The only thing bigger than hard seltzer right now is sparkling water, and there’s a new Austin-based bubbly tonic that is carving out its own niche in the market.


Mayawell launched last year from UT grad Oliver Shuttlesworth and his Oaxaca-based partner, Vicente Reyes. It’s not exactly a sparkling water, but it is lightly carbonated, alcohol-free, prebiotic drink that currently comes in three flavors: pineapple mango turmeric, pear lime green tea and strawberry hibiscus ginger.


Reyes has long worked in the mezcal industry and has spent years studying agave’s health properties. That’s how he developed a proprietary ingredient called Pregave, a mix of prebiotic agavin, a non-digestible dietary fiber that can reduce blood sugar, and agave nectar, which gives the drink its prebiotic benefits. The agave lends a sweetness to the drink, but each one has less than 5 grams of sugar and more than 5 grams of dietary fiber, with 40 calories or fewer.


So, what exactly is a prebiotic? "A simple way to think of the difference between prebiotics and probiotics is as if probiotics are seeds and prebiotics are the water that helps grow and nourish them," Shuttlesworth says. "While probiotics are living strands of bacteria, prebiotics are nondigestible fibers that help feed and strengthen the probiotic bacteria so that they operate at peak function."


Our immune systems are primarily hosted in our digestive system, which is why you’ve heard so much over the years about the importance of developing healthy gut bacteria. "The gut is the body's second brain, so ensuring it operates at peak function is critical to one's holistic health and wellness," he says.


The company has partnered with the Sans Bar, a booze-free bar in East Austin, to create mocktail recipes, which you can find on the website. This summer, Mayawell is also selling a kit, starting at $49.99, that includes Talavera tile coasters and ceramic cups from Clay Imports.


You can find Mayawell ($3 for a 12-ounce bottle) at Mañana Coffee inside the South Congress Hotel, Roots Roots Juices, Royal Blue Grocery, The Meteor, Thom’s and Honest Mary’s. Starting this fall, you can also find the product at Central Market. The company is also offering free same-day delivery in Austin this summer.