Is your beverage intake ruining your diet?
We all know that exercise and nutrition go hand-in-hand, which is why people will often make some dietary changes as they're starting their fitness journey. Our previous post on the Best Fruit and Vegetables to Mix with Protein Powder highlights that the right food can give you the nutrients you need to stay in fighting form.
However, the problem is that it's usually just food that people think of when it comes to nutritional changes. Watching what you drink is just as important if you really want to have a healthy lifestyle. Some would argue that monitoring your drink intake is even more important since most people don't take stock of what they drink in a day.
To help solve that, below is an overview of the three main culprits that people should watch out for in their drink intake: sugar, coffee, and alcohol.
It's not just soft drinks that you have to watch out for. Eat This Not That cites Naked Juice as one of the worst offenders when it comes to sugary drinks — their Mighty Mango drink has over 57 grams of sugar, which is more than a Hershey's bar! Although these juices don't have any sugar added, the problem is that manufacturers have to include lots of fruit to fill up one bottle while blending it together robs fruit of its natural fiber content.
This finding is extremely worrying, as lots of people tend to go for these bottled juices thinking they're healthier alternatives to things like powdered drinks and bottled ice teas. If you're opting for bottled drinks, do yourself a favor and check for the sugar content in them first.
Coffee doesn’t necessarily have a lot of calories in it (unless you’re going for sugary lattes and the like), but calories aren’t the only thing that you should watch out for. The FDA estimates the half-life of caffeine to be about five or six hours, which is why a cup of coffee can seriously harm your sleep cycle even long after you’ve taken it.
These side-effects are worth considering since sleep is an important part of any exercise regimen. That said, there’s no denying that caffeine can be a great source of energy with Pretty Me’s lifestyle team recommending Lean n Green as a healthier alternative. Green coffee has less caffeine than your regular bean while also being loaded with antioxidants, which is a definite win-win!
The media likes to send mixed messages about alcohol and fitness. From wine yoga classes to beer companies sponsoring marathons, there seems to be an idea that drinking alcohol isn't detrimental to your fitness goals (in fact, people even talk about sweating out their hangover the next day).
That said, associate professor of muscle physiology Daniel Moore notes that the dangers of dehydration are huge. He points out your liver metabolizes 90 to 98 percent of the alcohol you consume, so sweating it out isn't actually doing much. It also goes without saying that alcohol is calorie dense, which can be a huge deciding factor for those who are counting their macros.
It's unreasonable to stay away from sugar, coffee, and alcohol entirely, and you should be able to treat yourself once in a while. The phrase "everything in moderation, including moderation" comes to mind when watching for what you drink.
By Gail Marcuzzi