It is water that is mostly refreshing and essential for the body, replenishing the fluids it loses. It was humans’ main beverage for centuries. However, with the domestication of animals and the advent of agriculture, Milk became a widely consumed beverage. With time came wine, beer, tea and coffee, all consumed for pleasure and taste as well as for the fluids in them. The relatively new options such as energy drinks and soft drinks contain high volumes of unnecessary calories and other harmful elements that the body may not be able to regulate easily.
A group of experts have ranked the categories of beverages into 6 levels, depending on the concentration of nutrients, contribution to intake of energy, calories delivered and evidence regarding their negative and positive effects on health.
Unsurprisingly, at level 1 is water. It not only provides many elements that the body needs but also restores fluid that the body loses due to sweating, breathing, metabolism and in the form of urine. It hydrates our system and quenches thirst. At level 2 are tea and coffee. They are calorie free beverages if drunk plain. Consisting of flavonoids, antioxidants and other biologically active substances that are highly beneficial for health, they come in different varieties and flavours. Best black tea brands ensure to produce tea in a manner which retains their natural, healthy substances as much as possible. Coffee is known to protect against type 2 diabetes while the strongest varieties of green tea are known to have potential in protecting against heart disease. As far as normal coffee and tea are concerned, when added sugar, cream and flavorings, their level of healthiness may decrease.
Soy beverages and low-fat skim milk are in level 3. An excellent alternative source for vitamin D and calcium, fortified soy milk are widely consumed by those who do not drink cow’s milk. Non-calorically Sweetened Beverages are at level 4, as they contain calorie-free artificial sweeteners. It is always best to choose diet drinks over such soft drinks since they have a lower amount of calorie. Then at level 5, there are caloric beverages with a certain amount of nutrients. Whole milk, vegetable juice, fruit juice, alcoholic beverages and sports drinks, all come under this category.
Finally at level 6 are calorically sweetened beverages which are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup or sugar. They have a minimal amount of nutrients and are known to have a negative effect on your health.