No, not alcoholic drinks, I just mean beverages. This article is about some thoughts on a few beverages.
Most of us know to not drink soda anymore due to harmful effects of sugar and artificial sweeteners and sometimes even high fructose corn syrup. But what do we drink instead? Let’s look at some alternatives which are definitely healthier.
We’ll look at water, green tea, coffee, vegetable juice, coconut water, kefir, and kombucha. But are they really healthy? Unfortunately, I can not answer this question because it all depends on the individual and the situation and how much. They all have their pros and cons.
Water – sure it is healthy, except…
The only exception is water, which in nearly all cases is healthy — unless it is contaminated with chloride, fluoride, or other toxins. But you thought fluoride in water is good for the teeth? Not really, and here is why.
Water is not healthy is when you drink insane amounts of it which dilutes all your electrolytes from your circulatory system. There have been reports that a person died in a water-drinking contest.[reference]
Six researchers did a study to determine what was the best healthy beverage to drink. It turns out to be water, followed by tea and coffee (both drunk plain that is).
Article on Harvard School of Public Health says …
“Water should be the beverage you turn to most of the time”
Water has zero sugar, zero calories, and zero saturated fat. We all need water and cannot live without it. It is a basic element of life.
One report states that woman needs 11 cups of fluid a day and men needs 15 cups. Note that this amount includes the fluids from all foods and other beverages. The best gauge is to let your body dictate how much water you need. Definitely drink when you’re thirsty. But try to drink so that you do not get thirsty. By the time you feel thirst, you are already a bit dehydrated.
However, drinking plain water can be a bit boring. And for some people drinking plain water means going to the bathroom more frequently because it just passes right through.
So let’s look at other healthy beverages.
Probably the second most healthy beverage after water. See the health benefits of green tea.
Is coffee healthy or not?
Is Vegetable Juice Healthy?
Yes, coconut juice is healthy, but watch the sugar.
Kefir has good probiotics. But not for someone who is sensitive to dairy, casein, or lactose. Learn more.
Kombucha is an effervescent fermented tea drink. It is fermented with a combination of healthy bacteria and yeast. So perhaps those with yeast overgrowth may need to be cautious.
Because of the fermentation processes, some natural alcohol may be formed. But it is often less than less than 0.5% ethanol. Because of the fermentation process, kombacha contain live probiotics that can be of benefit to health. Other healthy byproducts may include B vitamins, amino acids, organic acids, and enzymes.
However, many doubt the health claims of kombucha and there are incidences of complications in some individuals. There are cases contamination due to home-brewing. If you are going to try kombucha, try the commercially produced brands such as GT’s or Synergy first. If you look at the food label on the bottle, you will see that it is usually quite low on sugar.
Dr. Andrew Weil writes that he knows of no health benefits and that he is …
“concerned about the possibility of contamination in home-brewed kombucha. Some batches contain aspergillus, a toxin-producing fungus. This would be a significant risk for individuals with compromised immune systems, such as those with AIDS or in chemotherapy for cancer. There have been reports in the medical literature of adverse reactions, including nausea, vomiting and headaches, in people drinking more than four ounces of kombucha tea daily.”
Article on RobbWolf.com writes …
“If you are a child, are pregnant, have a compromised immune system, or have kidney disease you may want to talk with your doctor or caution your intake of kombucha.”
MayoClinic.com article writes …
“In short, there isn’t good evidence that kombucha tea delivers on its health claims. At the same time, several cases of harm have been reported. Therefore, the prudent approach is to avoid kombucha tea until more definitive information is available.”
The media such as MSNBC and the New York Times have written about kombucha as well.
In general, probiotic beverages are healthy. This may include kefir and kombucha. Another probiotic drink is KeVita that was mentioned by as being great by Mira and Jayson Calton in the episode “Rich Food, Poor Food” on Underground Wellness radio podcast.
Dr. Axe has good things to say about Kombucha…
Beverages to Avoid
Avoid soft drinks and other sugary drinks that contains lots of sugar. This includes any sport drink and vitamin water that contains a lot of sugar. Excessive amounts sugar is one factor that contributes to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity.
Dr. Jonny Bowden says that soda is one of the two worst foods one can eat. The other is french fries.
Vitamin water is basically water with a little bit of vitamin added. You would most likely get more vitamin by juicing real vegetables. Or take a multi-vitamin pill with your water.
If you think the zero-calories beverages are good for you, think again. Many zero-calories beverages contains artificial sweeteners. Although it is true that artificial sweeteners do not raise blood sugar, some such as aspartame can damage brain cells through excitotoxicity.
I haven’t tried this one, but Mark Sisson says that masala chai is healthy due to its cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, fennel, and clove. But again, easy on the sugar.
He also mention “choffy” as healthy which is ground up roasted cacoa beans steeped in hot water.
Creamy tumeric tea is nice too.