Functional beverages are beverages that give consumers health benefits. These drinks promote the well-being and state of health of individuals who consume them. Health benefits of beverages include energy boost, fighting stress, targeting a disease, and can be used for beauty purposes.
Beverages are part of the lifestyle of consumers today. They are more than just thirst quenchers. The interest in functional beverages has mainly grown due to the fact that more consumers are shifting towards healthy eating.
Many take functional beverages because they want to make up for vitamins or minerals that they lack. Obesity is now prevalent in society, and a contributory factor to this is calories from regular soft drinks, beverages, presweetened teas, and fruit drinks.
Consumers are now motivated to choose beverages that aid their health, thanks to the adverse consequences of obesity, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Fruit juice functional beverages have been promoted on the health platform as having a natural abundance of nutrients in them. They provide health benefits such as aiding in digestion, possessing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and combating several diseases.
Calcium is a popular ingredient in most functional beverages, and most people do not want to consume that much intake of calcium. Many want calcium-fortified beverages, and this is where a functional beverage known as Propel Calcium comes in. It has the daily required calcium intake.
Antioxidants are also ingredients of functional beverages. They have properties that promote health, and their demand has led to the growth in juice-based functional beverages such as PomaGrand by Odwalla.
The baby boomers generation is continuously searching for health and wellness, which makes them the ideal target for functional beverages.
Common types of functional beverages
- Dairy-based beverages: You can find fresh milk, yogurt drinks, and fermented milk within dairy-based beverages. They contain probiotics that improve health and well-being. Examples of probiotics include Verum, Actimel, Gaio, Vifit Drink, Yakult, CHAMYTO, Cultura, and Vitagen. Enriched beverages are beneficial, and they include Heart Plus, Natrel Omega-3, Night-Time Milk, Meiji Love, Danacol, Benecol, Evolus, and Zen.
- Vegetable and fruit beverages: These are ideal due to the essential nutrients that they have. Examples of probiotics in this range include Vita Biosa, Gefilus, Bioprofit, Proviva, and Rela. Examples of enriched vegetable and fruit beverages include Tropicana Farmstand, L&A Tomato Juice, Daily Greens, Oasis Health Break, and Welch’s 100% Grape Juice with Calcium.
- Sports drinks: These are flavored beverages that are to be consumed before, during, or after exercises to supply carbohydrates, prevent dehydration, and provide electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium. Sports drinks are optimal, and they claim to be superior to water. Their main function is to refill the electrolytes, glucose, hydration, sodium, and other substances that might have been lost during physical practices. Many sports drinks contain glucose, sucrose, fructose, and glucose polymers. Examples of sports drinks include Gatorade, All Sport Body Quencher, Powerade, and Accelerate.
- Energy drinks: These are popular drinks among diverse individuals. Energy drinks seek to improve performance, provide sustenance, endurance, and concentration. The most common ingredients in energy drinks are caffeine, taurine, and glucuronolactone. Examples of energy drinks include Red Bull, Power Horse, Java Monster, Monster Energy, Rockstar Original, Power Trip Original Blue, Rockstar Original, and Full Throttle.
- Enhanced water and soft drinks: These functional beverages are well-loved by consumers because they trend towards no-calories. Brands like Glaceau, Propel, and Dasani have grown. Other functional beverages in this range include Vital Lifestyle Water and Special K20.
- Functional tea: These beverages provide health benefits such as immunity boost, digestion aid, and cold remedy. Examples of functional teas include Arizona, SoBe, and Fuze.
Benefits of Tea
- Protects the heart: Research has shown that drinking tea can lower the risk of heart disease. Tea soothes the tissue in the arteries, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties that it contains. Tea consumption helps to lower cholesterol and decreases blood pressure.
- Boost energy: Green tea contains caffeine that can help to boost energy.
- Aids weight loss: Drinking tea can lead to weight loss. This is due to its chemical composition.
- Supports mental health: Drinking tea lowers the risk of having neurological diseases. Tea decreases stress levels, and research has shown that It can prevent cognitive decline.
- Aids digestion: Tea streamlines digestion and can treat issues such as nausea and diarrhea. The shogaol and gingerol in the Ginger tea of China and India can treat an upset stomach and prevent vomiting.
- Helps to regulate blood sugar: Drinking tea may regulate blood sugar. The polyphenols in black tea have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers, and this helps to reduce blood sugar.
The demand for healthy beverages has grown over the last decade. Nowadays, functional foods include cereals, beverages, dairy foods, baked goods, confectionery, baby food, spreads, and meat products.
These products have also gained popularity due to their properties to help in gym exercises. Due to this reason, thc infused pre-workout products are very common in all age groups.
In a nutshell, beverages are the most active functional foods because they are convenient, easily distributed, and can be better stored.