The new year is synonymous with new opportunities. A blank page upon which to set new intentions and objectives. A renewed impulse to eat and drink healthy after indulging in a festive December. And let’s be honest, after surviving a global health crisis, we can be excused if we’ve treated ourselves to a little extra sweetness or fizz to get through, what has been, a turbulent few years to say the least.
Staying hydrated in 2022
COVID-19 has, among many things, halted socializing and brought all our unwind-time into our homes. With our usual routines in hiatus and restrictions imposed on our movements, many of us have consequently thrown our healthy living habits out of the window as we tried our best to find our footing in this strange “new normal”. If you are among the rare kind who, on the contrary, has begun making your own kombucha or launched video tutorials on juicing during lockdown – we salute you, wellness warriors!
But for the rest of us, in the wake of the pandemic, and with the promise of a new year round the corner, what better time to (re)focus on health and wellness – starting with how we stay hydrated.
So, whether you’re preparing for a Dry January – a month of alcohol abstinence, part of the “sober curious” movement, or interested in clean living, we’ve got you covered with the latest healthy drink trends in 2022.
Water with a twist
Water has never had so much flavor and sparkle. Whether it’s infused with natural botanical extracts, boosted with probiotics or other nutritional ingredients, sparkling water is getting tastier and trendier.
The global water market is expected to grow annually by 7.4% from 2020 to 2025, and part of the growth is attributed to these enhanced waters with their sugar-free, calorie-free, fruity herbal aromas which, ultimately, encourage rehydration.
Never have we been so health-conscious and intent on having a strong immune system – a growing interest which is also trickling into our drinks. With demand for vitamin and mineral supplements on the rise, beverages that support well-being using combined formulations promising multiple benefits are going to be top of the list in the new year.
Expect to see more functional beverages like Super DC or drink mixes reinforced with immune bolstering properties. Super-charged with a combination of vitamins, antioxidants, probiotics or plant-based components, these multi-ingredient wellness beverages, shots and dissolvable powders are set to boost our daily dose of vitamins and fortify our body’s natural defenses – taking natural vitamin juice to the next level.
Brain-boosting and relaxation ‘fuel’
Whether you find it hard to focus, manage stress, or struggle to relax and unwind before going to bed – help is on its way in the form of a new range of functional beverages promoting relaxation or mental clarity. That’s right, after an obsession with gut health inspiring a new generation of drinks – cue kombucha – it’s time to focus on brain health.
Kombucha – a fermented and slightly effervescent tea-based drink – is a firm favorite when it comes to healthy drinks. While non-alcoholic kombucha is not a new trend, an alcohol-enhanced variety is. Whether on draft, in cans or mixed into cocktails, hard kombucha is gaining momentum and expected to be runner-up to its non-alcoholic ‘cousin’, which has already topped the leaderboard as one of the fastest-growing beverages in the industry.
Low in alcohol content, hard kombucha of the likes of Kombrewcha or Boochcraft promise a balance between refreshing and revitalizing, without the morning-after headache. Cheers to that!
Light, revitalizing, low in sugar and calories, generally vegan and gluten-free, original blends, natural ingredients, and convenient – hard seltzers are an appealing choice for those looking for a ‘healthier’ and guilt-free drinking experience. Similar to hard kombucha, this spiked fizzy drink comes in a draft or mixer ready-to-drink format.
And you’re about to be spoilt for choice. It’s predicted that hard seltzer could be a $2.5 billion industry by 2021, and due to triple in size by 2023. Needless to say, the beer, wine and spirit businesses have all being eyeing this fast-growing new category and wasted no time to get in on the latest trend.
Whether you’re a beer drinker looking for an alternative – think Bud Light Lemonade, a spirit lover wanting something lighter – hint Cutwater Vodka, or a casual drinker after something low in alcohol content – introducing market leader White Claw, there’s something for everyone wanting to enjoy a ‘healthy’ drink without abstaining altogether.
Finding healthier ways to consume sodas, juices, and even alcohol will never be as easy as in 2022. With both physical and mental health support being front-of-mind, beverage companies are innovating to propose a growing array of functional drinks offering multiple health benefits. Combining essential ingredients (vitamins, proteins, nutrients) and more specialized add-ins (probiotics, CBD, adaptogens), this new generation of beverages will do more than just hydrate. From reducing stress, enhancing cognitive or physical performance, energizing or relaxing, supporting digestion, boosting moods or fortifying the immune system – the new year will all be about drinking with a purpose.
Performance-boosting workout water supplements
We're no longer talking about caffeine and sugar pumped energy drink brands such as Red Bull or Monster, although caffeine is still a primary ingredient for many of these supplements. The new age of energy drink is derived from much purer sources and with much fewer - or no - calories. They tend to come in the format of powders that can be added to water with the aim of boosting performance and endurance in the gym or during training, stimulating muscle growth post-workout, replenishing minerals that may have been lost through sweat, and some even claim they can help with shredding fat (although hard work is still required).
Once the gym companion of the ripped bodybuilder, these supplement have become far more common place among regular health-conscious gym-goers, both men and women, looking to get the most out of their workout.