Many people watch what they eat but neglect what they drink, especially when they are on a diet. What a mistake! Drinking right helps you cut calories, reduce food cravings and tweak your metabolism.
Taking time to ensure that what you drink is right for you in no way means you are paranoid, as many people have been made to believe. Americans consume about 355 calories of extra sugar daily. This extra intake could largely be in the form of beverages, like the so-called vitamin-enriched waters that are actually full of sugar.
There are so many beverages out there that you should stay far away from. There are also a few that are recommended for your well-being, provided they are taken in moderation; these include are milk, fruit juice, and diet drinks. Although alcohol has its own health benefits when taken in moderation, it doesn’t work for everybody.
Beverages to limit
These beverages are to be limited mainly because of their sugar content. Taking drinks high in sugars can lead to gout, cardiovascular diseases and weight gain, which could put you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Try to stay away from energy drinks, sport beverages, soda, and the like.
On average, a can of soda or fruit punch gives you about 150 calories. Imagine what would happen if this continued daily. Sport beverages are meant to give athletes fluid, carbs and electrolytes during high-intensity workouts, especially exercises that are to last for more than hour. Taking these is just another way of taking in calories and sugar. The sugar level in energy drinks is just as high as the sugar level in soft drinks. The caffeine they contain also raises your blood pressure. Most of these beverages contain additives, which can come with long-term health effects.
So, what should you drink?
If you are not sure about what to drink, you can choose from a variety of healthy drinks, listed below:
If you are privileged to have access to clean drinking water, then go for it. Water is the best option, as it does not have any calories and is cheap.
Water provides everything your body needs. It can help you restore fluids that might have been lost through your metabolism, sweating, breathing and the removal of waste. Water is the perfect beverage for re-hydrating your system.
How much water do you need? According to the Institute of Medicine, about 15 cups of water would be great for men, while women need about 11 cups. For people who have gotten used to taking sweet beverages, water might taste a bit too bland for you initially. It is recommended that you combine a few water-based beverages to add flavor. You can add either sliced citrus fruits, crushed fresh mint, fresh ginger (sliced or peeled), sliced cucumber or crushed berries to a pitcher or a cold glass of water.
Organic, 100% grass fed milk
Grass-fed or organically-raised cows have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, more than cows fed with grain or corn. Grass-fed cows also have thrice the level of CLAs (conjugated linoleic acids) as other cows. CLAs are a group of chemicals that can provide a variety of health benefits, such as inflammatory and immune system support, blood sugar regulation and improved bone mass. They can also help you maintain a lean body mass while reducing body fat and the risk of developing a heart attack.
To restore energy, build lean muscles and boost metabolism, drinking a combination of protein and carbohydrates after workouts can go a long way. According to a 2009 article published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, a study showed that after taking part in a vigorous cycling session, cyclists who took chocolate milk rode 51 percent longer that those who drank a typical recovery beverage. Besides this, chocolate milk is tasty and cheap.
While there are many kinds of tea one can choose from when it comes to weight management, oolong tea is the best for a lean look. Oolong is a light, floral tea, fully loaded with catechins, just like green tea. It assists in promoting weight loss by boosting the ability of your body to metabolise lipids (fat). According to a study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, participants who sipped oolong tea regularly were able to lose six pounds over a period of six weeks.
Mango lassi smoothie
Lassi is a popular drink made from fermented yogurt. It originated in Pakistan and India. It has the ability to cool the digestive system, hence it assists the functioning of the gut. From a medical perspective, lassi contains many healthy bacteria, which decrease bloating and further help to reduce inflammation. Although you can make use of any fruit when making lassi smoothies, mango lassi seems to be one of the best.