Transforming Energy Drinks – the Demand for Natural Compounds
Ever since energy drinks hit American grocery aisles in the 1980s, their popularity as energy boosters for all-nighters and exercise marathons has grown exponentially. While these beverages can boost energy, they have a bad reputation for excess sugar and caffeine, which can lead to health problems. Today, many brands are turning to cleaner beverage formulations with naturally-energizing ingredients that appeal to health-conscious shoppers.
Common Ingredients Found in Energy Drinks
Energy drinks contain stimulants, such as caffeine, taurine, and guarana, that increase mental alertness and physical performance. They also contain carbohydrates in the form of glucose or other sugars for your body to use at a heightened metabolic rate during exercise or strenuous activity.
Sports drinks are similar drinks rich in electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, and other minerals, that replace salts lost during exercise and prevent dehydration. Sports drinks often contain B vitamins and antioxidants to boost athletic performance and stamina.
Many drinks brands are increasingly blurring the line between energy drinks and sports drinks as more consumers seek healthier functional beverages.
The Demand for Natural and Organic Energy Drinks
Conventional energy drinks can have adverse health effects with excessive consumption, and many scientific studies warn against drinking them regularly. Caffeine has a diuretic effect that can lead to headaches and dehydration and increases your heart rate and blood pressure, leading to insomnia, anxiety, and heart problems over time.
Health-conscious shopping is rising, and more people are looking for healthier drink options that boost energy without caffeine side effects. Functional beverages and “clean” energy sources are making waves in the drinks industry as the ideal middle ground between traditional energy drinks and sports drinks.
6 Natural Ingredients for Clean Energy Sports Drinks
- Fermented whey
A recent study1 formulated a sports drink from fermented whey and stabilizer with positive results. Whey is a milk protein and often wasted byproduct of the dairy industry that contains lactose, vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial ingredients for functional drinks.
Guayusa extract contains two natural stimulants – caffeine and theobromine, and combining these two ingredients results in a balanced, stable energy boost. This plant extract contains twice as many antioxidants as green tea and no tannins, which can cause an astringent taste.
- Co-enzyme Q10
CoQ10 functions as an antioxidant in the body, powering energy production for cellular regeneration. This enzyme could be a valuable natural ingredient for faster recovery after exercise and is commonly found in fish oil and other animal products.
Ginseng is an adaptogen – a natural compound that helps your body recover from physical stress. It is naturally caffeine-free and has anti-inflammatory properties that could be beneficial in reducing recovery times after exercise.
Isomaltulose is a carbohydrate derived from sugar beets that the body digests more slowly than other sugars. The gradual digestion results in a slow energy release and stable blood glucose levels without the peaks and crashes associated with caffeine.
- Mushroom powder
Many mushroom species contain adaptogens that offer a light energy boost and make ideal ingredients for clean energy drinks. Mushroom extracts are caffeine-free and often more eco-friendly to produce than other popular energy drink ingredients.
As consumer lifestyles become busier, many people seek energy-boosting beverages to supplement their diets. The expanding health foods market and healthy eating trends have turned many consumers against traditional energy drinks with high caffeine levels in favor of cleaner energy sources. Advanced Biotech is a leading supplier of natural flavorings, aromatics, and extracts for the food and beverage industry. We are committed to providing high-quality ingredients for functional beverage production. Please contact us for more information.