What To Drink
Why do we drink what we drink? Are we hooked by the manufacturer’s promise that the latest and greatest drink will help us perform or concentrate better? The fact of the matter is that manufacturers of sports drinks, juices, and energy drinks are trying to trick us into consuming their product. They try to make us believe that the ingredients they’re putting into their drinks are superior to normal water.
According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine in August of 2004, it has been shown that a higher consumption of sugar sweetened beverages is associated with obesity, and an increased risk of Type II diabetes. These beverages have extra calories and large amounts of rapidly absorbable sugars. These sugar sweetened beverages include soft drinks, fruit drinks, and sports drinks.
It’s time to rethink your drink
Numerous sports beverages are available for kids. Which beverage should you buy? The one with vitamins, low calories, or how about electrolytes? There are so many choices, but in reality, they’re just sugar water.
Before you can make changes in what you drink, reading the label with accuracy is very important. Most of these beverages are far from being healthy. Many are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, believed to be one of the leading causes of the obesity epidemic.
YOU must understand what you’re consuming.
- Sugar Sources: You’d think it would be easy to identify the sugar sources. But it’s not always that simple: fruit and juice concentrates, evaporated sucrose syrup, high fructose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, evaporated cane juice, organic evaporated cane juice, fructose, sugar, cane sugar, crystalline fructose, sucrose, maltodextrin (glucose polymers) and glucose are all hidden sources. Let’s not forget the artificial sugar sources like sucralose and aspartame.
- Oils: Many times oils such as sunflower oil, coconut oil, brominated vegetable oil, trans fat, and partially hydrogenated oils may be added to some of these drinks and are used as emulsifiers and stabilizers.
- Vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbs: There is lots of misleading information when it comes to enhancing beverages with extra nutrients. Become familiar with the nutrients found on the labels: Sodium citrate, Monopotassium Phosphate, Ascorbic Acid, Grape Seed Extract, Ginkgo Biloba, Nicoinamide (B3), Vitamin E Acetate, Calcium Chloride, Potassium Bicarbonate, D-Calcium Pantothenate (B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (B6), Vitamin A Palmitate, Cyancobalamin (B12), Folic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Lactate Gluconate, Okinawa deep sea minerals, Zinc Chelate, Niacin, Manganese Gluconate, Magnesium Lactate Gluconate, Taurine, l-Carnitine, Inositol, and Glycine. These names are confusing and sound important, but ultimately the amounts of vitamins and minerals in these beverages are typically too low to matter much.
- Additives and Artificial Ingredients: Many of these ingredients spell trouble. Look for ingredients like glycerol esther of wood rosin, gum acacia, ester gum, xanthum gum, caramel color, pectin, gum Arabic, modified food starch, lemon balm extract, green tea extract, chamomile extract, food dyes, cochineal, titanium dioxide and numerous food dyes. A good rule of thumb, if you can’t pronounce the word, question it. Some are flavoring agents, dyes, and stabilizers for the drinks.
- Water: In the sugar sweetened beverages, water is always included unless the drink is 100% fruit juice. Waters may be listed as reverse osmosis, purified, deionized, carbonated, and filtered. In the end, this makes little difference in the final product.
Bottom Line… Read The Label!
Simple is better, less ingredients. Water is the preferred beverage. If you are going for a healthier, cheaper beverage and want flavor, add a couple pieces of organic fruit or fruit juice. Add 1-2 T. fresh organic lemon juice to your water to help your body be more alkaline.