Collaboration with Amanda G.
Many of us watch what we eat and try to follow a healthy diet. A lot of emphasis is put on the foods that we consume, but the beverages we drink are equally important. In some cases, it’s actually more important to your health than food.
Today, many drinks contain sugars, additives and alcohol that are just as unhealthy as junk food. Worse still is the fact that these beverages contain little to no nutritional value and can become addictive.
The good news is cleaning up what you drink is often easier than adjusting what you eat. Follow the tips below to clear out the toxins that build up from beverages.
One of the most harmful drinks people consume today is alcoholic beverages. Alcohol, also known as ethanol, is extremely harmful to the body when it isn’t consumed in moderation. The problem is twofold. Alcohol impairs the body in many ways from stretching heart muscles to liver inflammation to increasing the risk of some cancers. Alcohol is also highly addictive for some people, which makes matters much worse.
Because the effects of alcohol can build over time, even drinking moderately can take a toll on your health. If you overindulge on a daily basis it’s time to consider outside assistance. Joining a support group like AA or getting treatment at an alcohol detox center may be needed to address addiction concerns.
Drink a Lot More Water
The next best thing you can do for your body is to drink a lot more water. Some research estimates that as many as 75% of adults in the U.S. are chronically dehydrated. The vast majority of people don’t get the recommended daily water intake (91 ounces for women and 125 ounces for men). CDC reports suggest that on average adults only consume 39 ounces of water a day.
Beyond provided vital hydration for bodily functions, water also has no calories and can help with weight management. If you’re on the go throughout the day make sure to bring along a refillable water bottle so you can stay hydrated.
Drink Your Coffee Black
There are many health benefits of drinking coffee as long as you limit it to one or two cups a day. Coffee is high in powerful antioxidants such as polyphenols, hydrocinnamic acids and vitamin B which helps to fight disease. It’s also been shown to boost mood, help burn fat and ward off type 2 diabetes.
A cup of java becomes less healthy the more you add to it. Spoonfuls of sugar and rich cream add a ton of calories and fat. All the unhealthy additives negate the benefits of the coffee itself.
Start Drinking Tea
You can get the antioxidants of coffee without the caffeine by drinking teas. In many of the world’s healthiest countries and cultures, tea is a mainstay of peoples’ daily diet. Some research suggests drinking tea regularly can extend your life and even change your genes.
Hot or cold, tea is a healthy drink that keeps you hydrated and healthy. But like coffee, it’s best to drink tea straight without added sugar. If you want to burn more fat opt for green tea. The catechins in green tea have been shown to increase fat burn and improve muscle endurance.
Stop Drinking Soda
There’s a reason schools are beginning to do away with soda machines. Soda drinks contain high levels of caffeine and sugar, which is why people can become addicted to their daily pop. Many parents are surprised to discover that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) like soda are the main source of added sugars in our daily diets.
The biggest problem associated with sugary sodas is obesity. Excess weight gain leads to a number of other health issues, including type 2 diabetes and a higher risk of some cancers.
And diet soda isn’t a good alternative. Diet soda may not have calories, but it also provides no nutrients. Research has linked regular artificial sweetener consumption to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, dementia and high blood pressure. Ironically, people who consume a lot of diet drinks have also been shown to have a higher risk of obesity.
We’re all familiar with the old adage “you are what you eat,” it seems we should add drink to that as well.