Every day of the week should be a day we are grateful to God about not just Fridays, but I understand we can’t all wait to begin our weekend. For most people Friday night will be a night of relaxing, dinning and drinking with friends. Let’s take a look at healthy drinks we can enjoy for our weekend.
There are many options for what to drink, water still remains the best choice: It’s calorie-free, and it’s as easy to find as the nearest tap.
Water provides everything the body needs—pure H2O—to restore fluids lost through metabolism, breathing, sweating, and the removal of waste. It’s the perfect beverage for quenching thirst and re-hydrating your system.
There is no one estimate for how much water you need each day. Instead, the Institute of Medicine has set an adequate intake 15 cups for men and 11 cups for women. Note that this is not a daily target, but a general guide. In most people, about 80% of this water volume comes from beverages; the rest comes from food.
Water is an excellent calorie-free, sugar-free choice. For some people who are accustomed to drinking sweet beverages, water can initially taste bland. To increase water consumption without losing flavor or to spice up your daily water intake, try these refreshing water-based beverages:
Instead of purchasing expensive flavored waters in the grocery store, you can easily make your own at home. Try adding any of the following to a cold glass or pitcher of water:
- Sliced citrus fruits or zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit)
- Crushed fresh mint
- Peeled, sliced fresh ginger or sliced cucumber
- Crushed berries
Sparkling water with a splash of juice
Sparkling juices may have as many calories as sugary soda pop. Instead, make your own sparkling juice at home with 12 ounces (1.5cups) of sparkling water and just an ounce or two (2tbsp-1/4cup) of juice. For additional flavor, add sliced citrus or fresh herbs like mint.
Beverages to limit
Drinks that are loaded with sugar are the worst choice; they contain a lot of calories and virtually no other nutrients. Consuming high-sugar drinks can lead to weight gain and increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and gout.
The average can of sugar-sweetened soda or fruit punch provides about 150 calories. If you were to drink just one can of a sugar-sweetened soft drink every day, and not cut back on calories elsewhere, you could gain up to 3kg in a year. Cutting back on sugary drinks may help control your weight and may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Sports beverages are designed to give athletes carbs, electrolytes, and fluid during high-intensity workouts that last an hour or more. For other folks, they’re just another source of sugar and calories.
Energy drinks have as much sugar as soft drinks, enough caffeine to raise your blood pressure, and additives whose long-term health effects are unknown. For these reasons it’s best to skip energy drinks.
Wishing everyone a splendid weekend!