While water is always a healthy option and vital for proper hydration, it provides little in the way of fiber, nutrients or flavor. When exploring alternate beverage options, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each. Here are four options to consider:
drinks, sodas, colas or whatever you call them are
NEVER a healthy beverage choice. They are calorie bombs that contain artificial
colors sweetened with liquid sugars and provide ZERO nutrients. Soda also
contains phosphoric acid and carbonic acid that creates a highly acidic
environment along your entire digestive tract and may also accelerate bone
“Sugar Free” sodas are not a safe alternative. Most artificial sweeteners available in the market contain saccharin or aspartame that have been linked to lupus, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis. Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) has been linked to an increased risk of tumors, mood disorders, migraines and seizures.
If you are a big fan of those tiny little bubbles in your mouth, try plain zero-sodium sparkling water, add a fresh squeeze of lemon for added flavor.
Fruits and Fruit Juices
Fruits are always a healthy option as they are great sources of many
nutrients, including potassium, fiber, vitamin C and folate (folic acid). If
you are searching for healthy, natural, post-workout hydration, consider fruits
like watermelon, citrus or coconut water. Fresh
fruits provide vitamins, beneficial fiber, and antioxidants while also
replacing lost electrolytes. If available and not cost prohibitive, always choose
organic fruits and carefully wash any fruit before enjoying.
juices can be an excellent choice, especially those
you squeeze at home. An inexpensive citrus juicer can help ensure that you get
all the wholesome juice plus the beneficial fibrous pulp from your oranges,
lemons, or grapefruit. Your fresh
squeezed juice will be 100% juice, free of added sugars, artificial flavors, or
Commercial fruit juices require a little more research to find healthy options. The goal of commercially prepared (bottled) fruit juices is sales, and sales are dependent on taste. Sadly, most bottlers accordingly fill these juices with sugar and/or some artificial flavoring to increase their sales.
When choosing bottled juices, read the labels and find juices with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Be very cautious of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), HFCS is a liquid sugar high in calories, and unfortunately some manufacturers add HFCS to their products to be able to label them as “no sugar product.”
Two natural drinks/juices you should consider are pomegranate juice which is naturally tart rather than sweet and rich in antioxidant power or 100% coconut water which is organic and contains no artificial flavors or preservatives. Both options provide a healthy dose of carbs and potassium and are a great way to hydrate after a strenuous workout.
Juicing and “green juices” are becoming extremely popular. When prepared at home, green juices are an excellent way to lose weight, add vital nutrients and antioxidants to your diet, lower your levels of inflammation, and reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease.
Unfortunately, preparing these juices at home requires costly equipment, lengthy preparation of your fruits and vegetables and a great deal of cleanup. The biggest problem with juicing is that the juicer is designed to separate the juice from the natural fiber from your fruits and vegetables. You drink the juice, but discard the fiber.
Smoothies are without a doubt the best option for healthy, nutritional beverages. Smoothies support healthy digestion and elimination, reduce cravings, hydrate your body, reduce inflammation and provide a wealth of antioxidants. Smoothies are delicious, easy to make, and very satisfying and YOU control exactly what goes into your blender:
- Add fruits for vitamins and fiber.
- Add berries for flavor and antioxidants.
- Add dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale for nutrients.
- Add milk or yogurt for protein (or protein powder).
- Add nuts, nut butter, flaxseeds or avocado for healthy fatty acids.
- Add ginger or cinnamon for healthy spices.
- For smooth “creaminess,” add a banana and two ice cubes.
In Cascada, we pride ourselves in holding ourselves to the highest standards and provide you a “health in a jar.” Our juices and smoothies are unsweetened and prepared fresh on order with all-natural ingredients. Customers can still request to sweeten their smoothie, and we provide different sweetening options as they prefer.
We have a wide range of well researched,
tested, and nutritionists supervised juices and smoothies to provide the
maximum nutrition benefits and best flavor possible.
Please check our smoothies menu online and come visit us in our location for a great healthy and flavorful experience.
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