Health Drinks: A History

Ancient Chinese have long believed in the benefits of drinking natural health drinks to improve one’s health disposition. Tea has been drunk for at least 4,000 years. While coffee has been around for centuries. Both have immense benefits for health improvement.

Tea was first discovered in China in 2737 B.C. According to Chinese records, the emperor would only drink water which is boiled to make sure that it is indeed clean. During a trip, a servant boiled water and a dried leaf fell on the boiling water. It turned the water brown but was still served to the emperor. The emperor drank the concoction and found it very refreshing.

Coffee, on the other hand, has can be traced as early as the 9th century. Coffee was largely cultivated in Ethiopia. Soon, the Arabs started trading it, bringing it to northern Africa where it was mass-cultivated. After being popular in Africa, it started to enter Indian and European Markets.

Europe and Asia pioneered energy drinks. In 1901, the first energy drink was released in Scotland called Im-Bru. While in Japan, their energy drinks can be traced as early as 1960s. Although they cite that there are already some attempts in mixing different minerals with water before World War II they released Lipovitan in early 1960s. South Korea also produced “genki drinks” which are also energy drinks.

In 1929, Lucozade Energy was used as a hospital drink in the United Kingdom. This drink was primarily for helping the speedy recovery of hospital patients. In the 1980s, this drink was commercially released as an energy drink meant to replace lost energy.

The worldwide leading energy drink, Red Bull, was created and marketed by an Austrian entrepreneur. This leading energy drink was created in Europe. It was based on a Thai drink called Krating Daeng, which is also based on Lipovitan. Red Bull entered the United States market in 1997, and currently the dominant brand. It’s approximate market share is as big as 47 percent.

For sports drinks, the first one created was for the purpose of improving the performance of athletes and sports star, was for the Florida Gators. That is why the first product, which was released during 1960s, was called Gatorade. The main purpose of this drink is to provide to lengthen the performance levels and aid hydration of athletes.

As early as 1985, the United States have started to introduce energy drinks. They had the Jolt Cola. While in 1995, PepsiCo launched the Josta. This was the first energy drink made by a leading United States beverage company.

Since then, energy drinks have started to gain fair market share and popularity. More and more companies are taking advantage of such popularity and high demand. Most people who consume energy drinks are within the range of 13 to 35 years old. Young adult and male drinkers comprise 65 percent of the target market. Since 2001, the increase of the energy drink market has been increasing by 50 percent every year. Since this market is relatively new, with 20 years under its belt, there is still much hype about it.

More and more people seek out energy drinks and new developments. People are trying to be heath conscious amidst all the pressure of a high and fast paced life. With the demand increasing, there are unlimited possibilities. We are trying to discover ways in fitting all the nutrients and more vitamins and minerals that we can have in just one gulp. Health can be just in one drink after all.

Robert Hamborg


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