There are so many ‘high-tech’ beverages these days that claim to be healthy. From vitamin waters to caffeinated concoctions that supposedly help with weight loss, the selection is overwhelming. Save your money. According to the Institute of Food Technologists, the healthiest beverages are old-fashioned drinks that don’t come in fancy bottles or cost an arm and a leg. Here are 3 simple drinks that have health benefits – and they’ve withstood the test of time.
3 Simple Drinks with Health Benefits
Simple Drink 1: Tea
Whether it’s green tea, white tea or the more traditional black tea, all tea has health benefits.
Green and white teas are good sources of antioxidants called catechins, which have anti-cancer, metabolism-boosting, heart-health benefits. White tea has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Even black tea, the fermented cousin of white and green tea, is heart-healthy. Studies show it helps endothelial cells, cells that line the heart and blood vessels, to function better, which may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Research looking at the health benefits of tea in humans is only in its early stages, so it’s difficult to draw conclusions, but it looks promising.
Simple Drink 2: Milk
With the high price of sports drinks, it’s reassuring to know there’s a low-tech alternative to sip when exercising or after a tough workout. A study from the University of Indiana found that chocolate milk was comparable to trendy sports drinks for recovery from strenuous exercise. Not to mention, milk is fortified with vitamin D and is a good source of bone-building calcium.
More good news. Some studies show that calcium from low-fat dairy sources helps with fat loss. For the most health benefits, choose a milk product that’s organic where the cows haven’t been treated with antibiotics or hormones.
Milk is a simple beverage that’s full of nutrition.
Simple Drink 3: Coffee
At one time, people thought coffee caused pancreatic cancer, but the health benefits of drinking coffee are now recognised. Coffee is a good source of antioxidants and some studies show that drinking coffee reduces the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, gall bladder disease, liver disease, colon cancer and some degenerative diseases of the brain including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.
On the other hand, coffee contains a fair amount of caffeine, which can raise blood pressure, increase the heart rate and cause insomnia. So drink it in moderation and don’t destroy its health benefits by adding too much cream and sugar.
This just goes to show that it’s the everyday, simple drinks that have health benefits. Milk, coffee and tea have been around since the beginning of time, and they’re still good thirst quenchers. Why waste your money on fancy, bottled drinks?
References: Br J Nutr. 2008 Apr;99(4):863-8. Epub 2007 Oct 5. Indiana University Newsroom. “Got Milk? Try Chocolate After Your Workout” Medical News Today. “Looking for a Healthy Beverage? Get Back to the Basics”