HOW BEVERAGES IMPACT YOUR HEALTH

Beverages are liquids (excluding water) artificially prepared and of an agreeable flavor. This may include tea, coffee, liquor, beer, milk, juice or soft drinks, etc.

 

When we are tired or stressed, we often feel the thirst for a cold sugary beverage which provides so many calories and virtually no other nutrient. You would have noticed that no matter the intake of beverages, it still wouldn’t feel the same as taking solid food.

 

When it comes to your health, it is clear that beverages should be avoided, especially, those that have high sugar content. Each beverage consists of at least 4.2 grams of sugar in a single teaspoon. Now imagine scooping up 7 to 10 spoons of sugar and dumping it into your 12-ounce glass of water. You’d be doing your body harm than good if you gulp this down

 

Beverages are classified based on alcoholic content, chemical composition, method of preparation, etc. Some classes of beverages include;

 

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

 

man chugging beer

Alcoholic beverages contain organic compounds called ethanol which is produced by fermentation of grain, fruits, and other sources of sugar. The consumption of alcohol plays an important social role in many cultures. Most countries have laws regulating the production and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is one of the most widely used recreational drugs in the world with about 33% of the people being current drinkers.

 

Alcoholic beverages have both positive and negative effects. Some of its positive effect include;

  • protection from brain damage. Studies have shown that a compound found in beer called xanthohumol could protect brain cells from damage thus slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • chemicals slow down the growth of fat cells and stop new ones from being created
  • Antioxidants, present in red wine helps reduce the risk of a cold by 60 percent.

 

Also, beverages like Guinness beer are packed with Vitamins B riboflavin and thiamin plus a high level of magnesium and calcium which helps oxygen circulate around the body better.

A study in the Journal of Endocrinology suggests that the chemicals in beer may act as a phytoestrogen which can help diminish hot flashes and lessen other menopause symptoms.

 

On the flip side, the negative effects include the following

 

  • High risk of chronic liver cancer and many other liver diseases
  • It damages the digestive system and makes it difficult for the body to absorb important nutrient
  • Increased risk of central nervous system deterioration
  • People who drink too much alcohol are liable to get obese.
  • Men who drink too much alcohol are likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction

 

 

NON ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

 

Nonalcoholic beverages also are known as soft drinks or temperance drinks contain little or no alcohol in them, some examples include smoothies, tea, mulled apple juice, pomegranate mojito cocktail, and homemade lemonade, syrups, mineral water, sodas, and juices. These beverages hydrate and produce important nutrients for the body. Some benefits of consuming alcoholic beverages include the following;

 

  • Nonalcoholic beverages can help act as a form of hydration
  • They are low in calorie hence reduces the risk of weight gain

 

Some nonalcoholic beverages contain vitamin B12 and folic acid which are mostly found in animal-based food like beef, dairy. Increased folic acid intake enhances the reproductive system of women.

 

  • Moderate intake enhances good sleep
  • Negative impact on dental health including dental erosion, tooth decay
  • Drinking alcohol-free beer reduces the risk of heart diseases

 

On the flip side, the negative effects include the following;

 

  • Soda drinkers have a high risk of cancer. Studies have shown that adults who drink two or more sugary sodas per week were 87 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those who did not drink soda
  • Excessive consumption increases belly fat accumulation which in turn increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart diseases
  • Intake of nonalcoholic beverages by quitting alcoholic sometimes causes relapse
  • Soda drinkers are more likely to develop Gout; Gout occurs when high levels of uric acid become crystalized

 

HOT BEVERAGES

 

Hot beverages are beverages that are served heated either by the addition of hot water or directly heating the beverage. Some examples of hot beverages include; green tea, hot chocolate, hot lemon, coffee, ginger tea, butter tea, herbal tea. Hot beverages are mostly nonalcoholic and composed mainly of organic substances which are beneficial to the health. Consumption of hot beverages has little or no side effect.

 

Some benefit of hot beverages includes;

 

  • increase in body heat, aids digestion
  • some hot  beverages help to burn fat which induces weight loss, body detoxification,
  • Improves the circulation of blood in the body.

 

However, it should be made crystal clear that drinking hot beverages does not necessarily cure diseases but the risk of intake is minimal compared to other types of beverages.