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Last Updated on May 16, 2023 by Team Spinfuel
It’s called Functional Seltzer. Once used almost exclusively for soft drinks and cocktail mixers, seltzer has exploded in popularity due to a confluence of factors – mostly revolving around the desire to consume healthier beverages, including something you may not have heard of yet… THC Seltzer.
This same desire has fueled the exponential growth of the functional beverage industry which globally has earned an estimated $15.1 billion in yearly revenue.
It’s no surprise that the two industries – seltzer and functional beverages – have banded together to create healthy drinks with wellness benefits. Here are just a few of the sometimes-surprising ingredients that you can find in functional seltzer right now.
Functional Seltzer and THC
A functional seltzer ingredient you may not have been expecting is the cannabinoid THC, known for causing the psychoactive effects of cannabis. THC seltzer provides a refreshing buzz, uplifting effects, and a bevy of wellness benefits.
Containing hemp-derived Delta-9 THC, THC seltzer is legal for adults across the country to enjoy. Both euphoric and soothing, it’s great for social situations or enjoying at home. Typically, THC seltzer will not incapacitate you because it contains a low dose of THC and has fast-acting effects so you’ll be able to gauge how you’re feeling while you drink.
Just like a can of beer, a can of THC seltzer will leave you feeling nicely buzzed – but it also contains significantly fewer calories. A typical can of beer contains around 150 calories, but a can of THC seltzer contains only 35 calories.
Until recently, it was rare to find vitamins in functional seltzer outside the realm of energy drinks. Billed as a more functional version of coffee or tea, an energy drink contains a high amount of caffeine along with a vitamin complex – usually consisting mostly of B vitamins – designed to enhance the effect of the caffeine and promote high energy levels.
The problem with energy drinks, though, is that not everyone wants to consume such a high amount of caffeine each day. Many people, in fact, are switching to lower-caffeine beverages such as tea or weaning themselves off of caffeine entirely. Everyone still wants vitamins, though, and drinking vitamin-infused seltzer can be a great way to get some extra nutrition into your diet without increasing your caloric intake.
Adaptogens in Functional Seltzer
Have you ever considered drinking mushroom-flavored water? Believe it or not, mushrooms are quickly becoming one of the most popular ingredients infused into functional seltzer. Largely, this is because they function as adaptogens, a substance that’s used in traditional herbal medicine to promote homeostasis and increase the body’s resistance to stress.
If that sounds like a lot of gobbledygook to you, it’s worth noting that the idea of adaptogens hasn’t gained wide acceptance in the world of traditional medicine – or even herbal medicine – in the Western world. Nevertheless, an adaptogen-infused seltzer still may be worth trying if you’ve experimented with other herbal supplements and found that your body responds well to them.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that are thought to improve digestive health by colonizing your intestines and improving the balance of your gut microbiome. Yogurt has become the signature probiotic food because it was the first food in which a probiotic bacterium – lactobacillus bulgaricus – was discovered. Since then, probiotics have been found in a wide variety of naturally fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and miso.
One of the potential drawbacks of probiotic foods is that they tend to have very distinctive flavors that some people don’t enjoy. You can find probiotics in capsule form at your local health food store, but you might find it a bit more palatable to try probiotics that you can drink. That’s exactly why some companies are beginning to make probiotic seltzers. In addition to the probiotic cultures, these seltzers are often infused with vitamins – and as an added benefit, probiotic seltzer contains fewer calories than yogurt.
Functional Seltzer and Kombucha
It’s possible that kombucha is the world’s original functional seltzer. Made by adding a culture of yeast and bacteria to sweetened black tea, kombucha is a traditional fermented beverage that originated in the eastern world – most likely in China. During the fermentation process, kombucha naturally produces carbon dioxide and becomes fizzy. The resulting beverage is refreshing and has a delightfully complex and tangy flavor along with a little residual sweetness from the sugar used to feed the culture.
Since it’s produced by a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, kombucha is a probiotic beverage. The kombucha culture is unique and isn’t really found elsewhere, and that uniqueness has caused people to claim that kombucha has a wide variety of mostly unproven health benefits. It’s likely that kombucha is good for digestive health at the very least, and it’s actually quite easy and inexpensive to make. Every time you make a batch of kombucha, the culture produces a daughter culture that you can use to make the next batch. Bottled kombucha is also readily available in most major supermarkets.
Add Some Functional Seltzer to Your Shopping List Today
If you’re looking for something more than simple refreshment, functional seltzer can provide exactly what you want in a form that’s fizzy and satisfying – and in 2023, beverage makers are working hard to push the envelope in this area.
Whether you’re looking for a seltzer that can potentially promote your health goals or simply leaves you feeling pleasantly buzzed, you’re going to be very happy if your next beverage is a can of functional seltzer.