Top 8 Healthy Drinks – Review of Performance Benefits & Health Concerns

Best Healthy Drinks

1. Savia Aloe Vera Drink Reviews

Savia Aloe Vera Drink

The Aloe Vera Plant

Aloe vera is a stemless tall plant with thick green leaves that are filled with the aloe gel. This gel is thought to have a variety of medicinal and cosmetic purposes that people have been using for thousands of years. We make that gel into a variety of creams, desserts, gels, oral solutions, and beverages.

The Benefits of Aloe Vera / Aloe Vera Juice Benefits

Most commonly, aloe vera is applied to the skin to treat sunburns, dry skin, psoriasis, thermal burns, and other conditions.

It is also thought that the plant can help with diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, and eczema.

Do these Benefits Really Exist?

According to the literature, aloe vera works best as a laxative.

For burns it has shown to be as effective at healing first and second degree burns as much as nitrofurazone 2% (burn cream).

For inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis & Chron’s, there has been improvement shown in patients taking aloe vera every day. However, we are not sure on the mechanism of how aloe vera helped with their disease. There needs to be more clinical trials done to safely give herbs to patients to study their pharmacological properties.

For other skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. Aloe vera is a very safe treatment however more research must be done before we can consistently recommend botanical treatments to patients.

There is no research to definitively says it can help in diabetes as sole treatment.

How does it taste?

Honestly, like if someone put a candle into a fruit drink.

I had this drink ice cold right out of the bottle. I chose the mango version because mango is one of my favorite fruits. However, I did not like how the mango flavor was in the drink. There was a perfume or fragrance in my mouth that reminded me of mango, but was not. I do not taste any natural mango flavors or see any kind of mango pulp in the drink which was very disappointing.

What I did like was the aloe pieces of pulp. They were very small and I enjoyed the slimy texture of the drink.  

It is a very refreshing drink and I do feel hydrated after finishing it. However, the flavors taste like a perfume rather than natural fruits, this is the biggest problem with the drink.

How Much Aloe Vera Juice to Drink Daily

For a health boost, drink up to 8 ounces of aloe vera juice per day. You can pour it over ice, mix it in with your smoothie or favorite juice, or just drink it from the bottle. Source: 9 Healthy Benefits of Drinking Aloe Vera Juice

Would I recommend it to others?

I would recommend it to those who love the taste of aloe.

I would not recommend any of the flavors of the drink besides the aloe version. It’s health benefits have been overrated and not proved by evidence based trial on humans. A lot of the studies that using aloe vera as a treatment have been done on mice.

Scientific literature shows that the aloe vera drink has not been studied enough to securely say that it can help with diabetes, skin conditions, or other medical problems besides the gel for burns and drink for a laxative.

                                                  Sources

  • Svendsen MT, Jeyabalan J, Andersen KE, et al. Worldwide utilization of topical remedies in treatment of psoriasis: a systematic review. J Dermatolog Treat. 2016:1–10. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2016.1254331.
  • Wan, P., Chen, H., Guo, Y., & Bai, A.-P. (2014). Advances in treatment of ulcerative colitis with herbs: From bench to bedside. World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG, 20(39), 14099–4104. http://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v20.i39.14099
  • Mandeep Kumar Arora, Yogesh Sarup, Ritu Tomar, Mary Singh & Puspendra Kumar (2018) Amelioration of Diabetes-Induced Diabetic Nephropathy by Aloe vera: Implication of Oxidative Stress and Hyperlipidemia, Journal of Dietary Supplements, DOI: 10.1080/19390211.2018.1449159
  • Management of Burn Injuries in the Wilderness: Lessons from Low-Resource Settings Bitter C.C., Erickson T.B. (2016) Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 27 (4), pp. 519-525.

2. Celestial Seasonings Kombucha

Celestial Seasonings Kombucha

What Makes This Drink So Special?

Who is Celestial?

Since, 1969 the Hain Celestial Group Inc. has made their brand mainly off their herbal teas.

I always remember my grandmother making some peppermint tea for me as we watched Jeopardy when I was a kid.

Like their competitors Kevita and Brew Dr. Kombucha, Celestial has cashed in on the health and wellness industry by releasing their kombucha brand in 2010. In America, the health/wellness industry was worth $167 billion in 2016.

 There are critics who claim that this will be the next global trillion dollar industry.

What Makes This Drink So Special?

There are live cultures of bacteria (like Gluconacetobacter & Lactobacillus) inside each bottle. These “good” bacteria live in our gut. In exchange for nutrients we give them, they help us digest food, boost our immune system, and produce vitamins that our body needs like vitamin K.

Research is also being done to determine if they can help in preventing cancer, treating respiratory problems, and skin conditions like atopic dermatitis.

