Do you love sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, energy drinks, sports drinks or fruit juice?
It’s time to rethink your drink.
According to a major study, “the odds of dying from heart disease rose in tandem with the percentage of sugar in the diet—and that was true regardless of a person’s age, sex, physical activity level, and body-mass index.” And what accounts for one third of the added sugar in an average American diet? Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, energy drinks, sports drinks and fruit juice. Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages doesn’t just make you gain weight, it can also increase your risk of heart, tooth and gum disease.
Health Effects of Sugary Drinks
You’ve probably had a discussion about possible health effects of artificial sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrup by now. Drinking sugary drinks can lead to diabetes, hypertension and some types of cancer, but it can also have severe side effects on your teeth. Sugary drinks eat away at the enamel of teeth, causing teeth to become weaker and thinner. This can lead to tooth decay and inevitably cavities. This is why dentists often put sealants on back teeth, so that they can prevent cavities and avoid fillings.
If you’re looking to make a little change, the CDC has a great guide here that’ll show you just how much sugar is in your favorite sugar-sweetened drinks. Keep reading for healthy drink options you can make at home, plus easy tips to remember from the American Heart Association.
Healthy Drink Options You Can Make At Home
Lemon Cucumber Water
This has to be the easiest recipe of all time. Slice lemons and cucumbers and place them in a glass of ice water. But there are some healthy effects of lemon cucumber water you might not know:
- Helps you stay hydrated
- Provides you with a healthy dose of Vitamin C
- Gives you a boost of Potassium
- Helps Prevent Kidney Stones
Blueberry Lime Water
Blueberries are often called a superfood because they’re low in calories but high in Vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. They may even reduce the risk of heart disease. Limes are good for your eyes, skin, gums, weight loss and digestion. Put them together and you’ve got a delicious way to hydrate!
- 2 cups of water or sparkling water
- 2 cups of ice
- 1 cup of blueberries
- 1 1/2 limes sliced
Go on GREEN today
RED: Drink Rarely, If At All
- Regular sodas
- Energy or sports drinks
- Sweetened coffee/tea drinks
- Fruit drinks
Yellow: Drink Occasionally
- Diet Soda
- Low-calorie, low-sugar drinks
- 100% juice
Green: Drink Plenty
- Seltzer Water
- 1% or Skim Milk