You probably understand that one of the best things you can do for your body is to keep it well-hydrated. However, although we all know hydration is incredibly important, it can also be challenging to always select the healthiest options to put into our bodies. And with so many options to choose from, it gets confusing when it comes to knowing which drinks are good for you and which are not. Many unhealthy drinks contain dangerous levels of sugar, salt, and various other ingredients that negatively affect the human body in some shocking and dangerous ways. Whether you are trying to lose weight or just want to focus on physical wellness, watching what you put into your body will help jump start a healthier lifestyle.
This drink is touted as being full of good-for-you vitamins and is advertised as super health. The fact is, it’s not. Think about the different colors the flavors come in. These are not naturally-occurring and need to be artificially added using dyes. Many of these drinks also contain as much sugar as regular soda drinks.
Many consumers choose these drinks for their caffeine content. We all need a boost sometimes, but these drinks contain so much sugar and caffeine that they aren’t just unhealthy — they’re downright dangerous. With all that sugar, caffeine, and added ingredients like taurin and ginseng, your body is forced into an unnatural and intense state of alertness. It is best to steer clear of energy drinks altogether.
Though shoppers might think they are drinking something healthy for them by eliminating calories, they are really just consuming artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners contain ingredients that disrupt the body’s natural functions, making it more difficult for your system to process the artificial sweeteners. This leads to obesity and other serious health problems.
Be careful when choosing a juice drink as your beverage of choice. These are often misleading, as they look like they are very healthy with real fruit ingredients. Usually these drinks are actually a blend of real fruit juice and artificially flavored sugar additives. It’s best to stick with juice that you know is 100% real fruit juice.
It is true that one or two glasses of wine can actually do good things for your body, such as increase your sugar metabolism. It’s also known to be heart healthy. However, that doesn’t mean you go all night binge-drinking in the quest for more of these positive effects. In fact, drinking can be dangerous simply because it can lead to poor decisions as well as life-threatening physical problems such as liver disease and heart issues.
This drink can be tricky because it seems like milk should be healthy, right? But you lose the healthy benefits of drinking milk when there is chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla flavoring added in for taste. The addition of the flavor packs so much sugar that it really negates the point of even drinking milk in the first place. Do yourself a favor by just sticking to the original thing and drinking a big glass of white milk.
These come in bottles that look like your everyday plain old water bottles, but these have added flavors. They are marketed to the consumer to look like a healthy alternative to “boring” regular water. However, these drinks still contain sugar and even citric acid, both ingredients that water does not have. If you need flavor in your water, choose to infuse fresh fruit into your purified water at home.
Of course, we all need to enjoy the deliciousness of hot chocolate at least once during the winter months, right? There’s nothing wrong with that, just be sure to make it a very special occasion. Hot chocolate is packed full of calories, fat, and sugar. A grande size hot chocolate at Starbucks contains a whopping 320 calories and 9 grams of fat when made with 2% milk. If you add whipped cream, you’re consuming 400 calories and 16 grams of fat!
Frozen Mixed Drinks
These are delicious treats in the summertime, but they should be just that: treats. Frozen mixed drinks, like piña coladas, can cost you your whole daily calorie allowance. You not only get the calorie count from the rum, but the fruit juice and sugar sweeteners create a tasty drink that can run up to 900 calories.
While coffee is a morning staple, helping us all to wake up after too few hours of sleep, it can have side effects that we should be aware of. Too much coffee can lead to high blood pressure and a heightened state of alertness, which raises your heart rate. It should be consumed in moderation, like most things.
Lemonade is the refreshing drink of the summer months. It’s crisp, sweet, and light for those hot days at the pool. It is important to keep in mind, though, that lemonade isn’t always made with fresh lemons. Often, this drink comes from a powdered mix that is artificially flavored and it includes high amounts of sugar.
This drink falls under the “everything in moderation” category. Tea is good for you, and there are so many different kinds of tea — all with different health benefits — that it can be a great choice. Herbal teas are known to aid in keeping the body functioning well and offering a helpful boost, while caffeinated teas have just the right amount of pep for your late afternoon. Just keep in mind that six cups don’t translate into greater benefits.
These drinks are a tasty way to get your afternoon wake-up when you’re feeling sleepy, but they are chock full of sugar. After drinking a whipped, cinnamon swirl, caramel, double-shot coffee drink, you’ll get a quick boost from the caffeine but will just as quickly experience an intense crash from all the sugar. When you order, try only half the amount of flavored syrup or simplifying even more and going with just milk and espresso. It was recently discovered that some Starbucks drinks contain upwards of 26 tablespoons of sugar.
Even 100% juice is high in calories. That’s why it’s important to keep yourself in check when choosing a beverage. The vitamin C and other health benefits of real fruit juice are great, but if you are looking to cut calories and sugar, add some purified water to have a less intense, but still tasty, drink.
That soda shows up on the list of worst drinks for your body should come as no surprise. We’ve heard it all before, right? Well, it isn’t any less true now. Soda may taste good but it is nutritionally empty. You’re only drinking something that is calorie-laden and artificially flavored. If you’re going to drink a soda, just make sure that it is a beverage you only drink on rare occasions.
Who wouldn’t go for a cold, refreshing smoothie right now? Or maybe you like to stop at the local juice bar and order a smoothie after a sweaty workout. Keep in mind that ordering smoothies from restaurants usually results in consuming high amounts of added ingredients like sugars, flavoring syrups, and other things. For example, a 12 oz McCafe Strawberry Banana Smoothie at McDonalds is loaded with a whopping 40 grams of sugar!
For those of you who just want the punch of caffeine, straight espresso is probably your go-to drink. Now, one shot of this ultra-strong form of caffeine, and you’ve just swallowed somewhere between 47 and 75 milligrams. It’s a good idea to drink only one or two shots (a doppio) before cutting yourself off, to avoid harmful side effects of too much caffeine such as insomnia, rapid heart rate, and chest pain.
Sports drinks are made for hydration. At least, that’s what the marketing companies want you to think. But sports drinks actually contain very high amounts of sugar, often in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and have far too much processed sodium. Natural salt contains 84 different minerals that your body needs to function properly, whereas processed salt has no additional minerals.
When you sit down at a burger joint, it makes sense to order a shake with your meal. I mean, what else would you dip your fries in, right? Keep in mind that you’re only consuming ice cream here. While it’s a tasty treat, remember to keep it that way. Ice cream should never be consumed as a drink.
Those vegetable-based juices are touted as being a healthy way to get your daily allotment of veggies. They are a quick way to add nutrients to a healthy diet, right? It is not widely known that these drinks are actually incredibly high in sodium. And, for those who are sensitive to heartburn, watch out for these drinks to avoid any uncomfortable symptoms.