According to the National Institute of Health, there were 32.3 million patients diagnosed with a digestive disorder in 2016.

8.6 million of those visits were in the emergency room.

Probiotic cultures are being marketed and have been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and promoting better digestion.

Now you know how beneficial it can be, but the bigger question is how does it taste?

Let me tell you about their Berry Guava flavor.

How does it cost, look, and taste?

First, have it ice cold. The Celestial Kombucha price is about $3-5 in most major retailers. So it is about averagely priced compared to other drinks.

Doing my reviews, I have tasted my fair share of kombucha. Both good and bad

It has not grown on me that much, but…. I am developing a palate for it. The bottle does look attractive, so it will get some style points.

How will it taste is the bigger question? Is it going to be straight vinegar cider or will it be an enjoyable fruity drink?

I open the cap, hear the squeak of the air, and get a heavy waft. I take a modest swig and let it soak in.

The Celestial Kombucha alcohol content does not make it taste bad, but it definitely takes away from the rest of the flavors in the drink.

I am not a fan. I know cultures ferment alcohol causing the bitter taste. But there was no excuse for the small amount of fruit flavor. Guava is supposed to be a sweet fruit, berries are also very tasty.

However none of those flavors shined, and I am left with an average kombucha drink.

Sources

  • Kechagia M, Basoulis D, Konstantopoulou S, et al. Health Benefits of Probiotics: A Review. ISRN Nutrition. 2013;2013:481651. doi:10.5402/2013/481651.
  • Plaza-Díaz J, Ruiz-Ojeda FJ, Vilchez-Padial LM, Gil A. Evidence of the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Probiotics and Synbiotics in Intestinal Chronic Diseases. Nutrients. 2017;9(6):555. doi:10.3390/nu9060555.
  • Rather IA, Bajpai VK, Kumar S, Lim J, Paek WK, Park Y-H. Probiotics and Atopic Dermatitis: An Overview. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2016;7:507. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.00507.

3. Arden’s Garden

Arden’s Garden

Who is Ardens Garden?

Created by Ardin Zinn, Arden’s Garden is a leader in the juice/health food industry with over 12 locations in GA and now branching out nationally with their many products. One of their claims is the use of their juice for detox purposes.

How much does it cost and how does it taste?

It costs more than the average juice. A bottle at the store can cost as much as $6.49 at the store and $5.99 at local retailers like Kroger or Publix. Online this drink costs $4.39 plus shipping and handling costs.

That is some expensive juice. The taste better make up for this hole in my wallet.

I got the Complete Recovery version of the fruit smoothie.

From my first sip I could taste the plethora of fruits in this smoothie. Not only did it taste fantastic, it tasted like real food. I could taste the small bits of fleshy pulp and seeds giving added texture to the juice.

What shines in this smoothie is the strawberries and bananas? If you are a fan, get this drink immediately.

In other words, this juice is the bomb.com!!!!

What I HATE about fruit juices is that some of them (I am looking at you Bolthouse Farms) are packed to the brim with refined sugar.

It feels like you are drinking liquid gummi bears rather than drinking a natural fruit juice.

This drink has only has 8 ingredients in it. Apple juice, orange juice, strawberries, bananas, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), echinacea purpurea root powder, bee propolis, and citrus bioflavonoid are the ingredients. All of them are naturally found in nature making this drink taste very clean.

I would HIGHLY recommend this drink if you have the cash to spend.

Taste: 4.5/5

Price: 2/5

Verdict: One of the best juices I have ever tasted

4. GTS Kombucha

GTS Kombucha

Who is GTS?

Founded by GT Dave, he discovered his passion for kombucha in the most unfortunate of circumstances. His mother was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. During her treatment, she was taking this fermented tea drink as her family believed in the healing properties of Eastern remedies.

After she had healed, GT started bottling his own kombucha in California and for over 20 years, his brand has remained a giant in the industry as GTS. From being the first person to put this brew on shelves until this day, he believes wholeheartedly about its healing properties and has made it his passion to share this drink with others.

They have over 10 flavors of their original kombucha and have added over 5 new chia seed flavors into their lineup. Their newest drink is a series of sparkling probiotic ciders.

This elixir is made from organic fruits and tea that are fermented using probiotic bacteria. This combination has been shown to have many help benefits. Vitamins C & A are natural antioxidants found in fruits. The bacteria (Lactobacillius) promote healthy digestion and immunity.

How Does It Taste & How Much Does It Cost?

The price is not bad as I have seen some drinks rise to almost $6 per bottle. At your local supermarket it should run you no more than $3.49.

When it comes to kombucha, one must realize you are not drinking fruit juice. It is low in sugar and has a vinegar/bitter taste to it. Think of it as a carbonated tea with fruit flavors.

