Useful drinks, Harmful drinks
Labels like “juice drink” and “juice cocktail” are almost always a euphemism for brightly-colored sugar water. For a truly healthy drink, look for 100-percent juice, like orange juice, cranberry juice, or aloe vera juice. Nothing else.
Flavored and infused waters may deliver a few extra vitamins—along with added sugars. Next time you buy a bottle of water, check the label: If you see anything more than water and natural flavors, leave it on the shelf.
Yes, fruit on its own is good for you, but a 32-ounce smoothie can pack as many as 700 calories with fewer than two grams of protein, thanks to the high sugar content. That’s like eating a whole pineapple, entire mango, and one cup each of blueberries and strawberries in a single sitting. Why is that bad? Calories from any food get stored away in your fat cells if you eat more than you can burn.
Ending your workout by guzzling a typical sport drink may set your weight-loss goals back. Many sports drinks on the market contain a mixture of natural and artificial sweeteners, plus a laundry list unpronounceable additives. If replenishing electrolytes is your goal, switch to zero-calorie SmartWater or Metroelectro.
It’s tough to find a single redeeming quality about soft drinks: They’re overloaded with sugar and provide empty calories without satisfying your hunger. In fact, soft drinks are the only food that has been directly linked to causing obesity. If you’re not willing to eliminate them from your diet entirely, consider one can of full-sugar soda as an occasional treat—the same way you would a candy bar.
When people think about “energy” drinks, they’re usually referring to products that contain caffeine. The problem is that most “energy drinks” are loaded with too much caffeine and sugar, so while they may give you a short-term burst of energy, you’ll ultimately crash and just want to zonk out. When you need a brain boost, you’re better off sipping green tea or snacking on a handful of walnuts.