Lately, the market has been absolutely saturated with drinks that claim to be good for you, but – spoiler alert – they're not. In fact, some of them are actively bad for you. Weird that they can get away with marketing these things as health beverages, huh?
Check out these 8 beverages that you can cut out (or replace with some water and a nutritious snack) to improve your health.
Vitamins means it's healthy, right? Wrong. They actually got into a lawsuit not long ago over the false claims made on their labels that these drinks will give you endurance, vitality, and a boosted immune system. In fact, all they'll really give you is a whole lot of sugar – 33g per bottle, to be exact. That's more than most cans of soda.
Coke Zero – you can drink as much as you want without gaining a pound. Guess what? FALSE. Diet and zero-calorie drinks can increase your risk of diabetes just like regular soda, because they mess with the way your body metabolizes real sugars. These drinks also confuse your body into expecting calories, and when it doesn't receive them, it leads to giant cravings for chips, candy, and other high-calorie foods later in the day.
Juicing (Yes, all that chic health craze stuff)
Everybody's wild about juicing these days. One problem: juicing eliminates the fiber, which is arguably one of the healthiest parts of fruit. Sure, you still get some of the vitamins, but once the fiber is eliminated, most of what you're drinking is just straight sugar. And you've got no fiber to balance out the resulting blood sugar spike (and eventual crash). Fiber gives you long-lasting energy, and helps you feel full – opt for a fruit and veggie smoothie (or a real piece of fruit!) instead.
This one's a total surprise. But although almond milk isn't strictly bad for you, it's only 2% almonds – so really, a glass of water and a handful of almonds is much better for you, if you want to capitalize on the healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals packed into these little nuts.
Sports Drinks (Like Gatorade & Powerade)
The myth that Gatorade is good for you was busted long ago, but it's worth repeating. As far as hydration goes, sports drinks are completely ridiculous for all but professional athletes to consume; us normal people would be better off with just plain water. If you're working out super hard, you can add a small sprinkle of sea salt to your water to get the electrolytes your body needs. Otherwise, leave the Gatorade in the fridge – it's got almost as much sugar as soda, as well as high-fructose corn syrup, and a ton of sodium.
Energy Drinks (Like Monster & Red Bull)
Packed with caffeine and sugar, these babies might get you jazzed for a while – but they also result in a huge crash later in the day. Plus, they're shown to be addictive, and cause anxiety, jitters, and migraines. If you're so tired that you need energy drinks every day, try getting more sleep – or addressing the amount of protein in your diet. Not having enough protein is a really common cause of fatigue, so try a protein shake instead.
Coffee Drinks (Looking at you, Starbucks)
I've been saying it for years – we need to cut down on the amount of coffee we drink. Sure, it's not terrible for you by itself; the problem is when people forgo a real breakfast in favor of a 700-calorie drink with no real nutrients, a ton of sugar and fat, and only caffeine to give you energy. You'll feel energetic, but in reality, you're running on fumes, and later, you'll come crashing down. Remember to start your day with real food, meaning something with protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber.
This one's all the rage right now, but research shows that its benefits have been vastly overhyped. In fact, there's no difference between drinking coconut water for workout hydration, and eating a banana beforehand then replenishing fluids with water afterwards. In short, it's no miracle juice.
So at the end of the day, it's much better for you to drink plain, old water.
With some infused fruit if you're craving flavor. And snack on a banana, some whole-grain toast with nut butter, or a handful of almonds. That's going to bring you far more health benefits than any of these drinks.
Share with your friends to educate them on these sneaky "health" drinks! You can click the share buttons to easily post to your or a friend's Facebook wall :)
Were you surprised by any of these?!
I was so surprised to learn that almond milk wasn't as good for me as I thought!!