Every season there’s inevitably a healthy drink trend that sweeps Instagram. In 2014 green juices and kombucha hit, and then last year we were all #blessed with endless snaps of coconut water, and—later in the year—charcoal water. So now that it’s nearly the end of February, you should prepare yourself for an all-new drink craze to take over in 2016—and my money’s on drinkable rose water. Yes, just the stuff you’ve been using in beauty products for years.
During the past two months I’ve noticed a shift at the health and fitness press events I attend; instead of passing out cold-pressed juices after the workout or sticking a straw into a fresh coconut (which had been the norm for the past 18 months), now it’s rose water that the buzzy wellness brands want to serve at their events. Juice Press introduced its version ($3), which is exactly what it sounds like; water infused with natural roses. The drink’s made by double-distilling rose blooms (from Rose Valley of Bulgaria—fancy) to extract the oils and their essence.
Add to that the fact that L.A.-based juice company Juice Served (which also sells online) is on board with the rose water trend, releasing a product in partnership with Soma this month, and that there are dozens of international versions popping up on Amazon this year, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for a bona fide health trend.
For the uninitiated, rose water has a subtle, fragrant flavor, and tastes just like you imagine it does. While I’m personally a fan, I’ve got to admit that the strong scent might not be for absolutely everyone, especially if you normally steer clear of rose perfumes or face sprays.
Which brings me to my next point: Yes, drinkable rose water is pretty much the same as the ingredient you’ve been using in beauty products forever. And, like rose-infused face sprays and creams, drinkable rose water is a good source of antioxidants. Nutritionist Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD, explained that the antioxidants found in rose water can help protect your body: “Antioxidants are plant-based compounds that protect plants from disease and protect cells in the body from damage. There are many in nature and we know a little bit about some of them, so the general consensus is to get a wide variety of antioxidants.” Spano added that there are studies that show rose petals can help keep your heart healthy: “They contain flavonoids and tannins, which support artery health and may also support healthy blood pressure.”
Natural-medicine practitioners also believe there are other benefits of drinking rose-infused water, which is why it’s been used as a natural home remedy to help with stress and the digestive system for hundreds of years—although there isn’t much scientific research supporting the idea that this really works. Alex Jay, a health coach and Juice Press nutrition expert, also added that it could even boost your sex drive: “Dating back to the 16th century, rose water has been thought to provide stress relief and support digestive functions, and it’s also thought to act as an aphrodisiac for women.” While again there’s not a lot of evidence supporting that particular home remedy, rose water does contain a chemical called phenylethylamine, which is a stimulant related to amphetamine that’s released in the brain when you fall in love.
Obviously, rose-infused water isn’t going to completely change your life, but it does make a tasty (and very Instagrammable) alternative to your regular old H2O.