Drink to your health

Contents

What are the best drinks for losing weight?

The following beverages may help promote weight loss if a person incorporates them into a healthful diet and activity plan:

Water

Share on PinterestWater is a good choice for weight loss, as it contains no calories.

Water is one of the most healthful drinks — it contains no calories, facilitates metabolic and physiologic processes and aids in detoxification, among many other benefits.

For people looking to manage their weight, many health organizations, including the CDC, recommend either choosing water instead of more caloric beverages or increasing overall water consumption.

Learn more about how water may help with weight loss here.

Tea

Researchers have found links between regular consumption of green and black tea and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and diabetes.

Additional studies suggest that green tea can help people lose weight and keep it off because of two key ingredients: caffeine and a compound called epigallocatechin gallate.

However, a review of multiple studies found that, in most cases, weight loss resulting from green tea was not statistically significant. When green tea did make a difference, the procedures involved were more complicated than simply drinking the tea.

Learn more about current research into green tea and weight loss.

Apple cider vinegar

Many people claim that apple cider vinegar has health benefits, including aiding weight loss.

One small study found that participants on a restricted-calorie diet who also took apple cider vinegar experienced more weight loss and lower cholesterol levels than others who only followed the diet.

Learn more about research into apple cider vinegar for weight loss here.

Meal replacement shakes

People looking to lose weight may find meal replacement shakes a useful option, particularly if a busy lifestyle means that it is difficult to make time for healthful meals.

Eating a balanced, nutrient-dense meal or snack is ideal, but a replacement shake can be healthful and satisfying. Many of these shakes contain a range of important nutrients, protein, and fiber, with fewer calories than processed foods.

However, not all meal replacement shakes are healthful. It is important to be mindful of the ingredients and nutrition information.

If a person wishes to try meal replacement shakes, they should be sure to check the labels and avoid options that contain unhealthful ingredients, such as added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and corn syrups.

Some research suggests that meal replacement shakes can help people start to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

One 2011 review of studies reported evidence that shakes could to lead to significant weight loss, while others studies in the analysis were inconclusive.

Protein shakes

Share on PinterestProtein shakes may help in reducing hunger.

Protein shakes do not contain the nutrition of a balanced meal or some meal replacement shakes.

However, consuming a high amount of protein may help reduce hunger and maintain a feeling of fullness. As a result, a person may consume fewer calories after a protein shake, and this could help with weight loss.

It is important to be aware, however, that protein shakes also contain calories. As with meal replacement shakes, a person should check for unhealthful ingredients in protein shakes.

Learn more about protein shakes for weight loss here.

Drinks containing ginger

People have used ginger to improve digestive health for hundreds of years. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can be a healthful addition to hot tea or sparkling water.

However, some ginger drinks have added sugar, which promotes inflammation and weight gain.

One small study found that drinking a beverage of hot tea and ginger powder decreased hunger, increased a feeling of fullness, and encouraged the body to burn calories.

As there were only 10 participants in the study, however, confirming the findings will require further research.

Learn more about ginger water here.

Carbonated water

Carbonated, or sparkling, water can be a good alternative to sugary carbonated beverages, such as sodas.

Carbonated water can encourage the body to feel full, which may lead a person to consume fewer calories.

A healthy lifestyle coupled with a low-carb diet is all about balance. Sticking to your diet by watching your carbohydrate intake doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a cocktail with friends. Dieters have several low-carb options, from vodka and soda to some light beers.

“An alcoholic drink is low carb if it contains little to no grams of carbs,” Sarah Currie, registered dietitian, personal trainer, and triathlon coach in New York City, told Medical Daily.

A drink’s sugar content is what distinguishes whether it’s high or low carb. Most low-carb drinks and liquors are clear or light. This is because they are straight hard alcohol with no mixers containing added sugars. However, Currie adds: ” rum and diet coke has no carbs, but is dark due to the diet coke.”

Straight hard alcohol, including vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and whiskey has zero grams of carbs or sugar per ounce. Instead, these drinks get all their calories from alcohol, and range in calories from 97 calories for a 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, or tequila, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Although these drinks aren’t loaded with carbs, you can still add calories to your daily intake depending on the mixer you choose.

Have your choice of alcohol, and drink it, too. Check out these 5 low-calorie alcoholic drinks that have less of a chance of making you fat.

Drinking these 5 low-carb alcoholic drinks, from vodka and soda to light beer, in moderation won’t make you fat. Photo courtesy of Pexels, Public Domain

Vodka and Soda

The popular bar staple — vodka soda — is practically zero-carb since it’s a clear spirit. Skip the juice, and add soda water or diet soda to reduce carb and calorie intake. Clear beverages make choosing the right drink visually easy and they’re usually significantly lower in sugar (and calories) than their colorful counterparts.

“Clear alcohol (specifically vodka and rum) are the lowest in both sugar and calories compared to most of the darker selections,” Dr. Rachita Reddy, a double board-certified nephrologist and internist with training from UC Berkeley, NYU and Lenox Hill Hospital, told Medical Daily.

Rum and Diet Coke

Swapping sodas for diet options, like diet cola, can make your go-to hard liquor low-carb friendly. Mixing your favorite unflavored rum with diet coke sets you back just 100 calories. This drink is the exception to the no-dark liquor rule — although it’s dark due to the diet coke, it’s a relatively low-calorie drink.

Vodka Martini

A vodka martini is an odorless, colorless drink that can be a part of any low-carb diet if it’s dry. Typically, this includes gin and vermouth, with an olive added or a twist of lemon. Gin has zero carbs. “Juices, sodas and other mixers are high in sugar/carbohydrates, which leads you to literally drink your calories,” said Reddy.

Red Wine

If red wine better matches your palate, pinot noir is an excellent low-carb option. Meanwhile, there is about 122 calories and 3.4 grams of carbs in a single glass of wine, which is about 5 ounces. According to Reddy, a true low-carb drink should have less than 5 grams of sugar.

Light Beer

Beers don’t typically make it on the low-carb lists because most of them are inundated with carbs, hence the term “beer belly.” This is because there are tons of rapidly digestible carbs in beer, which can be a disaster for weight control. However, some light beers, like Michelob Ultra, won’t sacrifice your waistline.

Currie believes wine is the “healthiest” of all drinks, but other alcohols in moderation have also shown to be “healthy” in scientific literature.

Balancing a healthy lifestyle and drinking responsibly will reduce your chances of developing a beer belly.

The 37 Best-Ever Drinks for Weight Loss

Protein powder is pretty easy to make palatable. Blend a scoop with a frozen banana and some spices—boom, dessert in a glass! There’s only one problem: some mornings, you don’t have time to even peel a banana, much less clean the blender. You have to grab something and go. This story is for you.

A steaming cup of tea is the perfect drink for soothing a sore throat, warming up on a cold winter’s night, or binge-watching Downton Abbey.

But certain teas are also perfect for doing something else—helping you lose extra weight. Inspired by the amazing results from our book, The 7-Day Tea Cleanse—on which test panelists lost up to 4 inches from their waist—the team at Eat This, Not That! researched this list of the best fat-blasting drinks of all time. Teas, coffees, energy drinks, weight loss smoothies, even sodas—sip your way to a leaner, healthier you. And to blast even more flab—in record time—don’t miss these ways to lose 10 pounds—fast!

