What is it and is it actually healthy?

Move over celery juice. Black water is the latest hype you’ll soon be seeing all over your social media feeds. Here, dietitian Melissa Meier unpacks all you need to know about the nutrient-dense water.

Have you heard of black water? Me either. But a certain The Bachelor alumni recently posted all about it – so chances are, it’s soon to take over the world of wellness.

Before it does, here’s what you need to know.

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What is black water?

There are a few brands of black water dotted throughout cyberspace, and they all generally have the same message. Black water is born out of the idea that today’s soil isn’t as nutrient-rich as it once was, so the foods grown from it aren’t as nutrient-dense as they once were.

To counteract this imbalance, fulvic acid (a nutrient-rich compound produced in soil) is added to water and voila! Drink it and you’ll get a mega-dose of nutrients, including minerals, electrolytes, amino acids and antioxidants.

Should you buy black water?

The claims about black water are WILD. From boosting your immune system and reducing inflammation to detoxing your body, increasing nutrient absorption and even nourishing your digestive tract (whatever that means), there’s a lot of hype around black water. One brand goes so far as touting fulvic acid as a ‘miracle’ product, which is a massive red flag for me.

Why? There’s no such thing as a magical elixir, and no single food or product can overhaul your health. What’s important is your overall lifestyle and pattern of eating – not the inclusion (or exclusion) of a little black water here and there.

Another point of contention for me is that black water is marketed as an ‘alkaline’ water. In case you’re not up to speed, the train of thought is that what you eat or drink affects the acidity of your blood, and if your blood is acidic, your body is under stress. But here’s a reality check: what you eat and drink cannot (I repeat: cannot) impact the pH of your blood. Your lungs and kidneys have tight control over that – and if they didn’t, you’d be dead.

On the plus side, black water is a zero-calorie drink, so it could be a better option than sugary, energy-dense options like soft drink, cordial and juice.

The verdict

For want of a better term, I’m classing black water as ‘wellness wankery’. As with all things in the world of wellness, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is… and when it comes to black water, there’s a lot of nonsense.

In my opinion, there’s simply no need to fall back on these parachute products ‘just in case’ you’re deficient in a certain nutrient. Trust me, if your diet is balanced and incorporates everyday foods from the five groups, you’ve got absolutely nothing to worry about.

Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practising dietitian. You can connect with her at Honest Nutrition or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.