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16 Drinks That Are Terrible for Your Health

Summers are all about refreshing beverages, but did you know that your favorite chilled soda or cocktail might be sabotaging your health goals?

While water is the top hydrator due to its immense benefits, sometimes we crave something a bit more flavorful to quench our thirst. Thankfully, there are nutritious options that taste great and offer a range of benefits, like relieving minor illnesses, improving digestion, and even protecting us from getting sick.

However, some drinks are far from healthy; loaded with extra sugar and artificial substances, they can lead to significant health issues like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and obesity. Let’s check out these 16 drinks that are terrible for your health. Next time you reach for that bottle of soda or a fruit-flavored drink, think twice.

1. Soft Drinks

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Soda is undoubtedly one of the top offenders on our list. Despite its tempting fizz and refreshing feel, soda offers little to no nutritional value and poses considerable health risks. One of the main issues with soda is its high sugar content. A single can of soda contains upwards of 32 grams of sugar, which is significantly more than the recommended daily limit for added sugars. 

Drinking soda regularly can lead to weight gain and tooth decay and even increase the risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

2. Energy Drinks

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When people think of “energy” drinks, they typically expect those that contain caffeine. The problem is that most of these beverages are packed with excessive sugar and caffeine, making them far from healthful choices. You’re better off eating a handful of walnuts as a snack or drinking green tea when you need a mental boost.

Although you might experience a surge in alertness, don’t be misled by promises of enhanced strength and energy. What you actually get is a surplus of calories and caffeine, which can result in irregular heartbeats, anxiety, insomnia, and digestive issues. That’s not worth it for wings, is it?

3. Fruit Juices

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Though often considered healthy, many fruit juices contain as much sugar as sodas. Most store-bought fruit juices are packed with added sugars and miss out on the dietary fiber you get from whole fruits. Even the “100% fruit juice” ones can be problematic since their natural sugars can cause blood sugar spikes.

Drinking these often can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. To get the most nutrition and keep your sugar intake in check, eating whole fruits or enjoying small amounts of juice with meals is better.

4. Ginger Beer

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Even though ginger beer has a distinct ginger flavor, “sugar” is frequently the second ingredient, often even before natural flavoring or ginger root. Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits, making it a popular choice for natural remedies. 

However, more research is necessary to determine whether ginger beer has the same health advantages as real ginger.

Most commercial ginger beers contain added sugars and other ingredients that may diminish their potential health benefits. Make sure to read the nutrition label, as a study found that some may have up to 38.5g of sugar per serving. Opting for ginger tea is a better choice.

5. Bubble Tea

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Don’t let the name deceive you into believing it’s healthy. Bubble tea, also known as boba tea, is a popular drink that attracts people with its unique combination of tea, milk, and chewy tapioca pearls. 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 240-milliliter serving of bubble tea has 120 calories and 28 grams of sugar. 

Furthermore, tapioca pearls, made from cassava starch, offer little nutritional value and contain additional sugars and artificial additives. Regular consumption of bubble tea can lead to weight gain, higher blood sugar levels, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. For a healthier alternative, consider making bubble tea at home with unsweetened tea, low-fat milk, and reduced-sugar tapioca pearls.

6. Sports Drinks

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Sports drinks are often marketed as a must-have for athletes and anyone doing intense workouts. They have electrolytes like sodium and potassium to replace what you lose when you sweat. But here’s the catch: they’re also packed with sugar and calories, which can be more harmful than helpful if you’re not doing long, high-intensity exercise.

If you drink sports drinks when you don’t really need them, you might end up gaining weight because of all the sugar. Plus, they often have artificial colors and preservatives that don’t offer any benefits and could pose health risks in the long run.

For most people, especially those who are doing moderate exercise or going about their daily routines, plain water is the best way to stay hydrated. It’s calorie-free and doesn’t have any added sugars or artificial ingredients. If you do need to replenish electrolytes after a tough workout, try something natural, like coconut water. It’s got a healthy balance of electrolytes and less sugar.

7. Sweetened Coffee

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Coffee is a favorite drink enjoyed by millions worldwide, known for its brain stimulating properties. While drinking coffee in moderation is linked to several health perks, when loaded with sugar and milk, it can transform into a calorie bomb. 

Coffees like lattes, cappuccinos, and frappuccinos are often made with significant amounts of milk, cream, and flavored syrups, all of which contribute to their increased calorie and fat content. 

 A medium-sized flavored latte can contain up to 230 calories and 7 grams of fat, primarily due to the added milk and sugar. On the other hand, a simple black coffee contains virtually no calories/fat, making it a healthier choice. Opting for low-fat milk (If you’re concerned about fat content) and minimal sugar can mitigate the negative health impacts for those who prefer their coffee with some sweetness or creaminess. 

8. Fruit Smoothies

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Fruit smoothies seem like the perfect healthy choice because they’re packed with fresh fruits and often marketed as nutritious drinks. But beware: Many store-bought smoothies are loaded with added sugars and artificial flavors, which can really diminish their nutritional benefits. 

Even homemade smoothies can contain a surplus of calories if you’re not careful, especially if you add high-sugar fruits, sweetened yogurt, or fruit juice concentrates.

So, always check the ingredient list on store-bought smoothies, and when making your own, try to keep added sugars to a minimum. That way, you can enjoy an actual smoothie. Try loading it up with healthy fats from seeds and add some greens for a boost of vitamins.

9. Vitamin Water

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Vitamin water is among the unhealthiest liquids you may consume. The vitamins on the label could deceive someone who is trying to choose healthy options for themselves and their family and has the best of intentions. While this bottle of improved water has vitamins, it also contains 32 grams of added sugar, which takes over the effects of vitamins. 

