The evolution of hydration: functional drinks for energy and wellness

MARKET TREND | 08 February 2024

In the context of an increasingly wellness-oriented lifestyle, ensuring appropriate hydration is crucial to maintaining optimal equilibrium in our organism. Water plays a crucial role in regulating body temperature, proper organ function, joint health, and supporting cognitive function, while helping to prevent inflammation. However, maintaining adequate hydration levels can be challenging, especially given the hectic pace of modern life.

It is in this context that the concept of functional beverages, designed to go beyond simple hydration, emerges. These beverages offer focused support to optimize body functions and improve physical and cognitive performance. Growing awareness of the importance of health and wellness has fueled the demand for these beverages, which now represent an innovative and versatile response to the needs of an increasingly health-conscious public seeking practical and functional lifestyle solutions.

This trend is also reflected in the functional beverage market data, which show significant growth in the industry. The functional beverage market is expected to reach $213.74 billion by 2024, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% over the period 2024-2029. This expansion underscores the growing demand for beverages that not only provide thirst quenching, but also offer functional benefits.

Functional drinks: A mix of health and taste

Functional drinks represent a category of beverages designed to provide specific benefits beyond simple hydration. These products are fortified with additional ingredients such as electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, with the goal of improving bodily functions and promoting overall well-being.

Electrolytes are essential chemicals for the human body, including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride. These minerals play a key role in maintaining the body’s water balance and in the transmission of nerve impulses to muscles. During intense exercise or high heat and humidity, the body may lose electrolytes through sweat. Functional drinks enriched with electrolytes help supplement these lost nutrients and maintain proper hydration balance in the body.

Vitamins are essential organic substances involved in a wide range of biological processes in the human body. They play a crucial role in supporting the immune system, promoting healthy eyes, skin and hair, and supporting growth and development. Functional drinks often contain additional vitamins, such as vitamin C, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, which can help supplement daily vitamin intake and support overall health.

Minerals are inorganic elements essential for human health, such as calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. These nutrients are involved in multiple bodily functions, including bone formation, metabolic regulation, and immune system support. Mineral-enriched functional beverages can help meet daily nutrient requirements and support overall health.

Amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins and play a key role in building and repairing tissues, transporting substances in the body, and producing hormones and neurotransmitters. Some amino acids, such as glutamine and taurine, are considered particularly important for energy support and muscle repair. Amino acid-enriched functional beverages can help promote muscle recovery after exercise and improve overall sports performance.

In summary, functional drinks offer a comprehensive combination of electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to optimize bodily functions and improve overall well-being. These products can be a useful choice for those who wish to supplement the nutrients in their daily diet and support their nutritional needs.

Key factors in the expansion of functional beverages

The expansion of functional beverages has been driven by a number of key factors that reflect changing consumer preferences and market trends. In addition to consumers’ growing health awareness and desire for products that offer functional benefits, other elements have contributed significantly to this trend.

First, changes in dietary trends have played a crucial role. With an increased focus on health and wellness, consumers have become more aware of the importance of a balanced diet and food products that offer specific benefits. Functional beverages, with their ability to provide additional nutrition and benefits, have met this emerging demand, becoming a popular choice for those seeking nutrient-rich options.

Second, technological innovation has made it possible to create increasingly effective and tasty functional beverages. With better ingredients and advanced manufacturing processes, companies have been able to develop products that not only provide hydration but also health benefits in ways that are more effective and attractive to consumers.

Another factor to consider is the target audience. Functional beverages target different population groups, such as children, the elderly, athletes, people with compromised immune systems, fitness enthusiasts, and others, thus meeting the specific needs of each market segment.

In addition, the accessibility and availability of functional beverages have increased significantly over time. With an increased presence in supermarkets, grocery stores, and online, consumers have had more opportunities to choose from a wide range of options, encouraging the spread and adoption of these beverages.

Finally, growing health and wellness concerns, particularly evident among millennials, have led consumers to seek solutions to improve their physical and mental performance. Functional beverages, with their promise of tangible benefits, have responded to this emerging need, becoming a popular choice for those seeking a way to incorporate additional nutrients into their daily diet.

In conclusion, the expansion of functional beverages has been driven by a combination of factors, including changes in dietary trends, technological innovation, product affordability, the development of new product categories, and the growing influence of millennials. These factors have helped shape the functional beverage market as we know it today, providing consumers with an increasingly wide range of options to meet their hydration and wellness needs.


The hydration revolution represents not only a switch in consumer preferences but also a paradigm shift in the way we perceive and consume beverages. This presents several opportunities for brands to energize their market presence. From energy drinks designed to meet the needs of an increasingly health-conscious audience to ready-to-drink protein drinks that cater to the needs of active individuals, the future of hydration lies in its ability to harmoniously integrate functionality, convenience and wellness.

Boost your brand’s energy with our functional beverages!

At 13:e Protein, we are ready to explore new horizons in the world of functional and energy drinks, offering innovative hydration and wellness solutions. From BCAA/EAA drinks to zero-calorie soft drinks, we are ready to turn ideas into bottles and ensure a high-quality end product.

With our team of experts, we will guide you step by step in choosing the most suitable ingredients and development processes, ensuring a final product that meets consumer expectations in terms of taste, consistency, functionality and safety.


1. Mordor Intelligence, Functional Beverages Market Size & Share Analysis – Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 – 2029)
2. Synergy Taste, 5 Trends to Watch 2024:
3. Nutritional OUTLOOK, Energy drink trends
4. Gupta, Achala, et al., Trends in functional beverages: functional ingredients, processing technologies, stability, health benefits, and consumer perspective, Food Research International (2023)

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