01 Oct 2013

Aqua Mamma is here!

Information, Rob Buist Blog No Comments

For some time now I have been thinking about healthy hydration in pregnancy. I have watched as my patients have struggled to have their hydration needs met throughout pregnancy. In the first trimester a lot of my patients find water makes them more nauseated than usual so they struggle to keep their fluid intake up. In the second trimester some women are affected by the low blood pressure (and fainting as a result) that usually goes with a healthy pregnancy.  Then in the third trimester women need to keep their fluid intake up without taking in too much sugar. Finally I see women bring all sorts of – usually sugary – drinks in with them for hydration in labour.


So in my spare time (Ha Ha) I have come up with Aqua Mamma.


Currently there are very few healthy hydration options available to pregnant women (and middle aged obstetricians, for that matter). Purists will argue that our hydration and electrolyte needs are best met by drinking one to two litres of water per day and eating a banana. However some people – and pregnant women in particular – struggle to drink lots of plain water. Indeed I find it hard to drink lots of plain water after I have been for a run.


The problem is all of the other drinks out there are inappropriate for pregnancy , contain artificial sweeteners, caffeine, or – worst of all – FAR too much sugar. Some examples of sugar contents are:

  • ·         Cola drinks – 10.6 grams sugar per 100 ml
  • ·         Apple Juice – 10.9 grams sugar per 100 ml
  • ·         Orange juice – 7.8 grams per 100 ml
  • ·         Sports drinks – 5.7 grams per 100 ml
  • ·         Coconut Water – 5 grams per 100 ml
  • ·         Low Calorie Vitamin Water – 4.3 grams per 100 ml.


Aqua Mamma contains 2.5 grams of sugar per 100 ml along with an appropriate amount of electrolytes.


The product in the above list that upsets me the most is apple juice. Apple juice (along with many other fruit juices) is marketed as being healthy because it is pure and natural yet such marketing overlooks the high sugar content 13 grams of sugar per 100 ml! There is less sugar in most soft drinks!


Remember also that many juice bars use apple juice as the basis of many of their drinks and smoothies. Take a look at the energy and sugar contents of drinks that are marketed as being healthy and natural – you may be in for a surprise.


Coconut water is marketed as being very healthy hydration yet it contains twice as much sugar as Aqua Mamma. When it comes to coconut water as with most things, due to its popularity – an increase in quantity leads to a decrease in quality. The stuff right out of the coconut might be great for you, but the stuff on store shelves is a far cry. In fact, there’s a lot not to love about coconut water. Here are a few not-so-fun facts about “nature’s sports drink”:

  • To prevent Thai coconuts from spoiling on their way to the U.S., they’re coated with formaldehyde.
  • Several independent studies reveal that most processed coconut water does not have the level of electrolytes they claim. Big manufacturers O.N.E and Vitacoco are currently involved in class action lawsuits because of this false advertising.
  • Fresh, raw coconut water has enzymes that detoxify and repair the body, helping it to easily absorb all its electrolytes. But the stuff you find in stores has been pasteurized, which kills those healthful enzymes.
  • If natural is your priority, raw, organic coconut water is still a better choice than sports drinks after a heavy sweat session (and by heavy, I mean hot yoga-heavy, or outdoor-run-in-95-degree-heat-with-100-percent-humidity-heavy) or to rehydrate during a stomach bug, but in general the sugar content (11-14 grams per serving) makes it a poor choice in large quantities.

Anyway with all of these concerns in my mind I went into partnership with Rob Bates (my website guy – Tasman Multimedia – who is the healthiest person on the planet) and Victor Manauzzi (my wonderful accountant and Principal of Platinum Associates) to start making a healthy uncomplicated drink that is appropriate for pregnant women (and everyone else for that matter). Aqua Mamma is the result.


Aqua Mamma is pale pink (of course!) and it has a pleasant mild Cranberry / Raspberry flavour.


Aqua Mamma is low sugar, low calorie and it contains no artificial colours or flavours. We have added some sodium (not too much) and potassium in order to assist with your electrolyte needs. We have made certain the drink contains nothing genetically modified and our recyclable PET bottle is BPA free (I recently read a study in which BPA – commonly found in many plastic containers – can be found in the urine of some pregnant women). We tried to add folic acid, iodine and many other goodies to our drink but we found that these adversely affected the taste and texture of the drink and we simply could not add therapeutic amounts of these substances to the drink so we have stuck to a purely hydration and electrolyte product (and all the pregnant women I know are taking an appropriate pregnancy multivitamin anyway).


While we are promoting Aqua Mamma for pregnant women it is just as good for women planning to become pregnant and those who have given birth. In fact it is better and healthier than most hydration options for everyone which is why I drink a bottle after going for a run and always keep one in my car.


And so we have manufactured our first 5,000 bottles of Aqua Mamma (or AM, as we call it). We have a little more work to do on the labels but we are 100 percent happy with the drink and all of our early feedback from pregnant women has been favourable.


At the moment we are giving bottles of Aqua Mamma away for free from my office and from Women in Focus Physiotherapy (www.womeninfocusphysio.com.au) on level 17 of my building (OK, its Frank Lowy’s building but you know what I mean) so please come in and try it (it doesn’t matter if you aren’t one of my patients). Rebekah in my office will sell you  a six pack for $20 if you wish – and one of our first three paying customers was the health conscious husband of one of my patients.


We are very excited about having three paying customers.


A couple of intrepid outlets – Windscreens Café at The Royal Hospital for Women and Clodeli Café in Clovelly Rd – are also stocking Aqua Mamma. I don’t think they have sold any bottles yet but hope springs eternal.


And in the meantime we are working on a healthy hydration drink for everyone.


Then we are going to take over the whole world…




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