Once upon a time we could look around the office and pretty much guarantee that our colleagues would be drinking one of three things: a slump-busting Diet Coke, a vat of coffee or a pint of London’s finest.
These days, its all about wellness though, and increasingly we’re turning our back on cancer-causing aspartame, luminous energy drinks and even good old caffeine to chug back ever more obscure plant waters, teas we’ve never heard of and downright filthy looking green juices.
But are the supposed health and beauty benefits ever worth it? And – just how gross are they? We tried them all so you don’t have to:
POW Sparkling Energy Water £1.49 for 440ml (Waitrose, Superdrug, Ocado)
This non-toxic energy drink uses natural caffeine from guarana and ginseng to power you through and is a good source of vitamin B to boot (which we need for a healthy nervous system and energy). It’s low sugar and low calorie and comes in a series of fruity flavours.
Yeah, but how does it taste? Steer clear of the Coconut and Lime unless you want memories of 2004’s 18-30 holiday to Malia and go for the far less vomit-inducing Citrus and Zest.
DRINKmaple £1.99 for 250ml (Ocado, Planet Organic, Wholefoods)
With more manganese (great for bones, skin, all sorts) than a big cup of kale, loads of hangover-busting electrolytes and a total of 46 nutrients, maple water is getting to be kind of a big deal. Move over coconut water, because this stuff has half your sugar content, too.
Yeah, but how does it taste? Hmmm. It’s never going to be the tastiest drink in the world, but it’s inoffensive in a ‘definitely good for you’ way. Vaguely sweet and salty but easily doable.
OVIO Infusion £8.59 for 6x250ml (Holland & Barrett)
Utilising the apparently incredible properties of the olive leaf, this infused water claims to have strong detoxifying abilities, loads of antioxidants, is able to lower LDL cholesterol (!) and boost immunity. It’s also low cal, low sugar and uses organic juices.
Yeah, but how does it taste? Distinctly olivey but not horrible. The Cucumber & Juniper is OK.
Bella Berry Superfruit Beauty Drink £2.79 for 250ml (Wholefoods, Ocado)
CEO Suzannah started Bella Berry after searching for a beauty drink that tasted nice and finding none. This range of fruity drinks is packed with marine collagen to guard against the ageing of skin, hair and nails and has lots of other skin-friendly vitamins for good measure.
Yeah, but how does it taste? Seriously good. So many collagen drinks are properly horrible and medicinal, but this is a lunchable treat. The Pomegranate, Blueberry & Acai is our fave.
Teapigs Matcha Super Power Green Tea Drink £1.89 for 330ml (Wholefoods, Planet Organic)
Matcha is a souped up version of green tea that’s amazing for slow-release energy, brain power, metabolism boosting, skin health and many many more benefits. Usually it’s in a powder of finely ground leaves, but this ready-to-drink version comes mixed with a fruit juice for you to take around with you.
Yeah, but how does it taste? We’re fans of matcha – we really are – and of grapefruit for that matter, but the grapefruit version of this was one of the worst things we’ve ever tried. Not nice. The apple, however, is lovely and mellow and suitably green tasting. Go for that one.
The Berry Company Special Tea – White Tea & Peach £2.25 for 1 litre (Ocado, Sainsbury’s)
White tea is known to be higher in antioxidants than green tea, taste gentler and be amazing for heart health and cholesterol. Also we’re pretty sure Kate Moss once said she drinks it, so there you are. This particular kind is the ready-to-drink, chilled stuff and mixed with peach juice like a traditional iced tea only healthier.
Yeah, but how does it taste? It says there’s no artificial sweeteners in it, but it’s still toothachingly sweet. Chilled, with loads of ice in a tall glass, this is really tasty if you have a sweet tooth. We don’t and were disappointed that the tea flavour was imperceptible.
Thalgo Slim 7 Refining Drink £24.75 for 500ml (LookFantastic, FeelUnique)
Incredibly, here’s a drink that claims to make you thinner. And not by replacing actual foods. Thalgo reckons that its blend of plant extracts burn fat, tone you up and give you a little detox, thanks to some clever algae. We’re yet to see the results, but a study of 21 women all saw a reduction in their hips.
Yeah, but how does it taste? This is a potion that you mix with water, like squash. And that’s exactly what it tastes like – a cherry/forest, fruity-flavour squash.
Pure Gold Collagen £3.69 for 50ml (Superdrug)
This is a daily shot that uses collagen, borage oil and hyaluronic acid to improve the appearance of skin over a four-week period. Its not cheap, but lots of people swear by it and there’s a truckload of vitamins in there, so you do get a fair amount of bang for your buck.
Yeah, but how does it taste? Sweet and syrupy, so not so much of a drink as the others. You’re not looking for hydration with this one. Its totally drinkable, though.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.