When it comes to quenching your thirst, there are plenty of options to choose from. But what about functional drinks?

From acting as an alcohol-free alternative to supplying your body with essential nutrients, functional drinks are designed to do more than just hydrate - they could also provide that little bit of extra support to help you reach your health goals.

Keep reading to learn more about some of these different types of drinks and decide if one is right for you!

What are functional drinks?

Essentially, functional drinks contain ingredients that contribute to keeping certain body functions working normally.

Often rich in vitamins, the suggested properties of these drinks vary from supporting the normal function of the digestive system to contributing to the normal psychological function.

Turmeric drink

Drinks high in vitamin C

Looking to keep your skin, cells, blood vessels and bones healthy? Look no further!

It is recommended that adults aged 19-64 need 40mg of vitamin C a day, and a vitamin C drink could be the key to achieving this.

Although you might think of orange juice as the classic source of vitamin C, there are actually a variety of drinks high in vitamin C that you may want to introduce into your diet.

Surprise sources of vitamin C include:

  • Papaya juice
  • Tomato juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Elderberry tea

So next time you're looking for a way to get your daily dose of vitamin C, don't be afraid to branch out beyond orange juice - there are plenty of delicious options to choose from!

Vitamin E drinks

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps to maintain healthy skin and eyes, and strengthens the body’s natural defences against illness. It can be found in a variety of foods, including nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables. However, it is also possible to get your daily dose of vitamin E from fortified foods and drinks.

Here are three drinks that you may not know are high in vitamin E:

  • Orange juice: Did you know that one cup of orange juice contains almost 20% of the recommended daily value for vitamin E?
  • Almond milk: This dairy-free alternative is also a great source of vitamin E!
  • Cranberry juice: Whilst cranberries are a good source of vitamin E, they are also high in antioxidants, which may protect your cells against free radicals.
Cranberry benefits

Vitamin D drinks

Vitamin D is often called the "sunshine vitamin" because our bodies produce it in response to sunlight exposure. It contributes to the normal function of the immune system, so may help to reduce the likeliness of severe illnesses.

However, you don't have to spend hours basking in the sun to get your daily dose of vitamin D…

Fortified milk and orange juice are excellent sources of vitamin D. Drinks specifically enriched with vitamin D could also be a lighter way of getting your dose - even some breakfast cereals are now being fortified with vitamin D!

So, if you're looking for a way to get more vitamin D in your diet, reach for a glass of milk or vitamin D-enriched drink instead of heading out into the sun.

Your body will thank you for it.

Water as a functional beverage

And last (but definitely not least) – water!

Although often overlooked, water really is nature’s functional beverage. Essential for normal bodily functions, water is a healthy choice for quenching your thirst and contains no sugars (keep those cavities at bay!)

The benefits of drinking water are endless - from offering exercise performance support to lessening the risk of headaches, water is vital to our wellness.

But sometimes we may want to sip on something that is a little more exciting whilst still getting that extra vitamin boost. Luckily, there are now a plethora of water-based vitamin drinks that are enriched with trace minerals and vitamins.

Oh – and water-based vitamin drinks are usually free of sugar or carbohydrates – which are often found in energy drinks!

Glass of water being poured

So, if you're looking for an easy and convenient way to up your daily intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants - without having to choke down another tasteless pill - functional drinks may be the perfect solution for you!

With so many different brands and flavours on the market, it's easy to find one that fits your taste (and health) preferences.

Have you tried a functional drink yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

Thomas Robson-Kanu

The Hal Robson-Kanu Guide To Fitness & Nutrition

Gain exclusive insight into habits that will make every day a healthy and fulfilling one.