We all know we need to stay hydrated to maintain optimal health, but what if we could hydrate and increase our nutrients at the same time? That is where functional beverages come in. Gone are the days when the only beverages on the market were boring water and overly sweetened soda or juice.
If you are looking for a satisfying, refreshing beverage that provides hydration and a boost of nutrients, look no further than functional beverages. Read on to understand what functional beverages are, their benefits, and the different types of functional beverages on the market today.
What Are Functional Beverages?
Any beverage that is enhanced with herbs, vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, antioxidants, and other nutrients is called a functional beverage. These beverages are marketed to provide a function, usually relating to health.
Examples of these functions may include providing more energy, improving gut health, and improving immunity. The convenience of being able to drink nutrients while getting more hydrated is more possible today, with the increase of functional beverages on the market.
Benefits of Functional Beverages
Functional beverages come in many different shapes and sizes, with a wide and diverse range of benefits. The biggest benefit that comes with the different types of functional beverages is the convenience of opening a bottle or popping open a can of something that feels and tastes like soda and knowing you are getting health benefits.
Some functional beverages boost immunity. These drinks are usually packed with vitamins and minerals that you would not find in a normal drink. These beverages can be water infused with vitamins, bottled cold-pressed juices, and soda-like beverages.
Antioxidants are important for the body’s overall health because they help reduce the amount of free radicals and oxidative stress in the body. Antioxidants are found in many fresh, whole foods that we eat, but you can also get an extra dose of antioxidants from certain functional beverages.
As more research comes out about the importance of gut health, more people are understanding the importance of giving the gut the right balance of probiotics and prebiotics. By feeding the gut healthy bacteria and probiotics and fueling that bacteria with prebiotic fibers, you’ll reach a balance in the gut that can provide full-body health.
VINA Prebiotic Soda is a perfect example of a beverage that tastes great but gives you the functional benefit of prebiotics.
If you are looking for help with weight management, some functional beverages offer nutrients and provide satiety. Beverages that are high in protein and fiber can give you a full feeling, helping you get to the next meal without that added snack.
We all need a little pick me up sometimes, and many functional beverages tout energy. These drinks usually have caffeine, but don’t fret if you don’t like the way caffeine makes you feel.
A lot of people are trying to stay away from caffeine for the same reason, and companies are listening. Ingredients like vitamin B12, coconut water, and apple cider vinegar can be added to functional beverages to provide energy in place of caffeine.
In this non-stop culture we live in, we need to remember to sit back and relax. Functional beverages in the relaxation category are pretty new, but are steadily growing in number.
Adding ingredients like l-theanine, which can help with reducing stress and promote cognitive function, can help you relax. Whether you are looking to have a little downtime during the day or trying to wind down before bed, a drink that promotes relaxation may be right for you.
Examples of Functional Beverages
Instead of reaching for your normal water, soda, or sugary drink, be mindful of your options. Many functional beverages on the market are thirst-quenching and provide an added function, depending on what you want.
Whatever option you choose, make sure your drinks are not full of unwanted sugars and artificial flavors. These ingredients can lead to higher calorie counts and take away from the health benefits of your beverage.
Drinking water is one of the best drinks for you, but sometimes it gets so boring. Waters with added vitamins, fruit juices, and antioxidants are another option for getting the hydration you need with a delish flavor and added nutrients. Functional waters are great for everyday sipping, after a workout, or relaxing on the beach.
After an intense workout, it’s a good idea to have a sports drink nearby. A good quality sports drink usually has vitamins and minerals that support an athlete, as well as electrolytes. Electrolytes are essential minerals that are key to the functions of the body. These minerals are sodium, calcium, and potassium.
When looking for a sports drink, make sure to choose one that is not high in sugar. Sugar can increase inflammation and fatigue and reduce focus.
When we think of energy drinks, oftentimes, heavily caffeinated beverages come to mind. These high caffeine beverages may leave you feeling jittery, with the inevitable caffeine crash.
While these are functional beverages, you can get energy without topping out your recommended caffeine levels in one can. Other nutrients like B12, iron, and ashwagandha can also provide energy, and more companies are adding these things to their products. Other natural ingredients like coconut water and apple cider vinegar can also give you a boost of energy.
Let's face it, soda is far from healthy, with its high sugar content and artificial ingredients. But sometimes, you just feel like a soda. Luckily for you, soda alternatives are becoming more available.
When you drink VINA Prebiotic Soda, you will be getting that same satisfaction of popping open a cold can of soda, with the added benefits of prebiotics, trace minerals, and apple cider vinegar.
Kombucha is a fizzy, sweet, and sour beverage made by fermenting black or green tea. It has become more popular in the last few years, but this drink has actually been around for thousands of years. The functionality of kombucha comes from the tea itself and its probiotic properties.
Coffee and Tea
Some of the earliest functional beverages are coffee and tea. Both of these drinks can give you an energy boost, and they both have different nutrients, including antioxidants for added health benefits. When looking for a prepackaged coffee or tea beverage, make sure to look for one that is as natural as possible, without added fillers and sugars.
Functional beverages provide more than just hydration. They are infused with different herbs, vitamins, antioxidants, probiotics, and prebiotics to provide a specific function in health. There are many options out there for the functions of beverages, from energy to relaxation, immunity to antioxidants, and gut health to satiety.
Next time you are looking to quench your thirst, reach for a delicious, health-promoting, functional beverage. No matter what type of beverage you like, there is a functional beverage out there for you.
At VINA, we know the importance of gut and brain health. We also know adding delicious ways to boost these functions is important. Our prebiotic soda with brain-supporting minerals is delicious and satisfying no matter where your day takes you.
What’s the Difference Between Probiotics and Prebiotics? | SCL Health
Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial | nih.gov