Health & Nutrition

Coffee & Tea with Brain & Skin Health

Functional beverages are a convenient option to meet nutritional needs pleasantly. The market size for global functional beverages is predicted to grow at a healthy CAGR of more than 6% between 2021-2028 timeframe10. Functional beverages are trending, but not all opportunities in the category have been explored. Functional coffees and teas may be the next area of interest for consumers who want double-duty from their favourite drinks11.

What’s Hot in Nootropics

The recent buzzword related to brain health is termed “nootropics”. In layman’s terms, nootropics are substances or supplements that claim to improve cognitive function. The best-known nootropic is caffeine, but there are plenty of others5. Green tea makes a fantastic nootropic thanks to its high contents of caffeine, l-theanine, and catechin. A study indicated that the regular intake of matcha may improve attention and may slow the decline in cognitive function in older adults2. L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea and mushrooms. It is claimed to affect brain functions by relieving stress disorders, improving mood, and maintaining normal sleep. It can also potentially reduce cognitive impairment1,6. All B vitamins are important for brain health, but vitamins B6, B9, and B12 are the most prominent8.

Part of a Morning Beauty Routine?

            As the emergence of the ageing population and healthy consciousness gradually deepen, people pay more attention to their skin health14. Collagen is a major ingredient being used in many of the new-age functional food and beauty-from-within products we can now find on shelf7. Collagen is an important structure in the skin and its deposition will decrease by chronological ageing (over time) and particularly with photo-ageing (exposure to the sun)13. Collagen peptides have a significant skin protection effect when applied locally and consumption14.  Its capability to improve skin elasticity, such as reducing wrinkles or increasing collagen deposition in the dermis, has also been demonstrated in various clinical studies4,9,12. Coffee or tea’s tentative entrance into the ingestible beauty segment shows its versatility as a functional beverage and to evolve its role to not just part of consumers’ morning routines but their daily beauty routines3.

The Future of Functional Beverages

The infusion of functional ingredients in coffee and tea beverages enable consumers to get more than just caffeine. Beverages that are formulated to help boost cognitive function and ‘top up’ natural collagen in our body could very well end up being a promising area. In DPO International, we are honoured to be in partnership with Hexagon to bring you a wide range of ingredients choices that will elevate the nutritional quality of your food and beverage products.


1Baba, Y., Inagaki, S., Nakagawa, S., Kaneko, T., Kobayashi, M., & Takihara, T. (2021b). Effects of l-Theanine on Cognitive Function in Middle-Aged and Older Subjects: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study. Journal Of Medicinal Food, 24(4), 333-341.

2Baba, Y., Inagaki, S., Nakagawa, S., Kobayashi, M., Kaneko, T., & Takihara, T. (2021a). Effects of Daily Matcha and Caffeine Intake on Mild Acute Psychological Stress-Related Cognitive Function in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study. Nutrients, 13(5), 1700.

3Barry, M. (2019). The new era of functional coffee. Tea & Coffee Trade Journal.

4De Luca, C., Mikhal’chik, E., Suprun, M., Papacharalambous, M., Truhanov, A., & Korkina, L. (2016). Skin Antiageing and Systemic Redox Effects of Supplementation with Marine Collagen Peptides and Plant-Derived Antioxidants: A Single-Blind Case-Control Clinical Study. Oxidative Medicine And Cellular Longevity, 2016, 1-14.

5Fona International. (2021). Feed the Mind: Food & Beverage for Brain Health.

6Hidese, S., Ogawa, S., Ota, M., Ishida, I., Yasukawa, Z., Ozeki, M., & Kunugi, H. (2019). Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 11(10), 2362.

7INewtrition. (2020). Innovation In The Food For Beauty and Beauty-From-Within Industry.

8Kennedy, D. (2016). B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review. Nutrients, 8(2), 68.

9Lupu, M., Gradisteanu Pircalabioru, G., Chifiriuc, M., Albulescu, R., & Tanase, C. (2019). Beneficial effects of food supplements based on hydrolyzed collagen for skin care (Review). Experimental And Therapeutic Medicine, 20(1), 12-17.

10Research Dive. (2021). Functional Beverages Market by Type (Energy Drinks, Sports Drinks, Dairy-based Beverages, and Others), End-user (Fitness Lifestyle Users, Athletes, and Others), Distribution Channel (Supermarkets/Hypermarkets, Specialty Stores, E-Commerce, and Others), and Regional Analysis (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA): Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2021–2028. Industry Report.

11Rodrigues, M. (2020). Functionality in Beverages Reaches Coffee and Tea. KerryDigest.

12Schunck, M., Zague, V., Oesser, S., & Proksch, E. (2015). Dietary Supplementation with Specific Collagen Peptides Has a Body Mass Index-Dependent Beneficial Effect on Cellulite Morphology. Journal Of Medicinal Food, 18(12), 1340-1348.

13Vollmer, D., West, V., & Lephart, E. (2018). Enhancing Skin Health: By Oral Administration of Natural Compounds and Minerals with Implications to the Dermal Microbiome. International Journal Of Molecular Sciences, 19(10), 3059.

14Zhao, X., Zhang, X., & Liu, D. (2021). Collagen peptides and the related synthetic peptides: A review on improving skin health. Journal Of Functional Foods, 86, 104680.