Before I fell pregnant, I was already a thirsty person. You will always find me with a water bottle nearby: on my desk at work, in my bag, on my bedside table. In fact, when my husband and I got married we threw in some sneaky funny vows at the end of the ceremony for each other (i.e. Mario had to write out vows I wrote for him to read me, and vice versa, except we only found out what they were during the ceremony). One of his was that he vowed to always put a bottle of water by my bed every night for me!
Once I fell pregnant and hit the third trimester my thirst suddenly hit a new level. Now by the time I’ve finished breakfast I’ll have consumed somewhere between 500 – 750ml; all before 8am. You won’t me without a water bottle during the day at all. Admittedly, I’m still getting up to pee during the night because I still haven’t been able to nail the whole “reduce the water before bed thing”. I have no regrets.
I recently was given the opportunity to trial some hydration drinks by aquamamma, aimed at women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding. Of course I jumped at the chance – something to make my fluid intake interesting? Yes please!
Some facts about hydration during pregnancy
I was sent 6 bottles – 3 flavours, 2 samples of each flavour. Included was a booklet with some facts about hydration during pregnancy, which I found really interesting:
- The total fluid in the body increases by about 1.4L (I wish use that to explain my weight gain, but we all know that’s not entirely true)
- Adequate hydration helps to reduce headaches, fatigue and swelling (I vouch for this – the days where my intake has been low are the days I’ve had swollen ankles)
- The recommended intake of fluid for pregnant women is 2.3L per day
Once you start breastfeeding:
- Water accounts for 87% of breast milk
- Breastfeeding mothers experience an increased water loss of breast milk of approx. 700ml per day
- The recommended intake of fluid for breastfeeding mothers is 2.6L per day
(Source: aquamamma, Hello Hydration, Australia, 2017, print).
The drink was developed by an obstetrician based in Sydney, after noticing several trends:
- Some women struggled to meet hydration requirements during pregnancy, for example those with morning sickness. I was lucky that I just felt nauseous and wasn’t throwing up during my first trimester.
- Most of the non-water drinks out there had high levels of sugar, sodium or ingredients not suitable for pregnant women
As a result, aquamamma was born! The drinks are:
- Low in sugar (2.5g per 100ml)
- Low in sodium
- Supplemented with folic acid (super important during pregnancy, I take elevit for this as well, however aquamamma contributes to the daily folic acid level – it won’t meet the daily requirement on its own)
The first flavour I tried was the orange flavour, taking it with me while out walking with a friend. The bottles are small enough that it wasn’t annoying to carry, but if I was running I wouldn’t take it with me. If my bub had been born already it’s the perfect size to put in the pram as well.
My initial reaction was to notice a strange after taste, one that I wasn’t so sure on. As I continued drinking it more I got used to it. Soon I barely noticed it at all. The orange also slightly tasted a bit like mandarin to me, but that may have just been the after taste. The more I drank the more I found it quite enjoyable.
When I used to play a lot of netball, I would drink powerade/gatorade, especially on the big days where I was playing multiple games. It’s quite rare for me to drink them now, but if I do I still have the same reaction: once I finish the drink I’m desperate for water! They’re so sweet, and my mouth feels furry and disgusting. I have to drink the water to get the taste out of my mouth. I’m happy to report I had none of that with aquamamma! In fact, I did feel quite hydrated. If you ever drink hydralyte, aquamamma is a lot nicer than that too. I can’t ever imagine drinking hydralyte as a social, casual drink.
The remaining aquamamma bottles I found I started to have in the morning when I first woke up while I was making breakfast. It became a really enjoyable way to start the day, instead of super-sweet juices. My intense thirst levels when I wake up means I crush a drink pretty quickly, and that’s not something I can do with a tea or coffee. Now I’ll have my first “hot” drink an hour or so after breakfast (and I assume that’s a luxury I won’t enjoy when the baby is born).
In order of preference I would say I preferred the orange first, then berry, then lemon.
Pros and cons
I’m now on my last bottle (sad panda), having managed to space them out over the past week and a bit. To summarise my overall thoughts:
- Easy way to get extra folic acid into my system for bub’s health
- Feel hydrated after drinking it
- Not sickly sweet
- No gross after effects left in my mouth after finishing the bottle
- Awesome way to start the day with a drink with flavour instead of water or sugary juices
- After you get used to the initial taste, they’re nice to drink
- The sugar they use is sucrose, which if you’re conscious of your sugar intake, it’s not the greatest sugar to use (50% of sucrose is fructose, which my body doesn’t always agree with). The actual amount is low though, only 2.5g per 100ml which is well under the recommendations by the I Quit Sugar program (I swear by this program).
- It’s not widely available, so for example if you wanted to grab a drink while out and about you’re unlikely to find it. Looking at the stockists page it’s mainly available in pharmacies (quite a lot of them, there’s 4 of them within a 15min drive from my house). You can buy it online as well. So you would have to either go out of your way to buy it, or stockpile at home. I’m not sure if they’re in the fridges at the pharmacy either, so it may not be a spontaneous purchase at all. I’d expect you would have to buy a box pack – once I find out I’ll update my review.
- Depending on where you get it from it could be a bit costly. Online it’s $44.99 for a 10 pack of the 450ml, or better value if you buy 6 x 1L bottles for $53.99. Doing a google search, Super Pharmacy are selling single bottles for only $3.45 (they don’t have the box packs, but if you bought ten you would end up saving over $30). Still cheaper than crappy gatorades or powerades!
- The taste of the drinks takes a little bit of getting used to at first
I really did enjoy the drink, but I’m not sure I would go out of my way to hunt it down. If we were at the chemist I would be extremely tempted though, so I’ll be keeping a lookout. It also depends on the price at the time. I would definitely drink it again – I do actually really quite enjoy it.
Have you tried aquamamma before? What’s your opinion?
Disclaimer: I was provided with the aqua mamma products for free in exchange for providing them with an honest review.