Hydration

Healthy Beverages: The Top 10 Healthy Drinks to need to try

Healthy Drinks

To drink or not to drink? 

That seems to be the question. In recent years, the market has been flooded with so-called “healthy drinks”. However, finding one that can actually back the claims in the advertising and tastes good to boot can be a challenge. 

Fear not! Whether all the health jargon has your head reeling, or you’re tired of unhealthy sodas or just looking for some healthy alternatives to water, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll be learning about some great healthy drinks that will hydrate, nourish and refresh you. We’ve even thrown in some easy-to-make recipes to boot! So let’s jump right in.  

What Makes a Healthy Beverage?

The term Healthy drink refers to a drink that claims to be beneficial to your health. However, the devil is in the details. Most of these claims simply aren’t backed by science and the “health benefits” are often spurious at best. 

So what exactly is a healthy drink then? A more useful question might be what prevents a drink from being healthy? High amounts of carbs, fats and artificial sweeteners, flavorings and colorings. By this exclusion criteria, plain water is far more healthful than most energy drinks, sports drinks, and malt beverages! Yet we find store shelves stacked with the latter category with little to no importance given to simpler, natural, and healthier alternatives.

Benefits of including healthy drinks in your diet

While we all strive to eat a balanced diet, it can be tough to stay on the wagon consistently. Given our busy and hectic lives, an easy and delicious way to replenish the nutrient tank is the need of the hour. That’s where these drinks come in- healthful, tasty, and hydrating to boot! Here are some benefits of including them in your diet-

  • Hydration– Most of us neglect our hydration during the course of a stressful day and experience mild dehydration. While water is the gold standard for hydration, healthy drinks can provide a wholesome alternative.
  • Nutrition– Fresh fruit and vegetable drinks and smoothies are chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help to cover any micronutrient deficiencies. 
  • Energy- Juices, teas and caffeine can be a great way to energize throughout the day without resorting to energy drinks or beverages with high sugar concentrations.
  • Wellness- Herbal teas, pomegranate juice, green smoothies etc contain organic compounds that reduce inflammation, boost digestion, diminish the risk of disease,
  • and increase overall wellness

The rise of unhealthy beverages

According to the CDC up to 40% of mortality in the US is caused by preventable diseases with diabetes and cardiovascular causes topping the list. The main reason for these diseases is a sedentary lifestyle coupled with unhealthy food choices.

The market is flooded with sugary drinks like sodas and juices that claim to be healthy but contain heavy amounts of artificial sweeteners and preservatives. They cause sharp spikes in blood sugar eventually leading to insulin resistance and obesity. So how to choose the right drink? By being aware and checking the ingredients before buying a random drink and opting for natural drinks. 

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    Here are a few healthier alternatives:

    Fruit and Vegetable Juices

    If you are a fitness enthusiast and are looking for some healthy drinks for energy or healthier drinks to lose weight, here are some fruit and vegetable juice recipes that you can try at home as an alternative to water:

    1. The Green Juice- A Multi-Green Blend
    • 2 green apples
    • 2 stalks of celery
    • 1 cucumber
    • 1-inch piece of ginger
    • 1 handful of spinach
    • 1 handful of kale

    Wash all the ingredients and juice them together. This juice is packed with nutrients and is a great way to start your day.

    2. The Citrus Punch – A healthy and tangy Carrot-Orange Juice

    • 4 large carrots
    • 2 oranges

    Juice the carrots and oranges together for a sweet and refreshing drink. This juice is high in vitamin C and beta-carotene.

    3. The Healthy Heart Drink – Beetroot Juice:

    • 2 small beetroots
    • 2 carrots
    • 1-inch piece of ginger
    • 1 lemon

    Juice all the ingredients together and enjoy a delicious and healthy nutrient-rich drink. Beetroot is a great source of antioxidants and is known to improve blood circulation.

    4. The Daily Detox Drink- Pineapple-Cucumber Juice

    • 1/2 pineapple
    • 1 cucumber
    • 1-inch piece of ginger
    • 1/2 lime

    5. Tangy and Earthy Apple-Ginger Juice:

    • 4 green apples
    • 1-inch piece of ginger

    Juice the apples and ginger together for a refreshing and spicy drink. Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can help with digestion.

    Note: Each individual is different and so is their ability to process food. Before starting any new dietary changes or incorporating any new ingredients, it’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional.

