Best Weight Loss Drink
When I embarked on the journey to lose weight once again, I was already back into the bad habits of drinking too many soft drinks and juices. As you may already know, these are very high in sugar content. Then I was trying to see how I could reduce the sugar intake but not hurt too much by giving up the flavors of these drinks.
As I started to research to learn more about the best weight loss drink, or the drinks low in sugar that would help me slim down, I learned quite a few things. I learned that diet drinks contain low-calorie sugars and do not necessarily help with weight loss. I also learned that these low-calorie sugars might be more harmful than good to our health, and they can even negatively affect our brain. Below are some of my findings. I also share my experience as I tested out cutting down or eliminating some of these products from my diet.
Diet Drinks Do Not Necessarily Help Achieve Weight Loss
According to the manufacturers, drinks labeled “diet” are lower in sugar than their regular versions. And we have the content labels to assure us that they are. I began reducing my sugar intake by switching from regular soft drinks to diet or those with low or zero sugar.
When you take a close look at those labels, you will see that they usually have a specific ingredient. That ingredient is usually Aspartame, or Saccharin, or Sucralose, or one of those that are called low-calorie sweeteners. There are conflicting reports that diet soda and artificial or low-calorie sweeteners do help us with weight loss or, at least, do not make us gain weight. Studies show that diet soda can increase the risk of contracting certain chronic diseases, and research suggests that it does not help with weight loss but instead will cause weight gain.
I did notice some weight maintenance through my weight loss journey when I switched from regular soda to diet. It was not a loss of weight. It made a difference because when I consumed standard versions of soda, I would gain weight. However, the ultimate goal, losing weight, was not at my reach since with diet versions of the soda, I was not losing anything.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) are sweeteners that contain few to no calories but have a higher intensity of sweetness per gram than sweeteners with calories—like table sugar, fruit juice concentrates, and corn syrups.” Eight of them are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). People consume these sweeteners to add sugar but not calories to their foods and drinks, and others use them to control their blood sugar.
You would think that something that is low-calorie and not flat-out sugar would be good for your health, but there are studies and evidence that they could be more harmful than good. They have been linked to raising the risk of several chronic diseases, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. So, are low-calorie sweeteners good or bad for us?
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics position on this is “that consumers can safely enjoy a range of nutritive sweeteners and nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS) when consumed within an eating plan that is guided by current federal nutrition recommendations, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Dietary Reference Intakes, as well as individual health goals and personal preference.”
I switched from regular sugar to low-calorie sweeteners to sweeten my coffee and tea. I also switched from regular creamer to no sugar creamer. When I made the switch, I did notice I lost a little weight the first week. After that, the weight remained the same, and I did not see a decrease or increase.
This result was acceptable. What was not was how I felt after the constant use of the product. After a while, and while I was not noticing, my attention span was shorter, I did not seem to retain much memory, and my brain seemed to be in a fog often. When I finally realized this, I was already in panic mode and suffering from stress and anxiety. Although some of the symptoms may well be also due to long work hours and my not caring for myself properly, it’s possible that the low-calorie sweeteners had something to do with it.
There is evidence that suggests that sugar, regular or low-calorie sweeteners, negatively affect the brain. Neuronal and behavioral plasticity associated with a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, a protein produced inside nerve cells, is reduced by sugar.
BDNFs are associated with long-term memory, and changes in the production of these factors can potentially interfere with learning. Sugar is addictive. The addictive nature of eating sugar can have harmful effects on the rest of our bodies. Without a doubt, large amounts will have a negative impact. Too much of something can be trouble.
I did see a change in my weight when I stopped consuming all versions of soda, juices, and low-calorie sweeteners and began drinking more water. My doctor shared with me that low-calorie sweeteners do interfere with memory. It was not until he told me that I connected my brain fog and faulty memory to my intake of this product. After that, although I did not give them up completely, I did lower the intake of the no sugar coffee creamer and the sweeteners. With my increase in water intake, I felt an enormous amount of difference.
What is Water?
It is widely known that water sustains life. Without it, we cannot survive. Studies show, and health experts say, that we can survive without food for some time, but without water, we will perish within three days.
Water is a liquid made up of H20 – two times Hydrogen and one-time Oxygen.
Can Water Help You Lose Weight?
Water is the one pure liquid that is considered organic and is not subjected to a process to strip out the liquid itself. It has zero calories. I say considered because these days, the bottling of water can add unwanted impurities, and unfiltered tap water can contain chemicals that are dangerous to our health.
Even with these concerns, water has many properties that allow people to lose weight and even keeps us healthy. Due to the availability of juices and soft drinks, many of us do not consume even eight ounces of water a day. This amount is the minimum that we sometimes hear from our doctors that we should be drinking daily.
Interestingly enough, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that there is no recommended amount of water intake. The institution explains that the amount depends on what other liquids are consumed each day. The CDC and the USDA point to the FNIC’s DRI Nutrient Reports to access the NASEM report Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. The report provides the Adequate Intake (AI) for total water. Going by the information, men up to 30 years old should be drinking sixteen (16), eight (8) ounce cups of water a day, and women up to the same age, eleven (11), eight (8) ounce cups a day.
According to the CDC, water is essential for many functions, and staying hydrated and avoiding dehydration is important. We must wonder, why if water is the healthiest thing to drink to lose weight so many of us do not keep up with drinking the minimum recommended amount by our doctors? Can water help with weight loss?
Like I shared earlier, I noticed a change in my weight when I began consuming more water and stopped drinking soda and juices altogether. It added to my success in reducing weight. And, not only did I lose weight, I felt a whole lot better. The inflammation I suffered from also decreased until it disappeared. Pains that accompanied the inflammation no longer exist, and even my mind seems sharper. I was able to focus better, and the mental fog was gone.
Many women do not drink enough water. This is especially true if we have a job that keeps us outside or engaging in many extracurricular activities out of the home, pre-covid. One reason is that we don’t want to have to search for a restroom to empty our bladder to be able to remain hands-on in the activities for a more extended period, or simply because we dread the idea of using a public rest room. These bad habits keep us from drinking water.
Others do not drink much water because it has no flavor, and still others because some types of bottled water have a strange taste. Yet others who work in offices do not drink enough because they do not feel thirsty while they are within a cool area all day.
When we do not drink enough water, we tend not to function well. A lack of water can dehydrate the body, negatively impacting our regular functions and even our memory. The CDC confirms these symptoms.
Being from the Caribbean, I have access to another type of organic water and is so good for us. You may have heard of the coconut. I can get them from our palm trees that are right in the yard. You must have heard of its healing properties. Its water is very light and so refreshing. Studies show the health benefits of the water in this fruit.
Best Drink to Lose Weight – Conclusion
So, what is the best drink to lose weight? Anything organic will do better than diet sodas and juices. From the evidence, water is the best. Evidence also shows coconut water is another close option. My experience has made me conclude that water will always be the best option.
Coconut water is the second type of drink I have added to my diet to add some variety. Once in a blue moon, I will drink a regular coke or add a bit of low-calorie juice to some water to vary, but I have faithfully stuck to water for the most part daily and mastered the intake amount. How do I do it? I fill a water bottle daily in the morning and keep chugging until it’s time to refill it in the afternoon. I have found that these nicely labeled bottles will do the trick. They keep me on track.
What about fruit shakes and green powders? Do they help with weight loss and overall health? Come back to check out my next post on this topic.