There is no escaping from that fact that water is very important to the body, but sometimes we need to add a little flavor for our taste buds. There are a lot of flavored drinks out there that we can choose from to satisfy our cravings. We all know that sodas are bad for us with all those calories and sugar in them but the question is, are the below beverages any healthier than the so-called ‘bad’ sodas?
We have a lot of options to choose from, iced tea, juice, coffee and even beer. Yet, it is a given fact that you will be better off with just a soda. Yes, a soda is healthier than many drinks than you think. So, here is a list of beverages that you should be moderately drinking.
15 Drinks That You Must Avoid
1. Fruit Juice
It has been a common misconception that anything that involves fruit is automatically healthy. In this case, it is something that can definitely harm one’s health. Even though it is the extract that comes naturally from a fruit, it is still not recommended. The fruit is healthy, but the juice extract is not. The extract contains a high amount of sugar that would be bad for the health. So it is best to eat the fruit instead rather than squeezing its juice out because we are made to eat fruit, not drink it. Theory being that there is so much we can eat, but we can drink a lot more. What we mean by that is, take for example apples, how many apples can you eat or would like to eat in one sitting? 1, 2, 3 or 5? Like the most of us, we think 2 max, as apples are a good source of fibre, therefore fill you up pretty quickly. However if you squeezed apples into a drink then you are mostly consuming on an average of 5-7 apples. We were never made to eat/drink 5-7 apples in one sitting. All those combined sugars play a havoc on your blood sugar levels.
Here is a chart comparison of coke and ‘No Added Sugar’ fruit juices:
|12 ounces of >>>>>||Coca-Cola||Orange Juice||Apple Juice||Cherry Juice||Grape Juice|
|Total carbohydrates||40 g||39 g||42 g||49.5 g||60 g|
|Carbs from sugar||40 g||33 g||39 g||37.5 g||58.5 g|
|Sugar (teaspoons)||10 tsp||8 tsp||10 tsp||9 tsp||15 tsp|
Source: Hooked on Juice http://.hookedonjuice.com
So next time you drink fruit juice always read the label.
2. Hot Cocoa
It is difficult to resist a cup of hot cocoa especially during the winter season. A nice sip of this hot liquid can really bring on quite a satisfaction. Renee Clerkin, RD, nutritionist, stated that a typical mug of hot cocoa added with whipped cream contains 400 calories and 43 grams of sugar. Its’ sugar and calorie count is higher than a can of soda.
3. Iced Tea
Not to confuse with herbal tea, natural herbal tea is far healthier than the factory-made iced tea. Syrup-sweet iced tea or all processed iced tea has a huge amount of sugar in them. This white component is the very reason why syrup-sweetened or any sweetened iced tea is not healthy as they can contain 30 grams of added sugar in one bottle. Yep, that’s more like dessert.
4. Flavored Coconut Water
Another mind-fooling drink is the flavored Coconut Water. coconut water is hot right now because it’s packed with electrolytes, like potassium but do remember these aren’t just the ingredients in the drink itself. There is a downside too. When we hear the name “Coconut”, we directly assume that this beverage is healthy to consume. Some flavored coconut drinks contain double the sugars of a regular soda. Flavored versions, like pineapple or mango, can pack more than 30 grams of sugar per 16-ounce container. Some have less because they use calorie-free sweeteners. In order to be sure, always check the label.
5. Energy Drinks
This is a no brainer but we have to put this beverage on our list. Regardless of any benefits these drinks offer they are still packed with sugars and caffeine. As a matter of fact, one glass of energy drink contains 25 grams of sugar. Although some energy drinks contain Vitamin B, it still does not exempt them from being an unhealthy drink.
Skip these entirely, and not just to save on sugar, as drinking just one Rockstar energy drink raised a healthy persons’ blood pressure and norepinephrine (a stress hormone) levels.
