Drinks and food provide the fuel your body uses to work well, stay healthy, and fight disease. But too much sugar, especially from flavored drinks, can lead to obesity and tooth decay.
Choose water, brewed tea, or coffee over sugary soda and cocktails. Add lemon to water for a refreshing flavor without added sugars or artificial flavors.
Water is the best drink to quench thirst, and it contains no calories (kilojoules). Water is a key component of many bodily processes, including regulating body temperature and transporting nutrients.
The stomach secretes water, along with gastric acid and digestive enzymes, to help break down food during digestion. Drinking adequate amounts of water also helps prevent constipation because it keeps stools soft.
Drinking enough fluids can also help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Fluids also help keep the skin healthy and lubricate the joints. Staying hydrated can also help to increase fat burning and improve energy levels, according to some research.
Fruit juices and fruit-flavored drinks can be a healthy addition to your diet. But remember that eating whole fruits is always best – and that 2 cups of fruit is the recommended daily amount.
Juices can be sold as 100% juice, FC (from concentrate) or NFC (not from concentrate). Products labeled as smoothies may not necessarily contain only fruit and are subject to the same regulations as a fruit drink.
While the juicing process removes some of the nutrients found in whole fruit, it does allow you to consume more fluids without filling up on fat and calories from other ingredients, such as milk or sugary soft drinks.
Tea is a popular drink around the world. It is prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured or fresh leaves of the evergreen shrub Camellia sinensis.
Observational studies suggest that regular tea drinking is associated with a lower risk of premature death, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. However, the data are not conclusive and randomized controlled trials are needed to prove these benefits.
The most well-known types of tea include black, green, and oolong tea. A variety of processing steps can transform these basic leaves into many different varieties. Some of these processing steps are blending, scenting, and decaffeination of teas.
When you reach for your cup of joe in the morning, odds are you’re not thinking about how it will impact your health. But coffee has an impressive antioxidant profile, ranking higher than both fruits and vegetables.
Avoid sugary sweeteners, especially those with a name ending in “ol” (such as aspartame or sucralose). They can lead to bloat and gas, says Taub-Dix. Instead, try using a small amount of real maple syrup or honey. Adding a squeeze of fresh fruit or even a few drops of extract can also enhance the flavor without the added calories.
Sports drinks are designed to help replenish fluids and electrolytes lost during strenuous exercise, but they should be used sparingly if at all . These beverages contain high amounts of sugar and are not appropriate for everyday use, especially for adolescents.
Water and a well-balanced diet are usually enough to prevent dehydration during less vigorous activities, such as afternoon sports practice or hanging out in the summer heat. However, you may need to consider a sports drink during prolonged, intense exercise or after certain gastrointestinal illnesses, such as gastroenteritis. Sodium plays an important role in sports drinks as it enhances taste, promotes voluntary fluid intake, speeds up hydration, and aids in nutrient absorption.
Alcohol is a depressant that in low doses can cause euphoria, reduce anxiety, and increase sociability. In higher doses, it can lead to drunkenness, unconsciousness, and death.
Alcohol can block the body’s absorption of folate, a B vitamin that is essential for the development of an embryo’s spinal cord and for building DNA (the molecule that carries genetic information). Folate also helps reduce the risk of some cancers, including colon and breast cancer.
Drinking alcohol weakens the immune system, making it easier to catch colds and flu. It can also make it more difficult to concentrate and learn. Research shows that the alleged benefits of alcohol, like better dancing and lower inhibitions, are mostly due to muscle relaxation and the placebo effect.