Coffee and Teas

1

Green Tea

DRINK THIS: Lipton, Yogi
BECAUSE IT: Unlocks your fat cells

Before a workout, turbocharge the fat-blasting effects by sipping a cup of green tea. In a recent 12-week study, participants who combined a daily habit of 4-5 cups of green tea each day with a 25-minute sweat session lost an average of two more pounds than the non tea-drinking exercisers. Thank the compounds in green tea called catechins, flat belly crusaders that blast adipose tissue by triggering the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly), and then speeding up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy. See how tea can help you lose up to 10 pounds in one week on THE 17-DAY GREEN TEA DIET.

2

Oolong Tea

DRINK THIS: Bigelow, Stash
BECAUSE IT: Boosts metabolism

Oolong, a Chinese name for “black dragon,” is a light, floral tea that, like green tea, is also packed with catechins, which help to promote weight loss by boosting your body’s ability to metabolize lipids (fat). A study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine found that participants who regularly sipped oolong tea lost six pounds over the course of the six-week time period. That’s a pound a week!

3

Mint Tea

DRINK THIS: Tazo, Teavana
BECAUSE IT: Wards off the munchies

Fill a big teacup with soothing peppermint tea, and sniff yourself skinny! While certain scents can trigger hunger (a trick Cinnabon figured out long ago), others can actually suppress your appetite. One study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours lost an average of 5 pounds a month. (Although tea is relatively low in caffeine—about 25% of what a cup of coffee delivers—decaffeinated varieties are great to have on hand for a soothing bedtime treat.) Consider also adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your pillow or burning a minty candle to fill the room with slimming smells.

4

White Tea

DRINK THIS: Twinings, The Republic of Tea, Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime
BECAUSE IT: Prevents new fat cells from forming

White tea is dried naturally, often in sunlight, making it the least processed and richest source of antioxidants among teas (as much as three times as many polyphenols as green tea!). A study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism showed that white tea can simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of fat cells) due to high levels of ingredients thought to be active on human fat cells. If there’s such a thing as diet tea, this is it. And keep your waistline toned and tight—in record time—with these essential 29 Best-Ever Proteins for Rapid Weight Loss.

5

Rooibos Tea

DRINK THIS: Celestial Seasonings, Harney & Sons
BECAUSE IT: Regulates fat-storage hormones

Rooibos tea is made from the leaves of the “red bush” plant, grown exclusively in the small Cederberg region of South Africa, near Cape Town. What makes rooibos tea particularly good for your belly is a unique and powerful flavonoid called Aspalathin. Research shows this compound can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage and are linked to hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Yup, sometimes the kettle can be as effective as the kettlebell.

6

Cold Brew

When regular brewed coffee is chilled and stored, two things happen: First, it begins to lose whatever nuance of taste it once possessed; second, it starts losing the polyphenols that give coffee its health benefits. The best iced coffee is cold brewed; it takes more time to make so it will be more expensive, but you’ll taste the difference. Most notably it will be less bitter, which means you can get away with adding less sugar. And less sugar = fewer calories. And start your morning 5 pounds lighter with these perfect best breakfast foods for weight loss.

7

Old-School Black Coffee

Drinking that second cup of coffee may do more than get you through the workday, it may also save your life.

At least that’s what new research published in the journal Circulation suggests. To come to this finding, Harvard School of Public Health researchers surveyed more than 250,000 Americans over 28 years and asked them questions them about their diet and coffee consumption. After analyzing their rates of disease and death over the following twenty years, they found that among nonsmokers, those who drank between three and five cups of java daily were up to 15 percent less likely to die of any cause than those who weren’t as friendly with their neighborhood barista.

Milks

8

2% Organic, 100% Grass Fed Milk

Organically raised cows are not subject to the same hormones and antibiotics that conventional cows are; no antibiotics for them means no antibiotics for you. Grass fed cows have been shown to have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids (good) and two to five times more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) than their corn and grain fed counterparts. CLA contains a group of chemicals which provides a wide variety of health benefits, including immune and inflammatory system support, improved bone mass, improved blood sugar regulation, reduced body fat, reduced risk of heart attack, and maintenance of lean body mass. Go for 2%. Skim is mostly sugar.

9

Chocolate Milk

Drinking a combination of carbohydrates and protein after a hard workout can help restore your energy and aid in building lean, metabolism-boosting muscle, but it turns out that you don’t need a fancy recovery beverage to reap these benefits. After participating in a vigorous cycling session, cyclists who drank chocolate milk were able to ride 51 percent longer in a subsequent workout than those who drank a standard recovery beverage, a 2009 article in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found. Plus, chocolate milk is cheaper (and tastier) than anything you’ll find in a sports nutrition store.

Smoothies and Juices

What if I told you that you could transform your body and radically improve your health with the push of a button—and it’s would be easier more delicious than you ever imagined? That’s the promise of Clean Green Drinks, the exciting recipe collection of 100+ delicious cleansing recipes from health journalist, chef and TV host Candice Kumai. Here’s a peek at Candice’s book, and three of the best smoothies and juices for your belly.

10

Best Smoothie for Waking Up

Clean Green Drinks isn’t just about weight loss, but better-fitting jeans is often a happy side effect of juicing. That’s because most fruits and vegetables are low calorie, low in fat, and packed with fiber and vital vitamins and antioxidants that will keep you satisfied and full of energy as you lose weight. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine found that dieters who drank an eight-ounce glass of low- sodium vegetable juice daily over a 12-week period lost, on average, four pounds more than dieters who did not drink the juice. Replace your regular breakfast or lunch with a divine low-calorie, nutrient-packed juice or smoothie and cleanse away the pounds!

Chocolate Morning Wake-Up Smoothie
Serves 2 | Per serving: 150 calories, 2.5 g fat, 10 g protein, 8 g sugar, 7 g fiber

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup baby spinach
1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon green superfood
2 tablespoons protein powder
1 cup ice

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

11

Best Juice for a Flat, Happy Belly

Unlike many bottled drinks that are heated during pasteurization and sometimes hide both synthetic and genetically modified ingredients (as well as a ton of added sugar!), fresh juices are totally raw and you control what goes in them. It’s believed that consuming raw produce boosts digestion by preserving vital enzymes, which means you can beat the bloat and sip your way to more regular bowel movements for a flat, happy tummy!

The Spicy-Ginger Pineapple Green Juice
Serves 1-2 | Per serving: 90 calories, 0.5 g fat, 3 g protein, 15 g sugar, 0 g fiber

3 cups baby spinach
1 medium cucumber
¾ cup fresh pineapple
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root

Directions: Add all ingredients to a juicer and juice. Serve immediately.

12

Best Smoothie for a Lean, Toned Body

Protein is kryptonite to belly fat, and the building block of a lean, toned bod. I have to admit, when Kumai began writing for men’s nutrition-and-wellness publications, she wasn’t too keen on their obsession with protein powders. Yet, as she began to research and experience the wonders of vegetarian protein blends, she soon became a fan. Within weeks of testing the post-workout smoothies for my book, Kumai’s body leaned up; and she had just as much muscle tone as she did when she was running half marathons. Here’s a delicious recipe to try; one sip and you won’t believe it’s healthy since it takes just like a vanilla shake.