These added sugars can lead to increased calorie consumption without providing significant nutritional benefits, which might contribute to weight gain and other metabolic issues. 

Additionally, the synthetic vitamins used in these beverages are typically not absorbed by the body as efficiently as those from natural food sources. When opting for vitamin water, it’s crucial to read the labels carefully and be mindful of the sugar content. 

10. Blended Tropical Drinks

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Tropical drinks may be appropriate while on the beach or on vacation, but it’s important to know how they could affect your health, especially if they’re your go-to drink or you consume them often.

These beverages commonly contain a mixture of fruit juices, sweetened syrups, and alcohol, leading to a high sugar content that can negatively impact your health. For instance, piña coladas and mango daiquiris contain calories and simple sugars, which can contribute to weight gain and spikes in blood sugar levels.

The presence of alcohol further adds to the calorie count while offering no significant nutritional benefits. Additionally, the vibrant colors of these drinks may sometimes come from artificial dyes and flavorings, which do nothing good for your health.

To enjoy a healthier version of tropical refreshment, consider making your own blended drinks at home using fresh fruits and natural sweeteners and limiting or avoiding the use of alcohol.

11. Alcohol

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It’s a no-brainer that alcohol is detrimental to your health and well-being. While moderate drinking might work for some, chronic or heavy drinking can wreak havoc on your health. It is associated with liver disease, heart issues, and a higher risk of mental health struggles like depression and anxiety. Research suggests that excessive alcohol consumption caused 140000 deaths every year from 2015 to 2019. 

Over time, alcohol misuse can damage nearly every organ in your body, worsening conditions like high blood pressure, digestive problems, and a weakened immune system. Plus, alcohol is packed with empty calories that contribute to weight gain and obesity without offering any essential nutrients.

Giving up alcohol is always a great idea, or limit your intake to occasional, mindful indulgence.

12. Frozen Coffee 

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Frozen coffee drinks are sought after for their refreshing qualities and caffeine boost, but they can be nutritional pitfalls. These drinks often pack a lot of added sugars, syrups, and whipped cream, making them high in calories. 

A typical small glass of frozen coffee from popular chains can have 390 calories, mostly from sugar and fats. Drinking these high-calorie beverages in excess can lead to weight gain and higher blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of diabetes and other metabolic issues. 

Plus, while the caffeine gives a quick energy boost, too much can cause dehydration and jitters. For a healthier frozen coffee, try making it at home with brewed coffee, ice, a splash of milk, a non-dairy alternative, and just a bit of sweetener.

13. Sweetened Tea

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Tea itself is healthy and has numerous benefits for our body; however, adding sugar or artificial sweeteners can make it unhealthy. Sweetened tea, whether in bottled form or prepared at home with generous amounts of sugar, often masks the natural benefits of tea itself, such as antioxidants, which are crucial for reducing inflammation and improving heart health.

Moreover, many commercial sweetened teas contain artificial sweeteners and preservatives, further detracting from their nutritional value.

14. Tonic Water

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Tonic water, whether mixed in cocktails or enjoyed solo, is famous for its bitter taste thanks to its ingredient, quinine. Originally, quinine was used for its anti-malarial benefits, giving tonic water its unique, medicinal flavor. However, nowadays, many tonic waters are full of added sugars (to mask the bitter taste), which can lead to health issues, just like other sugary drinks.

A typical 12-ounce serving could have up to 32 grams of sugar, wiping out any health benefits from the quinine. Too much sugar can cause weight gain, spike blood sugar levels, and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Furthermore, while tonic water is effective in treating malaria, excessive amounts can have adverse consequences, such as headaches and upset stomachs. For a healthy option, go with club soda or diet tonic water.

15. Protein Powder Shakes

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Protein is essential for many bodily processes, including the development of bone and muscle strength. However, many people don’t receive enough protein from their regular diets, so a protein shake is a sensible choice. But there are a few things you should know before making that decision. 

Pay close attention to the ingredients. Many protein powders and shakes on the market include a lot of sugar and artificial flavors, which add to the calorie count. Certain powders have also been reported to contain bisphenol A (BPA) and heavy metals. So, be mindful if you plan to consume protein shakes or powders. 

16. Flavored Dairy Milk

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Milk has been getting a bad reputation lately, but it’s actually quite rich in nutrients. It contains protein, bone-building calcium, and vitamin D.

However, when flavors are added to it, such as strawberry or chocolate, that added sugar turns your nutritious glass of milk into an unhealthy beverage higher in both total sugars and calories. For instance, an 8-ounce glass of chocolate milk can contain up to 24 grams of sugar, which is far more than the sugar content of plain milk. It increases your risk of obesity and other health conditions.  

17 Things That Happen When Someone Stops Drinking

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Have you ever wondered what changes you might see in yourself once you put down the glass for good? Deciding to quit drinking, even if you don’t drink “that much,” can be life-changing. 

Studies show that alcohol consumption has been linked to over 200 diseases and around 178000 deaths in the US each year. You’re taking a decisive step towards improving your health and overall well-being by quitting drinking.

17 Things That Happen When Someone Stops Drinking

27 Ways Real People Were Able to Lose Weight Sustainably without Extreme Dieting

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Finding it challenging to lose those stubborn extra pounds, and growing more disheartened by the digits on your scale? The plethora of diets, exercise routines, and conflicting guidance can, without a doubt, feel quite bewildering. In the midst of numerous choices and contradictory information, you might naturally ponder: Where should you even commence?

27 Ways Real People Were Able to Lose Weight Sustainably without Extreme Dieting

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