Drastically minimize or eliminate sugared sodas, juices, fancy coffees and sport drinks.
The problem with these drinks is they also are way too full of empty calories — too much calorie bang for your buck, so to speak. For example, there are 15 calories in a single packet of sugar. There are about 200 calories in a can of regular cola. Would you drink a cup of water with 13 packets of sugar in it? “Yuck” is the proper answer. When you drink a can of regular soda that is what you are drinking.
How about sport drinks? Typically, a 16-ounce serving has at least 200 calories. And, beware of serving size! Check out the serving size on the back label. Many say only 100 or so calories per serving. But, often they have 2.5 servings per container. They were created with the image of an athlete in mind. Do you really think that a day’s work in the office qualifies for your needing an electrolyte replacement drink? Or if you are physically active, do you think a half hour on the elliptical requires such replenishment? Well, the answer is “no.”
Water and good meals are all that you need. Fancy coffees are everywhere now. The most expansion minded chains position their stores so that you often pass three to four at least per day on your way to work. Then you ask, “How bad is coffee for me?” Well, just coffee with minimal additions of sweetener and low-fat or non-fat milk is OK for you. In fact, maximal performance usually is helped by one to two cups per day. But, you know I am not talking about a regular cuppa Joe here. A medium-sized, whole milk latte drink with flavoring is approximately 250 calories. That’s more than a cola drink. And if you use 2% milk, you save only 30 calories — still more calories in it than in a cola. Hmmm. All of this often before breakfast! And, we haven’t even touched on the infamous “coffees with dome lids!”
A colleague of mine always tells his patients “Don’t drink anything with a dome on it!” In reality, these are just melted milkshakes in disguise. Many top the charts with more than 400 calories. I haven’t even mentioned the fat with which they are loaded. And, they won’t even fill you up. Then there are the juices. Do you really need to eat the sugar equivalent of four to five apples in a quick bottle fix? You don’t even get the fiber! And most are full of high-fructose corn syrup…just another word for “sugar.” Oh, and calling the additives fructose, glucose, sucrose or galactose is just a trick way of saying sugar in a manner that may confuse you. Your body breaks all of these down into the same sugar as you put in your coffee.
What about the vitamins in juice, you ask? Well, why would they be better than the vitamins in the actual fruit? They aren’t. So, no need for juices. Eat the fruit. Hydrate with water. Save the sugar for your birthday cake.