Green Vanilla Almond Smoothie
Serves 2 | Per Serving: 180 calories, 6 g fat, 11 g protein, 8 g sugar, 3 g fiber

1 cup unsweetened coconut water
2 cups baby spinach
1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
4 tablespoons protein powder
1 cup ice

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

13

And…the Best-Ever Smoothie for Weight Loss Is…

It’s so delicious, and so simple to make, that you can have it as breakfast, a snack, a meal replacement, or even dessert! For Zero Belly Diet, David Zinczenko, co-author of Eat This, Not That!, designed the ultimate program for making your gut disappear.

On each day, you’ll enjoy—and we do mean enjoy—a blended smoothie designed to complement the natural weight loss and lean muscle gain you’ll see from the Zero Belly program. Studies show that high-protein, low-fat smoothies are highly effective at rushing nutrients to your muscles—which is why Dave recommends you have your drink immediately after exercise—and that blended fruit drinks, which include all the fiber, will actually keep you fuller longer than fruit juices.

Natural Energy Drinks

Most energy drinks are like bad online dates. The profile looks promising (so much to offer!), and at first they’re super sweet. But it doesn’t take long before the initial rush wears off and reality hits: they’re devoid of any goodness whatsoever and you’re left feeling jittery and sick, hungry for actually useful weight loss tips.

In fact, because energy drinks are marketed as dietary supplements, companies can sneak past regulations required by the Food and Drug Administration. The result? A crash-and-burn cocktail of excess caffeine, bogus “herbal blends” and enough sugar to make a packet of Skittles look like the better option. According to one study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a typical energy drink can have as much as a quarter cup of sugar, and upwards of 200 mg of caffeine—more than you’ll find in two very strong cups of coffee (a tall cup has about 71 mg)!

It’s not all doom and gloom. Here’s a roundup of the best low-sugar energy drinks you can rely on for a natural, no-bs boost.

14

Runa Clean Energy (Original Zero)

Calories 0
Fat 0 G
Sugar 0 G
Caffeine 120 MG

Energy booster: guayusa

What makes Runa Clean Energy special is guayusa, a plant native to the Amazon rainforest with double the antioxidant capacity as green tea, according to a report in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Legend has it, indigenous hunters nicknamed the leaf “night watchman” for its ability to heighten awareness and prevent sleep. With as much caffeine as coffee, guayusa is also a rich source of theanine, an amino acid that researchers say can work in synergy with caffeine to calm and focus the brain.The result? A jolt of energy without the jitters. In other words: clean energy.

15

Ito En Oi Ocha Green Tea

Calories 0
Fat 0 G
Sugar 0 G
Caffeine 60 MG

Energy booster: green tea

Oi Ocha means “Tea, please!” in Japanese. And to that we say, “Yes! Thank you!”A bottle of this calorie-free, sugar-free green tea provides slightly less caffeine than a tall cup of coffee and some impressive detox benefits, especially when consumed pre-workout. In a recent study, participants who combined a daily habit of 4-5 cups of green tea each day with a 25-minute sweat session lost two more pounds than the non tea-drinking exercisers. What makes green tea so waist friendly are compounds called catechins, belly-fat crusaders that blast adipose tissue by revving the metabolism, increasing the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly), and then speeding up the liver’s fat burning capacity.

16

Petey’s Bing Beverage

Calories 40
Fat 0 G
Sugar 10 G
Caffeine 120 MG

Energy booster: taurine

Petey’s Bing Beverage serves up an extra boost of energy from taurine (1000mg), an amino acid you’ll find in many of the sporty energy drinks due to its ability to improve athletic performance. A recent study in the Journal of Cardiology found participants who supplemented with 500 mg of taurine three times daily for two weeks, were able to significantly increase exercise distance. In addition to the 1000mg taurine, you’ll get a healthy dose of polyphenols from the bing cherries, which research suggests can reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health. A month-long clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition saw a 21 percent reduction in inflammation markers among men and women who supplemented their diets with bing cherries. (By the way, taurine is probably fine in small doses, but chug too much and the picture becomes less clear.)

17

FRS One Peach Mango

Calories 15
Fat 0 G
Sugar 2 G
Caffeine 48 MG

Energy booster: quercetin

The unique energy boost in FRS One comes from Quercetin, an antioxidant that mimics the effects of exercise by enhancing the production of mitochondria, the energy-producing units in our cells. An animal study in the American Journal of Physiology that looked at the effect of quercetin supplementation on mitochondrial production and athletic performance, found that a daily dose of 25 mg/kg could double mitochondrial DNA and increase run-til-exhaustion time by 36 percent! The daily recommendation for humans is 500-1000 mg, and a bottle of FRS One serves up 325 mg.

18

Alo Awaken

Calories 60
Fat 0 G
Sugar 15 G
Caffeine 0 MG

Energy booster: wheatgrass

Caffeine-free and devoid of any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, Alo Awaken is like a bottle of fresh air—literally! The boost you get comes from a one-ounce shot of wheatgrass—a plant rich in chlorophyll that oxygenates your body by amping up red blood-cell production. A study in The Journal of Surgery found supplementing with chlorophyll may also serve as a powerful immunity boost, able to increase wound healing time by up to 25 percent.

19

Bai 5

Calories 5
Fat 0 G
Sugar 1 G
Caffeine 35 MG

Energy booster: white tea

A great pick-me-up for dieters, Bai5 serves up a gentle 35 mg caffeine plus 200 g of antioxidant-rich white tea. A study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism showed that white tea may be especially powerful at targeting fat cells, with the ability to simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of fat cells) due to high levels of fat-fighting compounds called catechins, belly-fat crusaders that blast adipose tissue by revving the metabolism, increasing the release of fat from fat cells. The folks at Bai tell us their most popular flavors are coconut, blueberry and mango & pomegranate.

20

Sambazon Amazon Energy

Calories 40
Fat 0 G
Sugar 8 G
Caffeine 80 MG

Energy booster: guaraná

The caffeine content in Sambazon’s drink line comes from green tea and guaraná, a a native plant from Brazil with roughly twice the concentration of caffeine found in coffee seeds, and—bonus!—the ability to fight fat and lower cholesterol. A recent study found daily supplementation with guaraná could reduce LDL cholesterol levels in healthy adults by as much as 27 percent! And a second animal study published in Clinical Nutrition found guaraná extract supplementation could increase fat metabolism.

21

Detox Water

It’s no secret that chugging plain H2O can be less than stimulating, but there are fun ways to make this healthy habit less of a chore. Certain fruits have detoxifying properties in their flesh and peels; slice them whole into your water to reap the benefits and hit your water intake quota with an infusion of flavor. For the definitive ways to drink up and de-puff, check out our list of 50 Best Detox Waters for Fat-Burning and Weight Loss!

Protein Drinks

Try Eat This, Not That!’s best-ever smoothie for weight loss—and snag one of these grab-and-go bottles for those hectic days. The protein will keep you fueled and focused for the long to-do list ahead. They all clock in under 200 calories, are packed with at least 10 grams of protein and have no more than 18 grams of sugar.

