The sugar in drinks these days is nothing far from shocking.
It’s one of the most deceiving places for hiding an insane amount of sugar and the easiest way to glug your way over a sensible amount.
Obviously soft drinks are the king of sugar drink sinners, but fruit juices, flavoured waters and the rest of them are all pretty bad. There’s really no way around this one I’m afraid.
The ‘Rethink your drink’ campaign is trying to raise awareness with powerful pictures. I struggled to find one based on drinks we have in the UK but I might try and do something similar in the future because it’s a brilliant visual that demonstrates the point at hand.
My habits around drinks
Supposedly being on the healthy side of things over the years, I was never one to really go for Coke or Fanta on a regular basis. I was partial to the odd Lipton Iced tea when abroad and I got into the smoothies and fresh orange juice like many. Obviously they are ‘healthier’ than a Red Bull but I now steer clear of juice and smoothies on a daily basis. My attitude is now more towards moderate use in the odd cocktail or as a treat here and there if the occasion presents. Juice and smoothies (unless they are mostly green) fall more into the 20% treat area.
Don’t be deceived by juice
Forget the argument that fruit juice has vitamins; you can get the same vitamins, with more fibre from other sources. Take Vitamin C for example, which most people associate with orange juice. Half cup of sliced red pepper or two kiwi fruits have got nearly double the amount of vitamin C as your standard glass of juice, and a heck of a lot less sugar. Broccoli, strawberries and kale are also excellent sources. Not to mention you physically fill more space in your stomach with the whole fruit.
I don’t see Vitamin C as good enough excuse for drinking sugary orange juice unless you are completely stranded from all other forms of healthy food desert island style.
Again another argument is that juice allows for better quick absorption of vitamins and minerals. However, it’s the sugars that are absorbed quickly into your blood stream so eating the whole fruit is in fact better to slow the digestion down.
If you’re a fan of juice or such drinks, this can be hard pill to swallow. It’s also quite disheartening to look at a colourful exciting drinks cabinet to know that water or milk are really the only viable options. I relate to the pain having been through it.
Important to also note that drinks with artificial sweeteners should not become the default daily choice. Maybe an occasional treat if water really won’t do, but nothing more. Especially not one to rely on. I explain why when discussing if artificial sweeteners are good for you.
I’ll admit, it makes buying a meal deal suck a bit. It makes you realise how much sugar is on our shelves and how cutting back really limits the choices.
Vitamin water, no.
Ribenia, a definite no.
Lucozade, I’ll let it go if the hangover is unbearable.
My best bit of advice. Really visualise the sugar in these drinks and programme your eyes to see it on the shelves. Pick up water without a second thought. Save your sugar spend for a moderated treat which you will really appreciate and not just wash your lunch down with. Once you train yourself to become blind to all fancy drinks 90% of the time, it’s a lot easier.
Remember if you want to join my low sugar community then sign up to Happy Sugar Habits here. At the moment you get a different tip e-mail each week and I’m soon to launch an exciting snack guide. I know I would have loved it two years ago when I was wondering what else I could eat to replace the museli bars.
What drinks do you grab on the go? Are you tempted by fancy colours or flavours? Does water just scream boring?