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The 10 Healthiest Drinks To Sip, According to Dietitians

These health-boosting beverages are worth adding to your diet.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to support your overall health, but choosing the right drinks to sip is key. Some drinks can bolster your well-being whereas others can do the complete opposite. While water should be your go-to for hydration, there's a whole world of healthy beverages out there that can add valuable nutrients to your day, serve as a meal or snack, and boost your hydration all at once.

The healthiest drinks will promote health with their extra nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and fiber without causing undesirable effects like sugar rushes or caffeine-induced jitters.

Too much added sugar can sneakily add empty calories, negatively impacting your health. Aim for drinks with less than 5 grams of added sugar per serving to keep things in check. And watch out for choices with excessive caffeine like energy drinks, pre-workout powders, and super-strong coffees—they might increase your heart rate or leave you jittery. The FDA suggests sticking to around 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, so keep an eye on your consumption.

If you're ready to sip your way to better health, read on to learn about the top 10 healthiest drinks, according to dietitians and supported by science.

Green tea

Green Tea From Kettle
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Tea is a calorie-free drink with a variety of choices, but among them, green tea stands above the rest. Rich in antioxidants known as catechins, green tea promotes cellular health and may even prevent certain diseases. Furthermore, other compounds in green tea appear to have a positive influence on metabolism and fat oxidation and may be able to improve blood lipids. Green tea naturally contains caffeine, although it is typically under 50 milligrams per cup. Just avoid adding sweeteners to your green tea to maximize its positive influence on your health.

 The 11 Highest-Quality Green Teas On Grocery Shelves

Black Coffee

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A good ol' cup of joe is a morning staple for many, but did you know it could also be good for your health? With a mere 2 calories per 8-ounce cup, coffee won't add carbs, sugar, or fat to your day. However, it will deliver antioxidants that may be responsible for its health benefits.

Research suggests that black coffee consumption may lower the risk of certain diseases, such as some cancers and type 2 diabetes. It's crucial to stick to plain coffee to reap these benefits; sugar-laden specialty coffee drinks with heavy cream, caramel drizzles, and flecks of chocolate may negatively affect your health. Enjoy your coffee black or with a sugar-free sweetener and a splash of low-fat milk if you want to soften the flavor.

Homemade Smoothie

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A smoothie is a great way to load tons of nutrients into a single drink. While fruit is the traditional smoothie base, you can also add vegetables, like spinach or cucumber, for a boost of nutrients and fiber. To create a balanced meal or snack, you should also add a source of healthy fat and protein to the blender. Nut butter and avocado are examples of healthy fats, while protein powder and plain Greek yogurt boost protein in your smoothie. Use your liquid of choice and blend up to create a healthy drink customized to your flavor preferences.

 20 Best-Ever Weight Loss Smoothies

Protein Shake

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If you are looking for a convenient meal replacement, on-the-go snack, or post-workout recovery option, bottled protein shakes are great options to meet your protein goals and support your overall health. Protein shakes can aid in weight management by promoting satiety and help you build muscle mass by providing quality protein. Stick to protein shakes that are around 200 calories, 20-30 grams of protein, and are low in sugar. While whey-based shakes provide a great source of high-quality protein, plant-based options are suitable for a variety of dietary needs. A good option to try is Koia, a plant-based protein shake with nearly 20 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber per serving, so you're also getting a boost of essential nutrients that can keep you satiated throughout the day.

Bone Broth

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When you think of bone broth, cooking may be the first use that comes to mind. Using bone broth in your favorite soup or stew, or as the liquid in cooking grains is a great way to boost nutrients in your food. However, you can sip on it, too!

Bone broth is a high-protein snack that can aid in muscle recovery, especially when enjoyed after a workout. Not only does bone broth provide 10 grams of protein per cup, but it contains a certain type of protein called collagen. This is the most abundant type of protein in your body and aids in the structural integrity and elasticity of your bones and connective tissues. With age, we naturally lose collagen, and supplemental forms, like bone broth, are a good way to boost the amount of collagen your body can put towards essential functions.