22

So Delicious Almond Plus Unsweetened Almond Milk, 16 fl oz

Calories 80
Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Carbs 2 g
Sugar 0 g
Protein 10 g

Halfway between regular almond milk and a protein shake, this vegan-friendly hybrid is one of our new faves. Despite its protein-packed namesake ingredient, normal almond milk is relatively void of the muscle-building nutrient (it generally has around one gram), which can be a problem for dairy-avoiding vegetarians and vegans. This kind, however, gets blended with pea protein to help you meet your daily requirements. Just be sure to shake the container before you pour; the protein powder separates.

23

Svelte Banana Creme, 15.9 fl oz

Calories 180
Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Carbs 21 g
Sugar 6 g
Protein 11 g

Soy milk is both the source of protein in this fruity shake and the first ingredient, followed closely by banana puree. The complex carbs from the fruit give you sustained energy, plenty of potassium and a deliciously creamy bottled shake. The dessert-like flavor gets high praises from fans of this brand, but it’s in a dead heat with other drool-worthy flavors like Spiced Chai and Cappuccino.

24

Stonyfield OP Organic Protein, Strawberry, 10 fl oz

Calories 180
Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Carbs 27 g
Sugar 15 g
Protein 15 g

Although we tend to favor plant-based proteins, Stonyfield produces a quality option for the milk-loving crowd. Low-fat milk and milk protein concentrate drive both the sugar and protein content, and we can’t scoff at the 1:1 protein to sugar ratio when most companies struggle to get close to 1:2. You won’t find any fancy flavors here, but the chocolate, vanilla and strawberry they do offer should be enough to satisfy most cravings.

25

Coco Libre Protein, Almond Protein, 11 fl oz

Calories 130
Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Carbs 18 g
Sugar 6 g
Protein 20 g

Sweetened with a touch of stevia, this is a new breed of protein shake, made primarily of hydrating coconut water. Grass-fed milk protein supplies more protein than three eggs–for a fraction of the morning prep time. If you need your fuel with caffeine-derived focus, they offer a coffee flavor that uses plenty of joe–in fact, it’s the second ingredient.

26

MusclePharm CoCo Protein, Chocolate, 12 fl oz

Calories 120
Fat 1 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Carbs 6 g
Sugar 5 g
Protein 20 g

Rather than raising hell in the locker room with your load shaker bottle, throw one of these in your gym bag for post-pump recovery. Electrolyte-rich coconut water rehydrates you while the nutrients in milk proteins replenish glycogen stores and help muscles recover. After a particular strenuous workout, pair it with a piece of fruit to boost health carbs available for your body’s recovery.

27

Special K Protein Shake, Chocolate Malt, 10 fl oz

Calories 190
Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Carbs 30 g
Sugar 18 g
Protein 10 g

This shake is a surprisingly good option–especially considering the low quality of some of Special K’s cereals. Whereas some of their cereal boxes are loaded with plain sugar, the sugar counts on these bottles include natural lactose from the nonfat milk base. Grab the malted chocolate flavor for a classic dessert-inspired treat that will fill you up instead of leaving you with a sugar crash.

28

Atkins Advantage, Dark Chocolate Royale, 11 fl oz

Calories 160
Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Carbs 6 g
Sugar 1 g
Protein 15 g

This shake attacks hunger, not your blood sugar, so it’s a great option in a pinch. Don’t rely on this one regularly, though. The combination of whey protein and use of carrageenan can cause bloating in those with sensitive stomachs.

29

SlimFast High Protein Vanilla Cream, 10 fl oz

Calories 180
Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Carbs 3 g
Sugar 2 g
Protein 20 g

The classic weight-loss shake got an additional injection of protein, doubling the old amount while slashing sugar content. The newest version of the long-lived shake comes in creamy vanilla and milk chocolate, so you’ll have to go with lower protein if you want something more creative like cappuccino. The key to the best tasting shake possible: always chill it thoroughly.

30

EAS AdvantEDGE Carb Control Cafe Caramel, 11 fl oz

Calories 110
Fat 2.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Carbs 4 g
Sugar 0 g
Protein 17 g

Though we’re not huge fans of some of the filler ingredients, like carrageenan, we love that this shake packs 17 grams of vegan plant-based protein into a container that can be thrown in your work or gym bag. The heft of essential minerals is a bonus when you’re on the go and don’t have time to sit down to a balanced meal.

Sodas

31

Zevia Ginger Root Beer

12 fl oz, 0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Erythritol, Reb A (Stevia Extract), Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Monk Fruit Extract

This small company, founded by soda-loving parents who wanted something healthier for their children, distributes a variety of classic flavors, from cola to ginger ale to grape, without using artificial sweeteners or artificial colors. Instead, they’re sweetened with the sugar alcohol Erythritol. “The upside is that sugar alcohols are not as artificial as some of their counterparts in the low/zero calorie sugar industry,” says Smith, “but they can cause gastrointestinal upset like gas a diarrhea when consumed in excess—although some say that erythritol may be better tolerated than other sugar alcohols. The other plus,” she continues, “is that unlike other sweeteners—specifically artificial sweeteners—they are not thousands of times sweeter than sugar, so they may cause less metabolic confusion in terms of sweetness as compared to caloric delivery, although more research still needed.” Brilliantly, this root beer tastes like the real thing—and is clear, because there’s no caramel color. And what about Diet Coke, or your favorite? See where it ranks on this list of 38 Diet Sodas—Ranked!

32

Hint Kick

0 calories, 0 g sugar

Ingredients in the Black Raspberry flavor, for example: Purified Water, Black Raspberry, Other Natural Flavors from non-GMO Plants and Natural Caffeine from Coffee Beans

OK, we’re totally cheating here. Hint Water isn’t carbonated, cola-flavored or sold in 64-ounce Big Gulps. But these new flavored bottled waters do have 60 milligrams of caffeine, derived from coffee beans. That’s more than you’ll find in Diet Dr. Pepper (41 mg), Diet Coke (47 mg) or even Mountain Dew (54 mg). So you get all of the pop, with none of the calories—and each flavor is sweetened not with aspartame, but with fruit juice or spice. Try the Lemon Cayenne Hint Kick (and don’t overdo it, since caffeine can dehydrate you), and you’ll never go back to Diet Coke again.

33

Bai5 Bubbles!

11.5 fl. oz. of the Bolivia Black Cherry flavor: 5 calories, 1 g sugar

Ingredients: Filtered Carbonated Water, Bai® Proprietary Sweetener Blend™ (Erythritol, Stevia Extract), Natural Flavors, Cherry Juice Concentrate, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Fruit and Vegetable Juice (for color), Coffeefruit Extract, White Tea Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Citrate.

Founded by coffee guru Ben Weiss in his Princeton basement, Bai5, a new line of all-natural fruity drinks with exotic flavors, is forecast to rack up $125 million in sales this year. We can see why: Their Bubbles line—with flavors like Guatemala Guava, Jamaica Blood Orange and Bolivia Black Cherry—are the definitive Drink This on this list of Not That!s. Sweetened with fruit juice, erythritol and stevia (not aspartame) and powered by 45 mg of caffeine, thanks to the tea and coffeefruit, they’re delicious enjoyed straight-up or as a mixer. Interestingly, rather that beat Bai5, one soda titan joined them: the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, who once only distributed the product, bought a stake in the company this past April. Meet the Best Diet Soda in America! And to blast even more fat, don’t miss these 30 Skinny Secrets from the World’s Sexiest Women!

