When it comes to our food, we spend a lot of time thinking about what we put into our bodies. We pour over nutrition labels, count macros, and reject anything with harmful ingredients. However, we aren’t often as discerning when it comes to our drinks. Many beverages seem relatively harmless and thus, we drink them not knowing they could be undoing all our hard work. Instead, we must be as diligent when selecting our drinks as we are our food.
Ingredients To Avoid In Drinks
Drinks often contain harmful ingredients that can undermine our attempts to stay on a healthy diet. Here are some ingredients to avoid when purchasing drinks:
1. Added Sugars
Sodas, fruit juice, and sports drinks are often high in added sugars. An excess of sugar in our diets can contribute to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems. It's best to choose drinks that are low in added sugars or unsweetened.
2. Artificial Sweeteners
Many consumers think opting for artificial sweeteners is a good alternative to help avoid excess sugar. Unfortunately, artificial sweaters have also been linked to several negative health effects including weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. Recently, the popular sweetener Erythritol was linked to heart attacks and strokes.
3. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Another on the list of sweeteners to avoid is drinks with HFCS. HFCS is commonly added to sodas, juices, and sports drinks. It is linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and liver issues. Your best bet entirely is to just avoid any sugary drinks.
Many bottled and canned drinks can be high in sodium. This is especially true for sports drinks and energy drinks that are designed to help replenish lost sodium after a workout. Excess sodium intake is very unhealthy and can put you at risk for many health issues including high blood pressure and heart disease.
5. Artificial Colors, Flavors, And Preservatives
Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives are all chemical ingredients that are manufactured for a specific purpose. Unfortunately, many of these ingredients come with significant health risks. Others lack transparency on their ingredients and how they are sourced and made. As they are unknown and many have been shown to be risky to our health, it is best to avoid them in food and beverage.
If you drink a lot of creamy drinks, also look for trans fats and artificial emulsifiers to avoid.
Healthy Beverages To Drink Instead
Avoiding bad ingredients is a great start to ensuring your drinks are healthy. Here are some healthy drink options to try instead:
- Herbal Tea
- Green Tea
- Coconut Water
- Freshly-Squeezed Juice
- Functional beverages like All Phenoms