Article presented by Nick Kasmik.
In 2004, KSee welcomed his first daughter into the world.
Up to that point, he had been living it up with cigarettes, booze and blow, partying left and right, and often wondered how his head was still attached to his shoulders. One look at his newborn told him he had to make some drastic changes if he lived long enough to see his daughter grow up.
He swore off alcohol, got clean, and started working out regularly. He was so determined to improve his health he even exercised throughout the notoriously hot summers of his home state of Texas. There was only one problem — KSee hated water.
He knew he had to keep himself hydrated, but he always thought water was the most boring thing in the world. That’s why he set out to find a healthy drink to keep his hydration levels up and his palate happy.
“That’s when I found out that most ‘healthy’ beverages and powder mixes commercially available were just health-washing,” says KSee. “Big food and beverage companies market those drinks as ‘better for you’ because they only have four grams of sugar. That sounded like, ‘Oh, our hemorrhoid cream is good for you because it only has a little gasoline.”
KSee started thinking of what ingredients he wanted his healthy drink to have. Swedish bitters, a blend of high-quality herbs that does wonders for digestion.
“The problem with bitters is it’s typically produced with high-octane alcohol,” says KSee. “You take all these excellent herbs, and you soak them in alcohol before straining them off. It’s still pretty healthy, but it’s still alcohol. And I didn’t want to have that in my drink.”
KSee had no other choice but to brew those bitters himself without using a drop of alcohol. Instead, he used carbonated water to get that bubbly fizz he loved, then added in magnesium, potassium, vitamin B complex, l-theanine, and pink Himalayan salt to dial in the nutritional component of his seltzer. At that point, KSee was already happy with what he’d created: a zero-alcohol, zero-sugar, zero-calorie beverage he could drink during an intense workout.
The first version of what is now known as Whitefang Water was born.
Still, he felt like something was missing.
“I was looking for the happiness factor,” says KSee. “That good, well-being feeling. And not the kind of high you get from dopamine where it’s like, ‘Oh, hey! We just won the jackpot!’ I’m talking about the feeling you get after helping an old lady cross the street. A more mellow, good feeling. Serotonin creates that feeling.”
KSee returned to the drawing board and added 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) to his seltzer’s ingredients, a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor to serotonin.
“After a few weeks of drinking the final iteration of my seltzer, I noticed a change in my general behavior,” says KSee. “I started effortlessly doing tasks I would normally struggle with or procrastinate on. And I knew that was the 5-HTP doing its job by creating more happy hormones in my brain.”
Research suggests that a high level of serotonin causes the brain to assign a lower degree of difficulty on most tasks. This is why people with depression find it challenging to do the most basic tasks, like taking a shower or making a phone call. The lack of serotonin in their brain makes these mundane tasks seem like massive chores.
“With the extra serotonin being produced in my brain after weeks of drinking Whitefang Water, I stopped rationalizing small tasks like taking out the garbage,” says KSee. “I no longer have that mini argument in my head where one part of it goes, ‘Just take it out now,’ and the other says, ‘Nah, I’ll take it out later.’ Being able to accomplish tasks without triggering that tiresome fight in my head made a lot of difference in my days.”
It was at that moment that KSee realized his very own Whitefang Water, which he’d nicknamed ‘Motivational Hydration,’ was ready to hit the shelves and the tummies of others like him.
KSee couldn’t be prouder of having contributed to the largely-misguided industry of ‘healthy’ beverages with a seltzer that keeps you hydrated, motivated, and satisfied, taste-wise.