Functional Beverages Going Back to the Basics (Part I)

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Beverage brands have been trying to stay on top of industry trends by incorporating novel ingredients like adaptogens, cannabidiol and collagen into products. While these types of ingredients will continue to be used in functional beverages, expect an abundance of products that go “back to the basics” with familiar and essential vitamins and minerals. Brands will aim to incorporate key nutrients that improve overall health via superfoods and fortification. Here are some of the top nutrients that will be called out on packaging and their health benefits:

Macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates)

Fiber aids with healthy digestion and can also help lower cholesterol, control blood sugar levels, and improve satiety.

Omega-3s have a laundry list of benefits including promoting healthy brain development during pregnancy and early childhood, decreasing mental decline associated with aging, improving eye health, alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety, reducing risk factors of heart disease, and fighting long-term inflammation.

Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals)


Calcium is essential for maintaining strong bones and is also vital for heart, muscle and nerve function. Mayo Clinic suggests calcium in combination with vitamin D might protect against cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Choline is needed to make an important neurotransmitter and can benefit memory, muscle movement, heartbeat regulation, and brain development during early childhood. It’s not technically a vitamin, but it’s often grouped with b vitamins because of similarities.

B-vitamin complex plays an important role in promoting healthy brain and nerve function as well as converting food into energy. There are eight b-vitamins that acts as either a “helper molecule” for a key metabolic process or a precursor needed to make one.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps the body fight against free radicals. It is also needed to absorb and store iron and form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen in bones.

Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains levels of calcium and phosphate in blood that is needed for bone growth and bone strength.


Iron transports oxygen throughout the body and is essential for healthy brain function, immune response, and appearance of hair, skin and nails.

Magnesium regulates muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It also plays a part in making protein, bone, and DNA.

Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals. It is often combined with sodium to improve hydration.

Zinc is essential for the development and function of cell signaling and accelerates wound healing. A deficiency in zinc also affects taste and smell.

Looking to fortify your beverages with these essential nutrients? Email beverage development experts at Stay tuned for part 2 on our blogroll to learn about some of the hottest ingredients that deliver these nutrients and how they are appearing in new product development.