The global beverage market size is expected to reach a staggering $1 trillion in 2022, up from $750 billion in 2017. This growth can be attributed to a growing consumer preference for healthier beverages, environmental concerns, and advances in food technology.
Beverage brands are responding to this change in consumers’ preferences by adding functionality to products that go beyond hydration and energy drinks. They’re also developing new products with immune support, digestive health, relaxation, and focus.
In this blog post, we’ll explore three ingredients that are shaping the functional beverage industry.
L-Theanine: Sustained Energy Without The Jitters
Caffeine is the world’s most popular psychoactive substance. From coffee, tea, to soda, a lot of beverages contain caffeine. While caffeine makes you more alert and boosts energy levels, it can also make you feel anxious, increase heart rate and cause insomnia. So, what if you could get the same buzz from caffeine without any of the negative side effects? This is where L-Theanine comes into play.
L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea that has shown to work synergistically with caffeine by supporting cognitive function while calming and relaxing the mind and body. Many beverage brands are switching to L-Theanine as the functional ingredient as a replacement or in addition to caffeine.
Lion’s Mane: The Shrooms That Keep You Focused
Lion’s Mane is a mushroom that has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has recently become popular with the rise of nootropics, due to its ability to improve brain function and memory.
The brain’s ability to grow and form new connections declines with age, reducing cognitive function as we grow older. Lion’s Mane contains compounds like hericenones and erinacines that help with this. Hericenones help your brain produce more Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). And erinacines easily cross the blood-brain barrier to boost the production of neurons, both in turn, improving memory and brain function.
Adaptogens: For Sleep and Relaxation
In recent years, consumers have become more concerned with their stress levels and have been looking for ways to reduce the negative effects of daily stressors. As a result, functional beverages companies are responding by incorporating adaptogens into new products.
Adaptogens are a part of a particular class of plants that includes over 100 species and have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine such as Ayurveda (a holistic system developed in India) and are just starting to garner American consumers’ attention. Adaptogens, over time, improve our response to stress and anxiety and train our bodies to handle stress better.
The most popular adaptogens being used in functional beverages include Ashwagandha, Ginseng, Rhodiola, Reishi Mushroom, Schisandra Berry, Tulsi/Holy Basil, and Turmeric.
Let’s Build A Functional Beverage Brand Together
The functional beverage world is constantly evolving. New brands are launching every year, and more consumers are opting for healthier options to replace their traditional favorites. We’re here to help you stay ahead of the curve while staying on top of what’s happening in the industry.