What do you reach for to quench your thirst? Is it an ice cold water, a flavored sports drink, a glass of milk, or your favorite soda? Many people do not realize or tend to ignore the fact their beverage of choice may be contributing excess amounts of calories and sugars to their diets. Even though companies continually create new drinks and promote them to be healthier than others, the actual content may not be as hardy as they are said to be.
These days, people are more aware of the negative impact that soda can have on one’s health due to its high amounts of sugars and carbonation but soda is most definitely not the only beverage contributing to bad health. For example, sports drinks such as Powerade and Gatorade are meant to help athletes replace water and electrolytes, however, it is suggested that unless someone is exercising for at least 90 minutes, such sport drinks with excessive sugars and electrolytes are not necessary and can potentially cause weight gain. Other beverages that have become more prominent among people in the 21st century are specialty coffees. These types of drinks are usually made with milk, espresso, syrup-flavoring and usually topped off with whipped cream. All of these ingredients turn what may seem like a delicious start to your day into a calorie and sugar-loaded dessert. On the other hand, there are a few beverages that would be exceedingly healthier. Rehydrating with liquids such as water, low-fat milk, or 100% fruit juice provides your body with an excellent balance of appropriate nutrients. Even though 100% fruit juice can often contain some added sugars, it still provides a small serving of fruit. Also, low-fat milk is a great source of calcium, and water is the most essential liquid for our bodies to stay fueled. Drinking enough water is an instruction that often seems to be shoved down our throats but it still remains the most important and beneficial thing we can do for our body. In fact, when our bodies are continually losing fluid through daily activities, food, water and other fluids are essential to keep our bodies going. Having a water bottle handy throughout the day is a great way to ensure adequate water intake.
Sugary drinks are not always bad when consumed in moderation but certainly can be harmful to one’s health if consumed on a regular basis. Our bodies need liquids in order to stay hydrated and beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine and added sugars actually contribute to dehydration and weight gain. Although water does not have any specific effects on losing weight, choosing it over beverages with high sugar and calorie content can certainly help. Monitoring the amount of sugar-filled drinks we fill our bodies with is exceedingly more important than many people realize and with more attention and regulation, could greatly improve one’s health.