Health Drinks Explained

A breakdown of the latest trends, from aloe to turmeric.

Photo by Fred + Elliott

Thanks to our trend-fueled, health-centric culture, we have a staggering variety of healthy refreshments. Here, we demystify the elixirs.

Aloe Juice

Alkalizing, hydrating, sugar free, and nutrient-dense detox agent that promotes gut health and relieves symptoms of IBS, constipation, and heartburn. Choose “decolorized” and purified aloe vera juice.

Bone Broth

Nutrient-dense and full of collagen (protein found in vertebrate animals), amino acids, gelatin, and trace minerals. Helps support joint health, restores gut health, strengthens the immune system, promotes youthful skin, and diminishes signs of aging.

Coconut Water

The water of young green coconuts and a natural source of electrolytes—magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium. A new study suggests that athletes can delay fatigue during intense exercise 37 percent longer if they consume a drink with electrolytes and carbohydrates, and it will help them run faster, have better motor skills, and stay mentally sharp.

Golden Milk

An anti-inflammatory, calming, and spicy blend of almond milk (magnesium promotes relaxation), honey (allows tryptophan to enter the brain), ginger (calming, aids digestion), turmeric (calming, aids digestion, anti-inflammatory), and cinnamon (calming, aids digestion).

Green Juice

Alkalizing green juices contain phytonutrients, many with antioxidant properties that protect us from disease, support immune system and gut health, and promote detox. Make your own and consume immediately for optimum nutrients. Common ingredients are kale, spinach, Swiss chard, lemon, ginger, cucumber, and apples.

Kefir

Colonies of yeast and lactic acid, known as kefir grains, are added to milk, resulting in a fermented yogurt drink that is low in lactose and packed with probiotics, protein, and nutrients. Non-dairy options can be made with coconut milk or water. 

Kombucha

An effervescent, fermented tea beverage, full of gut-friendly probiotics, created by using a SCOBY (a symbiotic combination of tea and bacteria) or “mother,” which is added to tea and sugar and begins the fermentation process.

Maple Water

The clear liquid—and single ingredient in maple syrup—that flows from maple trees in early spring, it contains phytochemicals and bone-friendly nutrients like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and iron.

Mushroom Coffee

Mushroom extract is added to instant coffee for a smooth taste with less caffeine than a traditional coffee brew. Delivers beneficial qualities of mushrooms like chaga (immune support) and cordyceps (adrenal support, stamina, energy). 

Plant Milks

Perhaps the biggest mainstream healthy drink trend, myriad choices are now available to replace cow’s milk. The most well-known are soy, almond, cashew, oat, and rice, but the list goes on and on.

Pomegranate Juice

Rich in antioxidants and nutrients, it promotes heart health, is anti-inflammatory, and may protect against chronic disease.

Turmeric Drinks

A spice, turmeric is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties and many health benefits. Add to smoothies, teas, lattes, or lemon water to enjoy its health-promoting properties.

An Apple a Day

Punch up your health drinks with apple cider vinegar.

Experts agree that apple cider vinegar helps lower blood sugar levels, promotes weight loss, and reduces cholesterol. Today, it is enjoying the spotlight in many trendy wellness beverages.

Oxymel

Traditional medicinal mix of water, honey, and vinegar.

Sipping Vinegar

Take your vinegar to the next level by mixing with muddled fresh fruit.

Shrub

A concentrated syrup that combines fruit, sugar, and vinegar. Mix with sparkling water, club soda, or ginger ale.

Switchel

Today, we think of lemonade as a refreshing drink on a hot day, but before citrus was readily available, there was switchel. Also known as switzel or Haymaker’s punch, it is tangy, refreshing, and full of electrolytes. To make it, combine vinegar, a sweetener (honey, molasses), ginger, and water.  


This article originally appeared in our April 2019 issue.

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