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These 5 unhealthy drinks are damaging your brain and body

Of all the habits to track, the most important one is watching what you're putting in your body. Food is such a huge part of our well-being, especially when it comes to losing weight. And hydration is one of the key components to not just making sure that all your bodily functions are working in sync, but also how you look. That’s the role water plays in your overall well-being. This zero-calorie drink prevents dehydration, constipation and even kidney stones. If you think water alternatives do the same, then here’s your reality check. These five unhealthy drinks are actually more damaging to your brain and body.

1. Fruit Juices

Eating fruit is healthy, right? True, fresh fruits have essential vitamins that can help boost your body’s immunity. But compared to the actual fruit itself, fruit juices tend to have high sugar content, especially if you like your orange juice or pomegranate juice sweetened with sugar or even honey. It also reduces the amount of nutritious fibre, which is essential for a healthy diet as it helps regulate your blood sugar levels, promotes digestive health, and contributes towards a feeling of fullness. Without fibre, the sugar in fruit juices can be absorbed more rapidly, leading to spikes in blood sugar. Also, packaged fruit juices often undergo processing methods such as pasteurisation, which can result in the loss of some heat-sensitive vitamins and phytonutrients. So instead of having fruit juice, just eat the fruit instead.

2. Soda

Enjoy having a soft drink during your meals? Here’s a fun fact: soda is one of the unhealthiest drinks you can indulge in. One of the major concerns of fizzy drinks is that they are so high in sugar that studies have linked regular consumption of soda with health issues like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Not to mention the fact that they are highly addictive and regular intake can get you addicted to high-calorie foods, sugary drinks, and sweet treats, which can lead to weight gain and metabolic problems. Also, did you know soda can contribute to dehydration due to its caffeine content? All in all, reducing your soda consumption will be a good idea.

3. Energy drinks

The energy drinks may be good for an instant pick-me-up, but this boost of energy that you get from a concoction of caffeine and sugar is reality extremely short-lived. In fact, the caffeine content in energy drinks is even higher than what is found in traditional beverages like coffee and tea, which is enough to get you so wired that it can have side effects like an elevated heart rate, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, insomnia, and anxiety. If you need to fuel your body and your energy levels, you need to go back to the basics of having a good and well-balanced diet, sleeping for 7 to 8 hours, drinking enough water, and avoiding one of the most unhealthy drinks you could consume.

4. Sweetened drinks

If you think milkshakes and smoothies act as your meal replacement, especially for breakfast, then here’s a reality check for you. These "healthy” and quick alternatives for a meal are in fact, high in calorie count and sugar, that’s besides the fact that you are not supposed to mix two or more fruits and that you shouldn’t consume it with milk or yogurt, according to Ayurvedic principles. One point to note here is that drinking your calories, even from nutritious sources, may not provide the same level of satiety as consuming whole foods. This can lead to an increased overall caloric intake, especially if you don't adjust your food intake to compensate for the liquid calories from smoothies and milkshakes.

5. Alcohol

Unwinding after a stressful day with a glass of wine or beer may sound appealing, but regular consumption of alcohol has proven to have adverse effects on the liver, brain, skin and other organs, and can lead to high blood pressure, cancer and heart issues. It also adds extra calories, especially if you like your drinks with a dash of soda or lemon juice or other cocktails. Occasional consumption, especially in social situations is fine, that is, if you control how much you drink. But for your overall well-being, let go of thinking of alcohol as a medium to unwind and social enjoyment.

The original article can be found on GQ India.

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