Sports, energy, fruit and carbonated drinks and more

Day-to-day routines can be so hectic and exhausting; you’re too tired even to think about being active after a hard day of working. Energy drinks are highly popular right now, and the temptation is to pop open a can of energy so you can do more, be even more on the go, and get that much more done in a single day. But energy drinks aren’t really healthy or very good for your nutrition. They are notoriously filled with sugar and caffeine, both things that you body doesn’t need. So where does that leave you?
Americans are gulping down approximately 50 gallons of soft drinks per year. On average, nearly 20 percent of calories come in the form of beverages, that’s roughly two 12 ounce cans of Coca-Cola per day. While milk consumption continues to decline, the beverage category of sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks and sodas continues to climb. For the last 30 years more Americans are replacing milk with high-sugar drinks.
Calories in liquid form
Studies suggest that our brain doesn’t register calories in liquid form as it does with solid food. Liquids do not satisfy our appetite the same way that solids foods do. For example, a 400-calorie drink of orange juice doesn’t register a fullness response to your brain as a 400-calorie hamburger. Moreover, sugary drinks don’t require chewing, and most drinks are loaded with sugar and are without fiber to help give your brain time to register fullness.
Children are what they drink
Children start drinking soda at a remarkably young age and consumption increases through young adulthood. Fifty-six percent of 8 year olds consume soft drinks daily and a third of teenage boys drink at least three cans of soda a day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. On average, adolescents get 11 percent of their daily calories or 15 teaspoons of sugar from soft drinks. Soft drink consumption in males and female teens is two to three times that of milk consumption. David Ludwig, M.D., PhD, a Harvard researcher, found that the odds of a child becoming obese increase by 60 percent with each additional serving of sugar-sweetened drinks a day.
Portion Distortion
One reason for the increasing consumption of sugar-sweeten drinks is that the beverage industry has steadily increased container sizes. In the 1950s, a 6-ounce bottle was the standard serving. That grew into the 12-ounce in the 1980s and now those are being replaced by the 20-ounce bottles, most of the drinks purchased today contain two or more servings.
Tips to drink by:
Save yourself some calories and drink more water — filtered or sparkling. Add limes, lemons, or flavored Stevia to your water. (Stevia is a natural sweetener without calories)
Look for 100 percent fruit juice rather than flavored drinks that have added sugars. But be careful of serving sizes, limit consumption to one or two four-ounce drinks per day.
Switch down from whole milk to low-fat or fat-free milk.
Be a careful label reader. Most of the advertising on the front label is designed to attract your attention. Check the nutritional fact panel for serving size and ingredients listings. Most drinks contain two servings or more per bottle and are loaded with refined sugar and artificial flavorings.
Don’t make assumptions! Bottled tea drinks are the hot new trend. While regular tea contains no calories, most bottled teas are loaded with sweeteners and calories. The popular “coffee” drinks hold a bombshell of excessive calories.
Don’t let the smoothies fool you! Touted as a healthy drink, fruit smoothies pack a powerful calorie punch. Some smoothie drinks can reach levels of 500 calories or more with six to 10 teaspoons of sugar per drink.
Cocktails and calories can add up quickly if you’re not paying attention. One fruity cocktail can load you up with 500 calories or more. Plus alcohol dehydrates your system causing you to drink more, and if that wasn’t bad enough, we tend to consume more calories when drinking alcohol during a meal.
Currently beverages have become more than drinks to quench our thirst. A new emerging category called “function” drinks have hit the market touting everything from cleansing to calming. Sadly I’ve found most of these drinks to be nothing more than glorified sugar drinks. However, I did find one company that delivery’s enough active ingredients in the beverage to make a difference — Function Drinks™. They have 10 revolutionary drinks to choose from, and each drink is physician-developed and 100 percent natural. (Please note that some of the drinks are not designed for children because they may contain caffeine).


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