dehydration. Cactus water is a great beverage to drink to help prevent dehydration or replace fluids if you are already slightly dehydrated. However, you need to keep an eye out for signs of dehydration.
    • Thirst is not a good indicator of hydration status. Just because you're not feeling thirsty doesn't mean you don't need fluids. If you are feeling thirsty, that means you're already dehydrated.[11]
    • Also, check how often you urinate and the color of your urine. You should be going to the bathroom about 4-6 times a day. In addition, your urine should be pale yellow by the afternoon or evening.
    • Other signs of dehydration are fatigue, headache and feelings of hunger. If you feel these symptoms, drink some water to see if they are relieved.


  • Cactus water is a great plant-based water that can help hydrate you in a fun and flavorful way.
  • Try using cactus water when you need an extra hit of electrolytes and a little sugar - like during or after exercise.
  • Although cactus water is a great addition to hydrating fluids, it shouldn't be the only type of fluid you drink. Make sure to include plain water as well.

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Categories: Diet & Lifestyle