6 Common Beverages You Should Always Avoid
A fresh, cold drink seems like the perfect ending of a hot, summer day. Not to mention a delicious beverage to warm you up on cold days. While these are the easiest ways to quench your thirst or make you feel cozy and comfortable, they are also a sure way to blow up your weight loss plan and even overall health.
That’s why, in order for you to stay lean and healthy all the time, check out this list of the most common beverages that you should always avoid if you know what’s good for you. Remember, next time life gives you lemons, don’t make and drink lemonade, unless it’s calorie free and sugarless!
Not all juice is created equal, with fresh squeezed being better than pasteurized for instance. But all juice is packed with sugar and a sure way to adding more calories to your diet.
Compared to raw fruits, juice lacks nutrients such as protein and fiber and is packed with fructose, which is one of the main culprits for belly fat. To have a clearer picture, just know that an average glass of orange juice, for example, provides as many calories as six oranges and about 36 grams of sugar.
Replace with: Water with slices of oranges, lemon or grapefruit.
Sugary coffee drinks
Sure, Lattes, Frappuccinos and the entire “chino” family are as tasty as they can be but they really stack up when it comes to nutrition. Coffee beverages with sugary syrups, chocolate or caramel toppings and all the other fancy stuff they may have, generally provide around 350 – 450 calories and 45-80 grams of sugar per drink. Talk about sugar rush!
In addition, the caffeine they usually include can give you a quick buzz through the first part of the day but later mess with your nervous system and sleep pattern.
Replace with: Simple, black coffee or de-caf.
Calorie free but full of negative health effects. That’s your diet soda. Even if some think it is a healthier choice instead of the regular soda, diet soda is usually full of chemicals that may pave the way for serious chronic diseases.
Apart from artificial color, diet soda includes aspartame, a sugar substitute meant to promote weight loss but found to do quite the opposite. It also enhances the sweet taste, usually making diet sodas sweeter than regular ones and leaving you craving for more sugar.
Replace with: Water. It is always the best choice to stay hydrated.
Pre-mixed alcoholic drinks
If you like to sip on Margaritas or Pina Coladas every once in a while, maybe it’s time to drop this habit. Such beverages not only do they include all sorts of preservatives but also lots of added sugar with detrimental effects. Much like diet soda.
These sugar-spiked drinks boost your energy but then make you crash and burn once the sugar high wears off. More than that, they make you very thirsty by speeding up the dehydration generally caused by alcohol.
Replace with: A glass of red wine with antioxidant benefits.
Vitamin water has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. But you might be disappointed to know that in most cases it’s more hype than hydration. Although it is a healthier alternative to the sugar laden juice and soda, it is still packed with calories. Roughly 120 calories per bottle, mostly coming from sugar.
When it comes to the actual vitamins, don’t expect these drinks to fix any deficiencies. Most of them contain vitamins that you can obtain from adopting a healthy diet. Not to mention such products are not exactly cheap.
Replace with: A multivitamin or detox water.
Drinking a protein shake before workout to boost your performance or restore your depleted energy after a workout is common practice. However, if you’re chugging protein drinks instead of actually eating protein foods, just don’t!
Many products out there include hydrogenated oils, unnecessary nutrients and loads of artificial sweeteners that do your health no good. To sift the good from the bad, see How You Can Use The Best Protein Powder to Drop Pounds for Good.
Replace with: High-protein foods such as eggs, lean meat, yogurt, seafood.