First there was Whole Foods’ “regrettable $6 asparagus water,” which became the butt of late-night talk show jokes. Then there was celery juice, which Kim Kardashian endorsed. The next trendy water popping up in yoga studios and pressed juice stores is Chlorophyll water. I know what you’re thinking: “Chlorophyll — more like bore-ophyll!” as Billy Madison would say. However, it’s Mandy Moore-endorsed, and, for better or worse, the green water seems to be having a moment.
What is Chlorophyll Water?
For most people, the word chlorophyll will transport you back to your high school biology class. In case you fell asleep during that course, here’s the down-low: Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants that absorbs light during photosynthesis, explains Sarah Marjoram MS, RDN, and the nutrition consultant for Jamba.
“Nutritionally speaking, chlorophyll is a great source of vitamins and antioxidants,” she says. You'll get it naturally when you eat certain leafy greens such as spinach, kale, wheatgrass, and arugula. But getting it from water is a bit more complicated. “In its natural state, chlorophyll cannot dissolve in water because it's considered fat soluble,” So, what you’re usually getting when you drink this water is cholorophyll’s “semi-synthetic” cousin chlorophyllin, which is generally made of salts and natural cholorophyll. That's what is in most of the waters, tinctures, and supplements you'll find on the market, which claim to have health enhancing properties.
What are the benefits?
Mandy Moore said early this year that she likes to drink it for gut health, and there are tons of other claims out there about the stuff. The brand Cholorophyll Water says it’s a source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin D. In general, “there are claims that it can detoxify, fight odor, heal wounds, energize you, and fight cancer,” says Marjoram. “Most of the claims stem from it being a great source of antioxidants, which generally speaking, promote health and fight disease.”
Some people get into it, like Luli Gamburd, a holistic health coach, recipe coach, and founder of Nutriluli. "When I started to incorporate Chlorophyll Water first thing in the morning, I immediately felt a difference in my energy levels as well as an overall sense of hydration, which is so important to set the tone for the rest of the day," Gamburd said. "Over time, I also noticed my skin tone improving as well as my blemishes diminishing, which made me feel amazing from the inside out.”
One study done on mice found that chlorophyllin could help decrease the negative impacts of heavy metals on the body. However, more research needs to be done to know about its detoxifying properties in humans.
“There’s similar conversation around the healing powers of celery juice,” Marjoram says. “Celery itself is a nutritious, low calorie snack. However, there is no scientific proof that concentrating it into a juice cures or treats anything. Should you drink celery juice? Sure, if you like the taste of celery juice it can be a tasty addition to a well-rounded diet, but don’t count on it for any magical powers towards better health. "
Does it work?
There simply isn’t enough science to know, says Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD. “At this point, there's just not enough evidence to support it,” she says. “Chlorophyll water is far from a magic bullet. Drink plenty of filtered water, move your body daily, and eat a variety of produce — not forgetting your greens.”
Does it taste like a plant?
One of my coworkers said she picked up on a hint of dirt. After drinking a few bottles of the stuff, I’d say it has a slightly chemical flavor, but it’s much better than expected. It goes down smooth, and soon I was gulping it down like plain old water.
Is it worth your money?
It depends what you like to spend your money on. If you’re already someone who buys bottled water, the brand Chlorophyll Water plants a tree for every case sold, and their bottles are recyclable. They’re also going to be landfill biodegradable in the coming months. So if you’re going to buy a bottle, it might as well be an eco-friendly one — and, who knows, you might reap some of the purported benefits from the vitamins and such.
However, these bottles cost $39.99 per case, which breaks down to $3.33 per bottle. And, newsflash, water is free in most parts of America.