You may already be asking, hyper-what? Hyper-functional beverages sounds sort of like your can of soda got a high-tech makeover and can now pour itself — but in truth the concept is not so crazy at all. It’s about using nutrition to improve specific bodily functions, and all delivered in a handy, drinkable form.
What exactly are hyper-functional beverages?
Hyper-functional beverages are drinks that are each designed for their own specific health purpose. This purpose may be better sleep, higher energy, glowing healthy skin, improved focus and mental alertness, or smoother digestion. Whatever your specific ailment, these beverages will include a variety of ingredients that, together, aim to combat it. It’s no wonder they’ve been labelled as the new go-to health tonic.
What’s in them?
Beverage makers have been (and should be) consulting nutritionists and naturopaths in their quest to design and develop their drinks. The ingredients in a drink vary, but could include a mix of various fruit and vegetables, herbs, spices, probiotics, vitamins and minerals. For example, a drink designed to fight inflammation might include ingredients like blueberries, turmeric and ginger. One for boosting immunity might be based around raw manuka honey, echinacea, vitamin C, and so on.
Other less common ingredients you might start to see more of thanks to hyper-functional beverages are activated charcoal for bloating and general elimination of toxins, chlorophyll for appetite control and detoxification, and fulvic acid for nutrient absorption.
Some hyper-functional beverages are available in a concentrated form that can be taken as a “shot”, while others are on the market as full-sized drinks.
How do they taste?
Traditionally, most things “medicinal” require you to hold your nose and try not to let the liquid touch your taste buds as you gulp it down. Or perhaps, to take the Mary Poppins approach and add a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. Since hyper-functional beverages generally use natural ingredients like fruits and herbs, and are designed to blur the line between enjoyable beverages and health products, they shouldn’t have you reliving bad childhood memories of cough syrup. That said, they’re all different — and unlike many of those vitamin water drinks, they’re not pumped full of sugar, because that would defeat their purpose.
What makes hyper-functional beverages so appealing?
It’s undeniable that in recent times we’ve seen a huge move towards natural remedies and nutrition as a foundation for a healthy body and mind. Hyper-functional beverages are appealing because they’re designed to combat the health-related problems many people face on a daily basis — like poor sleep, low immunity, or brain fog — but with natural remedies rather than pharmaceutical drugs. If given the option between a pack of pills or a bottle of juice, there’s little doubt that any health-conscious person would opt for the latter. Hyper-functional drinks can also act as a much healthier alternative to other beverage habits. Replacing sugar-laden energy drinks with a health tonic that naturally boosts energy, for example, can only be a good thing.