If you are not a fan of bitter this drink may not be for you.

I decided to try the Grape Chia drink and the Gingerade.

The Gingerade was harder to palate than the grape but I love ginger. The ginger was definitely the star of the drink. The combination of the carbonation and ginger made this a surprisingly satisfying drink. It was not as bitter as I thought and had enough sweetness to make my taste buds jump for joy.

The Grape Chia is the one I preferred. You can taste the rich grape flavors in the drink through the normal bitterness of this drink. The texture of the chia seeds added another dimension to this drink making it even more enjoyable.

Gingerade

Taste: 3/5

Grape Chia

Taste: 3.5/5

Cost: 4/5

Verdict: I can see why this is the king of the industry, definitely worth a try if you are a fan of kombucha.

5. Izze Sparkling Drinks

Izze Sparkling Drinks

Who is Izze?

It is not soda nor is it a sparkling water. But a refreshing mix of both.

This drink brand was created by Greg Stroh & Todd Woloson in Boulder, Colorado. They wanted to take popular sparkling drinks from Europe and bring it to the states. The best part is that the name “Izze” comes from Todd’s daughter.

Eventually Pepsi noticed their success and purchased their brand in 2006.

The problem when bigger companies (Pepsi, Coke) buy smaller drink brands is that they mess with a lot of things. For instance, I bet Pepsi wanted to buy Izze to start branding themselves with healthier drink options.

Makes sense, no?

However they did not change a thing and kept the friends to run their business as they see fit.

Part of that business model is donating to many nonprofits including the Global Education Fund (GEF) and the Chaves Resource Center for Education. 

How much does it cost and how does it taste?

The prices are not bad at all.

Individually a bottle costs from $1-2 at any retailer.

The 4 pack comes in at $4.99.

The flavor I choose to try was the blackberry.

I picked this up from my local Publix while I was shopping. The bottle looked very pretty and I had a mighty strong thirst.

The problem I have with a lot of Pepsi products is that there is so sugar in them, it makes me crash or just not feel very good after I drink it.

I did not have that problem at ALL with this drink.

Instead of tasting a concentrated mess of sugar, I got a light crisp taste of blackberry with juice enough fizz to remind me I was drinking a soda.

This was truly was neither soda nor sparkling water, but a creative mixture of the two. When I was finished with it, I seriously thought about turning around to grab another flavor….

I did, I got the clementine one and it was AMAZING!

Now I am not going to say this is healthy to drink even though it does have a serving of fruit in it.

BUT (notice the big but) it is a much healthier option compared to ANY soda. It has vitamins C, B-6, and B-3 and at most 29 grams of sugar. Most sodas have twice as much sugar with NONE of the vitamins.

Get this drink for its awesome crisp taste to replace your regular soda.

 Oh and you must try ALL the flavors!

Taste: 4/5- Blackberry

Price: 4/5

Verdict: So good you will forget about soda

6. Mama Chia

Mama Chia

What Makes This Drink so Special?

Mama Chia is the first drink brand I have seen that emphasizes the chia seed in their drink. All flavors from blackberry to raspberry are filled to the brim with these seeds. I noticed this immediately during my trip to the Publix Supermarkets produce section. I thought “Oh, this drink looks nice and bright. It has a lot of flavors, so I might as well try it.”

The Benefits of Chia Seeds

I love chia seeds, LOVE THEM!

They have more fiber than oatmeal.

More calcium than milk.

More antioxidants than blueberries.

They are a superfood among superfoods. If I can get that benefit along with a tasty juice, I am all for it. Despite these benefits I know people will be turned off by these weird particles in their juice. Chia seeds expand when they are mixed with liquid making the drink much more thicker.

How does it taste?

I love it, my favorite flavors are the raspberry passion and strawberry lemonade. The juice tastes pretty darn good. The raspberry hibiscus was light and tart. The strawberry lemonade was not packed with sugar as most lemonade drinks are. Instead I got a refreshing and fruity blend of fruit and lemonade.

It is not too sweet like most store-bought juices which I appreciate. I drank it cold right from the shelf from Publix, it cost me about $2.50.

Whether or not you love the drink or not will depend on if you like a slimy/gritty texture. This is not like a true smoothie like you would get from Smoothie King or another retailer.

Think of it like your favorite orange juice with a lot of pulp in it.

Overall Grade- 4/5

Taste: 3.5/5

Appearance: 4/5

Price: 4.5/5

Verdict: Refreshingly Good

I would recommend to those who love health drinks. I do not think regular people, especially kids will like this. The drink has a slimy consistency with the expanded chia seeds making the drink thicker.

