The weekend is upon us and who is not looking forward to wine o’clock,beer o’clok,G&T o’clock? I know I am. Added to that is the relentless heatwaves we’ve been experiencing, staying hydrated has been a priority but,are we sabotaging our efforts with what we drink?
Let’s take a moment to consider our favourite thirst quenchers:
Fizzy drinks have a well-deserved bad rep because of their high sugar content. Even diet drinks are not the option because of the artificial sweeteners (read: chemicals) that are added to them. Long term studies found that they interfere with bone health which may result in bone loss later in life. So whether it’s normal or sugar free soda,it’s best to keep away.
Should I even talk about Energy drinks? Their high sugar and caffeine nature makes them a big no-no in healthy diets.
Close relatives to energy drinks are isotonic drinks aka sports drinks. Granted, if you take part in strenuous exercise and sports you definitely need them to replace electrolytes. But if you are like most of us and you only exercise moderately, they are not necessary. They will only add to your daily calorie intake without any other benefit.
We’ve been duped into thinking drinking 100% boxed fruit juice is healthy. True, boxed juice is better than fizzy drinks because it contains some vitamins, minerals and even fibre but it can clock high calories because of the added sugars so moderation is key.The same goes for flavoured water and commercial ice teas.The amount of sugar added to them kills of their health benefit and you end up consuming empty calories.
The sugar content of alcoholic drinks is as varied as the types of alcoholic drinks available but cocktails are the worst culprits (sob, sob). From the base (spirits, wine etc.) to the sweeteners(sugar syrup) and mixers(juice, liqueur, soda),it all adds up. I looked up a few popular drinks and found surprising results.
Hot drinks hardly ever get a mention when we talk about what we drink yet they could be death of our midriffs. This is usually our doing because we insist on adding sugar to coffee, tea even hot chocolate. The sugar habit has a way of spoiling good foods and drinks. So try dropping the habit -gradually is usually the best way.
When all is said and done,water remains the best thirst quencher;in taste and in nutrition.Learn to flavour your own water by adding fruits,herbs and natural spices,the taste can be addictive.
As with everything in life,moderation is key.My aim is not to demonise any food or drink but to arm you with knowldge to help you make healthy choices.I believe food is to be enjoyed and that knowldge is power.Armed with awareness of how much sugar we unwittingly drink, it is up to each one of us to make concious choices that support our health and wellness goals.