When you need to quench your thirst and at the same time feel famished, the plain water isn’t sufficient. And, if you are health conscious and have regularly read about the negative effects of processed drinks, you won’t grab a bottle of juice, which in reality doesn’t has anything apart from sugar or a can of fizzy diet soda.
Of course, you know what is good for you and there are tons of healthy alternatives available in the market. And, some of the healthy beverages taste great as well. But, hold on, do you think every other alternative is healthy? Are you sure? Because years ago, the packaged fruit juices were considered healthy and were touted as the best health drink around.
You can’t always believe what the advertisers say about any particular product. The label ‘healthy’ and ‘all natural’ don’t exactly mean what you think it means. So, it is up to you to know exactly what certain things written on product’s packaging label means. Only by educating yourself and being aware of the ingredients companies often use in so called ‘healthy drinks,’ you can make the right decision.
We can’t give you detailed info about the ingredients written on the packaging label. However, we will give you a brief introduction to the seven unhealthy drinks that you might be consuming without being aware of their negative effects.
Almond milk has gained considerable fame as a great alternative for those who don’t drink cow’s milk, either due to health problems or lifestyle choices. It’s distinct creamy texture and nutty flavor has won over legions of loyal admirers. It is affordable, makes excellent smoothies and is perfect for those who have milk allergies. Plus, it has plethora of health friendly minerals such as potassium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin E, copper and selenium. Also, it contains as much calcium and vitamin D as dairy milk. And, if you are on a restricted diet, it has the least number of calories in comparison to other non-dairy alternatives.
However, is almond milk as perfect as advertisers and the corporates with vested interests make it out to be? First of all, the almond milk isn’t completely free of allergies. The people with tree nut allergy can suffer from wide range of symptoms, ranging from as mild as hives which are characterized by red itchy spots on the skin, to severe as difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness. Also, almond milk products are a rich source of chemical tyrosine, which despite being good for your health, can be detriment to overall well being in some selected cases. The researchers have found that this particular chemical may worsen the migraine condition, which means if you are already suffering from migraines, almond milk might not be for you. Also, tyrosine is known to affect the levels of thyroid hormone.
And, it isn’t as if the almond milk is perfect in other cases. Yes, the manufacturers fortify almond milk to match the calcium and vitamin D content of dairy milk. However, it has been found that people absorb the nutrients in milk and milk products better than they do from those in plant-based milks. So, despite same nutrient content, the almond milk won’t deliver the same benefits as milk.
Plus, almond milk is less nutritious and healthy than eating almonds. The almond milk is made up of about two percent of real almonds, which means it is lacking in most of the healthy fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals that you get from eating the nuts in their solid form. Also, to make it delicious and to sweeten it up, some almond milks have added sugar. Thus, burdening you with additional and unnecessary calories. As if that wasn’t enough, some commercial almond milk brands most likely add thickeners as well. Most thickeners have their own health problems. For example, carrageenan, which is most widely used, is a type of polysaccharide obtained from red algae and can lead to digestive problems characterized by excessive gas, bloating, diarrhea and fatigue.
Zero Calorie Drinks
People have wizened up about the adverse benefits of the regular coke. So, instead, they usually go for the zero calorie drinks or drink mixes, which according to the advertisers have no side effects. These mixes are usually available in little packets of powder that you can add to water to make them taste like juice, or you can buy already flavored drinks available in cans and bottles at the grocery stores. But, is diet coke that saves you 140 calories, which you would otherwise find in sugary soft drinks and at the same time satisfies your urge for something sweet, good for your health?
The answer is no. There is more to the diet coke that meets your eye. In fact, much more. Firstly, the artificial sweeteners used in zero calorie drinks have more intense flavor than the real sugar and over time, drinks like diet soda dull your sensitivity to the naturally sweet foods such as fruits. To make matters worse, these sugar substitutes have the same effect on body as sugar. They trigger insulin, which sends your body into fat storage mode and leads to weight gain.
And, the zero calorie aspect can’t fool your body, it is smarter than that. When your body senses that something sweet has been consumed, it anticipates calories. And, when your zero calorie drink doesn’t deliver any calories, your body gets confused and ramps up demand for calories by increasing secretion of hunger hormones, which leaves you craving for high calorie and most often unhealthy food items such as chips, crackers, cookies, burgers and anything that would be bad news for your waistline.
Often, when you need a burst of energy whether to compensate for the sleep deprived sluggish system or to get through crazy things that need additional attention as well as energy, you reach out for a can of Red Bull, Rockstar, or Monster. The ardent energy drink fans believe that such beverages combine the best of sugar and caffeine.
