I don’t know about you, but until about a week ago, I had never heard the term “functional beverage,” but as it turns out, in an effort to promote healthier living, I have been drinking more than one. So what are they?
A Functional Beverage Defined
A “functional beverage” is deﬁned as a non-alcoholic drink that contains non-traditional ingredients, including herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or added raw fruit or vegetable ingredients, which is claimed to provide speciﬁc health beneﬁts beyond those of general nutrition—e.g., boosting or enhancing the immune system or heart, improving joint mobility, increasing sense of well being, increasing energy, and satiety.
Are you already drinking a Functional Beverage (FB)? If you drink any non-alcoholic beverages other than tap water, soft drinks, or plain juice, odds are that you have at least tried one whether you intended to or not. FBs include sports drinks, performance enhancing drinks, and energy drinks. They also include teas, enhanced fruit drinks, and enhanced water. They can come in Ready to Drink (RTD) form or in a powdered or concentrated form that you mix with water or other beverage.
FBs generally fall into one of the following categories …
- Hydration (ex: Gatorade): these beverages may include vitamins, minerals, and electolytes.
- Energy/Stimulation (ex: Monster or 5-Hour Energy): many of these drinks include high levels of sugar and/or caffeine. Healthier brands will include vitamins and/or natural ingredients such as ginseng or ginkgo biloba.
- Health and Wellness (ex: EmergenC, Bai, or Juce): these include healthier ingredients such as vitamins and minerals, and generally have a lower calorie count.
- Weight Management (ex: SlimFast or Celsius): many of these drinks promote meal replacement, apetite inhibitors, or fat burning properties. They may be high protein and ﬁber to ﬁll you up, or they may include ingredients believed to have fat-burning qualities such as green tea (containing EGCG).
What are the Benefits?
The Convenience Factor
- You’re on the ﬁeld and have been playing hard for hours and you need to refuel …
- You have a meeting in an hour and don’t have time to make a healthy breakfast or clean and prep a lot of ingredients to put in the juicer … Functional Beverages to the rescue!
- I have a busy life. I think most Americans do. We work hard, we play hard and we ﬁll our lives with activites for ourselves and our families. But we want to be healthy so we can continue to keep up with and enjoy our lives. Staying healthy, making time for exercise, and creating meals and snacks that are good fuel for our bodies takes up a lot of time. So if you could ﬁnd a shortcut once or twice a day that helps support your health goals, but gives you back a huge chunk of your time, wouldn’t you take it? The right Functional Beverage can act as that healthy shortcut.
For Your Health
- If a Functional Beverage is as good as its claims, then a FB can work to improve digestion, heart health, immunity, joint function, energy, focus, and more.
- Keep in mind that not all Functional Beverages are created equal. Read the ingredients to make sure the beverage you are drinking includes foods, vitamins, and minerals that support their health claims (ingredients are listed by highest content ﬁrst, followed in descending order by ingredients included in smaller amounts).
In Case of Emergency
- I’ve recently begun adding Juce, a Health and Wellness FB, to my emergency kit (and no I’m not a Doomsday Prepper, just a practical individual who lives on a fault line and plans to be prepared in case of earthquake or other natural disaster). It’s impossible to store fresh fruit and vegetables in an emergency kit for months or years, but a powdered FB that supplies all the nutrition of 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables per day makes for an excellent addition to my food kit.
The Cost of Eating Healthy
- You could see signiﬁcant savings to your wallet if you were to replace multiple supplement/vitamin bottles, weight management programs, or pounds of fresh produce for daily juicing with a healthy, well-priced Health and Wellness FB as a supplement to a healthy diet.
What to Keep an Eye On
Sweeteners and Calories
- Watch out for Functional Beverages loaded with sugar or other sweeteners, which are calorie heavy. Consumption of high levels of sugar and high fructose corn syrup have links to obesity, heart disease, and may cause tooth decay.
- Drinking large amounts of caffeine is associated with heart disease and cancer.
- Functional Beverages are not a food substitute. If you want to be healthy then you need to eat healthy, get regular exercise, and sleep. Your healthy Functional Beverage of choice is there to supplement a healthy diet, not replace it.
How Does Júce Stack Up?
- Primarily Juce falls in the Health and Wellness category, but it plays a part in Hydration, has ingredients that naturally promote Energy, and many of the ingredients in Juce, including the ﬁber content, help control appetite and improve digestion, promoting healthy Weight Management.
- Contains whole food ingredients—40 Super Fruits & Veggies
- Provides supplemental nutrition to a healthy diet with the inclusion of vitamins and minerals (just like a multivitamin)
- USDA Organic
- Detox & Cleanse (instead of juicing)
- Antioxidants to prevent the oxidation of cells (anti-aging beneﬁts)
- Enzymes help with the absorption of healthy nutrients
- Prebiotic ﬁber for a healthy heart and gut
- Natural ingredients support mental energy and focus
- Probiotics support immune health
- 100% Vegan
- Low at 35 calories per serving
- (Uses organic cane sugar (no processed sugars), natural berry ﬂavors, and stevia leaf—no artiﬁcial sweeteners).
- NO Caffeine
- NO Soy
- NO Dairy
- NO Gluten
- NON GMO
- NO Artiﬁcial Sweeteners
- NO Artiﬁcial Flavors
- NO Artiﬁcial Colors
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Researched and written by the team at Terra Kai Organics—Team Júce.
- 58 Superfoods support whole food nutrition.
- Hydration complex.
- Metabolic support.
- Rich in antioxidants.