We all know sugary drinks like sodas, energy drinks, lattes and even concentrated juices are loaded with calories. More calories consumed means there is going to be a tendency to store those excess calories as fat. As you may know, excess fat, especially toxic belly fat, is associated with insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar levels.
Excess fat also means the body has to make an enormous amount of new blood vessels to supply that extra fat. In fact, it is estimated to take up to one hundred miles of new blood vessels just to supply each extra pound of fat. All those extra blood vessels create a greater load on the heart which causes a rise in blood pressure and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
The Harvard School of Public Health has done a recent study which showed that even what most people would consider a reasonable daily consumption of sugary beverages can have some terrible effects on long term health. As little as one to two sugary beverages daily, in their study, was associated with a whooping 26% increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That same one or two daily sugary drinks also increased the risk of heart attack or fatal heart disease by 35%. Stroke risk also increased by 16%.
It certainly does not seem like a reasonable trade for the satisfaction of just one or two of those sugary beverages. A much wiser choice is getting into the habit of enjoying a couple of unsweetened green teas instead. Green tea can actually help increase metabolism so your body can burn calories more efficiently. When metabolism stays high, fat accumulation stays low. Not to mention the positive effect green tea has on your immune system and its ability to fight diseases of all kinds.
Of course, a simple, effective alternative to those sweet drinks is to just drink what you are mostly made of…good old fashioned water. Water is the best thirst quencher known and its calorie content is zero. Water also fills you up when you drink it with meals which means you are far less likely to take in as many calories from the food you are eating.
For years I have been telling people not to “drink” your calories. This new research give us perhaps the most important reason to follow this advice. Now would be a great time to retrain your taste buds and create a habit that will pay health benefits for years to come. Once you make the change consistently you will actually begin to desire green tea and water. Within about a month those old sugary beverages will be much to sweet to even tolerate. Your blood sugar and blood pressure are also much more likely to be lower. I’ll drink to that!