The 5 Worst Drinks That Wreck Your Body, According to Experts
Even if you’re eating a healthy diet, adding the wrong drinks to your menu can derail your health and fitness goals faster than you can say, “Another blended coffee, please!” However, it’s not just sugary coffees and oversized cocktails that can sabotage your wellbeing. Read on to discover which drinks—some of which you may be consuming on a daily basis—can lead to serious health problems, according to experts. And if you’re ready to take a proactive step toward better health, check out The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.
While pressed juice is frequently touted as a healthy addition to a balanced diet—or even a means by which to lose weight—experts say it's essentially junk food in liquid form.
"Juice can increase your risk of developing fatty liver disease, heart disease, and diabetes," says Malorie Ann, a nutritionist with The Vegan Insider. "Around 1 cup of juice has between 20 to 23 grams of sugar, which is 95.83% of the American Heart Association (AHA)'s recommended sugar intake for women."
Think having a soda once or twice a week isn’t so bad? Think again.
According to a 2013 meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the consumption of just one sugar-sweetened soda a day contributed to weight gain and increased BMI in both adults and children.
Additionally, soda can wreak havoc on your dental health.
"The acidity in soda can cause the enamel in your teeth to break down, making you more susceptible to tooth decay. In addition to the acid, the excess sugar creates a cafeteria for bacteria, leading to increased risk of cavities and bad breath," explains Kelsey Lorencz, RD at Graciously Nourished. And if you're ready to ditch those drinks doing a number on your health, check out the 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked By How Toxic They Are.
While diet soda may seem like a healthier choice than its sugary counterpart, it can contribute to weight gain and health problems just the same.
A 2010 review of research published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine found that consumption of diet soda was not only associated with weight gain, but also may actually make a person's sweet tooth worse.
"In many cases, the use of diet soda stimulates unwanted sugar cravings, and can actually promote overeating," says certified nutritionist Philip Goglia, PhD, co-founder of online nutrition program G-Plans. And for more incentive to put down that diet drink, discover these 15 Reasons You Should Never Drink Diet Soda.
If you’re feeling exhausted shortly after exercising, your choice of post-workout beverage could be to blame.
"Many of them are high in sodium and sugar—some even contain caffeine, which will cause digestive discomfort," says Goglia, who adds that this type of beverage won’t deliver lasting energy.
They may even cause your weight to balloon—according to a 2014 study published in the journal Obesity, among a group of 7,559 adolescents, each daily serving of sports drinks was associated with a 0.3 increase in BMI units among girls and a 0.33 BMI unit increase among boys compared adolescents who didn't drink sports drinks.
There's a reason you keep going back for more energy drinks, even if you know they’re not exactly a healthy addition to your daily routine.
"The combination of caffeine and sugar leads to an increase in serotonin response, which are those good, happy feelings you get. Plus, the caffeine increases your energy levels for a brief amount of time. These combinations create addictive drinks," says Goglia.
According to a 2020 research article published in the journal Depression & Anxiety, consumption of energy drinks was even cited as “a possible marker for mental health symptoms” including stress, depression, and anxiety among the young adult male patients studied. And before you pick up that caffeine-filled beverage, discover The Best Energy Drinks (And Which to Avoid).