trending health foods

Trending Health Foods

We talked to four experts to figure out which ones are actually worth it and which ones aren’t.

Claim to Fame: Improves gut health
The drink’s probiotics are linked to better digestive health, an improved immune system, and decreased muscle inflammation. But read the labels. “Kombucha can have a vinegar-like taste, so some brands add sugar to make it more palatable,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N. That added sugar can outweigh the benefits of probiotics: “Choose brands that have two grams of sugar or less, and pay attention to serving size. Some bottles have two servings,” she says.

Verdict: Hero
In order to reap the full benefits of the probiotics, it’s best to also incorporate yogurt and other fermented foods into your diet.

Claim to Fame: Better joint health
Made from roasted animal bones and connective tissues, bone broth is touted as a source of collagen, which is a protein that helps build bones, tendons, ligaments, and skin.

In the case of joint pain, the few studies that have looked at it were done with high levels of pure collagen supplements in people with debilitating conditions like osteoarthritis—not an average runner who is achy after a long run. 

Verdict: Hype
While bone broth isn’’t a cure-all drink, it is high in protein and electrolytes, making it good for recovery.

Claim to Fame: A guilt-free treat
Low-calorie, high-protein ice creams tout up to 24 grams of protein and as little as 280 calories per pint. But these “healthier” options may not be so healthy. “

One of the real dangers is that people will overeat these ice creams because they have a mind-set that they’’re good for you,” says Sumbal. “You may also eat more to feel satisfied.” Most servings are a 1/2 cup, so if you go through a pint or two, you’’re still overconsuming calories.

While these save people calories, they’re not tied to long-term weight loss, according to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. And that protein? Most runners already get enough through a balanced diet.

Verdict: Hype
Like all desserts, low-cal ice creams and frozen treats should be consumed in moderation.

Claim to Fame: Smarter hydration

Cactus, watermelon, and maple waters (to name a few) are trending on Instagram. While they’re all inherently hydrating, most of the other “perks” are thanks to marketing. 

And don’’t let the word ““water”” fool you into thinking they’’re not caloric, says Kimball. “People may forget about the calories in these waters, but if you’’re drinking a few bottles a day instead of plain water, those extra calories add up,” she says. One serving of watermelon water, for example, contains 12 grams of sugar. 

Verdict: Hype
Stick with regular water, and reach for a sports drink if you need extra calories or electrolytes for hot runs that are 60 minutes or longer.
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