If the hot summer sun is beating you down, don’t reach for the purple stuff. A nice tall glass of ice cold water will always be the best choice for refreshment, but if you want something on the sweet side, chug juice- not drink. Confused? Yes, juice is a drink, but is drink a juice? Check the nutrition label on the side to make sure you’re hydrating yourself with 100% juice, and nothing less.
When I was a young girl, some of my favorite juices came in boxes, pouches, squeeze bottles, gallon jugs, or even the mix-with-water kind. You know what I’m talkin’ about. The drinks were so bright that they turned your tongue the same color and the sweetness tasted like your favorite candy- in liquid from. The packaging even adorned the juicy fruits that the beverages were flavored from, or cartoon characters that hopped out at you as you cruised the grocery store aisles.
But as refreshing as the drinks were, they definitely were not nourishing. Even comedian Dave Chappelle knows the deal with “juice” drinks when he said in his act, “Ain’t no vitamins in that sh*t!” That was true; juice drinks usually contained sugar (or high fructose corn syrup), water, color, and artificial flavors, or as Mr. Chappelle said, “Sugar, water, and of course, purple.” As more became aware of how those drinks had no nutritional benefits, companies got smart and started adding vitamins, minerals, and actual juice to their formulas to have better appeal with consumers. Now, juice drinks boast “natural” flavors and even claim to have the daily recommended value of vitamins.
Don’t let those marketing gimmicks fool you. Although a drink may contain vitamins, it doesn’t mean it’s good for your body. The sugars are enough to offset the benefits of the added vitamins. And if your drink comes in an unnatural color, like electric blue, you know already it has colors in it that are in no way real juice. The only ways you’ll be able to tell if your juice is actual juice is by looking at the label, like mentioned earlier, or by making your own. If infomercials persuaded you into getting that fancy juice machine, then hopefully you’ve been squeezing some healthy juices into your day. There are so many different concoctions that can be made with an electric juicer, you can’t get tired of the yummy nutritional drinks that can be mixed up. There’s nothing like a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice, or even better, orange-carrot-banana-mango juice!
Some of us aren’t so lucky to have an electric juicer, so buying 100% juice is the next best thing. When you drink 100% juice, you get all of the vitamins that the fruit contains in a refreshing beverage sweetened by natural sugars. Orange juice and apple juice contain loads of vitamin C, while cranberry juice (not cranberry juice cocktail) will provide great antioxidants for your body. Juices are even getting exotic because some tropical fruits, like açaí and mangosteen, are infiltrating the market, blessing us with health benefits that we’re not used to. Give those drinks a taste!
So the next time you need to quench your thirst, make sure it’s juice, not drink!
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