Water’s great, but sometimes you need a little something extra to get your heart pumping. These seven functional drinks have benefits that go way beyond hydration. Give them a shot the next time you want to spice up your sips.
And Functional Drinks Are, What, Exactly?
As the name suggests, “functional drinks are drinks designed to have a specific function,” says Nicole Miller, M.S., nutritionist for The Vitamin Shoppe and Only Me. “Typically, they serve a specific purpose, offering a specific health benefit or filling a specific nutritional need.”
Many of the functional drinks you’ll find in The Vitamin Shoppe fridges contain different herbs, amino acids, mushrooms, vitamins and minerals, detoxifying agents (like charcoal), or even probiotics. The goal: for every sip to do more than just quench your thirst.
Why Functional Drinks Are So Hot Right Now
“I think people are looking for another way to enhance what they’re eating and drinking,” says Miller. “We’re always on the run these days, so finding grab-and-go products that provide additional nutritional benefits definitely appeals.”
In an age in which we optimize everything from our calendars to our workouts, the foods and drinks we consume are no exception. Plus, today’s functional drinks also taste great, so you’ll actually enjoy reaping their benefits.
7 Functional Drinks To Try
Whatever your health or nutritional needs, chances are there’s a functional drink out there just waiting to upgrade the way you hydrate.
Want to support recovery, de-stress, or nourish inner and outer beauty? We’ve got a few suggestions!
To Support Recovery: FitAID Recover
Made with all natural flavors and sweeteners, every can of FitAID Recover provides a slew of recovery-boosting ingredients, including BCAAs and l-glutamine (to support muscles), turmeric, omega-3s, and key vitamins.
It’s a great way to support your body after a workout—or a long, stressful day, says Miller.
To Drink Your CBD: Ma Herbal Tea Elixir
“CBD and hemp are huge trends right now—and rightfully so!” says Miller. In addition to supplements and beauty products, CBD has made its way into beverages like Ma Herbal Tea Elixirs.
“Drinking one of these can promote calmness and clarity while providing the enjoyment of a tasty beverage,” Miller says.
Related: 3 Ways CBD Can Boost Your Fitness
Ma drinks combine 15 milligrams of CBD and other herbs (like lavender, dandelion, and rhodiola) with antioxidant-packed tea (and a little erythritol and stevia for sweetness). Each of their three flavors is specifically crafted to support calm, focus, and detoxification.
To Fuel Your Workouts: Amino Energy + Electrolytes
If you want a boost of energy—and then some—before a workout, try Optimum Nutrition’s Amino Energy + Electrolytes.
In addition to 100 milligrams of naturally-sourced caffeine, every can also provides amino acids to support muscle growth and electrolytes to support hydration and endurance.
Amino Energy + Electrolytes is also a great go-to when you need a sugar-free, mid-afternoon boost. It comes in eight delicious flavors, so you’ll never get bored.
For Herb-Infused Chill And Focus: Recess Sparkling Water
Need a little help feeling calm, cool, and collected? Crack open a can of Recess’ hemp- and adaptogen-infused sparkling waters.
Available in three unique flavors (Pomegranate Hibiscus, Peach Ginger, and Blackberry Chai), this sparkling water also delivers on the hemp trend, while providing other herbs, too. Each can contains 10 milligrams of full-spectrum hemp extract, along with a blend of adaptogenic herbs—including ginseng and schisandra.
Sweetened with fruit juice and a touch of cane sugar, they’re an au-naturale sip with a twist!
To Get A Better-For-You Energy Fix: Celsius
Even energy drinks are getting a functional makeover these days—and Celsius is a prime example.
A great alternative to many of the sugar-packed energy drinks (and acidic coffee) out there, Celsius’ sugar-free drinks provide energy without anything artificial, says Karen Cooney, M.A., C.N., C.H.H.C., nutritionist for The Vitamin Shoppe and Only Me. The Cucumber Lime and Grapefruit flavors, in particular, are also sucralose-free, and sweetened with erythritol and Stevia.
In addition to the caffeine you’ll get out of most energy drinks, Celsius provides a slew of vitamins and minerals, along with ginger extract, to support healthy metabolism.
To Get Your Protein On-The-Go: Quest Protein Shake
Crafted to satisfy your cravings and provide your body with the protein it needs to build strength, Quest Nutrition’s Protein Shakes contain 30 grams of milk protein for just four grams of carbs and a gram of sugar. To further support strength, they also provide 60 percent of your daily calcium needs.
For Endurance Performance And More: BioSteel Sports Hydration Mix
BioSteel Sports Hydration Mix is formulated to provide endurance athletes and gym-goers with the fuel they need during and after training.
Electrolytes and B vitamins support hydration and energy, respectively. Immune-supporting nutrients and amino acids (including glutamine and leucine), meanwhile, promote recovery.
Unlike many performance drinks, BioSteel’s mix is free from sugar (it’s sweetened with Stevia), caffeine, and artificial flavors and colors.