Drink Your Fitness

February 7, 2019
Drink Your Fitness

Prepared by: Janice Annette Padilla, MHSN

Licensed dietitian

It is often said, “you are what you eat”, but what about drink choices? Do you know the sugar content or the benefits of consuming different beverages? If not, we must go back to the basics about the necessities of fluid intake on the body and the effect on metabolism. Fluid consumption has an outsized impact on your body’s health. Let’s review the scientific information provided in studies, and then go to the dietitian’s corner to examine our choices in healthy living.

Sugary Beverages Can Make You Gain Weight

Several studies have shown how sugary beverages are linked to obesity traits. In one study, the Journal of Clinical Nutrition published that the main ingredient in most juices is high fructose corn syrup, which may interfere with the secretion of insulin and leptine. These hormones have important roles in metabolism so lacking them may have an impact on weight gain. Insulin is the pathway to create energy and prevent excess glucose in the blood, and leptine regulates food intake. Both are needed to balance consumption and to meet the body’s physical needs. The study also shows that sugary beverages may contribute to other chronic diseases that are caused by metabolism problems like: High Blood Pressure (HBP), Diabetes Mellitus and other Cardiovascular diseases.

Healthy Alternatives

So, what are the drinks that benefit the body? Of course, the principal one is water. We need hydration for our bodily functions. Even if we reduce calories, water plays an important role in metabolism. A study of the elderly (who have reduced physical activity based on life cycle changes), shows that people with controlled caloric intake, but higher water consumption, can reduce 9% of calories in meals. This is particularly true if they consume 6 cups daily, with 2 cups prior to meals. Another source of hydration with health benefits is tea. In many studies, green tea is associated with weight loss, without caffeine content, that may increase energy, fat oxidation and have an impact on leptine (controls food intake) and has shown benefits to health based on plant attributes. Green tea contains polyphenols, called flavanols, flavanonols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. These compounds have shown to have some benefits over degenerative disease and preventing oxidative stress. Black tea has also shown positive effects for cardiovascular and degenerative protection (cancer diseases).

The Bottom Line

Just like food, what you drink can have a profound effect on your body. One of the keys to preventing obesity is to avoid sugary beverages. Fortunately, as we discovered, there are a plethora of teas and good ol’ fashioned H2O to help us stay healthy and satiate our thirst! Drink your fitness!

If you would like to speak to a physician regarding your health, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Medek to speak with a healthcare provider.


Bray, G., Nielsen, S. & Popkin, B. (2004). Consumption of high fructose corn syrup beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. The Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 79,537.543.

Chacko, S., Thambi, P., Kuttan, R. & Nishigaki, I. (2010). Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review. Chinese Medicine (5).

Dennis, E., Dengo, A., Comber, D., Flack, K., Savla, J., Davy, K. & Brenda D. (2012). Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric intervention in middle age in older adults. Obesity a research journal (18).300-307.

Khan, N. & Mukthar, H. (2014). Tea and Health: Studies in Humans. Current Pharmaceutical Design (19).

Plantenga, M., Lejeune, M. & Kovacs, E. (2012). Body Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance in Relation to Habitual Caffeine Intake and Green Tea Supplementation. Obesity a research journal (13).1195-1204.

Sugary drinks and Obesity: Fact Sheet. Source: https://cdn1.sph.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2012/10/sugary-drinks-and-obesity-fact-sheet-june-2012-the-nutrition-source.pdf