5 Healthy Drinks for Teenagers (And Better Alternatives!)

It’s okay to have a treat every now and then, but the amount of soft drinks and energy drinks that are marketed towards teenagers is getting a bit out of hand.

The typical teenage diet has far more sugar than it should, and this leads to all sorts of issues (and not just the types of issues that creep up later in life, either!) On top of that, even drinks that don’t have tons of sugar will often lack any real nutritional benefits.

We’re not here to preach about avoiding unhealthy drinks and treats altogether. Instead, we want to go over some healthier alternatives for teenagers to drink.

1. Our Favorite Healthy Drink for Teenagers: Ramp!

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Fast facts about Ramp! Up Your Day: It has prebiotic fibre that supports a healthy gut and microbiome, provides daily required Vitamin D for teens (600 IU as per the American Academy of Paediatrics), and blue light protection via Lutein + Zeaxanthin, and a lot more…

This stuff is really cool. Ramp makes two different types of drinks drinks. The first is a healthy smoothie that’s made specifically for teens, and tailored to their day to day life. Their second drink is a fruit-flavored bedtime beverage.

If you think of a typical protein shake, like you’d have on your way to the gym, those are usually loaded up with an insane amount of protein and not much else (except maybe some sugar or sweeteners). That’s fine for someone whose going hard at the gym and trying to build tons of muscle, but that’s not really what teens need on the day to day – plus they tend get ample of protein from the rest of their diet so a drink with 50 or 60 grams is a bit overkill.

So, Ramp exists to focus more on providing a proper serving of protein, along with a ton of extra beneficial ingredients to help teens in their day to day life and routine.

Ramp basically pulls all of the benefits from the other drinks on this list and mixes them into one, while also getting rid of the concerns and issues we have with some of them. For example, Ramp isn’t filled with sugar but it still has valuable and essential nutrients.

Ramp makes two different drinks because the stuff teens need to start their day is different than the stuff they need to end the day and get a great night’s sleep.

Their chocolatey protein nutritional drink is meant for earlier in the day (or evenings, too, for that matter) and they also have a blue raspberry drink for evenings to help teens settle down, relax, and get a great sleep.

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The list of natural ingredients in Ramp’s protein drink (called Ramp! Up The Day) includes things like pumpkin seed powder, cocoa powder for a rich chocolatey flavor, coconut milk powder for its health benefits and to add a delicious creamy texture and taste, monk fruit extract for sweetness, and an assortment of vitamins that help teens thrive.

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Turning our sights to their other drink, called Ramp! Down The Night, the key ingredients include grass-fed collagen for skin, hair, and nail support. Tart cherry concentrate which is a natural source of melatonin to help with sleep and maintaining a good sleep cycle, magnesium for relaxation, calcium, gaba, and more!

2. Water

teenagers should drink water

Water is essential. Some teenagers rarely, if ever, drink a glass of water on its own. The majority of their water consumption comes from the water being an ingredient in another drink.

Water, in terms of any added ingredients, doesn’t have any super valuable nutrients or notable healthy ingredients other than the actual water itself, which is essential for every human on the planet.

But getting your hydration through water, instead of through soda or other drinks, means you can get the hydration that a body needs without taking in extra sugars (see also: “The sweet danger of sugar” by Harvard Health Publishing) or any other nonsense that you’ll find in various other drinks.

Every teenager (and everyone else for that matter) should be drinking plenty of water everyday. If you or your teen aren’t a big fan of water, if they find it boring, try having it at different temperatures to complement the weather, keep a glass of water near you at all times, and just work on developing this very healthy habit.

3. Tea

Tea is water that’s had leaves soaking in it and then removed. It can be served hot or cold. Tea is also great for hydration, and it carries with it a host of potential health benefits (heads up, these can be overstated at times by marketers or bloggers who are trying to sell you some miracle tea). The fact of the matter is that there are potentially beneficial herbs in various types of tea, along with the tea leaves themselves, but it’s not something to drink as some sort of magical elixir or medicine.

Tea, and the ritual or preparing and enjoying it, can be great for relaxation and reducing stress, which is probably the biggest overall health benefit of drinking tea. That’s not to diminish other benefits, but rather to point out how important it is in managing stress and how beneficial that can be overall.

Unfortunately, when teens enjoy tea, it’s often served with a heaping spoon of sugar, or as a sweetened iced tea drink, or a matcha filled with sugar and cream.

Nonetheless, tea is a very versatile drink and a plain cup of green tea can be delicious. If your teen isn’t a huge fan of the taste of typical green or black teas, consider trying a milder white tea that adds a bit of flavor to the water without being overpowering.

4. Juices

teens should drink juice

Here’s where we start to get into tricky territory because there’s a huge distinction to be made between juice and “juice”. Often times when you’re buying juices or fruit drinks at the store, you’re essentially getting something with just as much or more sugar than a can of soda pop, without any real benefits.

If you’re having juice made from real fruits without any added sugars, you’ll still probably end up with a very sweet drink so it’s not something that you’ll want to drink all day, everyday, but there are plenty of beneficial vitamins and nutrients to be found inside real fruit juice.

So, when your teen wants a sweet drink and a treat, aim for juice that’s made from real fruit. If you want freshly squeeze some orange juice, that’s even better…

But the best and most healthiest juices are going to be the ones you juice yourself, at home, using a juicer. The reason for this is because you can also juice things like carrots, spinach, kale, ginger, and other healthy plants to add to the nutrition of your juice.

The only downside is that you’ll be missing out on a lot of the fiber versus eating all of the fruits and vegetables on their own. But juicing makes it a lot faster, and it’s easier to get a heaping serving of veggies when you make juice at home.

While juice can be tasty, sometimes you want the texture and fiber that you get from a smoothie. Serenity Kids has a great article filled with suggestions for protein-packed smoothies that you can make at home.

5. Milk and Milk Alternatives

Milk from a cow or milk alternatives like almond milk or soy milk all have their own advantages and disadvantages. They often contain added sugar, and even a regular glass of milk has a surprising amount of sugar in it.

You can get unsweetened nut milks that are better in that regard, and they do contain some healthy fats and other nutritional benefits, making them a decent choice for teens as long as you’re careful to find milks and alternative milks that don’t have added sugar. They can taste a bit bland, though, but they work great as a mix for making protein shakes or another healthy drink for teenagers like Ramp!

So, What’s The BEST Healthy Drink for Teenagers?

Choosing the best healthy drink for teenagers really comes down to finding a balance. Drinking a shot of juiced wheat grass is considered healthy, but it wouldn’t be healthy if you drank nothing else but that, ever. It’s about a balance. You don’t have to drink nothing but water, there’s room for soda and other drinks too when it’s in moderation.

But when you can find a drink that tastes delicious and also has health benefits, like Ramp’s products for instance, that’s a great opportunity to gain some nutritional benefits and to enjoy something tasty without getting a ton of sugar, and with a lot more benefits than something like diet soda which doesn’t have any sugar either, but lacks the added nutrients and healthy ingredients.

Sara Dylan

Author Information

Sara Dylan is passionate about researching and writing interesting articles to help people. Sara is a prolific writer at TeenWire.org, and enjoys a nice cup of tea as much as the next person.