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Beverage myth busting: What’s really in your favourite drink?

A glass of fruit juice in the morning, a strawberry milk with lunch, a soft drink after a bounce on your trampoline and an energy drink after a sports match… Have you ever stopped to think about exactly what’s in those everyday drinks that you and your kids are consuming?

Branding and advertising often sway us to think that certain products are healthy, and are therefore okay to consume on a daily basis. However, this is far from the truth. We've spent many articles talking about healthy recipes, but today we wanted to take a look at exactly what’s behind the label of some of our favourite beverages.

Beverage myth busting – Orange juice



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Orange juice is perhaps the most deceptive 'healthy drink'! Oranges are a fantastic source of Vitamin C, which assists the immune system and the growth and repair of tissue. However, many commercial juices are loaded with a refined sugar; one serving of your average orange juice contains the equivalent of five teaspoons of table sugar. Not only that, completely 'juiced' fruits are essentially liquid sugar, even without additives—a combination of sucrose (table sugar), glucose and fructose. Eating as much of the whole fruit as possible us what provides the most nutrition—especially fibre.

When choosing orange juice, pulpy options are always best. Steer clear of products labelled ‘fruit drink’ or ‘fruit cocktail’, as they loaded with added sugar and don’t contain much real orange, and look for labelling like ‘no added sugar’ or 'organic'.

Tip: Use a juicer at home for a more nutrient-dense and refined sugar-free fruit juice.

Beverage myth busting – Flavoured milk



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While it does contain protein needed for strong bones, at seven teaspoons of sugar per 300 ml serving, a small glass of flavoured milk is both a high sugar and high fat option. Flavours are also often produced artificially; creating your own homemade strawberry or chocolate milk for the kids is a better—if not completely healthy—alternative.

Tip: Make DIY chocolate and maple milk by whipping up your own milk syrup. You only need four ingredients: water, maple syrup, cocoa powder and vanilla extract. 

Beverage myth busting – Sports drinks



Although sports and 're-hydration' drinks are often thought of as a health supplement, they usually contain a concerning amount of added sugar: approximately 11.5 teaspoons per bottle! If you or your kids play sport and become dehydrated, water is still the best option.

Tip: If you or your kids have lost lots a lot of fluids through sport on a particularly hot day, create your own electrolyte drink. Blending citrus fruits with sea salt, water and raw honey will do the trick.

Beverage myth busting – Soft drinks



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There’s no hiding from the most obviously unhealthy beverages: soft drinks. Of course, as with everything in moderation, a soft drink from time to time won’t damage your body. However, due to their high sugar content and complete lack of any other nutritional value, you and your kids should avoid having soft drink every day.

Tip: If your family really has a thirst for the fizz, use mineral water and natural fruit flavourings to create fun and healthy combinations.

 

Which healthy drink alternatives have you introduced into your family’s routine? We’d love to hear your recipes and ideas on how to thwart bad beverages!
beverage busting drink
16 March, 2016

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