3 Best and Worst Beverages for Your Health

We all seem to have a beverage of choice. Whether it's the evening cocktail, the morning coffee, or the afternoon pick-me-up soda — we really seem to like our beverages. But some of those beverages may actually be causing us long-term harm. Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst options.

1. Best: Water

Water is the stuff of life. We can only last three days without it and most of that time will be plenty miserable. Water is the best choice bar none when it comes to beverages. It’s free from calories, sugar, and other unhealthy additives, and the body needs it to function properly. When we drink water, we may reduce dehydration, hunger cravings, kidney stones, and constipation. Our brain and our organs need water more than anything else save oxygen. If water seems too plain, you can add herbs like mint leaves, a squeeze of citrus or muddled berries to enhance the flavor without boosting calories too much or adding sugar. Pure, fresh, clean water will always be the best choice. 

2. Best: Coffee

In moderation, filtered coffee is another one of the best drinks for our health. It may lower the odds of heart disease and help protect against liver disease and type 2 diabetes. Three to five cups per day is the recommended maximum amount for health benefits, but be mindful of the sugar, fat, and calories from cream and sugar to keep this option healthy. 

3. Best: Tea

Both black and green teas, as well as some herbal blends, may offer protective health benefits. These teas may help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Unsweetened tea is also very low in calories, and green tea is full of antioxidants. Making tea at home, or buying tea without sugar or artificial sweeteners, may be best as the tea drinks at many restaurants can contain sugars and additives and that's not what we're looking for in a great tea.

1. Worst: Energy Drinks

Energy drinks can really give us an energy boost, sure, but they may also provide far too many calories and too much sugar, as well. They’re also loaded with caffeine, which may lead to anxiety, heart rhythm issues, trouble sleeping, and problems with digestion. The extra alertness for a few hours may not be worth the potential health risks.

2. Worst: Soda Pop

There aren’t any nutrients in soft drinks, and they’re full of sugar. They may also raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. People who drink one to two sodas per day or more may also have a higher body weight and may have trouble losing weight without removing soda from their diets. 

3. Worst: Diet Soda

Diet sodas are lower in calories than regular soda options, so many people think it's a healthy choice, but they may still raise the risk of type 2 diabetes in some people. Additionally, they may cause sugar cravings that might lead to weight gain. Choosing diet soda may help people transition away from regular soda, but that should only be a short-term measure to help them get off of soda entirely.

There are many options in between the best and worst beverages when it comes to health benefits. For example, milk, sparkling water, and fruit juice are generally “middle ground” drinks. Some may have health benefits, but the risks might still make limiting them the wiser choice for continued good health. Remember: when in doubt, reach for water.

Copyright 2021, Wellness.com

6/7/2021 9:03:42 PM
Wellness Editor
Written by Wellness Editor
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