The recommended amount of water to drink each day is 64 oz. Sometimes referred to as the 8×8 rule, (eight 8-oz. glasses each day). But, what if you don’t like water? What if you’re just one of those people who drink 1-2 glasses per day but you NEED your several cups of coffee? It’s not terrible to drink a few cups of coffee or tea each day. However, there are much healthier options out there that taste just as great and have even greater health benefits! Water or tea are definitely the healthiest, but read on to see if your “healthy” drinks are really as healthy as they seem.
Coffee: Coffee isn’t terrible for you! There are some health benefits associated with drinking coffee, such as lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and strokes. Where coffee gets its bad wrap is from all the additives people put in their coffee. The most common additive is sugar, but many people also add syrups, half-and-half, whole milk, whipped cream, etc. So the next time you want a cup of coffee, maybe instead of 2 scoops of sugar, try just 1. Maybe you’ll find that without sugar you don’t even like coffee and you’ll switch to tea!
Tea: There are so many different types of teas that in the amount of time it would take to list them all, we’d find even more to write down. The most common types are black, white, green and herbal with many variations of each. Tea has a lot more health benefits compared to coffee, but tea and coffee drinkers seem to be very different types of people. Tea can help to lower your risk for certain cancers and stroke, offer protection from certain brain diseases and more. Since tea is comprised mostly of water and natural ingredients, it’s very healthy compared to many alternatives. Again though, it comes back to what do you put in your tea to make it unhealthy. The only types of teas to avoid are the powdered/instant teas and dieters tea. They’re filled with chemicals and other artificial ingredients that make your “healthy” choice extremely unhealthy.
Juices: Survey says…don’t drink the juice. Juices are filled with sugars and artificial ingredients to make your seemingly healthy drink less than desirable. Many of the lower-calorie or “lite” juices are actually filled with artificial sweeteners to trick your body into craving more sugar.
Soda: Save yourself some time and just know that soda is not recommended, on any scale. There are 0, 0!!!!! nutritional benefits to drinking soda. So you don’t care that it’s not nutritional, that’s fine. How about knowing that soda drinkers are much more at risk for heart attacks, metabolic syndrome, fatty liver disease, weight gain and type 2 diabetes. So what if I just choose the low-calorie or all natural soda? You’re still drinking the same exact stuff that’s in your normal soda. Well I’ll just choose diet soda then right? Still wrong. Diet soda actually has a higher obesity rate than those who drink regular soda. Since it’s not real sugar that’s in diet soda, it’s artificial sweeteners that our bodies hate and actually increase our craving for real sugar. Just don’t drink soda in the first place!
Energy Drinks: It would make sense to write nothing here since again they provide 0 nutritional value and you’d be better off just eating a pack of Skittles to get a sugar rush. But I’ll play your game. Filled with caffeine, artificial stimulants and enough sugar for a year (are you still even reading this one?), not only is there no nutritional value, but they can actually be harmful. If you have or are at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, are pregnant, energy drinks definitely shouldn’t even cross your mind. If you truly need a boost of energy throughout the day since you’re finding yourself constantly tired, you should look elsewhere. Check your diet and/or sleeping patterns and if things still don’t change, you may need to check with a healthcare provider to ensure that something more serious isn’t wrong.
Water: Drink as much as you can each day. As mentioned before, 64 oz. of water is recommended; however, if you want to be a true overachiever, you’ll want to drink 1/2 your body weight in oz. of water. Consider adding lemons, limes or even cucumbers to your water to add a little flavor; it will help get all the water in you need. If you do want to drink coffee/soda/tea, for every 8 oz. consumed, you’ll want 16 oz. of water to help replenish your system.