Is Cactus Water Good For You?

Cactus water has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years (via Healthline). Derived from the fruit of the prickly pear cactus, cactus water is a naturally pink liquid that is often made by mixing prickly pear concentrate with water. Although cactus water is relatively new to the natural beverage market, the liquid has long been used for medicinal purposes in Mexico, where the plant originated (via Thrillist).

"The concept of cactus water in 2021 is absolutely bubbling up," Kun Yang, CEO and co-founder of cactus water company Pricklee, told Thrillist. "Vanessa Hudgens launched her cactus water in April. Travis Scott launched cactus hard seltzer in March. People are really looking for plant-based hydration, and cactus water is something new to add to their diet."

While the taste has been described as tart and melon-like, different brands of canned or bottled cactus water contain a variety of different flavors, including strawberry hibiscus and mango ginger. But is drinking cactus water actually good for you?

Health benefits of cactus water

In addition to keeping you stay hydrated, cactus water is linked to a number of other essential health benefits. Cactus juice includes taurine, a powerful antioxidant (via Thrillist). When consumed, it can help repair tissue damage that occurs during exercise (via Byrdie). 

"Antioxidants play a huge role in our body," Scotty Schellner, a double-certified nutritionist, told Bustle. "Oxidative stress in our body's [sic] is one of the leading causes of inflammation and plays a major role in the breakdown of our bodies. By adding high antioxidants foods and beverages, we help to fight off these stressors."

Drinking cactus water on a regular basis can also help reduce swelling and inflammation while protecting against disease. Because of this and its high concentration of electrolytes, experts agree that cactus water is an ideal post-workout drink. Additionally, it may also be helpful with hangovers and mild illnesses, like a stomach bug or the common cold.