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It’s perhaps not surprising considering the events of the past 18 months that we, as a society, are more health conscious than ever.  We’re seeing this reflected in the drinks industry with the rise of hard seltzer, kombucha, CBD drinks and other RTDs, all containing adaptogens that (claim to) provide health benefits.
There are now even non-alcoholic spirits on the market containing adaptogens and nootropics that not only provide a health benefit but to also stimulate the mind and, in some cases, provide a synthetic, alcohol-like effect. In fact, the IWSR said the growth of the low-and-no category is driven by alcohol-free ‘spirits’ and other products containing mood-enhancing properties.
So what are adaptogens and nootropics?
  • Adaptogens are certain herbs, roots and mushrooms that are said to have a range of health benefits, from treating insomnia and reducing stress to providing extra energy. Examples include ginseng, hyssop and milk thistle.
  • Nootropics are drugs, supplements, and other substances that are claimed to improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity or motivation in healthy individuals. Examples include caffeine, creatine, and bacopa monnieri.
So, if you’re making a healthy choice and abstaining from alcohol, you can now be extra healthy by adding an adaptogen to your non-alcoholic drink, as well as possibly achieving a mind-altering effect via a nootropic.
But what about combining these with alcohol?
Hard kombucha is on the rise and we’ve been consuming nootropics in our espresso martinis for some time now. But will this trend really catch on, or is this more of a non-alcoholic play?
There are many adaptogens that are said to help offset the damage alcohol can have on the body, such as milk thistle to help cleanse the liver. These are already available as separate supplements. But perhaps there is a future where we add these to alcohol? Micro-dosing a healthy supplement into our favourite tipple?
It’s not quite guilt-free drinking, but perhaps it’s a tiny step closer…
This article was written by Jaala Gallagher, Client Director.