It is more of a habit to drink something while we eat than nearly something beneficial for our health. Upon all myths, drinking while we eat does not make us fat, because of the liquid, or because it difficult for our stomach to digest, it makes us fat because we tend to consume a lot more calories from our drinks than from food itself. Now a days we have infinity of drinks stock on our market shelves, so the big question always is, what should I drink?
We will break the drinks into sections.
Cokes and sugar drinks in general (includes sports drinks)
We’ve all heard about the many consequences we can suffer when we drink sugar drinks, yet we know that only a few of you know for real, how much sugar this drinks actually have. Going from 35 grams up until 64 grams per bottle, this drinks can blow your total calorie intake in just one drink. Grab a tablespoon (the one you use to have cereal) and scoop between 4 and 10 spoonfuls of sugar, it will look something like this:
So the big deal with sugar drinks is that you will have between 100 up to 300 calories adding up from a single bottle. This is what we call empty calories. Calories that add up energy but have no nutritional value whatsoever. On the other hand, sports drinks are also sugar drinks, yes they have more nutritional value since they have electrolytes and vitamins, but they’re still sugar, off-course. Athletes need instant sugar to recover and to able to ramp up their performance when glucose levels are almost depleted. So they rely on sports drinks, because they need that energy. People that workout less than 90 minutes a day, have no need to drink sports drinks. Drinking them will add up the calories you have just burned in your exercise session, so if your not an athlete or someone training/competing for more than 90 minutes, stay away, you will do more than fine with plain water.
Commercial teas are the industry’s response drink for those who feel guilty about having cokes on their tables. For sure you will feel much better thinking and saying you drink Tea, than coke with your meals right? We’ve heard Tea is great for us, it helps on repairing cell damage, it has anti aging properties, it helps with constipation, and it has no calories, since it’s natural. Well, that goes for all natural homemade teas. We are sorry to inform that all commercial teas have the same and in some cases more sugar than cokes and sports drinks. Commercial teas have nothing to do with natural tea, they might have an extract or a flavor derived from them, but the drink itself is considered a sugar drink as well. So if you used to have tea instead of coke your sugar count looks just like the one above.
Sugar Free Drinks
In an attempt to bring consumers back, the industry went on exploring sugar free drinks, so the guilt and the calories stay away. The problem arises with the chemicals and products used to make these drinks tasty and sweet while having no sugar. Aspartame, Cyclamate, Saccharin, Acesulfame-K, Sucralose (splenda), Stevia, Sorbitol, etc. are some of the many non caloric sweeteners discovered by man. Cyclamate has been banned because of it’s health effects, and among the rest, there are thousand of research studies that are trying to confirm if their use causes or not consequences to our health. The fact is each year many studies come up showing the link between this chemicals and cancer, migrane, diarrhea, hypertension and many other symptoms. Even though some of these chemicals are still under the lens, there is no proven wrong to their health effects. If you want to have a more logic and less scientific look at it, this chemicals have no benefit whatsoever, having a sugar drink replaced with a non sugar sweetener doesn’t add calories but it doesn’t add nutritional value either. So you better be eating something healthier.
Commercial Juices vs Home Made
Commercial Juices go hand in hand with commercial teas. Think at it this way, if you have a fruit, and make juice out of it, store it in the fridge, how long will it last? Probably a day or two. Now, what makes this fruit juices stay fresh on shelves for months? You got it….chemicals AND sugar! So you better stay away from them, they are anything but natural. On the other hand home made juices have another story. Read our previous article to find out if homemade juices are or are not the best idea.
Gasified Waters and Aloe Drinks
Many ask if instead of coke and juice, gasified water is the best option. Personally I don’t oppose, while they stay like everything in life, within a balance. Gasified waters are under the lens as well, many studies show gasification produces gastritis, plus some studies claim it impede mineral absorption. On the other hand other studies shows this impediment is not cause by gasification itself but by all the chemicals involved in sugar drinks itself. As to a personal opinion, if you don’t like water itself, and you have only gasified water as the option, keep it under control. Aloe drinks, should not be in this section, take a look at their grams of sugar, don’t be fooled by thinking just like tea you are drinking a super natural part of a plant. You are having water, with chunks of aloe and tons of sugar!
So what should I drink? After all this, you might be thinking the right way, water is the way to go, your body need nothing else, plus if you have the time and conditions to enjoy natural fresh smoothies, they will help you cover you fruit requirement plus providing you tons of nutrients. Remember eating is a pleasure that can be satisfied by many foods, yet making a wise decision is not always easy.
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