WHAT TO DRINK, WHEN TO DRINK, AND HOW MUCH TO DRINK?
Whether you are stopping at the drink machine, getting your morning coffee or out to dinner with family and friends you are constantly forced to decide what you will drink. Regular Coke or diet? Fruit juice or sports drink? Beer or Wine? Caffeinated or Non- Caffeinated? With so many choices of beverages in today’s world it can become a daunting task to make the best decisions for your body’s health and well-being when it comes to choosing your daily drinks. You hear plenty of rumors telling you about this and that, but it’s time to get to the bottom of your glass and find out what is really in your beverage of choice.
Let’s start with one of the biggest issues in America’s obesity epidemic… carbonated beverages.
Soda is the most consumed beverage in America at nearly 45 gallons consumed PER PERSON per year as of 2010. Each 12 oz. can of soda contains 9 teaspoons of sugar, which sky rockets your blood sugar levels. Over time this recurring action of spiking you blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance and even diabetes. If that’s not enough to alarm you the phosphoric acid in soda pop just might, this acid can cause much harm to your bones as it interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, making your bones softer and more likely to obtain osteoporosis. Other harmful effects of soda include weight gain, the craving it gives you for more sweets, staining your teeth, dehydration, and high amounts of caffeine.
Now, soda isn’t the only beverage with a high caffeine content, other high caffeinated liquids to watch out for are coffee and energy drinks.
The downside of regular coffee consumption includes elevated cholesterol, increased risk of heart disease, obesity from large amounts of sugar and creamer that is added, and the fact that it contains such high amounts of caffeine. Energy drinks have an even greater amount at six times the amount of caffeine than a regular caffeinated soda drink, that’s a lot of caffeine! The biggest health concerns with a high caffeine intake are insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, increased heart rate, muscle tremors, and temporary increase of blood pressure. All in all caffeine can be harmful to our bodies when consumed too often, strive to do so in moderation.
Parties, holidays, and even the weekend alone will bring many people to drink alcohol as part of social gatherings and events alike.
While participating in this behavior in reasonable amounts does not alarm our bodies health, too much and too often greatly can affect our health in a negative way. Some of the health benefits found in drinking alcohol moderately (meaning 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women) are reduced risk of the following: heart disease, gallstones, strokes, and diabetes. The negative risks of heavy consumption include injury, violence, miscarriage, alcohol poisoning, depression, liver disease, dehydration, cancer and problems with cardiovascular, neurological, social, and psychiatric issues. Alcohol should be consumed with great caution and consideration.
Water is the absolute most important liquid to our body’s health.
With the human body being around 60% water, it’s a no brainer that we must consume great amounts to keep us hydrated and all processes of the body running properly. To know how much you should drink it is important that you are aware of your bodies thirst cues, and should intake more water during exercise and when sweating. The great part about water is that it has 0 calories, meaning you don’t have to worry about drinking too much. Hydrate your body often and with the proper nutrients to keep your feeling energized and alert. With proper amounts of the right liquids and knowing which beverages to drink in moderation, your body will feel happy and healthy.
-Lauren Tuttle, BCS
Lauren graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Exercise and Wellness. Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle has always been a priority for her, which has led to hobbies of snowboarding, hiking, surfing, and basically any adventure that is outdoors. She loves helping others better their lives through her knowledge of health and wellness, and finds it so rewarding to see the positive change someone can have when they are committed to working towards their goals.