Alcohol

34

Pinot Noir

Having trouble finding an affordable pinot noir? Blame Hollywood! According to economists, the 2004 movie Sideways completely reversed the wine’s falling price, with the most dramatic increase in $20 to $40 wines. Also contributing to the hype: Multiple studies have demonstrated that pinot noir consistently contain the highest levels of resveratrol among wines— and resveratrol has been shown to blast fat. One study found that pinot had more than five times the amount found in California cabernet sauvignon.

While it has the lightest body and tannins of the classic red grapes, pinot can possess a haunting variety of flavors: berries, cola, tea, mushroom, even hints of barnyard. As the lead character Miles eloquently observed, there is something magical about pinot noir.

35

Sam Adams Light

In a recent Eat This, Not That! taste test, we rounded up all of the light beers we could find that ranked among the top 20 most purchased beers in America. we managed to track down all but Busch Light and Michelob Ultra and filled in the rest of the list with light beers we felt would be missed if they weren’t included. You know, the household names that don’t have the really big advertising bucks behind them. We ended up with a solid list of 13 brews. Of the 13, Sam Adams Light ranked numero uno. It was lauded for its discernable nutty flavor and relatively full body. One tester even noted that it “tasted like something I might find in a nice beer garden!” To find out which other tasty beers topped our list, check out the full report on the Best Light Beers in America.

36

Old Fashioned

While booze shouldn’t be part of your daily weight loss diet, downing a drink every now and again won’t throw you far off track — so long as you order smart. Every Mad Men fan knows that Don Draper favors the Old Fashioned. And just so long as you don’t sip them to his level of excess, the 119-calorie low-sugar drink can keep you on the track toward your better body goal. Not a fan of whiskey? Check out these other delicious, low-calorie cocktails.

37

And the Best Drink in America Is…Water

You may feel trendy with a bottle of vitamin-enhanced water in your hand, but that brightly-hued liquid probably isn’t improving your health. Most vitamin-infused H20 is just colored sugar water with some vitamins tossed in—bad news when you consider that Americans take in about 355 calories of added sugar every day. If you want vitamins, get them from vitamin supplements or, better yet, from whole foods (wild salmon, for example, is loaded with energy-boosting vitamin B-12). And if you want water, get it from, well, water. Nature’s beverage is calorie-free, cost-free and will take care of all your hydration needs.

Get the New Book!

Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!

Oftentimes, when I’m at a Nerd Fitness meetup, a rebel will ask me, “Do you mind if I have a beer?”

I usually laugh and say, “Nope! Will you get me one too?”

Yeah, I run a fitness website, but as you’ve hopefully been able to tell if you’ve spent any time here, it’s not normal.

I write about Optimus Prime, Office Space, and the Legend of Zelda.

I generally do my workouts on a playground and run around the world for fun.

I happen to also enjoy the occasional adult beverage.

I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately from people with questions like, “I want to try the Paleo diet, but I love beer. What can I do?”

I hear ya, friend.

Let’s take a look at alcohol, its effect on the body, and see if it can be consumed while still living a healthy life.

Speaking of that healthy life, I’m guessing you’re reading this because you are trying to keep your weight in check and ALSO want to enjoy an adult beverage guilt free. I hear ya – that’s me in a nutshell (insert “help I’m stuck in a nutshell” joke here).

It’s also why we created our free 10-Level Nerd Fitness Diet strategy guide to help you keep your belly in check while still living a normal, busy life. Download the strategy guide free (sign up in the box below), pick the level you’re comfortable with, and start following the blueprint to level up your nutrition and fix your physique in a healthy (and permanent) way!

Download our free weight loss guide THE NERD FITNESS DIET: 10 Levels to Change Your Life

  • Follow our 10-level nutrition system at your own pace
  • What you need to know about weight loss and healthy eating
  • 3 Simple rules we follow every day to stay on target

side note: if you aren’t 21 or of legal drinking age in your particular country, this article isn’t for you. Instead, look at these baby sloths getting a bath!

Also, I’m not a dietitian, doctor, or anybody with any sort of important sounding credentials. I’m not an expert of any kind. I’m probably not even wearing pants right now. I’m merely a nerd who likes to dig into these things and present my results.

How does Alcohol Work?

I could dig REALLY deep into the science of how alcohol works, but that sounds more like a boring term paper and less like a fun Nerd Fitness article, so I’ll keep this section brief.

When you consume an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol (ethanol) makes its way to your stomach where around 20-25% of it gets absorbed into your blood stream immediately.

The rest of it continues to your small intestine where it is absorbed by the blood stream. Once it’s in your blood stream, the alcohol slowly heads toward to your liver where it is metabolized (broken down).

As the all-powerful Wikipedia tells us, “Alcohol is metabolized by a normal liver at the rate of about one ounce (one shot, a normal beer, a regular sized glass of wine) every 90 minutes.” Many different factors affect this rate – like body fat percentage (lower the body fat, lower the blood alcohol level) and gender (women typically process alcohol slower than men).

Any amount consumed over that doesn’t get processed immediately, and instead saturates your blood until your liver can process the excess alcohol.

Think of it like a trip to the DMV or Post Office. There are 47 of you in line, but only two sloths working the counter, which means you’re going to be waiting for hours until you can finally get outta there.

Because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, the first drink or two can help loosen you up or relax. As the amount of alcohol in your blood increases, the effects become more and more pronounced.

We call this “drunk.”

The Effects of Alcohol

“Steve, I know what drunk is. Just tell me if I should drink or not!”

All right, all right! Let’s get to the good stuff!

…Actually, let’s get all of the BAD stuff out of the way first, and then move onto the good stuff.

First and foremost: Beer is not paleo. Sorry. Neither is liquor. Some consider wine “paleo” as it’s made out of grapes, and Tequila because it’s made from agave, but technically speaking…none of it is considered paleo if you’re gonna be militant about it.

Alcohol is pretty much void of any nutrients – its calories, although plentiful, are empty.

It’s the first fuel to be burned as energy in your system, which will lead the rest of the calories in your system (mostly the carbs) to get stored as fat as they’re going unused rather than being burned as fuel.

Alcohol stimulates insulin production when consumed. Just like with grains and other sugars, this can lead to increased fat storage.

It has a dehydrating effect on your body, which can cause all sorts of health issues if you don’t keep an eye on it. Essentially, it makes you urinate out way more fluid than you’re taking in, which leads to dehydration. If you have ever gone out drinking one night and woken up a few pounds lighter than you were the day before – this is why.

Alcohol impairs your body’s hormone regulation, which is a big factor when it comes to building muscle or losing weight.

There are also studies that show that the congeners (byproducts of fermentation) in alcoholic beverages have an estrogenic effect .

It can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns. When you drink 30-60 minutes before bedtime, you’re probably going to screw up your sleep schedule , whether you realize it or not. The effects kick in once all of the alcohol has been metabolized, so although you might fall asleep (pass out) right away thanks to consumption of alcohol before bed, it’s going to cause issues with your body and your sleep patterns throughout the night.

