Water isn't the most hydrating beverage according to new scientific study

Plain water isn't the most hydrating drink around, according to a new study from health researchers at the UK's Loughborough University. Better are beverages with some fat, protein, or sugar. But not TOO much sugar. From CNN:

For example, milk was found to be even more hydrating than plain water because it contains the sugar lactose, some protein and some fat, all of which help to slow the emptying of fluid from the stomach and keep hydration happening over a longer period of time.

Milk also has sodium, which acts like a sponge and holds onto water in the body and results in less urine produced.

The same can be said for oral rehydration solutions that are used to treat diarrhea. Those contain small amounts of sugar, as well as sodium and potassium, which can also help promote water retention in the body.

"A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index" (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) Read the rest

Unique coffee drink features melting ball of cotton candy dripping into cup

Shanghai-based cafe chain Mellower Coffee offers a unique drink called Sweet Little Rain in which cotton candy positioned over an Americano is melted by the steam and drips sugar into the cup.

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Warm up with unusual international warm drinks like cheesy coffee and honey-and-bacon brandy

The intrepid travelers of Atlas Obscura suggest nine traditional hot drinks from across the world that may seem weird to our narrow, boring palates but are quite popular in their regions. From Atlas Obscura:

Kaffeost: In northern Scandinavia, cups of coffee get enhanced with cheese.

The dried cheese, called juustoleipä (sometimes leipäjuusto or just juusto), absorbs the steaming brew, softening without melting, like a rich, moist cheese sponge...

Juustoleipä translates to “cheese bread,” which not only refers to its dry and sturdy texture, but also its culinary use as a sort of bread-like vehicle for jam, syrup, and, of course, coffee. To make the cheese, milk—once reindeer milk, now often goat or cow milk—gets curdled, baked, and dried into thin rounds. This process not only allows for the cheese to be preserved for up to a year, but invites special preparations when it is ready to be consumed, one of which is kaffeost.

Hriatô: Slovakian winters call for a honey-and-bacon hot brandy cocktail.

...Traditionally served around Christmas, hriatô is relatively straightforward to make. Home cooks begin by frying up bacon in a healthy dollop of lard. Once it’s crisp, they drizzle in honey, allowing the sweet and salty blend to mingle. Finally, they add a stream of potent fruit brandy to the mix.

Hriatô can indeed look a bit unappetizing on first glance. As the cloudy, orangish liquid begins to cool, the fat separates, initially forming glistening droplets on the drink’s surface, then a layer of settled fat. But when enjoyed fresh, the fried bacon bobs in the boozy brew, balancing the honeyed liquid with a savory umami pork flavor.

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Watch: real kombucha is made from seaweed

Cha is the Japanese word for tea, and kombu is a type of seaweed. Real kombucha is seaweed tea and this video takes you to Japan’s Rishiri Island, source of high quality kombu.

From Great Big Story:

Sorry to shatter the illusion, but that expensive, bottled kombucha iced tea you’ve been drinking isn’t anything close to the authentic stuff—and, believe us, you’re missing out. Come along as we travel to Japan’s Rishiri Island and meet Chiharu Hirakawa, a shop owner and master of creating the real-deal drink. Located off the coast of Hokkaido, the remote island is famous for its locally-harvested kombu seaweed. Hirakawa uses the kombu, after it has been dried and powdered, to create traditional kombucha tea.

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Coca-Cola in talks with cannabis company

Coca-Cola is reportedly talking with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis Inc. about CBD-infused beverages.

“We are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world,” Coca-Cola spokesman Kent Landers told Bloomberg News.

(Of course, Coca-Cola was also a pioneer in marketing psychoactive drug-infused beverages.)

From Bloomberg:

Aurora’s shares surged on the news, jumping as much as 23 percent Monday in New York to $8. Other stocks in the cannabis industry got a boost, with Tilray Inc. adding as much as 9.4 percent in response to Coca-Cola’s interest...

The discussions with Aurora are focused on CBD-infused drinks to ease inflammation, pain and cramping, according to the BNN Bloomberg report. CBD, or cannabidiol, is the chemical in the pot plant often used for medicinal purposes, and doesn’t produce the high that comes from THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. There are no guarantees of any deal between Aurora and Coca-Cola, according to the report.

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Pepsi is buying SodaStream

PepsiCo is buying SodaStream for $3.2 billion.

SodaStream's products, marketed as a healthy alternative to sugary sodas, fit Pepsi's goal of "making more nutritious products while limiting our environmental footprint," (Pepsi CEO Indra) Nooyi said in a statement. "Together, we can advance our shared vision of a healthier, more sustainable planet."

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Boba tea advertisement: edgy or bad translation?

Joey deVilla says of this sign found in a Thailand boba tea bar, "I can’t tell if they’re trying to be edgy or just got a bad translation." Read the rest

Meet Martin Riese, water sommelier

"The most interesting part for me about water is it all looks the same... but still there's a huge taste profile to it." Read the rest

Most expensive, caffeinated Starbucks drink ever

Andrew Chifari of Dallas, Texas used the free drink earned with his Starbucks Rewards card to get a $54.75 frappuccino containing 60 shots of espresso. He drank a third of it right then and the rest over a few more days. From Daily Zone:

"This particular customization was certainly excessive. It's something that we don't encourage," said spokeswoman Maggie Jantzen.

Starbucks did not say whether it would revise its free-drink policies in response to Chifari's order.

The coffee monstrosity is now recognized as the current record holder of the most expensive Starbucks drink by Caffeine Informer, an Internet site that keeps track of the coffee industry.

Caffeine Informer estimates the drink had 4,500 mg of caffeine, more than 10 times above what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers to be a maximum safe amount for a healthy person to drink on a daily basis.

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Pumpkin Tap turns pumpkin or watermelon into keg

The Pumpkin Tap turns hollowed-out pumpkins and watermelons into drink dispensers! I think most any beer faucet and shank would work, but this is a fun idea. Read the rest