I’m sure by now you are well aware of the dangers of drinking soft drinks. Most are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup or artificial chemical sweeteners, which have both been linked to a wide range of health concerns, ranging from diabetes and obesity to metabolic syndrome and gout.
But another dangerous ingredient lurks in those effervescent cola drinks, such as Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, and Coke: phosphoric acid. Added to these beverages to give them their tangy flavor, phosphoric acid, as its name implies, is very acidic. The dangers of phosphoric acid are many. Here’s a short list of complications that can arise from consuming it:
- Erosion of tooth enamel
- Reduced bone mineral density (caused by the upset of the body’s calcium/phosphorus balance)
- Kidney stones and kidney disease
This is yet another reason why I recommend you avoid sodas and stick mainly with water, teas, and coffee. I hear a lot from patients and subscribers that drinking plain water, coffee, and tea can get boring. So here are some options for staying hydrated.
- To spruce up your water, try adding lemon, lime, or orange slices. You can also experiment with berries and sprigs of fresh mint, rosemary, or basil. Sparkling water is another alternative.
- To kick your coffee up a notch, sprinkle some cinnamon into the grounds prior to brewing or add a little low-or no-calorie creamer and a dash of stevia or xylitol to sweeten it up.
- To jazz up hot or cold tea, try different flavors of green, herbal, and black tea. Or make your own creations by adding fruit, healthy sweeteners, and the like. Here are two delicious green tea recipes for you to try.
Iced Green Tea
- 1 green tea bag or 1 tablespoon loose green tea
- 2 cups water
- Ice cubes
- 1 teaspoon honey (or a little stevia or xylitol)
- Slice of lemon
Pour water over green tea into a glass and let stand for 2 minutes. Add ice cubes and healthy sweetener. Decorate with a lemon slice.
Peachy Green Tea
- 6 green tea bags
- 6 cups cold water
- 2 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced (or use frozen or peaches canned in water)
Place tea bags in a large teapot or pitcher. Put sliced peaches in a saucepan, add cold water, and bring to a brisk boil, then pour water and peaches over tea bags. Steep for 6 minutes, then add a little natural sweetener (stevia or xylitol recommended). Allow tea to cool, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Include a few peach slices in each glass and serve with a spoon, garnished with a sprig of mint, if desired.
Now it’s your turn: Which healthy beverages do you enjoy?