New health drinks and energy drinks seem to fill the coolers and store shelves these days. New beverages are marketed as sports drinks, vitamin water, energy drinks, diabetic drinks,weight-loss or weight-gain drinks and exotic fruit or plant extract drinks- with “miracle” health benefits. The spin is endless – the health claims are often based on fuzzy or no science. There are a few things we should consider when substituting these new beverages for plain old water or other traditional beverages.
Food and drink consumption is largely driven by lifestyle. Beverage manufacturers are in competition to appeal to our quick-changing lifestyles and as a result millions of dollars go in to formulating and marketing something to sell to us. Health and energy products have a special consumer appeal, so, it is profitable for beverage purveyors to associate “good-for-you” and “high energy” with all forms of liquid concoctions. Health and energy drinks are supposed to improve our life in some way, right? Many fall short or can actually hurt us.
Are all these new health and energy beverages really fit for human consumption? Many are absolutely not good for you. Check your labels. Most of these so called health drinks are loaded with sugars to make them palatable to our sugar craving taste buds. Since we aren’t likely to buy many if they taste bad, beverage manufacturers are tempted to disguise the high sugar content of their beverages – because consumers in our new health conscious culture have quit buying so many of their high sugar soft drinks. Isn’t high sugar content the reason we were told our kid’s teeth are rotting and our butts are getting larger?. Many health drinks with high sugar content now disguise the sugar as “crystalline fructose” or “high fructose corn syrup” or “HFCS” rather than Sugar. Even sugar substitutes are not as healthy as we once thought. The truth is that we like sweet drinks, but, healthy and sweet are not usually found in the same sentence. Additionally, many popular “energy” drinks are loaded with caffeine or other stimulants plus lots of disguised sugar. Also popular these days are labels that claim “all natural” or “organic” ingredients. Be reminded that many natural or organic ingredients are not really good for your. Dirt is organic and natural too but it is not safe to eat just because it is organic and natural. Always consider the ingredients listed on labels and be aware of the beverage’s contents, especially high sugar content. Many of the exotic ingredients and claims made of their health benefits are not based on good science or any science at all. Consumers seem to have an affection for miracle ingredients and exotic plants that come from far away places. Reality check! – there is very little governmental regulation of any beverage ingredient that has not been proven to kill you within 48 hours. Beware of unproven health claims and watch those labels. Also, combining energy stimulants with alcohol, which has become extremely popular, can be hazardous to your health and to others as well.
Please keep this fact in mind when making your beverage selections: Your good health is not the primary focus of the beverage industry and not the reason they have developed these enticing new formulas – profits are!