Drink Matcha, Not Your Calories
What goes in a sugar-sweetened drink?
The beverage industry is huge and it only continues to grow. There are countless beverage options to choose from but how often do you take a look at their ingredients? There are an abundance of sugar sweetened drinks in the beverage-world like sodas, tonics, lemonades, sports/energy drinks, fruit punch, and sweetened powdered drinks. However, it’s important to note that there is a difference between drinks that contain natural sugars and drinks that are sweetened with added sugars. It’s the added sugars you want to stay away from! A beverage that contains added sugars usually includes ingredients such as:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Raw Sugar
- Corn Syrup
- Brown Sugar
- Corn Sweetener
- Malt Syrup Maltose
Recommended Sugar Intake
Even though it may be healthier to avoid sugar sweetened beverages altogether, there are recommended maximum daily limits to help you stay on track. It’s recommended that men consume no more than 150 calories per day from beverages which approximately equals out to 9 teaspoons of sugar. Women should consume no more than 100 calories per day from beverages equaling out to about 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. Beverages should be enjoyed moderately, you don’t want to drink your calories away!
How much sugar is too much sugar?
A single teaspoon contains 4.2 grams of sugar. Imagine you pour yourself a glass of water, and add 7-10 tsps of sugar into that glass. That sounds like an insane amount of sugar, but that’s how much is added to a can of soda! Crazy right? Research shows the average American drinks 400 calories on a daily basis. Most sugar sweetened beverages are not nutrient dense and they often replace healthier choices like water.
Why are sugary beverages bad for me?
Weight gain, obesity, kidney diseases, certain types of cancers, tooth decay, cavities, gout, type 2 diabetes, and non-alcoholic liver disease are often associated with individuals who frequently drink sugar-sweetened-beverages.
Our bodies won’t function properly when too much sugar is consumed. There is scientific evidence that shows our bodies do not detect liquid calories the same way that it would detect calories from food. When we eat food, our bodies will naturally compensate by reducing our food calorie intake. However, when we drink calories, our bodies don’t create that same compensation. As a result, we eat or drink more calories than we should. Richard Mattes, M.P.H, R.D, a professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University said, “Fluid calories do not hold strong satiety properties, don’t suppress hunger and don’t elicit compensatory dietary responses,”. Liquids that contain calories don’t suppress hunger or quench your thirst.
Healthier alternatives to sugary drinks
- Carbonated Water
- There are many individuals who find that switching from soda to water can be very difficult. So, there’s carbonated water! With this beverage, you’ll not only benefit from drinking water but you’ll feel that oh-so-familiar-carbonation-sensation from soda.
- Coconut Water
- Coconut Water contains electrolytes like magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Unsweetened coconut water is low in sugar too!
- Research shows that drinking coffee in moderation can be healthy for the body. It may help with mental alertness and physical performance as long as it’s not overdone.
- Flavored Infused Water
- Adding slices of your favorite herbs, fruits, and veggies to your water may be the perfect twist! Lemons, mint, lavender, raspberries, or watermelon may be a good start. [ Flavorings for Water ]
- Drink MATCHA!
- Matcha contains a certain type of antioxidant called catechins. Matcha is incredibly high in a catechin AKA, EGCG which researchers believe to have cancer-fighting properties. Studies show matcha is linked to helping prevent heart disease, weight loss, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
- There are many ways to drink matcha! For example, you can make a matcha latte with soy milk, or a watermelon matcha, or even a matcha lemonade. Staying hydrated and healthy does not have to be boring. Drink matcha, not your calories.