5 Sugary Beverages to Rethink Before You Drink
Photo © Joanna Kosinska
Many people do not realise how much sugar is hiding in their drinks. According to the Ministry of Health, 3 out of 4 of Bermuda’s residents are overweight or obese, and 50% of the population drinks at least one sugary drink a day. The American Heart Association recommends that women have no more than 25 grams of sugar in a day, but many sugary beverages exceed that limit in just one serving.
Sugar has absolutely no nutritional value for the human body. In fact, it can cause many health issues including obesity and heart problems.
According to the American Heart Association, 1 gram of sugar equals four calories. If your drink has 30 grams of sugar, that is 120 calories in sugar alone. Everyone knows that sugary drinks are bad for your health, but do you know how bad they are? Start eliminating these sugary sweet drinks to improve your health and reduce your sugar intake.
This list has to start off with soda. In fact, Mountain Dew tops the list of all sugary drinks. But, do you know how much sugar is in soda? Mountain Dew contains 47 grams of sugar in a 12-ounce can. Coca-Cola has 39 grams of sugar in a 12-ounce can. Do you think that Sprite must be a little better? Well, you are incorrect. A 12-ounce can of Sprite has 38 grams of sugar. Only 1 gram less than Coca-Cola.
Go ahead and eliminate soda from your diet. The sugar, carbs, and caffeine do absolutely nothing for your body except weigh it down.
Fruit juices sound healthy, right? It does have the word fruit in it, so it must be good for the body. Unfortunately, that is so far from the truth. Sure, there are antioxidants and vitamins in fruit juices, but fruit juices have up to the same amount of sugar as sodas do. Sometimes, they have more. Fruit already has natural sugar in it, hence why it is so sweet and tasty. Even 100 per cent fruit juices have a high dose of sugar. For example, a serving of 100 per cent pure orange juice has 23 grams of sugar.
Try making your own fruit juices at home so you can control how much sugar actually goes into the drink.
Sure, these drinks replace electrolytes and water to increase energy, and they taste delicious after a long run or bike ride. However, the calories you burn during your workout will also add back into your body when you drink a sports drink. Gatorade has 21 grams of sugar and 21 grams of carbohydrates per 12 ounces. While some of the sugar is necessary to bind electrolytes to muscles, the amount of sugar can be contradicting to your health depending on workout intensity and body goals.
Unless you are a professional athlete, stay away from sugary sports drinks, and stick to water instead.
This might be an obvious sugary drink that should be eliminated from diets, but sweet teas do rack up the sugar intake. Some sweet teas have 38 grams of sugar in a large serving. You might think that you are making a healthier decision by skipping soda for tea, but sweet tea is on the same level as sodas regarding sugar levels. To be clear, tea is still better for you than soda because it contains vitamins and minerals that can be beneficial to the body while soda doesn’t benefit the body at all.
If you are a tea drinker, stick to green tea or black tea and sweeten it with natural sugar like lemon and raw honey (but in moderation) as opposed to sugar.
Those perfectly blended frappuccinos can act as the world’s greatest pick me up, but they can also act as your body’s worst nightmare. Frappuccinos are pretty much a combination of sugars blended. Now let's take a look at everyone's favourite place, Starbucks, a Grande Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino at Starbucks has a whopping 69 grams of sugar. Yes, you read that correctly. To put that into perspective, that is 276 calories in sugar alone and double the recommended daily sugar intake in a single drink. Other fancy flavoured coffees aren’t much better. A Grande Caramel Caffe Latte has 66 grams of sugar.
Next time you go for a coffee run, stay away from all the sweet flavours and try a sugar-free alternative instead.
Don’t forget to treat yourself
We aren’t saying you can’t have a soda or a caramel latte every once in a while. Use this guide to help you make more educated decisions on your drink choices. Stick to water and enjoy sugary sweet drinks on occasions. You can also add fruit to your water if you are craving something sweet, but you should want to stay away from the adverse health effects of sodas and fruit juices.