Skip to content

The Worst Types of Drinks for Your Heart Health, Science Says

Beware of overdoing on these beverages when you're looking to quench your thirst.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

When you feel parched and need some quick hydration, you can't go wrong with a glass of water. According to the Harvard Medical School, a simple glass of water delivers the hydration we need while aiding digestion, preventing joint degeneration, and flushing toxins out of our body, among many other benefits. While water improves our health immensely, the habit of drinking water can sometimes feel mundane, which can lead us to crave one of these worst drinks for your heart.

While finishing off the day with your favorite beverage sounds ideal, trying to navigate drinks beyond a plain glass of water can prove tricky—especially if you need to watch your heart health. While these drinks can do wonders for anyone looking to boost their heart health to new levels, some drinks have the exact opposite effect, Thanks to the presence of added sugars, stimulants, and alcohol, research shows that these drinks can do some prolonged damage to your heart. Here's how, and for even more healthy drinking tips, be sure to read up on our list of 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are.



Added sugars can do some serious long-term damage to anyone's health, so if you count yourself as a soda fanatic, you might want to consider cutting back your intake. According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a group of participants who increased their added sugar intake in their daily meal plan saw a sharp rise in the rate of cardiovascular mortality rates due to inflammation caused by the sugar. Soda's prevalence in the diet of those studied directly correlated to the cases of heart disease that a handful of the participants developed.

Scientists have linked the same sugar found in soda to heart disease, and according to a journal published in the International Journal of Angiology, the oxidation of sugars directly leads to arterial inflammation, causing a myriad of problems.

If you're looking to take a break from sugary sodas but don't want to go cold turkey, check out these 25 Healthy, Low-Sugar Soda Alternatives.

Sports Drinks

Sports drink

Sports drinks can help bring us back to life after a vigorous workout and replenish much-needed electrolytes. And yet, while these refreshing beverages can complete any workout, indulging in too many sports drinks can become a disaster for your heart health.

Refined carbohydrates, like the sugars found in our favorite after-workout thirst quenchers, have a documented effect on women's health, according to an article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In this study, scientists concluded that consumption of the ingredients found in many popular sports drinks significantly increased the risk of heart disease in women.

A separate study published in Circulation found that by reducing the intake of sugar in a diet, participants saw an improvement in their overall blood pressure readings. By cutting out these sugars, the study's participants could expect to dish out less stress on their bodies and bettered their overall cardiovascular health. Next time you need to revitalize after the gym, give your heart a break. Avoid these sugary drinks and indulge in some coconut water, fruit, or even milk instead.

Take your heart health game to the next level with the Best Ways to Have a Healthier Heart.

Energy Drinks

energy drinks
Jorge Franganillo/ Unsplash

While an occasional coffee can keep you alert and aid your heart, don't expect similar results from energy drinks. These soda-like beverages make sure you stay moving, but spur arterial inflammation thanks to added sugars. According to an article published in the World Journal of Cardiology, overconsumption of energy drinks can have direct links to heart disease.

Another recent study retrieved from the Annals of Pharmacotherapy directly linked the consumption of too many energy drinks to blood pressure issues, affecting anyone who relies on these sugary beverages to stay awake. This particular study also linked the inclusion of stimulants to cardiovascular hazards as well. For a heart-wholesome time, stick to coffee or tea for a pick-me-up instead of an energy drink.

Here's What Happens To Your Body on Energy Drinks, Says Science.


Meritt Thomas/ Unsplash

While a glass of red wine a day can help to keep us healthy (and can fit into the Mediterranean Diet, which is considered the best diet for weight loss), having too much of any type of alcohol can have negative effects on your heart health. According to the Cleveland Clinic, doctors believe alcohol affects the cardiovascular health of individuals on a case-by-case basis, but overall, drinking in moderation—or even abstaining from alcohol entirely—promotes better heart health. Doctors also believe that as humans age, alcohol can impact our health and can even lead to arrhythmia.

These facts get backed up in a piece published in Alcohol Research. Scientists found that alcohol consumption of any kind directly increases the risk of heart disease, and moderation remains a key factor in reducing blood pressure spikes, apoptosis, and other disorders associated with the consumption of this drink.

Fruit Juice

orange juice

Drinking juice may seem healthy, but don't be fooled. A study published in Circulation found that men who consumed added natural sugars like those found in organic or even fresh-squeezed juice trigger cardiovascular issues. This drink's sugar content leads to the same issues you expect to encounter in soda and sports drinks, making it a poor alternative if you need to reach for a healthy beverage.

If you love juice but want to avoid any major offenders that can dish out a toll on your cardiovascular system, check out The 7 Best 'Healthy' Juice Brands & Which To Avoid at All Costs.


mixed berry pistachio smoothie

While an occasional smoothie can have miraculous benefits, don't assume all of these drinks take your health to the next level. Some store-bought smoothies have the same added sugar count as a soft drink and present similar dangers to your arterial health.

A study published in the European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry found a direct correlation between added sugars in drinks like smoothies and obesity and heart disease in children. A separate study retrieved from Nutrients linked natural and artificial sweeteners found in drinks like smoothies to long-term cardiovascular issues in participants who consumed an above-average amount of this ingredient. When you want to give your heart a break, ditch the store-bought smoothie and opt to make the drink at home to control the amount of sugar that goes into each portion—or even try one of these 27 Best Immune-Boosting Smoothie Recipes.

Erich Barganier
Erich Barganier is a health and food writer. Read more about Erich
Filed Under