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Antioxidants are compounds that play a central role in health and disease.
They help by neutralizing harmful compounds known as free radicals. This can prevent oxidative damage to your cells, reduce inflammation, and protect against chronic disease (
Switching up your diet is one of the most effective ways to increase your intake of antioxidants.
Still, while most people are familiar with antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and veggies, finding healthy antioxidant drinks can be a bit more challenging.
This article reviews some of the best antioxidant drinks based on the following criteria:
- antioxidant content
- added sugar content
- nutritional value
Here are 10 of the best antioxidant drinks, along with a few of the ways they can benefit your health.
Derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, green tea is one of the most popular antioxidant drinks.
It’s particularly rich in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a compound that has been extensively studied for its antioxidant effects (
Green tea also provides several other antioxidants and polyphenols, including gallic acid, epicatechin, and catechin (
This Pure Leaf Unsweetened Green Tea is made without any added colors, artificial sweeteners, or other questionable ingredients.
It’s also brewed using fresh tea leaves rather than powders and concentrates, which can help maximize the taste and quality of your beverage.
Matcha is a type of tea made from the leaves of the tea plant, which are ground into a fine powder, added to hot water, and whisked with a bamboo brush until a frothy texture is formed.
Unlike regular green tea, matcha is made using the entire leaf of the tea plant, resulting in a higher concentration of antioxidants (
In test-tube and animal studies, matcha extract has been shown to protect against liver damage and decrease cancer cell growth (
What’s more, one small study in 23 people found that consuming matcha improved memory, attention, and reaction time, compared with a placebo (
Moontower Matcha is made using ceremonial-grade matcha, a type of matcha with a more delicate flavor and less of a bitter taste than culinary-grade matcha.
It also contains zero grams of sugar and is free of artificial ingredients and flavors to ensure that you’re getting the highest quality matcha available.
Dandelion tea is a type of herbal tea made by infusing the leaves and roots of the dandelion plant in hot water.
This antioxidant-rich ingredient has been used in many forms of traditional medicine due to its ability to reduce inflammation, decrease cholesterol levels, and prevent oxidative stress (
According to one test-tube study, dandelion extract contains a variety of phenolic acids and flavonoids, including luteolin, quercetin, and caffeic acid (
Adding this antioxidant-rich drink to your daily diet can be a convenient way to boost your intake of these key antioxidants.
In addition to being sugar-free and certified organic, LION Organic Bottled Dandelion Tea is low in calories and free of caffeine.
Plus, it’s sweetened with monk fruit, a natural sweetener that has also been shown to act as an antioxidant and protect against free radical damage (
Coffee is an excellent source of disease-fighting antioxidants.
In fact, some research shows that it may be one of the main sources of antioxidants in the average diet, contributing even more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables (
In particular, coffee is loaded with antioxidants like caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, catechin, quercetin, and rutin (
Interestingly, one massive review of 218 studies found that drinking 3–4 cups (720–960 mL) of coffee per day may be associated with a lower risk of heart disease, liver problems, and certain types of cancer (
This cold brew coffee is free of sugar and dairy and can be a great option for those looking to bump up their intake of antioxidants and caffeine.
It’s also available in a variety of flavors, including Double Espresso, Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate Mocha, and Creamy Cappuccino.
However, keep in mind that these varieties may contain dairy and additional flavorings and ingredients, depending on the type.
Beets are packed with beneficial antioxidants and phenolic compounds, such as betalains, which are the plant pigments that give beets their vibrant hue (
Due to their antioxidant content, beets have been linked to a long list of health benefits and may help reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and decrease cancer cell growth (
Featuring beet juice and strawberry, apple, raspberry, and bilberry juice, this Beetology drink is brimming with antioxidants.
What’s more, it’s organic and made without any preservatives, additives, or artificial colors or flavors, making it a tasty way to take advantage of the health benefits of beet juice.
Pomegranates are incredibly rich in antioxidants, with research showing that the antioxidant potential of pomegranate juice may be higher than those of both red wine and green tea (
What’s more, studies suggest that pomegranate juice may significantly reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and protect against the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries (
This product contains 100% pomegranate juice from concentrate and is made without any added sugars or genetically modified (GMO) ingredients.
