What is a healthy drink?
New drinks show up every day in stores. Many people have questions about vitamin or coconut water, sports drinks and energy drinks. These drinks may look like they are healthy choices because of the way they are advertised. However, these drinks are often higher in sugar and some of the ingredients are not meant for children and youth.
Vitamin water often has many vitamins and minerals added that you can get by eating healthy food. It often also has added sugar, sugar substitutes and herbs. These drinks are not recommended for children and youth. Plain water is a healthier choice.
Energy drinks are higher in caffeine and most contain sugar. The amount of caffeine in energy drinks depends on the brand and serving size. Energy drinks are not intended for children and youth of any age.
Sports drinks contain sugar, salt and potassium. They are made to replace water and minerals lost in sweat and may be helpful for athletes during intense activities (such as running and cycling) that last more than one hour. Unless you’re exercising intensely, choose plain water.
Non-dairy plant based drinks like coconut water, almond beverage, rice, hemp or oat drinks can have added sugar and may contain some added vitamins and minerals. Non-dairy beverages do not have the same amount of protein or vitamins and minerals as cow’s milk and fortified soy beverages, so they are not included in Canada’s Food Guide. If you buy non-dairy, plant based drinks, choose unsweetened types.
Healthy drink guidelines for you and your family are:
- Drink water throughout the day
- Drink milk at meals
- Limit fruit juice to ½ cup (125 mL) per day
For more information on choosing healthy drinks, visit the Alberta Health Services website. For more information on this and thousands of other health and wellness topics, visit www.MyHealth.Alberta.ca or call Health Link Alberta toll-free at 1-866-408-5465.
This article is courtesy of Alberta Health Services.