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Sports Drinks: A Functional Beverage

A function beverage is any type of drink that contains added, non-typical ingredients that have health benefits

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What is a Functional Beverage?

A function beverage is any type of drink that contains added, non-typical ingredients that have health benefits not typically found in beverages. For instance, these beverages can be teas, coffees, fruit juices, waters, energy drinks, or sports drinks.

Certain ingredients such as minerals, herbs, raw fruit or veggie juice, amino acids, probiotics, etc., are all added to functional drinks for various advanced health benefits. So, those drinks that claim to boost energy, strengthen your immune system or help your digestive system and gut flora fall into the category of a functional beverage.

A Revamped Image of Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are no longer beverages athletes’ uses to replenish their fluids and electrolytes. Over the past few years, many average people seeking a more active and healthier lifestyle are turning towards these sports drinks to aid their newfound healthy living commitment.

Additionally, there has been a staggering shift in the consumer’s desires to consume beverages made with less sugar, natural sugar, and natural ingredients. Many sports drinks are using naturally derived low-calorie sugars like Stevia and Monk Fruit to sweeten their drinks. Organic and Non-GMO verified ingredients and products are also booming in the health/natural living industry. As people seek to clean up their diet, sports beverages that are organic and non-GMO are increasingly popular among the younger generations.

Companies that make sports beverages have revamped how people view these types of drinks by altering their ingredients and adding natural enhancements.

Take Gatorade for instance. Gatorade may be one of the most well-known sports drinks in the world, but it is also known for its high-sugar content and fluorescent colors. Relatively recently, Gatorade launched it USDA verified organic sports drink to accommodate the shifting desire for all-natural organic products. They have removed all artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives making it a healthier choice for the health conscious consumer. Keep in mind, however, even the organic is still loaded with sugar so it should be consumed sparingly.

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The Most Popular Ingredients

BCAA

Also known as Branched-chain Amino Acids. This ingredient is perfect for helping individuals recover after an intense workout. It also helps maintain the individual’s muscle mass.

Green Tea with EGCG

Helps with people looking to lose weight. It can also help with lowering cholesterol levels. It’s a great ingredient to add to functional sports drinks because it targets the consumer looking to lose weight by getting more active.

Whey Protein

Protein is an essential ingredient for those looking to build lean muscle, and lots of it. Therefore, many consumers look for drinks with high amounts of protein for after a workout as it helps build lean muscle. Additionally, new evidence suggests it helps improve and boost your immune system, help heart health, and aid in weight loss.

Green Coffee Beans

Although losing some popularity, the caffeine found in unroasted green coffee beans has seen the spotlight recently in the weight loss world. When ingested, lipolysis begins within the body and fatty acids are released into the bloodstream. When this happens the person experiences an increase in energy and the potential for more weight loss.

L-carnitine

This is a supplement for fast and effective fat burning. Additionally, it is believed to enhance one’s exercise performance and aids in more effective recovery.