…How many beverages do you consume in a day?
From sugary smoothies that are considered to be “better-for-you”, sports drinks that are meant to replenish the electrolytes lost during a workout, to energy drinks that are labeled as organic and sugar-free, the beverages aisle from the grocery store definitely gets bigger each year.
Even though you might be tempted to grab one of those drinks when you are in a rush and water doesn’t sound appealing, the truth is that these “healthy” beverages are actually not that healthy.
That is because they contain a lot of artificial sweeteners meant to replace the original white sugar that gives the flavor. Several studies have discovered that sugar-sweetened beverages are actually the number one source of added sugars in the American diet and lifestyle.
Consumed in moderation, these beverages won’t hurt you, but if you drink them constantly, your health system is going to suffer. We’ve talked to a few nutritionists and health experts about this topic, so we came up with 10 common beverages you should avoid as much as possible.
1. Sweetened nut milk
If you are among the people who want to live a healthier life, you definitely know all the plant-based variants to the original cow milk. It is considered to be healthier, less inflammatory, it doesn’t contain cholesterol, and it’s very rich in vitamins and minerals.
However, if you buy the sweetened versions of any plant-based milk, whether it’s soy, oat, hazelnut, rice, coconut, almond, or hemp, they are usually packed in extra sugars, in order to boost the flavor.
If you want to enjoy these delicious types of milk and their health benefits, make sure to only purchase the unsweetened kinds.
2. Pre-packed protein shakes
It is normal to drink a protein shake after a tough workout if you want to help your muscles grow bigger and stronger. However, if you consume pre-packed protein shakes, they are usually full of extra sugars you don’t need, plus preservatives, additives, and artificial sweeteners.
If you still want a protein shake, make sure to choose a protein powder that has no GMO or other chemicals, and create your drink at home, so you can control both your ingredients and your portion size.
3. Pre-made smoothies
Smoothies are an easy way to get both your fruit and vegetables in, but if you buy them from the grocery store or from a shop, they might be packed in extra sugars that won’t do your health any good.
If you read the labels, you will see that one of the main ingredients is fruit puree, which contains a lot of natural sugars, such as fructose. Even though it’s not processed, it’s still a high amount that is not balanced with fiber or protein.
This means that your body can experience a sugar crash, which will make you feel tired a few hours after consuming the smoothie. A fruit shake like this can contain up to 50 grams of sugar per serving size, so be careful how many of those you consume.
Soda is one of the easiest ways to consume a high amount of sugar without even realizing it. For instance, a 16-ounce soda has approximately 13 teaspoons of sugar, which is more than double the recommended intake in a day.
Don’t be tempted to fall into the trap and believe that diet soda is somehow healthier. Regardless of using white sugar or not, these are full of artificial flavors to make the beverages taste better.
According to studies, artificial sweeteners can be 200 to 600 times as sweet as normal sugar. This way, your taste buds would be hyper-stimulated, which can change your taste preferences in the long run.
5. Sparkling water
People who want to have a healthier diet opt for flavored sparkling water instead of soda. Even though this beverage is considered to be good for your body, you still need to check the label, because some of them can contain artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, and acesulfame-K.
If you want to enjoy a delicious beverage that will satisfy your sweet tooth, but that will also help you get rid of the extra toxins in your body, you can flavor your water with mint, strawberries, lemons, cucumbers, blackberries, or oranges.
6. Coffee drinks
If you usually go to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts and treat yourself to a creamy, sugary coffee, this might be the right moment to stop. Coffee can give you several health benefits, such as improved cognitive function, alertness, and putting you in a good mood.
This rule doesn’t apply if you indulge in cappuccinos with whip cream or frappuccinos that are packed with added sugar. Unless you make the conscious decision to consume this beverage as a dessert and only in moderation, you won’t benefit from the natural caffeine effect.
7. Premixed alcoholic beverages
When you want to have fun with your friends and maybe get a little tipsy, buying premixed alcoholic beverages might sound like a good idea, but it actually isn’t.
That is because these drinks are usually combined with large quantities of preservatives, added sugar, and alcohol. After drinking these, you are more likely going to feel tired, dehydrated, and hungover.
8. Sports drinks
There are many commercials and ads that say it’s better to consume a sports drink after a training session, in order to replenish the electrolyte you’ve lost through sweat.
On the other hand, there are many fitness instructors and nutritionists who say that plain water is more than enough to hydrate after a tough workout.
Sports drinks are important for high-performance athletes, who need to stay energized and hydrated throughout the whole time of their training.
However, if you are not among them, you should stick to regular water, because if you have a sensitive stomach, these drinks can make you feel a bit nauseous.
9. Iced tea
There is no doubt that iced tea is delicious, especially on a hot summer day, but this doesn’t mean this is one of the healthier alternatives. In conformity with studies, a can of regular peach iced tea can contain up to 34 grams of added sugar. This is equivalent to 9 teaspoons and it’s more than the daily limit the American Heart Association recommends.
Instead of drinking beverages like this, you can make your own iced tea at home and you can add one teaspoon of brown sugar or honey to make it sweeter.
10. Fruit juice
As we all know, fruit is very healthy and delicious, but you need more fruit to make a cup of juice. For example, if you want to drink a cup of orange juice, you would need at least three oranges.
If you make your beverage at home, you can control all the ingredients you want to use, but if you buy it from the grocery store, they might contain some extra sugars as well.
If you want to treat yourself with a sugary and delicious fruit juice, make sure to only do this in moderation, because studies confirmed that there is a connection between obesity and over-indulging in this type of beverage.
To sum up this article, we can say that you have to read the ingredient list every time you want to consume a pre-packed beverage. Even though the words such as healthy, good for you, and organic are mentioned on the label, it doesn’t mean that they are actually suitable for your diet.
…If you want to read more about health, make sure to check our website! Before you head out, we recommend this article: Most Common Health Issues Seniors Face!