What are functional beverages?
Functional beverages are drinks that help in maintaining our good health, providing us hydration and helps in maintaining our body fluids. They not only provide essential nutrients but also bestow health promoting non-nutrients. Also considered as health drinks or performance enhancing drinks with ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, minerals, vitamins, herbs etc, they are packaged as ready to drink energy shots, green smoothies, enhanced water and protein shakes. Functional Beverages are especially popular amongst the sports industry. They hold a great potential to enhance our health and prevent chronic diseases.
- They are considered health in a bottle and easy to reach for the days when we skip our meals or need stamina after our workout.
- Functional beverages are non alcoholic and infused with lots of health benefits.
- They are considered as stress relieving and relaxation inducing. The natural extracts of plants and amino acids help us stay healthy and more relaxed in this fast and hectic paced lifestyle.
- Such beverages are easily available in their natural as well as bottled form and can range from expensive to pocket friendly. Makes it easy and more beneficial to mix up a few greens yourself and make a drink including the stuff which you normally wouldn’t consume.
- They are easy to digest and full of fibre, potassium, minerals and vitamins and a better substitute to canned/tinned fruit juices.
- Protein helps in maintaining our body weight and lean mass and keeps us physically strong and fit. Protein drinks have now found favorism amongst a growing health conscious population, older population along with sportsmen.
Easy Recipe To Make Your own Functional Beverage
1) Coconut Water:
It is a natural Functional Beverage and requires no preparation. But some times lemon, lime and ginger is mixed with coconut water to provide the Electrolyte Energy Drink.
Making up your own home made beverage helps to keep the caffeine and sugar in check.
2) Energy Smoothie
Oranges, Berries, Yoghurt, Chia Seeds and Mint leaves
Mix all together and blend. Serve it fresh along with a mint leaf as garnish. The fruits provide natural sugar and the yoghurt is rich in proteins and fats. It is an energy buster drink for any time of the day. (Please Note: Do not remove Fiber)
3) Other Perfect Blends:
A) Blend any one fruit with coconut milk, honey, yogurt, chia seeds and flax seeds. It can make a great chia pudding as well
B) Carrot Juice along with ginger and Sweet Lime / Orange Juice just Tastes perfect.
C) You can also simply make a combination of Basil, Cucumber, Lime, Mint, Ginger and Lemongrass and add Chia Seeds to it.
We can also add functional foods to our beverages like turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, garlic, anto-oxidant rich foods like fruits and veggies, probiotics and prebiotics. They help in improving functional quality of beverages.
Opting for homemade and preservative free functional beverages is preferred to the bottled ones. Keep a mix handy for a quick energy boost this summer.