The demands of a living today's busy lifestyles can leave us drained and in need of a quick pick-me-up. This is where functional drinks come in. These new(ish) beverages go beyond just regular refreshment and actually give range of health benefits that can boost energy, improve focus, support overall well-being, and more.
Functional drinks are a category of beverages formulated with additional ingredients that offer specific health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Typically they'll use a combination of vitamins, minerals, herbs, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds that give the 'functional' part.
What does 'functional' mean?
The 'functional' part of functional beverage means is has a valuable benefit to your body, like boosting energy, immunity, cognitive function, digestive health, relaxation and reducing stress.
And how do they do that?
Functional drinks are formulated with specific ingredients that support their intended purpose, like:
Vitamins and Minerals: These micronutrients play vital roles in maintaining various bodily functions.
Antioxidants: Antioxidants combat the damaging effects of free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and promoting overall health. Ingredients could be green tea, berries, or vitamins C and E, which are rich in antioxidants.
Adaptogens: Adaptogens are plants that help the body adapt to stress and promote balance. Popular adaptogenic ingredients are ginseng, ashwagandha and rhodiola.
Probiotics: These beneficial bacteria support gut health and digestion. Functional drinks might have probiotics like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium to promote a healthy gut microbiome.
So, like, why do I actually need them?
Energy and Focus: One of the main reasons people turn to functional drinks is to combat fatigue and improve mental alertness. They often have ingredients like caffeine, green tea extract, or guarana, which provide a natural boost of energy without the crash associated with sugary energy drinks. By incorporating functional drinks into your routine, you can enhance your productivity and stay focused throughout the day.
Hydration: Water is still the OG in hydration, but functional drinks can be a great alternative for those who don't love drinking just water. A lot of functional drinks are infused with electrolytes, like potassium and sodium, which help hydration by replenishing essential minerals lost through sweating or stress. Hydration is crucial for your overall health and well-being.
Nutritional Support: Some drinks are fortified with nutrients like vitamins B + C or antioxidants to support immune function, promote skin health, and boost overall vitality. By incorporating functional drinks into your routine, you can supplement your daily nutritional intake.
Wellness Benefits: Functional drinks can be tailored to address specific wellness needs like digestion, sleep, relaxation or athletic performance. They use ingredients like probiotics, GABA, chamomile, or branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that have been linked to various health benefits.
Convenience On-the-Go: Grab-and-go has become such a part of our busy lives and canned and bottled drinks give a quick and portable solution to be consumed on-the-go, meaning you can get a quick dose of nutrition anywhere. Whether you're rushing to work, heading to the gym, or traveling, functional drinks are a practical option to stay nourished and energized.
*Remember to read labels carefully, understand the intended purpose, and consult a healthcare professional if you have any specific health concerns.
**Cheers to functional drinks and a healthier lifestyle.