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The day is hot, you’re wiping beads of sweat from your forehead and all you could think about is grabbing a cold, sugary drink to cool down. Most of us have been guilty of this especially when the heat is too much to handle. With a myriad of boba tea and energy drink outlets mushrooming in almost every corner of the streets, it is hard not to give in to temptations. Nonetheless, our well-being must always remain a priority. While it is okay to give yourself a free pass every now and then, let us explore other yummy beverage options that are favorable to your health.
Beneficial vs. bad beverages
First, let’s talk about these drinks which we consume daily. Most of them can be rewarding to our health, provided taken in a moderate amount with no added sugar and other preservatives:
Are you really surprised to see water being on top of this list? A human body is made up of approximately 60 percent water, which it then uses to regulate its own temperature and perform other bodily functions. When we breathe, sweat and digest food, we constantly lose water from our body, therefore it is vital for us to replenish and stay hydrated.
How much is too much: There is no one-formula-fit-all when it comes to water. It depends on other factors such as physical activities, weather and health condition. On average, eight glasses a day is highly recommended.
Tips: Spice things up by infusing a squeeze of citrus or a few berries into your glass to ‘trick’ your body into thinking you are not drinking water.
2. Filtered coffee
We know Cambodians in general love coffee, but this right here is a tricky territory. For years, it is said to increase the risk of heart disease. Its caffeine content has also been criticised for inducing anxiety and reducing quality sleep time. However, recent studies showed that it may protect against type 2 diabetes and liver disease, among others.
How much is too much: Depending on the amount of sugar and cream you take with your coffee, WebMD suggests that three to five cups a day seem to be reasonable. However, if you are an expecting mother, it is best to consult your doctor.
Tips: Try to have your coffee sans sugar, Americano-style. By doing so, you can avoid the risks of diabetes. If you are one of those whose night’s sleep will be affected by coffee consumption, try drinking it only in the morning.
Tea is great because it contains high level of antioxidants, which is an excellent guard against certain types of cancer, stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure. The best part is you can never run out of tea options: from the classic green, red, black to oolong and herbal tea, there is something for everybody.
How much is too much: Due to the caffeine content, especially in black tea, drinking too much might lead to a psychological dependence. It may also interfere with your awareness. University of Maryland Medical Center recommend no more than three tea cups a day.
Tips: Instead of running to the nearest mart to get bottled tea or have it from your local tea shops, brew it yourself at home. This is the healthiest method as you get to control the amount of sugar that goes into your tea. Additionally, the process is also therapeutic in nature.
Meanwhile, here are some of the beverages that you should always try to say no to, no matter how tempting it may get:
Soft drinks – Soda basically contains nothing but sugar, artificial flavorings and additives. They could trigger other diseases from tooth decay to type 2 diabetes and heart problems.
Lemonade – To combat lemon’s natural acidic content, a high quantity of sugar is typically used to make lemonade. If you must have a glass of lemonade, go for a sugar-free version.
Blended coffee drinks – Sure, their names may sound fancy and they look good enough for your next social media post. But, bear in mind the amount of calories they carry. A frappucino reportedly has a minimum of 520 calories, 23 grams of fat and 69 grams of sugar.
A 2010 research showed that those who consume one sugary drink everyday has 26 percent higher risk of developing diabetes, which could open the floodgates to other high-risk illnesses like stroke. Make smart choices when it comes to your beverage of choice and get yourself protected with AIA’s life insurance solution. It covers 26 conditions of critical illnesses and medical operations in Cambodia and overseas, including stroke which stems from diabetes. To inquire further, please contact an AIA Life Planner via 086 999 242.
Cold water is better to cool the body down
University of Ottawa’s School of Human Kinetics found that in some circumstances, drinking warm water makes you sweat disproportionately more, which can cool your body down. Medical practitioners have also suggested starting your morning with a glass of warm water as it helps activate the digestive tract and stimulate blood flow to the intestines, among others.
‘Sports drinks’ offer the highest amount of electrolytes
When we sweat, we lose electrolytes which could result in dehydration. Commercial beverages, although advertised as a good electrolyte replenisher, is – more often than not –filled with sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, and additives. Instead, opt for natural alternatives such as coconut water as it contains easy-to-digest carbohydrates alongside antioxidants and minerals.