Now, although energy drinks give you a nice, yet short term burst of energy, but sooner or later, you will suffer from depressing crash, if not from the caffeine content, then definitely from high sugar content. Not to forget the negative effects of the high sugar content of the energy drinks. And, you have already read that the zero calorie drinks aren’t that great as they are marketed.
Also, studies have proved that the regular consumption of energy drinks can lead to increased anxiety and in some extreme cases, panic attacks. The research conducted by the Department of Psychiatry, The University of Chicago, found that consumption of caffeinated beverages can trigger adenosine receptors, thus increasing anxiety.
Plus, the energy drinks are capable of leaving you sleepless for too long. Granted it is a great option when you want to escape clutches of sleep in the day, but drinking too many energy drinks would leave you counting too many sheep in the night. Also, you might end up getting addicted to the energy boosters, which means your body won’t work properly without energy drinks, making severe dent to your health as well as wallet.
Athletes, professional bodybuilders and people addicted to physical activities often rely on sports drinks such as Gatorade to sustain their efforts. In fact, such drinks are considered as the best option to rehydrate and replenish depleted minerals and electrolytes. But, are such drinks really the best option? And, are they as good as the advertisers claim them to be?
The answer is no. The truth is that most of the sports drinks contain high-fructose corn syrup, too much sodium and have almost as much as sugar as present in soda. It has to be noted here that consuming sugar after the workout can negatively affect both your insulin sensitivity and your human growth hormone (HGH) production. Similar to the energy drinks, the sports drinks can give you a short burst of energy which is usually followed by the staggering crash.
Unless, you are going to perform strenuous and long duration physical activity that will leave you sweating buckets off, you probably don’t need sports drinks. The plain water is perfect for those who are going to do an hour long workout. If you are going for a jog in the park, you would be better off adding a small amount of natural, unprocessed sea salt to your water. The natural salt contains 84 different minerals and trace minerals that your body needs for optimal function.
Another excellent option to consider when you are participating in a marathon or long distance cycling events is coconut water. The coconut water is one of the highest natural sources of electrolytes.
On some level, everyone knows that their favorite coffee is bad for their health. But, that hasn’t stopped millions from grabbing their favorite Starbucks coffee first thing in the morning. In fact, people often tend to replace real food with calories they get from the creamy and sugary lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos.
Consider this, you are consuming 800 calories that won’t do anything good for your body. These calories are completely useless, without any benefits whatsoever. These coffee drinks are loaded with saturated fat from cream-based ingredients plus sugar-loaded syrups and flavoring that don’t have any nutritional value. And, not to forget, the energy crash you will suffer when you are in middle of a team meeting or preparing the all important report for the presentation.
Get your morning calories from real food with excellent nutritional value. Consume protein, complex carbohydrates and some fiber. The ideal example of a quick breakfast is piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, plus an apple or a bowl of oatmeal with nuts and some berries.
Fresh Fruit Juice
It is generally agreed that the freshly squeezed juice is a healthy way to start the day. Especially, when you consider that the homemade juice would be devoid of all the added sugar, preservatives, and other unhealthy ingredients, which are usually found in the variety of processed juices. Plus, the major nutrients in the juice aren’t destroyed in the preservation and processing process which is a hallmark of processed food items.
However, there is one problem with freshly squeezed juice and that is you miss out on valuable fiber, which makes fruits such a wonderful addition to the daily diets. The presence of the fiber means you will remain full for longer period and by taking it out of the equation, you make yourself vulnerable to blood sugar spike that you experience from eating something far too sweet. Of course, you are getting vitamins and minerals with fresh juice, but without the presence of fiber to balance the effect of too much sugar, it will end up doing more bad than good.
Instead of juicing, consume the whole fruit as it is. By doing so, along with getting dose of vital vitamins and minerals, you will also get a steady supply of fiber, which among other things can be helpful in weight loss program. Another option is to prepare delightful and healthy smoothies. Drop whole fruit and veggies, with other healthy ingredients in the blender and you have a great drink ready.
The vitamin water is another health fad that has taken the world by storm. After all, it has added vitamins, how can it not be healthy? Well, that is exactly what the marketing and promotion firms are saying. But, in reality, all the goodness of added vitamins is destroyed by the presence of other junk that is usually found in the processed drinks. For example, one bottle of Vitaminwater contains 33 grams of sugar, which is more than you get from the average can of soda. Eat a balanced diet of healthy foods and you won’t need any supplementation to get vital vitamins.