 People Swear by Drinking Bone Broth for Weight Loss: 'Totally Changed My Life'

Kombucha

kombucha tea
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Kombucha, a fermented drink that has surged in popularity over the past decade, may be on your radar, but its benefits might not be as familiar. One standout feature of kombucha is its rich probiotic content. These beneficial bacteria found in kombucha contribute to a healthy gut microbiome by boosting the population of good bacteria. Creating a healthy gut microbiome is thought to have many beneficial effects, including immune system support, combating obesity, and correcting an imbalance of gut bacteria that could contribute to negative health outcomes. As a fermented tea, sugar is used to create kombucha. This means you'll need to keep an eye on the sugar count of your drink and choose portions that allow you to stay under 5 grams of added sugar per serving.

Sparkling water

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Sparkling water offers a refreshing, low-calorie option for satisfying your thirst with a bubbly kick. However, not all varieties are created equal. While some contain artificial flavors, others get their flavor from added sugar. Opt for options with a clean ingredient list to ensure a health-conscious choice.

For example, Sanzo is an Asian-inspired line of sparkling water made with real fruit and no added sugar. With unique flavors and simple ingredients, like carbonated water, yuzu juice, lemon juice, and ginger extract, you've got a flavorful drink without any questionable ingredients.

 10 Best Sparkling Water Brands, According to Dietitians

Pomegranate juice

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Notable for its bright color, the pomegranate fruit is also loaded with valuable antioxidants that can support your cellular health by combating unstable molecules that could harm your body over time. While eating the seeds whole is a great way to boost your intake of important nutrients, it may not always be practical. And that's why pomegranate juice is one of the healthiest drinks you can sip.

To reap the most benefits, you'll want to make sure you're buying an option that's 100% juice, like POM Wonderful. The brand uses whole-pressed pomegranate fruits to release the polyphenols in the rind, pith, and arils to maximize its potential antioxidant benefits. Enjoy it on its own or add it to your favorite smoothie for a boost of nutrients.

Prebiotic Soda

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Whether you are looking for a healthier alternative to your traditional soda, or you just enjoy a little carbonation throughout the day, prebiotic soda combines carbonation with functional ingredients to create a great drink option. Prebiotics serve as food for beneficial bacteria in your gut, promoting their growth. This helps maintain a healthy balance of gut microbes, which is crucial for digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. While there is no official dietary recommendation for prebiotic intake, studies show that consuming at least 3-5 grams of prebiotics a day can provide benefits.

A great prebiotic soda option is OLIPOP. Each can contains just 2-5 grams of sugar and provides 9 grams of fiber per serving that serve as prebiotics to feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. OLIPOP's study showed that their OLISMART formulation boosts beneficial gut bacteria and generates metabolites supporting digestive and overall health, emphasizing the importance of embracing nutritional diversity and increasing fiber intake for enhanced well-being.

 25 Healthy, Low-Sugar Soda Alternatives

Maple Water

water sap dripping out of a maple tree tap
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Perhaps this is a new-to-you drink, but here's why you should be sipping on maple water. Plant-powered water from maple trees contains electrolytes, antioxidants, minerals, and other phytonutrients. These unique factors allow maple water to improve hydration while providing a subtle and delicious maple flavor. Enjoy as a water alternative throughout the day, add to your homemade smoothie, or check out Drink Simple's sparkling maple water options if you prefer a little fizz.

Editor's Disclosure: The author is a paid partner of POM Wonderful, OLIPOP, and Drink Simple. All information contained herein is vetted by our editorial team, and Eat This, Not That received no compensation for this content.

Kelsey Hampton, MS, CSSD, RDN, LD
Kelsey is a Texas-based dietitian and professor who specializes in sports nutrition. Read more about Kelsey
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