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Fewer Sugary Drinks: A Healthy Family Habit

By Stepy Kamei

When you need to quench your thirst, it can be tempting to reach for an ice-cold soda or iced tea, can't it? The rest of your family may feel the same way, and it's not hard to see why. Whether you're giving sports drinks or juice to your kids after school, or trading in coffee for soda for a much-needed caffeine boost, it's safe to say that these kinds of drinks are common and easy to consume throughout the day. What about these drinks make them taste so good, anyway? As it turns out, you can thank the enormous amounts of added and refined sugars for the delicious taste. The brain craves sugar, so it's not surprising that drinks such as soda, juice, and iced tea do a great job of feeding that craving since they're almost always loaded with artificial sweeteners. Unfortunately, and you probably know this already, drinks with added sugar really aren't the best for your health. Read on to learn more about why these kinds of drinks can have such significant consequences to your health -- and a few tips and tricks on what you can be replacing them with instead.

The Problem With Added Sugars

If you're going to properly understand the problem with sugary drinks, there are a few factors to keep in mind.

First, while it's true the body does need sugar to function, most sugary drinks don't provide the right kind of sugar. The body craves and needs a substance known as glucose. Glucose provides energy to the body, and it is a naturally sweet nutrient that is often found in foods such as fresh fruit and whole wheat bread. Unfortunately, many sugary drinks use a man-made refined sugar, or fructose, which tastes sweet but offers absolutely no nutritional value at all.

Second, the body needs to stay hydrated, but sugary drinks aren't the way to do this. Hydration does wonders in terms of waking up the body, keeping it going throughout the day, and preventing many health ailments such as common aches and pains. The only way you can really quench your thirst is from good old-fashioned water.

Finally, the health consequences of a diet with too many added sugars can be truly staggering. Numerous studies have shown a link between consumption of refined sugars and an increase in developing ailments such as obesity and heart disease.

Good Alternatives

If you're ready to cut down on the sugary drinks, you definitely have options! Of course, the absolute best bet is to stick with water. If you or your family don't like the lack of taste, consider adding slices of fruit or sprigs of mint into a pitcher of water for more variety. When it comes to juice, remember to stay away from frozen and concentrated brands, and only drink 100 percent fruit juice with no added sugars or preservatives. These are just a few easy ways to improve your family's health.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Mill, SC.

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