Kids and adults alike tend to choose a sweetened beverage more often than not to quench their thirst. Many have expressed to me that plain water just does not excite them. What they do not realize is that the sugar in these beverages has an adverse effect on their health. Sweetened beverages tend to be higher in calories. People may not realize the large amount of calories and sugar they consume in their favorite beverages. Check out the calories and sugar in these popular beverages.
- Coca Cola Classic: Calories/8-oz. serving: 100; Sugars: 27g
- Arizona Iced Tea with Lemon: Calories/8-oz. serving: 90; Sugars: 24g
- Hawaiian Punch: Calories/8-oz. serving: 80; Sugars: 20g
- NOS High Performance Energy Drink: Calories/serving: 220; Sugar: 52g
- Red Bull Energy Drink: Calories/serving: 110; Sugars: 27g
As you may notice, many of these servings are for 8-ounce portions. However, the typical person does not consume only 8-ounces of these beverages. Sometimes it can be two or three times this amount, which means that the calories and sugars consumed drastically increases. A recent HHS Healthbeat puts this into perspective by addressing the question- “How much exercise does a teen need to do to burn off a typical soda?” Answer: A teen weighing 110-lb. would need to jog 50 minutes to burn off that soda. This begs the question is that soda, which may take you 5 minutes to consume, worth the calories and sugar since it will take about 10 times that to burn off?
In addition to being laden with extra calories and sugar, consuming sweetened beverages can often lead to an increase in your risk for heart disease. In a recent study published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association- Circulation, it was concluded that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Unfavorable changes in HDL, triglycerides and C-reactive protein were noted.
The next question may be, “What are some healthier, nutrient-rich beverage choices that will not negatively affect my health?” Encourage your clients, friends and loved ones to try some of these healthier beverage options:
- Water flavored with citrus (lemon or lime) or veggies (cucumber)
- Soda water with a splash of cranberry juice
- Lowfat or nonfat dairy milk
- Soy, rice or almond milk
- 100% fruit or veggie juice (limit to 4-ounces 1 time/day)