It’s also a great source of potassium, which is an essential nutrient that regulates muscle contractions, fluid balance, blood pressure, and more (
However, because this beverage contains a good amount of natural sugars without any of the fiber found in whole fruit, be sure to moderate your intake and pair it with a balanced diet.
Native to Central and South America, the acai berry is a tropical fruit loaded with antioxidants like orientin, isoorientin, and vanillic acid (
According to one small study in seven athletes, drinking a juice blend with acai berry daily increased antioxidant levels in the blood and reduced cholesterol levels and exercise-induced muscle damage after 6 weeks (
While more research in humans is needed, test-tube and animal studies also suggest that acai may reduce oxidative stress, improve brain health, and prevent bone loss (
Made from acai juice, apple juice concentrate, and raspberry, strawberry, and blackberry purées, this drink can definitely help squeeze some extra antioxidants into your diet.
Although this juice is made without any added sugar or artificial sweeteners, keep in mind that it contains a good amount of natural sugars from fruit.
Therefore, it’s important to enjoy it in moderation as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet.
Made without any artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives, adding this flavored water to your diet is an easy way to boost your intake of micronutrients like vitamins C, B12, and D.
Vitamin C, in particular, is a water-soluble vitamin with powerful antioxidant properties (
In addition to neutralizing the effects of harmful free radicals, vitamin C can help fight inflammation and oxidative stress (
Besides Prickly Pear Lemonade, several other flavors are available and offer a similar amount of antioxidants, including Mandarin Orange, Tropical Berry, Crisp Cucumber, and Perfect Peach.
Coconut water is a great source of micronutrients like potassium, vitamin C, and manganese, and it also contains a hearty dose of antioxidants in every serving (
Although research in humans is lacking, several animal studies have found that coconut water could help protect liver health, as well as reduce oxidative stress and blood sugar levels (
ZICO coconut water is made without any added sugar and contains just one ingredient — coconut water.
It is also a good source of potassium and contains other electrolytes like calcium and magnesium, making it a great post-workout drink.
This healthy juice is made using a blend of greens, including cucumber, parsley, and dill, each of which boasts a unique set of antioxidants, micronutrients, and health benefits.
Cucumbers, for instance, have a high water content and are often used to promote digestive regularity, support hydration, and protect against diabetes complications (
Meanwhile, parsley is a great source of vitamin K, along with antioxidants like kaempferol and quercetin (
Dill has also been studied for its medicinal properties and may aid in managing diabetes and heart disease (
While more human studies are needed to evaluate how these ingredients could affect health, adding a green juice to your diet is a simple way to increase your intake of antioxidants.
What’s more, this ALLWELLO juice is made without any added sugars and gluten-free, vegan, and certified organic.
When selecting a healthy antioxidant drink, there are several factors to consider.
First, check the ingredient label carefully and steer clear of products that contain added sugar, artificial flavors, and additives.
Ingredients like cane juice, high fructose corn syrup, glucose, or fruit nectar generally indicate that a drink contains added sugars.
The amount of added sugar is listed on the nutrition facts panel of a product as well.
Keep in mind that ingredients are listed in order of predominance, with those present in the greatest amount appearing first.
Ideally, antioxidant-rich ingredients like fruits, veggies, coffee, or tea should appear at the beginning of the list to ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
For caffeinated beverages, you may also want to consider the caffeine content of your drink.
While caffeine is required to be listed on the product label, manufacturers in the United States are not required to disclose the specific amount (
For those limiting their caffeine intake, this information may be obtained online or directly from the manufacturer.
There are many ways to ramp up your intake of antioxidants, and adding some antioxidant drinks to your diet is one of them.
From coffees to teas to juices and more, there are plenty of options to cater to your cravings.
However, keep in mind that enjoying a few servings of antioxidant drinks is just one piece of the puzzle.
For best results, be sure to pair these products with a nutritious, well-rounded diet and healthy lifestyle.