Water makes up more than half of the human body. It also helps us regulate our temperature, lubricate our joints and remove waste. Knowing this information may help us understand the importance of drinking fluids, especially when the weather is hot. I say, “Why not have a little fun and follow our preferences for what to consume to help us stay hydrated?” Therefore, I’ve categorized most of our cold drinks below to help you consider your choices.
TO FIZZ OR NOT TO FIZZ – CARBONATED DRINKS
Our range of bubbly drinks spans from plain bottled carbonated waters to fizzy juice drinks (including lemonade) Santa Cruz Organics, Crystal Geyser, Reeds & Virgil’s ginger brews, rootbeer and orange bubblies. Some culinary fizzy favorites are the lavender and blood orange sodas by Dry soda, which feature interesting flavor choices but keep the flavor light, not too sweet and refreshing.
Please note: We do not sell carbonated drinks containing corn syrup or produced by major soda corporations. Also, most of these carbonated drinks are shelf stable and do not require refrigeration.
A SLIGHTLY EFFERVESCENT ENJOYMENT: KOMBUCHA
Kombucha is a sweetened, fermented black or green tea drink. We carry a huge variety of flavor choices &brands, all distinctly unique! Some companies produce sweet tasting flavors –Magic Kombucha, Rainbow Cloud and Kombucha Yum (all 3 local companies) as well as Golden Temple (GT). The “artisan produced” kombucha by Brew Dr. adds organic medicinal herbs in advance to brewing and still others add chia seeds (GT) for additional hydration benefits. Both local companies Rainbow Cloud and Komucha Yum sell their products in returnable glass bottles. Terrabucha, another local kombucha producer creates a Coffee flavored kombucha.
From Foodrenegade.com one of the health benefits of kombucha is that it “aids digestion and gut health. Because it’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, kombucha is a probiotic beverage. This has a myriad of benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability.”
All the kombucha sold at the Olympia Food Co-op requires refrigeration.
A NEW HEALTH FOCUS: KEFIR & PROBIOTIC DRINKS
Also carbonated and somewhat juicy, these delicious water based kefir drinks contain probiotic cultures. Several probiotics (living micro-organisms) are found in kefir. Probiotics are continuing to gain increased attention for their beneficial effects for our health. Dr. Andrew Weil in “Indigestion: Natural Remedies for Relief” lists two primary probiotics found in kefir as supporting digestion, increasing immune response, as well as helping to calm the systems associated with food allergies and eczema.
Kevita has been a popular favorite with a variety of flavors, now along with two flavors of Mantraw, a delicious kefir soda, which is bottled and produced locally!
The Co-op sells a wide selection of pure fruit and vegetable juices and juice blends by Florida Naturals and Columbia Gorge Organics, aka Co-Go. At Co-go, the fruits and vegetables for their juices are grown on their own orchards in rural Oregon with the vegetables, herbs and some fruits sourced from regional farms, to assure their juices are bottled as fresh as possible.
TO CAFFEINATE OR NOT TO CAFFEINATE: READY TO DRINK COLD COFFEE, TEA & HERBAL ELIXIRS
Instead of drinking a hot coffee or tea in the morning, you can choose a delicious cold bottled tea from Guayaki, Steaz Teas (with or without juice added), or Bhakti Chai, a flavored adaptagen powered super herb tonic by Rebbl Super Herb or a bottled coffee –made in Seattle by Stumptown Coffee. Rebbl’s Tonics are a favorite of mine; one flavor combination “Hibiscus Mint” also contains cat’s claw, an herb known for boosting immunity and reducing pain.
GIMME SOME OF THEM ELECTROLYTES
In terms of hydration, electrolytes are responsible for directing water (and nutrients) to the areas of the body where it is needed most and maintaining optimal fluid balance inside the cells. We sell a variety of canned and aseptic packaged Coconut Waters – some brands of coconut water include Amy & Brian’s, C2O and Harmless Harvest, a raw coconut water. Coconut water has natural occurring electrolytes, sodium, potassium and magnesium. Recharge adds these minerals to create their electrolyte drink that compares to Gatorade. It is light and easy way to replenish your body.
I hope this overview helps to support you in finding some new delicious options available at the Co-op to quench your thirst this summer, as well as keeping you well hydrated. One of the things I didn’t cover in this article is that many of the drink companies whose creations are sold at the Co-op have mission and vision statements that open my heart and continue to give me more hope for our planet, its people and entrepreneurs. I encourage you to take a minute and Google your favorite drink company, read a blurb about them and share it with someone near you. It’s these stories that continue to inspire me to do my best. May they hydrate you in more ways than one!
By Marie Poland, Staff Member