5 functional favs

This article was originally published in January 2014

Replacing calories from sugary drinks with more balanced beverages can lead to numerous health improvements. To paraphrase Neil Armstrong: One small step for your palate, one giant leap for your overall well-being.

Seattle isn’t a big soda town as a general rule — probably because we’re such die-hard fans of sweet, creamy coffee drinks. While many of these coffees offer some nutritional benefits from calcium, protein or healthy fats (depending on the type of milk used), it’s too easy to get stuck in a rut where we refuse to vary our liquid snacks. Having the same drink each day is like having an identical meal each evening: You might enjoy it, but it’s not a great long-term choice.

There also are those times when it’s easier to grab a beverage than it is to sit down for a meal. Racing between your job and a dozen different errands? Kids zipping straight from school to a lengthy basketball practice? We’ve all been there. Hydration and protein are important, no matter how we wish we could ignore them on some days. Pause for a moment and refresh yourself with hydrating powerhouses or a delicious protein shake.

We’ve got you covered, whether you’re trying to kick your own soda habit, mix up the daily coffee routine, or find some hydrating fluids that aren’t neon green but are still a little more interesting than water. There’s something for every palate and nutritional need.


1. Live Soda

These mild, beginner kombuchas are a fun introduction to naturally fermented fizz. Try the spicy fruit flavor of Pure Doctor, classic Rootbeer or eternally appealing Culture Cola.

2. Hunniwater

This not-too-sweet blend offers good hydration and the nutritional benefits of raw honey. Go basic with fruit flavors like pomegranate, or spice things up with cinnamon or ginger-cayenne.

3. Mamma Chia

Ideal for those who love the textures of 9-grain bread or bubble tea, these agave-sweetened blends are loaded with organic chia seeds, which supply fiber, calcium, protein and omega-3 fats.

4. Protein Cogo

A vegan protein shake with 20g of protein per bottle, its base combines bananas, coconut milk and organic soy, and it’s sweetened with pineapple, citrus and locally grown pears.

5. Kevita Sparkling Coconut

A probiotic coconut water? Yes, and it’s delicious. This mildly sparkling beverage is certified organic and lightly sweetened with stevia. It’s a refreshing twist on coconut water.

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