5 Drinks to Avoid This Summer
When thirst attacks, you can hardly wait to lay your hands on a bottle of ice cold beverage. You want its taste, its coolness, its refreshing effects. This is especially true on a hot summer day when your body demands to have its water reserves replenished. And it’s OK, of course – drinking enough is vital, especially in the summer. But not all drinks are created equal. While some might seem a good idea at first, there are many that you should avoid. Especially the five below.
Drinking soda is generally not a good idea. Most carbonated soft drinks come with tons of sugar, or even artificial sweeteners, that are often equally bad for you. Aside from sugar, which brings its empty calories to the table, sodas also contain artificial colorings and preservatives. All of these have well-known – and negative – side effects.
There is a long-standing debate about the legitimacy of sports drinks. Some consider them a useful way to replenish the minerals lost during a workout, others see them as a mix of harmful chemicals with no effect. Still, people – especially children – like to drink them, especially in the summer.
According to a recent survey from the Cardiff University in Wales (UK), up to 70% of all Welsh kids drank sports drinks at least once a week. Which is a bad choice for their health – especially their teeth, the experts say.
Sports drinks come with a lot of sodium, which is useful after an especially vigorous workout (which involves a lot of sweating). But they also have tons of sugar or artificial sweeteners, along with colorings and flavors, which makes them as bad as soda. And they are especially harmful to the teeth.
An occasional sports drink may be a good idea during a heat wave, or after running a marathon, but it won’t do you any good on a normal summer day.
Today’s youngsters don’t drink cola anymore – they choose energy drinks instead. These drinks come with a massive quantity of caffeine, along with other ingredients, giving the user a short-term boost of energy. But it’s their high caffeine content that makes them a bad choice for teens – and you, on a summer day.
Caffeine is a diuretic when consumed in large doses. This means that an energy drink will not hydrate you, but dehydrate you. Besides, the high concentration of caffeine in the drink can quickly reach toxic levels in children. And this can lead to a series of other complications.
Most health professionals agree that alcohol consumed in moderate amounts is not too harmful to your health. But you should reconsider this point of view in the summer. Alcohol is known to cause fluid loss, which can lead to dehydration – especially if most of your fluid intake comes from alcoholic beverages (like beer, cider, and wine). Beer is especially tricky since it doesn’t only bring alcohol to the table – it has quite some empty calories, too.
Iced coffee sound great on a hot summer day. But only until you think of all the sugar, cream, and caffeine it has. Some iced coffee products available in fast foods and dedicated coffee chains contain more sugar than the recommended daily amount for an adult. And even if they are “light”, they boost your sugar cravings thanks to their artificial sweetener content.
What should I drink then?
Water is usually a safe and satisfying alternative to these. Lemon water is an even better choice. And when it comes to replenishing your mineral reserves, a healthy diet is the best choice. As for caffeine – go for coffee without the additives. Even “on the rocks”, if you like it cold – although a hot drink will make you cooler on a hot summer day.