When it comes to living well, everything that we put into our bodies affects our wellness. While most people pay attention to the food that they eat, they may be less conscientious about what they drink. Even if you're eating well, your beverage habits may be having an adverse effect on your diet, your teeth, your heart, and your health.
While alcohol is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to poor drinking choices, sodas, juices, energy drinks, and other beverages all have their downsides as well. If you're looking to improve your health or just preserve your wellness, it would be wise to think about your beverage choices.
Should I Drink Alcohol For My Health?
As we learn more about the effects of alcohol on the body, it becomes clear that there are both benefits and drawbacks to the regular consumption of alcohol. While those with addictive tendencies should forgo alcohol altogether, having a drink or two per day can provide some cardiovascular benefits, though the downsides of alcohol may somewhat outweigh them. If you enjoy the occasional pint or glass, there's little harm in continuing the tradition.
On the other hand, most, if not all of the benefits of alcohol can be sought after from other sources, so there's no reason to drink more alcohol to get more benefits or start drinking if you're not a regular drinker already.
Excess alcohol consumption does have a negative impact on Testosterone Levels. That's because alcohol encourages the conversion of Testosterone into Estrogen. This is one reason why alcoholics tend to be overweight and suffer from gynecomastia, known colloquially as man-boobs. Alcohol suppresses Testosterone and contributes to Low-T.
Are Fruit Juices Healthy?
One of the biggest misconceptions about a healthy diet is that fruit juices are good for you. While apple juice, orange juice, pomegranate juice, and other fruit beverages are better than drinking soda, you have to be careful. Many fruit juices contain more sugar than your average can of pop! Also, many fruit juices have loads of added sugar, such as cranberry juice. Without the added sugar in cranberry juice, most people wouldn't be able to stomach the sour flavor.
When it comes to fruit, eating fruit will always provide better health benefits than drinking fruit juice. A lot of the vitamins and most of the fiber in fruit come from the pulp, which is usually processed out of most juices. Fruit will also help fill your stomach, whereas fruit juices can still leave you hungry. There's nothing wrong with treating yourself to a glass of fruit juice occasionally, or even daily, but be aware that you're better off pairing a nice glass of water with a snack of fruit than relying on fruit juice in your diet.
Limit or Eliminate Sodas From Your Diet
Carbonated, sugary sodas contribute more to the obesity epidemic than almost any other single factor. Not so long ago, sodas were treated like a dessert or a special treat. Now they are a staple of tens of millions of people's lives across America. The average can of soda contains 150-200 caloriesYou'd have to run 13-17 minutes at 6 miles per hour to make up the cost of a single can of soda. That means if you drink four cans of soda per day, you would have to run for about an hour to make up for the calories that you consumed.
Furthermore, our bodies are designed to break down complex nutrients. Simple sugars and carbohydrates are very bad for your teeth because they eat away at enamel and lead to cavities, root canals, and other unfortunate dental mishaps. Even diet sodas can contribute to these risks because the acids in soda are also corrosive.
While Diet Sodas are much healthier for you than regular sodas, you're still better off drinking water. Diet Sodas contain sugar alternatives that can have adverse effects on your digestive tract. Artificial sweeteners make it harder to feel full, which can contribute to overeating. This is because the taste of sugar primes the brain to expect incoming calories. When the body doesn't receive calories from soda, the brain amps up feelings of hunger to compensate.
Do Sodas and Coffees Contribute to Dehydration?
Many people believe that drinking beverages high in caffeine can have a negative effect on hydration levels. While this has been widely accepted for decades, there is little truth in the belief. While caffeine does have some diuretic effects, they are minimal in comparison to the amount of liquid that you consume.
Alcohol, on the other hand, does lead to dehydration. Alcohol suppresses the production of Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH), which significantly increases the amount of liquid evacuated during urination. Any time you do go out to have a few drinks, remember to drink lots of water, and you'll minimize the nasty effects of dehydration on the body, which is one of the prime factors in the dreaded morning-after hangover.
How Much Water Should I Drink Per Day?
The commonly accepted wisdom regarding hydration is that you should drink 64 ounces of water per day to stay hydrated. In reality, you may need to drink quite a bit more water to that to stay hydrated. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, how much water you need depends on many factors, even your gender. The National Academies suggest that men consume around 15-16 cups of water per day and that women consume 11-12 cups daily.
This, of course, includes water that you absorb as a result of your food intake, but this still means that men need around 12 cups of water per day and women need roughly nine. If you're sick, active, or in a hot climate, you'll need even more! Listen to your body. Chronic dehydration doesn't necessarily lead to feelings of thirst. Often, it presents itself fatigue. If you've been feeling tired lately, you may need to drink more water!