10 Worst Drinks for Your Health

10 Worst Drinks for Your Health

When you are feeling thirsty, your impulse reaction is to reach out for a refreshing drink that is seemingly “healthy”. But similar to the food we eat, it is also important to take note of the nutritional content of your drinks.

Here’s a list of drinks to cross off your list as they may not be doing much good to your health. Do also check out the suggested beverage alternatives which make better, healthier choices:

 

1. Fruit Juices

worst drinks for your health

Bottled “juice drinks” and “juice cocktails” are often made out of brightly-coloured sugar water positioned as healthy beverages. Some brands of fruit juices may contain a considerable amount of artificial flavouring and sugar that is comparable to soda drinks. The combination of these ingredients increases the risk of health problems such as diabetes.

Try this instead: Look for juices that contain 100% fruit juice and are low in sugar. Or better yet, blend your own juices at home to keep it natural and sugar-free. You might want to do a mix of fruit and vegetable juices too (e.g. Apple, beetroot and carrot juice) as these are high in fibre and comes with a host of health benefits.

Note: Giving fruit juices to your children is a great way to fulfil their daily recommended servings of fruits, but take care not to give them too much. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 4 to 6 ounces of 100% fruit juice per day for children under 6, and 8 to 12 ounces for 7 to 18-year-olds.

 

2. Flavoured Water

worst drinks for your health

Most brands of flavoured water contain a cocktail of food dye and sugar, in addition to the actual water content. This poses a problem when you use flavoured water to replace your daily water intake and consume more than 2 bottles a day. If you have diabetes or are at risk of diabetes, it is best to avoid consuming flavoured water altogether.

Try this instead: Infuse your bottle of water with fruits or vegetable slices such as lemon, apple and cucumber. These help to add flavour to your water naturally and are a healthier alternative to the mass produced flavoured water.

 

3. Sports Drinks

worst drinks for your health

If you keep a regular exercise regime with hopes of losing weight, wrapping up your workouts by gulping down a bottle of sports drink such as Gatorade may hinder your weight loss goals. Many of these drinks contain sugar which is equivalent to six glazed doughnuts and a mixture of natural and artificial sweeteners, plus some additives. When taken in excess, sports drinks can lead to severe cardiovascular complications.

Try this instead: Always opt for natural mineral water to cool down after a workout. If your goal is to replenish electrolytes, switch to a healthier, more natural alternative such as coconut water or make your own electrolyte beverage.

 

4. Soft Drinks

worst drinks for your health

(Photo: Pinterest)

Trying to pinpoint a favourable quality about soft drinks is challenging. These beverages are often overloaded with sugar, come with empty calories (between 150 to 250 calories per can) and do nothing to satisfy your hunger. Soft drinks are also the only food item that has been directly linked to causing obesity in both adults and children.

Try this instead: Water in its natural form or infused with fruit slices make a better alternative to soft drinks any day. However, if you are not ready to eliminate soft drinks from your diet entirely, health experts recommend that you consume a can of soft drink every once in a while – similar to how you would give yourself a rare treat with chocolates and sweets.

 

5. Commercial Fruit Smoothies

worst drinks for your health

Fruits eaten fresh is good for you, but the effects are reversed when all these are converted into a 32-ounce, store-bought large fruit smoothie. This can pack up to 700 calories and fewer than two grammes of protein (thanks to the high sugar content), making it equivalent to eating a whole pineapple, an entire mango and one cup of blueberries and strawberries each in a single sitting. Calories from any food source (including fruits) get stored away in your fat cells if you consume more than what you can burn.

Try this instead: Make your own smoothie at home with a blender, using the right amount of fruits and healthier versions of add-ons such as low-fat milk and natural yogurt.

Drinking too much designer coffee and bottled tea may not be the best move to make for your health. More on this and other drinks to cross off your list on the next page.

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