    Herbal Teas

    Herbal teas can be a great alternative to water, as they offer a variety of health benefits and can be very refreshing. Here are a few herbal teas to try:

    1. Chamomile Tea: Looking for a calming drink? Chamomile tea is known for its calming and soothing properties, making it a great option to help you relax before bed or during times of stress. Simply steep a chamomile tea bag in hot water for a few minutes, and enjoy!
    2. Peppermint Tea: Peppermint tea has a refreshing, minty flavor and is known for its ability to aid digestion and soothe upset stomachs. 
    3. Ginger Tea: Ginger tea is a great option for boosting immunity and reducing inflammation. Simply steep fresh ginger in hot water for a few minutes, then strain and enjoy. You can also add lemon or honey to taste. A study showed that ginger tea increased the thermic effect of food (the number of calories needed to digest and absorb food) by 43 calories. 
    4. Rooibos Tea: Leaves of  Aspalathus linearis is known for making red tea/ rooibos tea. It is a naturally caffeine-free tea that is rich in antioxidants and can help promote healthy skin and digestion. 
    5. Hibiscus Tea: This refreshing tea is great for combating blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol. 
    6. Green Tea: This is a veritable super drink. A review of 14 studies found that people who drank high-concentration green tea for 12 weeks lost an average of 0.44 to 7.7 pounds (0.2 to 3.5 kg) more than those who did not drink green tea. 
    7. Mushroom Tea: Yup! You read that right. Mushroom tea is made by combining dried mushroom powder with water and has a host of benefits like glycemic control, and gut health and may even help in preventing cancers

    Smoothies

    While smoothies are a delicious and healthy beverage option, they are not a direct substitute for water, as they often contain other ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and dairy that add calories and nutrients. However, smoothies can be a great way to stay hydrated while also getting important vitamins and minerals. Here are a few smoothie recipes to try:

    Very Berry Smoothie:

     Ingredients:

    • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
    • 1 banana
    • 1 cup almond milk
    • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

    Green Smoothie: 

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup spinach
    • 1 banana
    • 1 cup almond milk
    • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

    Tropical Paradise Smoothie: 

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
    • 1 banana
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup orange juice

    Remember, while smoothies can be a great way to stay hydrated and get important nutrients, it’s still important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to ensure proper hydration.

    Conclusion

    For those of us on the lookout for healthy alternatives to mass-market beverages, the pickings can seem slim at first. After all, so many of these drinks are loaded with harmful additives and rarely back their health claims. However, with a bit of understanding, we can make informed choices and better understand the substances we are putting in our bodies. We also have a plethora of delicious and healthier beverages to choose from that we can make at home. So what are you waiting for? Get mixing and get sipping!

     

    Which drink is best for the heart?

    Green tea has been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing cardiac disorders. It is a great drink for good heart health in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet. 

    Which drink is better in the morning empty stomach?

    Water is the best drink to drink early in the morning on an empty stomach. You can also try adding a squirt of lime juice, apple cider vinegar or honey to it.

    What drink is better than water?

    Water is pretty much the best drink for hydration, flushing out toxins and quenching your thirst. However, you can also try unsweetened herbal tea, coconut water, and freshly squeezed vegetable juice for a more nutritious and flavourful sip.

    What are some healthy beverages for athletes?

    Athletes need to stay hydrated and maintain electrolyte balance during their training and competitions, and water is the best choice for that. However, sports drinks(minus high-sugar ones), coconut water, and low-fat milk are some of the best hydrating drinks as they provide electrolytes.

    How can I make my coffee or tea healthier?

    You can make your tea or coffee healthier by avoiding dairy or choosing soy or almond milk, cutting down on sugar and artificial sweeteners, adding spices and using high-quality beans or leaves.

    What are the best drinks for weight loss?

    When it comes to weight loss, the best drinks are those that are low in calories and high in nutrients. You can go for regular water, green tea, and vegetable juice as well as black coffee and protein shakes while avoiding sugar and fat-heavy drinks.

    Are there any healthy drinks I can substitute for soda?

    There are several healthy drinks you can substitute for soda. Water is the best option but you can freshen things up with fresh juices, smoothies, herbal teas and flavoured waters. You can even try kombucha for some fizzy goodness.

     

     

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