23 Sep Could your beverage be affecting your mood and waistline?
On a recent trip to the store to pick up a quick lunch with a friend, I wanted to treat myself to a fun beverage (something besides the bottle of water I always have with me). While I perused the options, I was reminded of how many clients I’ve had that have been so derailed by their beverages. They were so focused on the food they were eating, or the amount of sleep they were getting, that they totally missed another important part of their diet that influenced their mood and their waistline – what they were drinking. Once you know what to look for (and what to minimize) it’s so easy to avoid a potential pitfall.
First, why and how can your beverage affect your mood?
The two most common reasons why your beverage could be affecting your mood are caffeine and sugar.
- Both caffeine and sugar can cause energy spikes and dips that leave you feeling temporarily focused and hyped, followed by a longer duration of feeling tired. They can also cause dehydration (in the case of caffeine) or inflammation (in the case of sugar) which may also make you feel tired, achy, or lethargic.
- If you’re often reaching for a drink with caffeine (whether from soda, coffee, tea, or energy drinks), you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms when you’re not keeping up with your usual consumption. These symptoms might include fatigue, headaches, feeling shaky or jittery, feeling sick in your stomach, lack of focus, poor memory recall, general moodiness, or other symptoms.
Second, why and how can your beverage affect your waistline?
The two most common reasons why your beverages could be affecting your waistline are calories now and calories you’re more likely to crave later.
- Many bottled beverages are loaded with empty calories. What are empty calories? They’re calories that provide you with no nutrition whatsoever – zilch, nada, zippity do da, a big fat nothing!! And what’s even worse is that they may also contain additives, preservatives, and artificial food coloring and sweeteners that have been linked to increased hyperactivity, allergic reactions, and other health problems. Look at the number of calories in a single serving and the number of servings in the bottle. You might be shocked to learn that one of your favorite beverages has more calories than a meal.
- Research studies have shown that people who drink sweet beverages are more likely to crave sweet foods later on in the day. This means that you might not just be increasing your calories now with the drink you choose, but also increasing your calories later too.
So what should you look for? Top tips…
- Go for beverages with as few ingredients as possible on the label, and that have ingredients you can pronounce and recognize.
- Minimize caffeine when you can. White teas and green teas have lower caffeine levels than black teas and yerba mate tea when you’re looking at iced teas.
- If you’re used to having a lot of caffeine, and don’t want to cut it out completely from your diet, start to have every other drink be non-caffeinated.
- Look for sweeteners that are more natural (like agave and honey as opposed to high fructose corn syrup). Some brands even use tasty fruit juice or fruit juice concentrates to sweeten their drinks instead of cane sugar.
- If you are choosing a fruit juice, only choose one that says it has 100% fruit juice (many fruit “drinks” have as little as 10% juice – that means they have 90% artificial sugary additives).
- Don’t forget to check the number of servings in a bottle before you drink the whole thing and ask yourself if the calories are really worth it and fit into your overall diet.
And remember that water is always a great go-to that can be perked up in lots of fun ways. More on that in another blog post to come!
In the meantime, go check your favorite beverage labels out to see how they stack up. Got a favorite brand or drink to recommend? Share it on my blog or Facebook page.
Here’s to making healthy living simple!