Beyond that, alcohol generally contains a lot of liquid calories that can be consumed in large quantities without realizing it. If you’re a bigger dude, it might take you 6, 10, 12+ beers to get drunk… which you’ll do and combine with your normal dinner. With each beer being 100+ calories, that’s 1200+ calories consumed not including food. This doesn’t even included mixed drinks (which I’ll get to below) that bring in tons of calories and sugar on top of the alcohol – double whammy.

The real issue I’ve found with drinking is the lack of rational decision making after too many beverages. All of a sudden, every possible terrible food sounds like a great idea – 4AM Taco Bell, six slices of pizza, a mountain of Chinese food, and everything in between. Even if you’re consuming alcohol responsibly, it’s oftentimes served with smothered wings, chips, pizza, piles of french fries, and more. It’s easy to get sucked into a night full of calorie consumption that would make hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut blush.

But it’s not ALL bad!

There are SOME beneficial effects of MODERATE alcohol consumption.

First and foremost, alcohol consumed in moderation can make you feel good. Stress is a huge factor when it comes to weight gain and health issues – if a beer at the end of the day helps you relax and unwind, I’d say its positive effects outweigh its negatives.

Notice I said A beer…if you’re pounding beers every weekend to forget how miserable your week was, it’s time to reevaluate the source of why you’re unhappy and fix the source code of the problem.

Every health-conscious drinker will tell you this one – red wine actually has quite a few healthy antioxidants in it, and can be healthy for a number of reasons (like these 8 reasons, for example).

And from Mark’s Daily Apple:

“Alcohol as a blood thinner enhances vascular health, and the phenolic content (potent antioxidants) can pack a healthy punch. Research has compared alcohol abstention with moderate and “heavy” drinking.

Moderate alcohol consumption appears to lower the incidence of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, total and ischaemic stroke, as well as result in an overall reduction in mortality…Moderate drinking in those over 65 with superior cognitive and memory function. It has also been linked to higher bone density in postmenopausal women.”

The Nerd Fitness Philosophy on Drinking

Here’s the Nerd Fitness philosophy on drinking in one sentence:

Do the best you can, be smart, and have some fun.

Long story short: drinking isn’t healthy for you. But neither is staying up too late, spending too much time on a computer, not spending enough time in the sunlight, spending too much time in the sunlight, playing video games for too long, etc.

And yet we all do lots of these things, either because we have to or because we want to. My goal with this site isn’t to make you into the perfect model human being (which is impossible), but rather removing any barriers you have toward living a healthy lifestyle while still letting you live the life you want.

As stated in the Rules of the Rebellion: Your exercise and diet can become part of what you are, but not at the expense of who you are.

I believe drinking can be done occasionally, in moderation, and a desirable healthy lifestyle can still be achieved.

If you decide that you want to drink, good for you. If you decide that you don’t want to drink, that’s fine too. I won’t make you do anything you don’t want to do, and vice versa.

You know yourself best; you know what you can handle and what you can’t; you know what your goals are and how your body reacts to certain things. Be smart.

As long as you are following a solid nutritional strategy, and you have found a way to responsibly mix in the occasional adult beverage and it works for your goals, great!

If you’re not quite sure if you’re eating right yet, or you don’t have a good blueprint to follow, download our 10-Level Nerd Fitness Diet strategy guide (free, sign up in the box below!), and start moving through the levels at a pace that’s comfortable for you. The goal is to do it permanently and sustainably!

Download our free weight loss guide THE NERD FITNESS DIET: 10 Levels to Change Your Life

  • Follow our 10-level nutrition system at your own pace
  • What you need to know about weight loss and healthy eating
  • 3 Simple rules we follow every day to stay on target

Now, rather than tell you to give up drinking, let’s find a way to fit in into your schedule so that it allows you to be happy WITHOUT derailing your efforts toward weight loss, muscle gain, and a healthier life.

Determine your goals

If you’re trying to figure out if you can drink or not, start by determining your goals:

  • Do you want to build lots of muscle quickly?
  • Do you need to lose a lot of weight quickly?
  • Are you trying to get to a sub 10% body fat percentage?
  • Or are you just trying to lose weight and feel better about yourself?
  • Can you ONLY drink one or two? Or does one or two always lead to six or seven or fifteen?

My advice to you on drinking will be very different depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.

If your goal is elite performance, rapid weight loss, or rapid muscle gain: abstain from drinking as much as possible.

If you need to lose a lot of weight very quickly (maybe you have a wedding coming up, a weight loss competition at work, or a vacation and you want to get a slim as possible), cut out the drinking completely.

It messes with your sleep and your hormones, two crucial aspects of weight loss and muscle building. “But, Steve, I want to still drink!” Okay then! Readjust your goals and don’t expect elite results.

If you are trying to just look better and feel better: make yourself into an experiment. Drink your glass of red wine or have your after-work beer along with healthy eating and healthy living, and see if your body is progressing in the right way. As long as you are feeling better and looking better, keep doing what you’re doing. If you are stalling or plateauing, consider not drinking for a while and see if it makes a difference.

If you know one or two usually turns into six or seven: it’s probably best if you stay away from drinking, especially if there’s any sort of alcohol abuse in your family. You can also volunteer to be the designated driver, provided you take that responsibility of safely getting your friends home safe VERY SERIOUSLY.

You have to stop after one or two drinks for the night to keep everybody safe – it takes the pressure off of you to make that decision to drink more.

Best to Worst Options

Before I tell you WHAT to drink, let’s give a quick education on what is considered a “drink” and how the liquor measurement system works.

  • 100 proof liquor contains 50% alcohol
  • 80 proof liquor contains 40% alcohol
  • 40 proof liquor contains 20% alcohol

Traditional wine has approximately 8-14% alcohol, while regular beer has 4-6% alcohol. Generally this means that you’ll need a lot more beers to reach your desired level of inebriation compared to a liquor drink or wine. More beers = more carbs and more calories = worse off for you.

The goal when drinking is to consume as few calories and carbs as possible while still providing you with the “benefits” (I’ll leave how much you’re looking for up to you) of that alcoholic beverage.

Here’s my humble opinion: Your mileage may vary. Just because something is in the FAIL category doesn’t mean you can’t ever have one again, just save them for special occasions, or drink in extreme moderation (can one actually be EXTREMELY moderate?).

Win

  • Red Wine – ~130 calories and ~5-6g carbs. Full of the healthy stuff previously listed.
  • NorCal Margarita – (Robb Wolfe’s drink of choice) tequila, club soda, and lime juice – ~150 calories and ~5g carbs
  • Whiskey/Brandy/Scotch/Cognac – Full of healthy antioxidants as well. 64 calories and zero carbs.
  • Vodka/soda or Vodka/rocks with lime (my drink of choice) – >2g carbs, 66 calories + lime juice (>10 calories)
  • Bacardi and Diet – (Staci‘s drink of choice). 2g carbs, 66 calories. I know, I know, fake sugar and chemicals, but we’re already drinking, right?

Meh

  • White wine – ~130 calories and ~5-6g carbs. Not a terrible option, but not nearly as many of the healthy benefits you get with red.
  • Light beer – ~100 calories and ~3-5g carbs. This varies on the type and brand of beer. Yes, lower in calories and lower in carbs, but beer is created from a grain and it’s easy to consume LOTS of these very quickly.

