Summer is in full swing which means we are all thirsty and drinking lots of fluids - hopefully! What are you reaching for to quench your thirst? One of my favorite websites, sparkpeople.com listed the the worst drinks for your body. If this is what you are grabbing or giving to your kids, you might want to reconsider.
Juice drinks - Many juice drinks are another name for colored sugar water, so be sure you are choosing one that is 100% juice with no sugar added.
Whipped Coffee Drinks - When made with 2% milk, a large icy coffee drink can contain up to 800 calories and a third of the maximum recommended intake for artery-clogging saturated fat.
Flavored Water - Flavored and infused waters may deliver a few extra vitamins, but they're also often packed with added sugars. Again, be sure to check the label: If you see anything more than water and natural flavors, leave it on the shelf.
Diet Soda - Diet soda may be calorie free, but it's also 100% nutrition free. Plus, if you're guzzling diet soda all day, there's a good chance you aren't drinking the healthy beverages your body needs.
"Healthy Fruit Smoothies" - Yes, fruit is good for you, but a 32 oz smoothie can pack as many as 700 calories with fewer than 2 grams of protein, thanks to the high sugar content. That's like eating a whole pineapple, an entire mango and a cup each of blueberries and strawberries in a single sitting. Calories from any food get socked away in your fat cells if you eat more than you can burn.
Sports Drinks - Ending your workout by guzzling a typical sport drink may set your weight-loss goals back. Many sports drinks on the market contain a mixture of natural and artificial sweeteners, plus a laundry list of unpronounceable additives.
Soft Drinks - This is kind of a "duh." It's tough to find a single redeeming quality about soft drinks. In fact, soft drinks are the only food that has been directly linked to causing obesity.
Energy Drinks - Another rather obvious one, but worth repeating. The problem with energy drinks is that they contain way too much caffeine and sugar, so while they may give you a short-term burst of enery, you'll ultimately crash and just want to zonk out.
So, now you are wondering what you SHOULD be drinking, read on and I will let you know.
The Dish On...
The Best Drinks for Quenching Your Thirst
Calories can add up pretty quickly when we are drinking them. It's also very important to stay hydrated in the heat of summer. So what should we be drinking?
Water is the most obvious and ideal choice with a recommended daily consumption of at least 2 - 6 servings - more if that is all you are drinking.
Unsweetened coffee and unsweetened teas are also a good choice. Coffee has some limited health benefits, while tea provides a variety of flavonoids and antioxidants. Both contain caffeine, which should be limited to less than 400 milligrams daily.
Low-Fat (1%) or Skim (fat-free) milk and unsweetened / fortified soymilk. Milk is an important source of calcium, magnesium and potassium.
As for the fun stuff, my motto is everything in moderation. Stay safe and hydrated and have a great summer!
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