6. Yogurt Drinks
Yogurt is the all-time, go-to food whenever the sun shines hot and bright. It is without a doubt that Yogurt is a delicious treat. Yet, it can also mislead you to think that you are on the healthy track. You usually find the word Probiotics in the labels of Yogurt products. The benefits of these are that they can help your digestive system. The only thing to be aware of in yogurt drinks is the sweetened version. Even if the drinks entice you with the Probiotics benefits, stay away from the ones that have been sweetened because they contain a high level of sugars.
7. Sweetened Non-Dairy Milk
Non-dairy milks like almond milk, cashew milk, and soymilk say they’re better than cow’s milk, but choose the wrong one and you’ll end up with a sugar bomb for breakfast.
Same as with the flavored coconut water, check the labels before buying these. Although it is classified as milk and non-dairy, it’s not healthy at all. Even deceptively innocent “plain” or “original” varieties may contain added sugar. In fact, one glass of sweetened non-dairy milk contains the same sugar amount as a plate of chocolate-chip cookies.
8. Tonic Water
If you think a ‘gin & tonic’ is healthier than a ‘rum & coke’, then guess again. Twelve ounces of tonic water adds 124 calories and 32 grams of sugar to your glass (that’s 8 teaspoons). Compare that to a cola, which isn’t too far off at 182 calories and 44 grams of sugar per 12 ounces. If you still insist in a ‘gin and tonic’ then go for the seltzer. Why? Because it’s sugar and calorie-free.
Regular and brewed coffees are exempted from this list – the sweetened and fancy versions are those that are not. Picture this! One serving of a Starbuck’s grande chocolate Mocha Frappuccino contains 67 grams of sugar. That is double the sugar as of a regular cola. Imagine, if you opt to add more ingredients to spice, rather sweeten it up a notch, then we have a ticking sugar bomb. A vanilla latte is better, but a medium size cup still contains 35 grams of sugar. Anyone up for a sugar kick?
10. Sports Drink
This goes hand-in-hand with the energy drinks mentioned earlier. But the difference between the two is that a sports drink actually contains 50 grams of sugar. Consider buying this drink if you are up for a 2-hour jog or a half-day workout at the gym. So that being said, never treat this as a regular drink just to quench your thirst.
Aside from the fact that it leaves you clueless the next morning, it actually contains a high amount of sugar too. A margarita plus a bottled mix have more than 500 calories and a total of 35 grams of sugar. That is the same sugar and calorie content of three pieces of cake. So what will it be, 3 slices of cake or one margarita drink? I know which one I would enjoy more.
12. Flavored Water
Another misleading beverage product on the shelves is the flavored water. It might advertise itself as a classification of water and even add that it is nutritional, but don’t be fooled easily. For this water to be relatively flavored, it has to use sugar. Even if they ‘re labelled sugar-free, it must have an artificial sweetener or Stevia. And just because it uses a more natural calorie-free sweetener doesn’t make it healthy.” For example, studies show the sweet taste can spur cravings for more sweet stuff. Some bottles of flavored water contain 35 grams of sugar.
This thirst-quencher for the summer is unfortunately unhealthy to drink as well. Most lemonade ingredients include: sugar, fructose (another sugar), artificial colors and maybe corn syrup (which also contains fructose). So is this really a better alternative than a soda?
This drink is usually found in high-end workout gyms, due to its protein content. Even though it consists of fruit mixtures, it still carries a high amount of sugar. Not to mention, fruit extracts, already containing sugar. This is only best for those who need an extra boost for working out or physically challenging activities. One popular green bottled smoothie may advertise itself as “no sugar added” but all of the juice and fruit purees add up to 53 grams of sugar per bottle.
Half of a regular beer can actually contain 180 calories or even more. The higher the alcohol content equates to higher the calorie and sugar content. So, it is best to follow the rule, drink beer moderately.
Given that all 15 drinks listed here are considered to be healthy, or should we say unhealthy now after reading this article, it does not directly imply that you should never drink them. It’s okay to drink them once in a while. Just know your limits and drink responsibly to ensure a healthy lifestyle.