If you consider yourself a bit of a foodie, you’re probably familiar with trendy drinks as well as trendy foods. Right now, beverages from rose to kombucha are having their moment in the spotlight – and some of them even have purported health benefits. But are they true? And what’s the tradeoff? Can a good-for-you drink taste as good as one that isn’t healthy? Here’s the lowdown on some trendy beverages – and whether they’re really as good for you as they claim to be. Kombucha. It’s got a funny name, but this trendy fermented tea beverage supposedly packs a wallop of probiotics and prebiotics, substances that stimulate microorganism growth. Unfortunately, however, it also packs something else “Kombucha is very acidic,” says Dr. Alexandra George, a dentist from Wexford, Pennsylvania. “And that acid can be very bad for your teeth.” Not only that, but studies have shown it doesn’t really do much for your health. “It probably won’t hurt your health, but there’s been no proven benefits to your health, either,” says George. “Experts say if you really want to get the benefits of pro- or prebiotics, you should stick to yogurt or yogurt smoothies.” Another trendy beverage that claims to be better for you than the rest of the pack is sparkling water. You know the brand. But again, even though it’s lower in sugar than traditional soda, sparkling water is still really acidic, and acid erodes your teeth, causing enamel damage that leaves teeth susceptible to cavities. So, is there a trendy beverage that actually is good for you? Yes! It’s called matcha green tea, and believe it or not, it’s everything it claims to be. “Matcha green tea’s only real threat to your health is that it could discolor your teeth a little bit,” says George. “But otherwise it’s got some great benefits.” Those benefits include a ton of antioxidants, reduction of oral inflammation, and a bunch of antibacterial properties that can help kill off some of that nasty oral bacteria responsible for cavities and bad breath. Basically, matcha is everything kombucha aspires to be. Even better, matcha isn’t just good for your mouth – it’s been popping up as an ingredient in everything from face masks to smoothies. “Matcha green tea really is a wonder ingredient, as long as you use it wisely,” says George. That means brushing your teeth well after drinking to avoid staining, and if you do drink it, not overloading your tea with sugar or honey, which will feed the very bacteria you’re hoping to eradicate by drinking matcha in the first place. Recent studies have also shown that drinking too-hot tea can cause throat cancer, so be sure to indulge in your matcha green tea at a reasonable temperature.
Which Trendy Beverages Live Up to Their Hype?
Medically reviewed by Dr. Alexandra S. George - D.D.S., L.Vl.I.F. on April 8th, 2019