If you walk down the drink aisle at the grocery store you will see hundreds of different beverage options. Everything from energy drinks to drinks that promise weight loss to smart water.
Along with providing energy or recovery from exercise many drinks also provide extra sugar, excessive calories and very little nutritional value. Which if consumed in excess can increase the risk of disease and weight gain.
While adequate hydrated is an essential part of staying healthy, if we are not careful, what we drink can hurt our health more than help it.
It is important to know what you are drinking to ensure that you are choosing the best beverage for your health.
Tip to choosing healthy beverages
- Choose water most often: it is calorie free and needed for body to function
- Limit your intake of sugary drinking, including juice, soda, and energy drinks
- Read the food label
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation
Non-alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine, vitamins and other ingredients marketed to boost energy, increased physical and mental performance.
What you should know: Current research shows that energy drinks can cause a significant health risk because of their high levels of caffeine. Excessive intake of energy drinks can lead to increased blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, seizures and in rare cased death. Energy drinks can contain up to 242 milligrams of caffeine per serving
A drink made from the Camellia sinensis plant which can be consumed hot or cold.
What you should know: Research shows that green tea contains antioxidants and flavonoids which may help heart health. The studies also state that it does not help in cancer prevention or weight loss.The caffeine in tea varies widely depending on the type and how it is brewed. However it does typically have less than half the caffeine than coffee.
A beverage that is designed to help athletes replace water, electrolytes, calorie and protein lost during exercise.
What you should know: It is recommended to use sports drink when doing moderate to high intensive exercise that last longer than 60 minutes. For exercise of shorter duration water should be the choice of beverage. Sports drinks contain about 80 calories per 12 ounces.
Water with additional ingredients such as flavoring, sweeteners, vitamins and minerals added.
What you should know: Currently there is no research that shows that water infused with additional nutrient provides extra health benefits over non infused water. While they typically have less sugar and calories that other sweetened drinks, it is important to read the food label as they may have more calories than expected.
A drink that is a sweetened beverage that contains carbonation.
What you should know: Soda provides no key nutrients. They are sweetened with either sugar or high- fructose corn syrup which contributes to the beverages high calorie amount. They are flavored with both artificial and natural flavors. Soda that has caffeine such a Coke or Pepsi, contain about 35 milligrams of caffeine per serving.
The liquid from immature (green) coconuts
What you should know: It contains less sugar and calories than most sweet drinks, about 46 calories per cup. Coconut water does contain electrolytes, but there is no research that shows that coconut water increases the prevention of heart disease, stops aging or speeds up your metabolism.
A brewed beverage prepared from the roasted or baked coffee beans.
What you should know: 1 cup of regular coffee contains about 130 milligrams of caffeine. It is recommended that adults drink no more than 3 cup of coffee per days. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should limit their caffeine intake. Adding extra’s such as sugar, milk and cream can significantly increase the calorie amount of coffee and additions should be limited. Coffee is high in antioxidants.