Drinks we seek out every day to quench our thirst, help our health, aid in our weight loss. Are they all they are cracked up to be?
It’s Summer, It’s Hot and we are all reaching for lemonade. Should we? Lemonade with its 6 teaspoons of sugar and 100 calories for 8 ounces cannot be considered a refreshing choice. It’s more like lemon candy in a glass. And a commercial version has the same sweeteners as they put in sodas including those preservatives and fake color additives. And as far as nutrients they are long lost. A better alternative is fresh squeezed lemon into water. No too bitter you say. Try it. It is a taste you become accustomed to just like when you started drinking coffee but it is so good for you. The nutrients from the lemon plus it provides a jump start on metabolism. Try it in your hot morning tea. Yummy.
Energy Drinks??? Who wouldn’t get quick energy if you sat down and drank 6 cups of coffee loaded with about a half a cup of sugar? Energy drinks are just that, caffeine and sugar. Yes you will get a quick energy boost but you will crash and then need more. Did you know that eating a healthy diet and getting at least 8 hours of sleep will give you more energy than you can imagine. Listen to your body. Feeling spent grab some nuts and sip on a cup of green tea hot or cold. I know it sounds lame but you will be surprised at the long range energy you will get and there is no crash at the end.
Soft Drinks-Diet or Regular I have yet to find a redeeming anything when it comes to soft drinks. The regular ones have no nutritional value and way too much sugar and the diet ones have no nutritional value, and way too much artificial sweeteners and are too sweet making you crave sugar, and they contain way too much salt. My question is Why Drink Them. If you crave the carbonation try a carbonated water or club soda and add a little lemon juice or other fruit juice. Your body wants what you want so lead it in a better direction. Try if you can to back off or eliminate soft drinks. You will be amazed at how much better you’ll feel. After of course the withdrawal period which can last a couple of weeks. Did you imagine there are withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking soft drinks? There are. That should make you think twice about them too
All those lovely bottles of colored infused waters to choose from. So you reach for one of those flavored or infused waters. Be careful, read the ingredients. Many have quite a bit of sugar added and can be as caloric as any soda. If you want one with 0-10 calories then make sure it states that in the nutritional facts. And another caveat, make sure of the serving size. Many of these beverages will say a caloric value for so many ounces which seems perfect but if you look at the size of the serving and the contents you may find that the bottle contains 2, 3 or maybe even 4 servings substantially changing that calorie value to a much higher number.
Alcohol. Good, Bad, or Ugly. Drinking in moderation and that’s one or two shots a day has been hailed as raising good cholesterol, HDL helping as a diuretic in blood flow and helping your body metabolize glucose. And a shot is about 80-100 calories. But the bad and ugly side is that more than those two shots and the risks can soar. A March 2011 study from the American Cancer Society found that the risk of cancer death was 36 percent higher among people who drank liquor heavily (3 or more shots each day) than those who drank in moderation or not at all. And on top of that unless you drink your drinks with water, or club soda you have to add all those extra calories from the mixers you use. Only one 16 ounce Pina Colada could contain 880 calories, and yes I know it contains pineapple juice but not real 100% fruit juice, and those drinks could quickly add up to hundreds even thousands of extra calories in a night of partying. Resulting in weight gain.
When Andrew was playing sports I bought right into the sports drink craze. But then I started doing research and I was floored. Many sports drinks on the market contain both natural and artificial sweeteners and then on top of that and unprecedented list of additives so what’s that all about. I was thinking I was providing electrolytes for Andrew not loading him up with additives and sugar. Ugh! Water would have been a much better choice. With an apple or some orange wedges thrown in for nutrients. Now they have zero-calorie SmartWater which by early accounts appear to be a better alternative to replenishing electrolytes. You may have heard of Metroelectro but it is off the market???
I don’t know why yet but I am looking into it.
Fruit Smoothies. Oh my gosh, yes they are so delicious but how many calories compared to how much nutrition and fiber. A 32 ounce fruit smoothie which is the size offered most places can be as many as 700 calories. Yes that is correct 700 calories in a glass. I gasp, but it’s fruit. And it is gone in a matter of minutes and you haven’t even eaten yet. That’s a lot of calories. And you grabbed it as an afternoon pick me up. Yes, fruit is good for you, but geez with about 2 grams of protein and all that sugar at what cost to your body? You should put a fruit smoothie in the same category as a milk shake and indulge only once in a while.
Specialty Coffees-What could be the problem? Coffee zero calories right. Perfect choice no calories and a little pick me up at no extra charge. But did you know that when just 2-percent milk, and the sugar and/or flavors are added to that cup of coffee, it goes from 0 to 800 calories and you just drank it down as if it were nothing at all while you were driving to work. That large hot or icy cup of coffee you just consumed contained one third of the maximum recommended intake for artery-clogging saturated fat and about 170 grams of sugar. Sure you’ll get that caffeine buzz but more sugar shock and your body will be fighting for its artery health not to mention the extra fat stored from all the calories. Again think milkshake : (
Juice. When is it juice and when is it a bottle of juice colored sugar water. Pretty much if it says it is a “juice cocktail” then consider it has a very little bit of real juice with a lot of other stuff added like coloring and sugar. If “Juice drink” is on the label then it doesn’t meet guidelines to allow them to say fruit juice. Labels like “juice drink” and “juice cocktail” are telling you it is not 100% fruit juice and the calories are not backed up with nutritional value. So if you want a healthy fruit drink look for that 100% fruit juice on the label and choose that one. Another good tip is look for one that states on the label no sugar added.
So what to drink. As with anything it’s all about moderation. If you want to drink a smoothie or indulge in a speciality coffee do it and enjoy it but take the calories into consideration with the rest of your daily consumption. Of course water should be your number one go to beverage but you can drink other drinks. Even the ones described above are ok if as I said you consider them into your daily food/drink intake plan. It is just so easy to overdo on drinks because it’s a drink after all so what’s the harm?
My point of this is just to make you aware of what you are drinking so you can make the decision as to how much you want to put in your body. A fruit smoothie, a coffee drink, a soda diet or regular isn’t going to send you over the edge but what will is over indulgence. So take a look at the beverage you are holding in your hand, analyze the contents and then decide whether or not you are going to drink it.
And that’s the point of that…
Thanks for letting me have a say…
Until later… be safe and happy betti : )