There are a lot of beverages on the market today containing good-for-you ingredients, otherwise known as adaptogens. This category of beverages has definitely grown in popularity since 2020 when consumers were hyper-focused on their health and well-being, particularly improving their immunity. As a result, many people sought easy ways to incorporate healthy ingredients into their daily routine, especially if fitness and athletics were important to them as well. Adaptogen drinks proved to be the perfect solution, because they were hydrating and healthy.
Here, we break down what adaptogen drinks for sport are and how they can help with your overall fitness and athletic performance.
What are Sports Adaptogen Drinks and How Can They Help?
Adaptogens is a word the consumer is seeing a lot of these days in the realm of beverages, but they may not know exactly what they are and that common herbs fall into this category of functional ingredients. Adaptogens come from plant material, namely herbs and roots, that help the body manage and combat different stressors as well as restore balance.
Adaptogens can help reduce the negative effects of stress and promote relaxation, which can improve mood, energy levels, and sleep. They can also boost the immune system, improve mental clarity and focus, and promote healthy digestion.
Here are some common adaptogens found in beverages today and their potential effects.
- Aloe Vera is a succulent that grows in the tropics. Due to its high water content, Aloe is a great source of hydration, flushing out toxins and impurities. It also provides a healthy dose of Vitamins B, C, and E.
- Ginger is a flowering plant; the underground part of the stem known as the rhizome is what consumers will find in a grocery store’s produce section. It can also be purchased in powder, oil, or juice form. People can use ginger to help nausea, upset stomach, and indigestion.
- Ginseng is a root used in Chinese medicine. American ginseng has antioxidant properties and helps boost the immune system. Asian ginseng (also known as Korean red ginseng) can mitigate the possible onset of the cold or flu, promote heart health, improve physical endurance, and minimize symptoms of menopause.
- Certain mushroom varieties like Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Shitake and Maitake have notable medicinal qualities. Mushrooms have been used to treat infection, boost the immune system, alleviate stress, and improve sleep.
- Rosemary is an extremely fragrant herb that many consumers are familiar with. Rosemary is used for its anti-inflammatory properties, improving circulation, aiding in digestion, and improving focus and memory.
- Turmeric is the main spice in curry that gives it its golden color and its bright, slightly bitter taste. Turmeric, powered by curcumin, the substance responsible for the spice’s bright hue, has notable anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used for thousands of years to treat various illnesses and health problems, including inflammation, arthritis, heart disease, high cholesterol, and allergies.
If you are someone who works out regularly and cares about their level of fitness, Adaptogen sports drinks can be an important part of your daily hydration routine, especially before, during, and/or after a workout. Drinks containing adaptogens can replace important vitamins and minerals that you lose when you sweat, as well as help with the process of recovery. Remember, adaptogens are the kind of ingredients that bring your body back into balance, and one of the times you need that most is after you have exerted yourself physically!
4 Best Adaptogen Drinks Sports
Here are the top adaptogen drinks to try today!
1. Adapt Brands Super Water
Adapt Brands’ SuperWater offers numerous benefits to the athletic, health conscious consumer, including:
- Superior hydration: A combination of electrolytes and hemp provide a range of hydration-boosting benefits compared to other sports drinks. Specifically designed to replenish water and electrolytes lost during vigorous activity and restore energy, which can help an athlete recover more quickly.
- Aids in recovery: hemp can help reduce muscle tension post workout while supporting the body’s overall balance for better performance
- No sugar or artificial sweeteners: great tasting without the extra calories!
- Certified for purity and potency by third party labs (COA available here)
- The first hemp beverage to be NSF Certified for Sport
- Environmental footprint: Available in recyclable glass bottles
Superior hydration, ingredients that help recovery, great flavor profiles and much more make Adapt the ideal choice for athletes and active people (and endorsed by them)!