The seeds will sway people away but that is fine. Not everyone likes pulp or seeds in their juice.

I think of the chia seeds like mochi in a tea. It is a reward to play with the seeds and they are very healthy for you to consume.

7. Tsamma Watermelon Juice

Tsamma Watermelon Juice

Who is Tsamma?

Founded by Sarah Frey, she grew up on a farm growing her own melons. She loved the flavor of watermelon and could not imagine her life without her favorite fruit. As she got older her entrepreneurial spirit took hold of her wanting to deliver a quality juice that tastes great and is great for one’s health. At 18 she bought her family business and the rest is history.

What makes the product unique is that they cold press over 1 pound of watermelon into each serving of this drink along with other natural fruits like lemons and blueberries.

Tsamma is a drink that is meant to hydrate both athletes and regular people. The thing that makes this beverage different from other sports drinks on the market like Powerade and Gatorade is the vitamins and electrolytes.

In those sports drinks (Gatorade & Powerade), it is pretty much sugar water with salt (or sodium). This one has 22g in a 12 oz serving and has added electrolytes like potassium and magnesium. An added bonus are vitamins A & C plus L-citrulline which is important for muscle recovery.

With it being 100% juice, it is far more nutritious.

How Does it Taste & How Much Does it Cost?

The price is not bad, it will cost no more than $3 for a bottle at the supermarket.

It tastes just ad advertised. The watermelon flavor does not taste artificial or sugary at all! It was cold, delicious, and made me wanting more.

It is one of the most refreshing drinks I have ever had!

This blows normal sports drinks out of the water. I almost drank the whole bottle on my first try.

Anyone who is a fan of watermelon needs to do themselves a favor and get a bottle of this amazing juice.

I tried the original and the watermelon blueberry flavor, and next I will try the watermelon lemonade version.

Taste: 4.5/5

Cost: 4/5

Verdict: Forget Corona, this should be the official drink of summer. Highly recommend it to anyone.

8. KeVita Kombucha

KeVita Kombucha

What Makes This Drink So Special?

This drink has components similar to beer believe it or not.

It has live bacteria that are fermenting in the bottle.

And they produce alcohol!!! (Nowhere near enough to make you drunk though)

KeVita Kombucha is a live probiotic culture of bacteria meant to promote healthy gut bacteria. The bacteria in our gut is necessary for digestive health and making necessary vitamins like vitamin K.

CEO Bill Moses claims that his company had a great system go along with luck. They produce a premiere product and have capitalized on the probiotic increase in popularity.

Probiotic drinks have been advertised to ultimately promote gut health. Research is also being done to determine other effects like for asthma, skin conditions, and immunity.

According to the National Institute of Health there are 60 to 70 million people in the U.S. affected by digestive diseases. In 2010 there were over 21.7 million hospitalizations for digestive causes.

Because of that they have become a giant in the industry making over $25 million per year. They have over 10 flavors of their Master Brew Kombucha.

Now let me tell you about their Raspberry Lemon flavor.

How does it taste?

I had this drink cold right of the shelf at my local Publix Supermarket. It was on sale for $3. I just finished a workout so I wanted to try a healthy juice, I deserved it.

The taste surprised me. At first I thought it would taste like a flavored sparkling water. A fizzy beverage with a light fruit taste to go along with it.

I was wrong from the second I opened it.

When you twist that cap off, you will get a waft of vinegar.

Disclaimer: I am not a fan of bitter drinks but I bought so I would give it a try.  

After the first few sips, I enjoyed the carbonated bitterness of the drink. The lemon in it made it too much to handle at first. Do not try to chug this drink, enjoy it in sips.

It is VERY carbonated so make sure to not drink this around any of your romantic prospects. It took me about 20 minutes to get through the bottle.

What I liked is that there is not a lot of sugar in the drink so you can really appreciate the raspberry and lemon. Another thing was that it was incredibly light!

What I did not like is that it is pretty much drinking a flavored vinegar.

Overall Grade- 2.5/5

Taste: 2/5

Appearance: 3.5/5

Price: 3/5

Verdict: good but not that tasty

If you want to get probiotics into your diet there are many ways. You have drinks, pills, and foods. If you do not like a carbonated vinegar drink with good fruit flavor, this is not your drink.

Sources

  • Dietrich CG, Kottmann T, Alavi M. Commercially available probiotic drinks containing Lactobacillus casei DN-114001 reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea. World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG. 2014;20(42):15837-15844. doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i42.15837.
  • European Journal of Nutrition, 2013, Volume 52, Number 8, Page 1853 Immunomodulatory effects of a probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus casei Shirota in healthy older volunteers. Honglin Dong, Ian Rowland, Linda V. Thomas, Parveen Yaqoob
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