If your health drinks of choice are those colorful vitamin waters, caffeinated energy drinks, or chemically enhanced sports drinks, you will want to read this.
Look at the ingredients in most commercially advertised sports drinks, energy drinks and vitamin waters, and you will quickly see they are far from being health drinks. However, many of them carry labels that suggest they are going to enhance your performance in some way.
Ingredients to avoid in drinks that are more hype than health:
Phosphoric Acid is just what it says it is - acid. This is a definition of phosphoric acid: "A clear colorless liquid used in fertilizers, detergents, pharmaceuticals and food flavoring, irritating to the skin and eyes and moderately toxic if ingested." When your diet is supposed to be 80% alkaline and only 20% acid for proper pH balance, this really puts you upside down quickly.
High Fructose Corn Syrup – This is concentrated sugar that contributes to weight gain and abnormal blood sugar levels, which can also lead to diabetes. Excess sugars have no place in health drinks.
Artificial Flavors - Excito-toxins! When artificial flavorings are in health drinks, they begin to resemble sugary juices, soft drinks and candy. These artificial substances interfere with your pH balance and force your body to neutralize the acid in the system.
Artificial Sweeteners – These are so unnecessary in health drinks today. In addition to the acid forming properties of artificial sweeteners, nutritionists express concerns about their effects on the human brain. Many experts now believe that artificial sweeteners may play a factor in diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer's.
Isolated Vitamins - When isolated, processed, heated and bottled, vitamins and minerals break down before your body can use them. You need vitamins and minerals from whole foods, not from so called health drinks that are really bottled, heated, highly processed waters with colorful dyes and artifical ingredients.
Someone showed me a well known sports drink the other day and I couldn't believe the ingredients! This tropical mango flavored "health drink" didn't mention mango anywhere in the ingredients. Let's take a look at what it did list, along with some things to think about when choosing health drinks:
Sucrose Syrup (this is sugar)
High Fructose Corn Syrup (more sugar) - A total of 56 gms of sugar
Phosphoric Acid (the opposite of alkaline)
Glycerol ester of wood rosin (acid forming)
Modified Food Starch (how was it modified?)
Natural and Artificial Flavors (your guess is as good as mine)
Yellow 6, Yellow 5 and Red 40 (artificial dyes)
Another bottle of this not so healthy drink was labeled, "Specially Formulated for Tiger Woods" with the same ingredients, but blue dye instead of yellow. I guess that secret blue stuff is what made Tiger play so well. In fact, experts could argue that Tiger's knee problems came about because of too many acid forming foods and not enough alkaline foods in his diet. Many medical and health specialists now believe that an acid/alkaline imbalance can contribute to weak bones and damaged joints.
When shopping for health drinks, ask these questions
Is it pasteurized or otherwise overly heated in the packaging process? If so, then enzymes have likely been destroyed and any nutrients in the drink are not easily absorbed or used by the body.
Does it give you chlorophyll from plants to help your cells absorb more oxygen?
Does it provide natural antioxidants to destroy free radicals? Natural antioxidants are essential for anti-aging.
Is it made with whole food ingredients like real fruit?
What to look for in real health drinks
Now, let's take a different look at health drinks on the market today that are not advertised with flashy TV ads or filled with colorful dyes. Here are some of the characteristics of these truly healthy drinks:
Processed at low temperatures
Contain live enzymes from whole foods and chlorophyll from plants
Complex structures of the whole food ingredients are fully intact
Loaded with natural antioxidants to combat free radicals
Do your health drinks do that?
Not if you bought them in a convenience store, a grocery store or the health food store at the mall, and not even if it is just plain old water.
Author Cliff Smith, as owner of an online health food store, is constantly researching the latest nutrition information. Cliff's personal success story is highlighted by his natural weight loss and athletic achievements through a combination of concentrated health drinks, all natural foods and alkaline drinks for pH balance.
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