Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pick the Best Beverage

Hello readers! Aside from what we eat, what drinks go in our bodies are important as well! Are you drinking the best beverage out there?
Water-  Of course I had to start out with water since water is really a miracle beverage! According to the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2002, health benefits of drinking water includes cutting your risk of cardiovascular disease in half, helps aid in digestion and metabolism, and it keeps your skin looking good. Additionally, water dilutes the blood and reduces its viscosity, making it less susceptible of blood clotting.
  • The Good in Water- not only does-or should- make up the majority of our body weight, it helps maintain the structure of large molecules, aids in regulation of body temperature, and acts as a lubricant and cushion. Also, water is the PERFECT beverage for quenching thirst and rehydrating your body. No matter what you drink, make sure water comes first!
Tea/Coffee: I know that a lot of college students LOVE their caffeine and feel like they need to have a coffee fix. When these caffeinated hot beverages are drunk free of sugars and creams, they are full of antioxidants and are virtually calorie free. My personal favorite is green tea, which is known to help protect against heart disease and fight against type 2 diabetes. As a matter of fact, I drink a hot cup of green tea every morning and one at night with my dinner. For my readers who are hardcore coffee drinkers, here are some healthy tips to drinking coffee:
  • NO SUGAR! Please stay away flavored creams and creamers! They contain the hydrogenated vegetable oils that I warned about in my last blog (which have trace amounts of trans fat) and a list of other chemicals and syrups. Watch what you drink at Starbucks too. Just one drink could have enough sugar and calories in it to make it a dessert!
    • Make your drink a smaller order
    • Sweeten your own tea with lemons, honey, agave nectar, or  more fruit instead of sugars and flavored syrups
    • Ditch the whipped cream and extra syrups
If you can, try balancing out the bitterness of raw coffee with raw, natural cream. If you can't try drinking coffee without sugar to see if it is the sweetness or the caffeine that you really crave. If you ditch the sugar, you might learn to love different roasts and variations of raw coffee.
Milk: Milk is considered to be natures perfect protein shake because of the protein it contains but did you know that it has all these other wonderful properties?
  • Muscles- Muscle tends to break down after exercise which is why workout machines such as yourself need to supply your body with the right kind of protein to help it recover. Milk contains proteins such as casein and whey plus contains minerals to help prevent muscle cramping. Drinking cows milk reduces your risk of bone disease and fractures and helps maintain bone density. 
  • Beauty in a Bottle- Milk contains proteins, lipids, calcium, Vitamin A,Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, biotin, and potassium. These all work together to help keep hair soft and shiny
Juices/Sodas: Now, I HIGHLY recommend that you stay away from these sugary and processed beverages. One can of traditional cola contains up to 10 teaspoons of sugar...or half a days worth! Even if you drink their diet varieties, you are still not doing yourself any favors.
  • Soda- Besides containing obscene amounts of caffiene and sugar, sodas also contain a science lab of other ingredients-one of which is phosphoric acid. This flavor agent interferes with calcium, leading to lower bone density and rottens teeth.
  • Juice- Juice, juice, juice. These sweet fruity beverages all claim that they are the best drink out there and hide behind 100% Vitamin C labels. Once the fruit (grape, apple, orange) this juice has been pasteurized, then there is little raw nutritional value left. Many juices out there on the market contain high fructose corn syrups, artificial dyes, and unnatural flavors. Even if the label says natural flavors, make sure you know what natural really means:
    • Natural Ingredients: Companies add natural flavoring to make their products taste better. In short, they are created in a lab. Flavors can compensate for flavor loss during processing and substitute real ingredients to lower production costs and increase shelf stability.
Even though juices are fortified to contain extra vitamins and minerals, eating a real piece of fruit is better for you. Often time, the fruit itself has less calories than its juice and contain more nutrients! At the end of the day, these sugary beverages will lead you straight to having type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 
-Eating Clean in College

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