Where to buy Sports Adapt Adaptogen Drinks
BodyArmor is a sports beverage brand that offers a few different products: Sports Drink, Lyte, Edge (contains caffeine), and Sport Water. Their Sports Drink offers the following:
- Hydration: Ingredients include electrolytes, antioxidants, and potassium to help the body stay hydrated
- 91 calories per 12 ounces; sweetened with cane sugar
- No artificial flavors or colors
- 7 flavors available, including Fruit Punch, Lemonade, and Tropical Punch
- Environmental footprint: Packaged in single use, plastic bottles
While body Armor is a solid drink overall, we do have to give them a few marks down as when looking at the ingredient deck we see:
- ~ 21 grams of sugar per bottle (The Lyte does have 0 sugar, but uses Erythritol instead.
- Pure cane sugar - which can lead to many health issues as outlined on the link provided.
- Coconut water from concentrate - the issue with this is that the heat destroys valuable nutrients in the coconut water and more.
- Juice from concentrate - can also lead to various health issues, contain sugar without fiber, and have hidden sweeteners in them.
3. Barcode Adaptogen Drink
Barcode Adaptogen Drink is an all-natural plant-based, vegan wellness and sports beverage. Barcode offers the following:
- Enhanced with 12 vitamins and minerals including Vitamin D3 and magnesium
- Contains functional mushrooms
- Low calorie: Each bottle is under 30 calories with 2 grams of sugar sourced from monk fruit
- Three flavors available: Watermelon, Grape, and Lemon Lime
- Environmental footprint: Packaged in single use, plastic bottles
Barcode is a pretty good drink with many vitamins and minerals, its important for us athletes need to know what they are consuming and looking at their ingredients we find
- Juice from concentrate, which we outlined the issues of earlier in this article
- coconut from concentrate, which we also outlined above for another beverage
Celsius is an energy beverage brand that offers the following products: Celsius, Celsius Heat (contains caffeine), Celsius BCAA, Celsius-Stevia (naturally caffeinated), Celsius On-the-Go, and Celsius Heat On-the-Go. Celsius offers the following:
- Contains 7 essential vitamins, ginger, green tea extract
- Contains 200mg caffeine, a relatively high amount for a sports beverage
- Contains guarana extract, which is banned by the NCAA
- 10 calories per serving; contains sucralose, an artificial sweetener
- Some ingredients lack specified amount on label
- Contains citric acid, a known preservative
- Claims that drinks accelerate metabolism and burn fat, not FDA tested
Celsius is a good tasting drink with lots of flavor options and energy from caffeine, however, sticking with the theme of knowing what is in our sports drinks we find:
- Sucralose, which is an artificial sweetener and too much of it can cause issues in the body
- Carbonation - which isn’t necessarily always a bad thing, but it's not a good thing either, especially if we are going to consume adaptogen sports drinks regularly pre and post workouts. Carbonated beverages can rob calcium from the bones, cause stomach irritation, amongst other things.
Nooma is an organic, low sugar sports beverage brand that offers the following products: Sports Drink, Sports Energy, Recovery Soda and Hydration Mix. The Sports Drink offers the following:
- Hydrating formula with electrolytes
- Low calorie: 30 calories per serving, no added sugars
- Organic, plant-based ingredients
- Five flavors available, including Chocolate Mint, Watermelon Lime and Lemonade
- Environmental footprint: Packaged in recyclable carton
We like Nooma for the electrolyte content, and various options they have and plant-based ingredients, however though it claims to be sugar free, we find:
- Sucralose, and as we’ve outlined earlier, this is not ideal for athletes taking care of their bodies for sport.
Best Overall Adaptogen Drink
There are a lot of adaptogenic drinks geared towards athletes on the market today, but very few deliver the benefits of adaptogens AND hemp like Adapt Brands does, as well as the NSF certification so athletes can feel comfortable the ingredients are safe for continued use. Their two all-natural, no added sugar formulas, Mango and Pomegranate Hibiscus, provide the hydration, electrolytes and superfoods needed for a strong performance, recovery and overall well being. Take it from professional athletes like NFL wide receiver, Christian Kirk; MLB pitcher, Tejay Antone; and MLS and National Team soccer player, Deandre Yedlin….It’s time to Adapt! For a better adaptogen sports beverage, purchase your SuperWaters in store or online today!