Fail

  • Regular beer – ~150 calories and 10-14g of carbs. Made of grain, easy to consume half a dozen of them without batting an eye, and full of calories and carbs. If you’re a real beer drinker (I am), do so in moderation. I’ll refer you back to the “what are your goals” section to determine what “moderation” is for you.
  • ___________ and coke/sprite/orange juice/cranberry juice. Sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar, calories, sugar. The innocent cranberry juice you added to your vodka? 120 calories and 30 grams of sugar.
  • ___________ and Red Bull – Although I love Red Bull’s marketing, I hate their drink. Both alcohol and caffeine are diuretics which will dehydrate you very quickly. On top of that, the alcohol tries to slow you down, the caffeine tries to speed you up – your body has no effing clue what to do.
  • Pretty much anything frozen – Sugary margaritas, daiquiris, pina coladas, hurricanes, vodka Red Bull slushies (yes these exist, stay far far away). There’s enough sugar in these drinks to make Def Leppard think ‘that’s a bit much’.
  • Sangria – Think of it like wine but with 20 packets of sugar added in.

Tips and Tricks for “Healthy” Drinking

Okay, so you’ve decided that you’re okay with drinking. How do you put it into practice?

Hopefully this goes without saying, but regardless of whether you drink or how much you drink, you should be devoting most of your healthy efforts to fixing your nutrition.

How you eat will account for 80%-90% of your success when it comes to weight loss or muscle building.

Also, the more healthy you are with your food choices, the more you can ‘get away with’ making unhealthier alcohol choices! Just do so reasonably!

So before we even get into drinking strategies, grab our strategy guide for eating with our 10-level Nerd Fitness Diet. Grab the guide free when you sign up in the box below, pick the level that works for you, and THEN get your drinking strategy right!

Download our free weight loss guide THE NERD FITNESS DIET: 10 Levels to Change Your Life

  • Follow our 10-level nutrition system at your own pace
  • What you need to know about weight loss and healthy eating
  • 3 Simple rules we follow every day to stay on target

Identify the days you’ll be drinking. My guess is that it will be Friday and Saturday. During the Summer, it might be Sunday afternoons.

Whatever your decision is, decide which days you’ll be drinking and how much you’re like to be drinking. That’s up to you – if you can manage with just one drink to nurse throughout the night, good for you. If you need more than that, I’d make sure those dates are spread further apart.

If you have a party to go to next weekend, for example, spend your entire week being incredibly diligent with your diet and choices. Be more strict on your meals, stick to only water, and work from there.

Make sure you eat BEFORE you go out – you need that food in your system before the alcohol if it’s going to help you at all later on.

When you get to the party or wherever you’re going, alternate alcohol with ice/soda water. Now, if your goal is to get as intoxicated as possible, there’s not much I can do for you other than feel sorry for your body and brain the next morning. But, that is your decision to make, and I won’t hold it against you – we’ve all been there 🙂 In fact, I’ll even tell you what to do in the next section for the day after.

Don’t mix and match. Don’t switch from beers, to shots, to liquor, to margaritas, to jagerbombs, to whatever. Bad idea. Don’t start with beer and then switch to hard liquor either. You’re already drunk so you won’t be able to tell how much liquor you’re consuming, which is when things go downhill quickly.

Pick something and stick with it.

Stop drinking at least an hour before you’re going to go to bed. If you’ve been drinking a lot, CHUG WATER LIKE A MOFO. Yup, it’s going to make you want to pee. Yes, you’ll have to get up to pee during the night. Yes, you’ll wake up feeling like an overfilled water balloon. Because you’re dehydrated and your body can only retain so much water, you’ll require a lot of it to get back to level.

Same goes for a margarita. Drink booze on the rocks, add some fruit wedges if you want to adjust the flavoring.

Scared about not being able to restrain yourself? Worried about your friends poking fun at your slow drinking? Volunteer to be the designated driver. That way, your friends will love you and OWE you as they don’t need to pay for a cab, and you have a built in excuse why you’re not drinking.

I didn’t drink through most of college, so I was the DD a lot – it was kind of nice having everybody owing me favors all of the time!

Um, I was overserved and now I’m hungover. Help?

We’ve all been there.

Some of us more than others…

Your best friends are in town for one night, or your out at a bachelor party/friend’s wedding/watching a big sporting event…or it was Tuesday and you had nothing better to do.

You were accidentally overserved, clearly through no fault of your own, and now it’s the next morning and you feel like Stu in the Hangover:

On to the hangover cures!

In case you’re curious WHY your body hates you right now, read this.

You are SEVERELY dehydrated, so it’s important to get fluids back in your system – you’ve lost a lot of essential electrolytes and water from the night before, so get it back into your system. Look for a low calorie or zero calorie Gatorade, or even Pedialyte.

No Gatorade or Pedialyte? Eat a banana! Your body is potassium-deficient. Feel free to throw banana peel in the street and watch hilarious go-kart spin outs.

Take a shower. Drag your butt off the couch/bed/park bench that you woke up on, stumble to the shower, and take a nice, long hot shower. Or, if you need a slap in the face, try cold showers! Alternatively, you could ask your friend to slap you in the face (not recommended).

Pounding headache? You’re severely dehydrated so lots of strenuous activity is NOT a great idea…but some quick light activity could wake you up! Try doing some push ups or jumping jacks and get the blood flowing out of your brain and into the rest of your body.

Don’t take acetaminophen (Tylenol). From Ask Men – “The reason is that when your liver is busy metabolizing alcohol, it processes the painkiller differently than it otherwise would, resulting in toxic compounds that can cause liver inflammation and even permanent damage.”

If you NEED to, take Ibuprofen. If you can tough it out without the drugs, do so…but take ibuprofen if you have to.

What say you?

Hopefully that was everything you wanted to know, and a lot of what you didn’t, about drinking.

Remember, as long as you are leveling up your food choices, adding in adult beverages here and there shouldn’t slow down your progress too much. Pick your level (grab our strategy guide in the box below), plan your drinking days, and put a plan in place!

Download our free weight loss guide THE NERD FITNESS DIET: 10 Levels to Change Your Life

  • Follow our 10-level nutrition system at your own pace
  • What you need to know about weight loss and healthy eating
  • 3 Simple rules we follow every day to stay on target

Have you been able to lose weight and maintain a healthy social life with/without drinking?

Do you have any healthy hangover cures to pass along?

Anything I didn’t address that you’d like me to add?

So, if you meet up with me at a bar, yes I’d love a beer. Though, I’m much more likely to ask for a whiskey or bourbon on the rocks! That’s my personal drink of choice 🙂

-Steve

photo sources: lego beers, german lego beer, clones and beercaps, businessman lego, becks and stormtroopers, scubadiver lego, astronaut_beer_lego, darth vader lego, clones and booze, vader and cork, jester lego

Which drinks are the best choice?

Diet soft drinks, low-carb beers, iced tea, fruit juices, smoothies, flavoured water – the choices seem endless! Each year, more drinks come onto the market and more of our total energy (or kilojoule) intake now comes from drinks.

So what should we be drinking, and how much?

