With an increased focus on self-care and wellness these days, more people are turning to functional beverages, which provide various health benefits such as strengthened immunity and improved digestion. Over the past few years, wellness drinks have continued to gain popularity as they offer a healthier alternative to sodas and other commercial beverages.
“Consumers continue to be more educated about what they put in their bodies and they want beverages besides water, but ones that have health benefits,” says Steven Izen, founder of Elements, a line of functional wellness drinks made with clinically effective levels of adaptogens. “I created Elements after learning about adaptogens, which are powerful super plants, and their unique ability to help the body regulate stress levels and balance itself. Until recently, adaptogens were relatively niche, expensive, and mainly found in unpalatable powder or pill form. I wanted to create an easy, accessible way for people to take adaptogens daily—a canned drink with a refreshing tea-like taste and functions you feel.”
After connecting with family, friends, clients, and innovators in the beverage space, Izen identified sleep, calm, focus, and vitality as key areas of need. He worked with an ethnobotanist and a doctor of psychonutrition to create four different formulas designed to reduce stress, improve sleep, increase energy, and boost brain power and concentration.
“Our beverages can be consumed daily or even twice a day to manage stress and regulate cortisol,” shares Izen. “They are pre-dosed in the right amount to benefit from the herbs and plants included. We always recommend waiting 30 minutes after drinking to feel the stress-relieving effects of the beverages. The benefits of the adaptogens actually compound over time if you drink them consistently.”
Allison Ellsworth is the co-founder of Poppi, a line of prebiotic sodas that are infused with apple cider vinegar. In addition to having much less sugar than traditional soda, Poppi is also designed to improve gut health and boost immunity. “Prebiotics are types of dietary fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut,” Ellsworth points out. “The prebiotic powers come from apple cider vinegar, which is the ‘food’ for the probiotics. It is best known for its digestive abilities and detox benefits for the gut. The prebiotics are added to the beverage by including the key ingredient of apple cider vinegar.”
In addition to using all-natural and organic fruit flavors from extracts and high-quality apple cider vinegar, Poppi is vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Regular consumption also helps relieve bloating while supporting glowing skin. The prebiotic sodas are available in a variety of flavors ranging from watermelon to blueberry, which are designed to keep palates entertained.
“Our beverages are made to be consumed more than once a day and we want our fans to enjoy them as much and as often as they like,” says Ellsworth. “Everyone is different, but some customers find that drinking them on an empty stomach helps aid digestion better. We are seeing the wellness drink trend continue to grow due to the fact that people care more about what they put in their bodies and they are also realizing that beverages don’t have to be packed full of unhealthy ingredients.”
PHOTOS: Courtesy of Elements and Poppi