Trending Health Drinks: Some Great, Others Questionable

There are two trends in the market for health drinks representing slightly differing approaches towards wellness. On one end of the spectrum, there are fresh (often cold-pressed and organic) juices made with both fruits and vegetables. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the growth in demand for these juices shows no signs of slowing down. For example, in Los Angeles, juice bars—where people pay upwards of $12 per drink— continue to pop up all over the city. Consumers who frequent these juice bars (or make juice at home) recognize the importance of getting plant nutrients for their long-term health and see juice as a convenient—though not necessarily cheap—way to load up on vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds.

On the other end of the spectrum, as the New York Times reports on its Well Blog, there is also a growth in demand for processed, vitamin enhanced (fortified) beverages. This demand is likely driven by the same consumer desire to fill in nutritional gaps. Unlike cold-pressed juices, however, these beverages have vitamins and minerals added to them, and the process that manufacturers use to decide which vitamins and minerals to add, and how much of them to add, is still unclear.

To get the most out of these trends, your best bet is to stick with fresh and low-sugar juices, and to avoid relying excessively on fortified beverage products to get nutrients missing from your diet. Instead, talk to a health care practitioner about how certain targeted supplements, in addition to fresh juices, can help you meet your specific nutritional needs.

Source: New York Times and Los Angeles Times

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