The human body is made up of 50-75% water. Staying well-hydrated (especially in hot weather and when exercising) is crucial to make sure our bodies function at their best. There are many theories about the right amount to drink, but the following is a good guide to aim for:

  • 1,500 – 2,000mL/day (or 35-45mL/kg/day) for adults, and
  • 1,000 – 1,500mL/day for children

What is the best drink?

While all fluids can count towards your daily fluid intake, water is the best drink. It contains no kilojoules and is the best fluid for hydrating the body.

Tips for drinking water:

  • Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, to add variety to plain water
  • Pop ice cubes made from fruit into your glass of water
  • Keep a glass of water handy on your desk, or a bottle of water in your bag or backpack

Milk is another healthy drink to include. It has important nutrients, like protein and calcium, and is about 90% water.

If you are buying flavoured milk, compare brands and choose ones that are lower in added sugar. Also watch the serve sizes of smoothies, which may be ‘super-sized’, and can contain a lot of energy.

Fruit juice can be nutritious, but most types naturally contain a similar amount of sugar and kilojoules to soft drinks. As with smoothies, juice bars often sell large portion sizes that are really too high in energy.

Juice is part of the fruit group, but if you’ve ever made fresh juice, you’ll know that it takes many pieces of fruit to make a small amount of juice – up to eight oranges to make one glass of juice! Most juices don’t have the fibre, that is contained in the fresh fruit, so a juice drink won’t keep you feeling satisfied and full afterwards.

Tips for drinking fruit juice:

  • Avoid the super-sizes
  • Limit juice to 125mL (½ glass), and only occasionally
  • Try diluting juice with water or ice

These drinks are low in nutrition but can contain plenty of extra kilojoules which you probably do not need. These are called ‘extra foods’; in other words, they are not needed in your diet and should be kept to only special occasions.

Diet soft drinks are lower in energy and sugar, but remember diet soft drinks can be quite acidic and frequent consumption can cause tooth decay.

These are healthy choices that help you to meet your daily fluid needs. Both black and green teas have antioxidants, which are good for our health.

A standard cup of tea has less than half the amount of caffeine of a typical cup of instant coffee (one cup of tea contains around 10-50mg of caffeine and a cup of instant coffee contains between 60-100mg per 250ml cup). When served without milk or sugar, tea and coffee have virtually no kilojoules. But watch iced-teas, as some are high in added sugar.

If you choose to drink, you should limit your intake of alcohol. Current recommendations suggest we drink no more than two standard alcoholic drinks on any one day.

We should also try to include at least two alcohol-free days per week. ‘Low carb’ beer has recently become popular. Although these are lower in carbohydrate than regular varieties, the alcohol and kilojoule content is often very similar to other types of beer.

For individual advice, with assessment of your drink choices, and planning a healthy diet, contact an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD).

How To Drink Alcohol & Be Healthy At The Same Time With 7 Easy Tips

With so much available information these days about eating right and the importance of exercise, many of us are trying to change our habits and adapt a healthier lifestyle. Figuring out how to drink alcohol and still be healthy may not be as easy as swapping out your white rice for brown rice at sushi or sneaking in a Pilates class on Saturday afternoons, though. Going to happy hour with your coworkers or hitting up a friend’s birthday can definitely be fun, but it’s hard not to wonder how much that strawberry margarita really goes along with that healthy lifestyle.

Just because you are trying to be healthier doesn’t mean you need to completely give up alcohol and head straight to the juice bar, especially when there’s evidence that beer and wine are actually really good for you, according to Harvard School of Public Health. If you make the right choices when it comes to drinking, you don’t have to sabotage your health along the way.

If you’re trying to figure out a way to still enjoy a night out while retaining your otherwise healthy habits, try following the below seven tips for a healthier drinking experience.

1. Eat A Well-Balanced Meal First

Some people say carbs are the way to go, and other drinkers swear by protein, but nutritionist Kate M. Kanner RD, LD, recommends consuming a balanced meal that contains a mix of protein, healthy fat, and complex carbs. “Eating a balanced meal before drinking will slow down the absorption of the alcohol into your bloodstream,” Kanner tells me over email.

2. Choose Light Over Dark

Darker drinks are more likely to cause hangovers, as they contain congeners, toxic compounds formed during the fermentation process, says the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Stick to clear drinks like gin and vodka, and avoid pairing them with fruity drinks or sweet syrups, which are often extremely high in sugar.

3. Hydrate

“While you are drinking it is best to sip on water in between your alcoholic beverages,” Leah Kaufman, MS, RD, CDN tells me over email. “Alcohol can cause you to become dehydrated and repleting your fluid needs in between those alcoholic drinks will help stop that hangover the next morning.”

4. Add Lemon Or Lime To Your Drink

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking alcohol can weaken your immune system, so avoid getting sick by adding some lemon or lime to your drink. The vitamin C in lemon will help boost your immunity and its citrus flavonoids improve digestion. Plus, it’s a great way to add flavor to your drink naturally without using sugar or other artificial flavors.

5. Say Yes To The Wine

JEAN-PIERRE MULLER/AFP/Getty Images

That is, red wine, in particular. “One alcoholic drink that is proven to help lower the risk of some diseases like heart disease and shown to be part of a healthy, balanced diet (such as a Mediterranean diet), is red wine,” says Beth Warren, MS, RDN, CDN over email. “Resveratrol is the notable antioxidant linked with the positive health benefits.”

6. Pace Yourself

If you’re going out with friends, try to make the focus of your night the activity and make drinking the added bonus. If you make drinking the main event, you are more likely to end up drinking too much or too fast, which makes you more likely to blackout or end up with an insufferable hangover the following day.

7. Plan Ahead When It Comes To “Drunchies”

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You might crave salads on any given day, but after a night out, must of us usually opt for a greasy slice of pizza or a bowl of chili fries. If you’re trying to have your daytime eating habits carry over to the night, think ahead when it comes to your late night snack. Prepare something healthy at home or have a place picked up prior to hitting the bar for the evening.

If nutrition is important to you, and you’re looking to make your trips to the bar a little more health-conscious, you absolutely don’t have to give up the fun of going out with your friends.

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11 healthiest alcoholic drinks – a nutritionist’s guide

Jeeva Naturals do a few fabulous flavours to choose from but my favourites are Ginger and Lemongrass or Mint and Lime over ice.

Green or Herbal Tea

There are only so many soft drinks you can consume in one sitting and opting for a warm drink can be a welcoming alternative.

As a non-drinker myself, you will often find me nursing a teapot and cup, oblivious to any strange looks I might be getting!

How to drink mindfully

Here are a few ways to help you avoid consuming excessive alcohol

  • Be aware of the alcohol content of the drink you are choosing. The higher the alcohol, the more you will consume, particularly if they are not “long” drinks
  • Associate your alcohol consumption with food so that you mainly enjoy your alcohol as an enhancement of the meal
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks, ideally water to stay hydrated and lower the amount of alcohol you consume
  • Be aware of glass sizes and quantities served. This is important particularly as fashionable glasses tend to be very large. The wider the glass the more you are likely to pour of any drink; alcoholic or non-alcoholic
  • Only serve spirits with a measuring cup so you are aware of how many units you are consuming

Keen to find out exactly how many calories are in your drink? Use this alcohol calorie calculator and you may be surprised to see how many calories you have consumed in alcohol over the course of a day or week.

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