Recently I was discussing with a friend different ways we can make unhealthy meals healthy by replacing certain ingredients, this was whilst drinking a nice big glass of Coke... That then got us onto discussing drinks and just how bad some are for our health, I was quite shocked! Drinks are not like meals - it's easy for them to pass our lips without thinking of the detrimental impact this is having on our health and our fitness. Unlike when we have a large pizza to ourselves and feel like we're going to burst.
Sometimes, just restricting our drink intake to low-calorie alternatives - such as herbal tea and water - can make a huge difference to our wellbeing. So after some research I discovered the worst offenders are as follows in no particular order.
Of course, coffee is perfectly healthy for you, when consumed moderately as black or with some milk. However, coffee houses - such as Starbucks and Costa - constantly try to bring out new, dessert-like, creamy coffees that suit the palette of anyone who doesn't overly like the taste of strong coffee (or just anyone who likes their sweets, like me!). Some coffees are now packed full of whipped cream and a variety of sugary syrups, massively bumping up their calorie content. The Mirror actually did some research into this and discovered the worst offending coffee was the Toffee Creamy Cooler from Costa with a whopping 81.6 grams of sugar, that's the equivalent of 31 digestive biscuits!
One can of regular coke has almost 10 teaspoons of sugar. Not only is this incredibly bad for our health, but it's also exceptionally bad for our teeth. Reconsider ordering a coke at your local pub or for a quick lunch pick-me-up. You don't want a mouth like this do you?
You may be thinking, "oh, that's fine - I drink diet, so I'm not taking in incredible amounts of sugar" - diet products are full of artificial sweeteners, which are not only ridiculously high in chemical content, but are also powerful laxatives. There's also some evidence to suggest that diet products have a negative impact on the brain, so it might be best to avoid them where you can.
Source: Tambako The Jaguar
Energy drinks are exceptionally bad for our body. Although deaths that have resulted from consuming energy drinks are low, the fact that they occur at all shows us how potentially dangerous these high-caffeine, high-sugar drinks are. For many students trying to write their assignments before a deadline, energy drinks may be considered a necessary evil. Instead, pick up an espresso - one can of energy drink can have more than double the amount of caffeine than a cup of coffee, and energy drinks have been shown to cause irregular heartbeats and sleeping problems.
Source: Ken Hawkins
Many healthy lifestyle "experts" will propound the benefits of fruit juices. However, these drinks are packed with sugar (even if it is natural), and have very little substance to them, in terms of contents that will fill you up. The high levels of sugar can cause havoc with our dental health too; especially when you consider the acid contained in many citrus fruits, such as oranges - these can eat away at our enamel over time, causing tooth problems.
High Caffeine Alcoholic Drinks
Source: Wombar Naschmarkt
Although studies say that alcohol in moderate quantities is good for the body, high caffeine alcoholic drinks, such as Jagerbombs (usually associated with binge drinking) have been known to cause cardiac arrests. The mixture of the upper (caffeine) and the downer (alcohol), is difficult for the body to process, but the energy drinks mixed in with these "shots" can really take their toll.
For a month or so, try drinking only water, with the occasional cup of sugarless tea or coffee (too much caffeine is still harmful; herbal teas, such as peppermint, can be great caffeine-free options) - see if this makes a difference to your health and fitness, I know I will be making some changes to my drinking habits.