We need to drink at least 2 litres of water per day in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But often we supplement this with other drinks such as tea, coffee, soft drinks and juice.
And while water is always the very best choice to quench our thirst (and it’s naturally calorie free) many of the others can quickly push you over the recommended calorie intake for your weight (you can work yours out here).
And it’s not just the calories you need to be mindful of. The sugar content in many juices and soft drinks is enough to give you a sugar high, followed by the inevitable sugar crash (which leads you down the dangerous path of seeking more sugar to get the high again).
Soft drink used to be thought of as a luxury, now you see people drinking it through the day, with meals, or mixed with a spirit.
There really are no good points about soft drinks, so really they are best avoided if possible. It’s not just the calorie content, it’s also the sugar that you need to be mindful of.
- Coca Cola 375ml: 161 calories and just under 10 teaspoons of sugar.
- Lemonade 375ml: 124 calories and almost 8 teaspoons of sugar.
- Ginger beer 375ml: 165 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar.
- Red Bull 250ml: 115 calories and almost 7 teaspoons of sugar.
- Powerade 600ml: 186 calories and 9 teaspoons of sugar.
Avoiding sugar where you can is a great tool for weight loss, so it seems that soft drinks will have to be off the menu, or at least reduced as much as possible.
Even the diet soft drinks contain large amounts of artificial sweeteners which some people find upset their stomachs and digestion in general.
3 Tips For Soft Drink Lovers
- If you are craving something fizzy, why not get some sparkling mineral water and add a very small dash of cordial or a squeeze of lime. Once you’ve been drinking these for a while you will probably find that the regular soft drinks are just too sweet.
- Keep a bottle of water in your bag, so that you always have it with you to sip throughout the day. This will mean that your thirst will be quenched and you will be less likely to reach for a soft drink.
- If you often consume a soft drink at a certain time (e.g. with your lunch or when you are at a café) try to break the habit just by being mindful of it. Perhaps at first you could say to yourself ‘I will only drink soft drink on Friday’ and then by the time you get to Friday you may find you don’t really want it anymore.
You may think that you are making a healthier choice by consuming juice, and of course fruits and vegetables are good for you.
The main issue with juice is the amount of fruit that it takes to make it, meaning that you could end up consuming the equivalent of half a fruit bowl, which you would never sit down to eat as a snack.
Fruit juice has been stripped of its fibre content, leaving behind the simple carbohydrate.
So even though a glass of apple juice contains a similar amount of calories to a large apple, you are missing out on the fibre content which provides satiety.
For instance you would get around 6g of fibre in a large apple compared to zero fibre in an apple juice.
Without the fibre you can easily consume a large amount of calories without noticing. You may have noticed this yourself when you find you can easily down a huge glass of juice but would probably struggle with consuming three apples in a row.
So with this in mind, it’s best to keep juice as an occasional treat rather than an everyday staple.
3 Tips For Juice Lovers
- If you really fancy a juice, choose a vegetable juice as they tend to be lower in calories and sugar than fruit juices.
- If you are going to drink fruit juice, try to find 100% juice. Anything that says ‘juice drink’ means it is topped up with sugars or sweeteners.
- Keep fruits and veggie pieces chopped up in your fridge so they are easily accessed when you feel like a juice.
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