When you are trying to lose weight, the best drink to have is water but a few other drinks like bone broth, protein shake, lemon water, fruit-infused water and herbal are also okay to have in moderation.

However, there are so many other drinks out there that are labeled as healthy, low fat, detoxing, liver-cleansing, and fat-burning.

Please don’t waste your money on those, they are simply marketing ploys and if you do some research, you will find that, in most cases, there is no evidence to back their claims. At best, there may be some observational studies that can’t prove any cause and effect relation, and only show some associations. There is a correlation between ice-cream sales and incidences of drowning but ice-cream certainly doesn’t cause drownings, does it?

In this post, I will go through a list of drinks that you should definitely avoid when trying to lose weight.

Flavored milk, soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks should be avoided when you are trying to lose weight because they are high in calories and/or contain caffeine, artificial flavors, and sweeteners. In addition, some drinks like tea, coffee, alcohol, and vegetable juices should also be avoided for health reasons.

Let’s have a look at each of these drinks below.

Why flavored milk should be avoided if you are trying to lose weight

When trying to lose weight, you should avoid flavored milk like chocolate milk and strawberry milk which is usually high in added sugar, calories and contain additives.

The table below shows the nutrition in whole milk and some flavored milk sold by Walmart and Morning Fresh Dairy Farm.

A table showing nutrition in flavored milk compared to plain whole milk
Sources: Walmart and Morning Fresh Dairy Farm

As you can see, a cup of whole milk contains 12g of natural sugar but a cup of low-fat chocolate and strawberry milk contains 28g and 22g of sugar respectively. As the fat is removed, to appeal to fat-fearing customers, sugar is usually added to improve the taste.

The flavored milk made from whole milk by Morning Fresh Dairy Farm is also substantially higher in sugar (41% to 133% more) and higher in calories (27% to 60% more) compared to plain whole milk.

Flavored milk can also contain coloring, flavoring, processed sugar, and other additives.

For example, the strawberry milk made by Morning Fresh Dairy Farm contains ‘All natural Grade A milk, vitamin D3, all natural sugar, and real strawberries’.

The strawberry milk sold at Walmart contains the following: ‘Lowfat milk, sugar, crystalline fructose, natural flavor, cellulose gel, cellulose gum, red #40, disodium phosphate, carrageenan, vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3‘.

Why alcohol should be avoided if you are trying to lose weight

Alcohol is a psychoactive drug that has been consumed all over the world for thousands of years.

You should not drink alcohol whether you are trying to lose weight or not because alcohol is a psychoactive drug that is capable of seriously affecting neurological pathways in your brain, alters your behaviors, and adversely impact your health and wellbeing. In particular, health risks associated with alcohol consumption include:

  • Interfering with your brain function
  • Messing up your sleep
  • Reducing your testosterone and ability to build muscles
  • Causing weight gain
  • Impairing sexual performance
  • Causing dehydration and loss of micronutrients
  • Damaging your liver
  • Increasing blood pressure
  • Affecting fertility
  • Damaging your digestive system
  • Increasing the risk of pancreatitis
  • Increasing the risk of various cancers
  • Commercial alcohol can contain many harmful substances
  • Causing massive health and social problems worldwide.

In short, alcohol is toxic and can wreak havoc on all aspects of your health. In addition, it also has negative impacts on your family, your career, and your community.

There is evidence of health benefits from moderate alcohol consumption such as brain, gut, and heart health, psychological benefits such as lowering stress and depression and increasing pleasant and happy feelings, plus some other health benefits. [1234567]

However, in a 2018 global study titled ‘No level of alcohol consumption improves health’ examining the impact of alcohol on injury and disease and published in The Lancet, the authors conclude that:

The conclusions of the study are clear and unambiguous: alcohol is a colossal global health issue and small reductions in health-related harms at low levels of alcohol intake are outweighed by the increased risk of other health-related harms, including cancer. [8]

When you are trying to lose weight, it’s all the more reason to avoid alcohol because it can be high in calories, affects your judgement leading to poor food choices, disrupt normal metabolic processes in the body and reduces sleep quality.

Why soft drinks and energy drinks should be avoided if you are trying to lose weight

You should not drink soft drinks and energy drinks when trying to lose weight because they have no nutrition and are practically just empty calories, caffeine, and chemicals.

As can be seen from the examples below, common ingredients in soft drinks and energy drinks are:

  • carbonated water
  • sugar
  • coloring
  • flavoring
  • caffeine
  • additives and preservatives.

Potential health problems associated with excessive consumption of soft drinks are tooth decay, insulin insensitivity, and obesity due to their high sugar contents.

Furthermore, as mentioned above in the alcohol and coffee sections, caffeine is an addictive stimulant that interferes with the normal healthy function of your brain and can cause many health problems.

Why sports drinks should be avoided if you are trying to lose weight

You should not drink sports drinks when trying to lose weight because similar to energy and soft drinks, they contain empty sugar and are full of additives.

Sports drinks are used to replenish water and electrolyte loss through strenuous exercises.

Sports drinks may also contain minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium as well as vitamins.

However, many sports drinks are high in simple sugar (glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose) or artificial sweeteners which also have a similar impact on insulin as actual sugar.

For example, a 591mL bottle of Gatorade has 36g of carbohydrate, 34g of which is added sugar. Similarly, a 591 mL bottle of Powerade has 35g of carbohydrate, all of which is added sugar. [9]

The vitamins and minerals are simply a marketing tactic, people don’t drink sports drinks for the nutrients, they drink them for the boost of energy due to the sugar.

You don’t need to drink sports drinks for the added vitamins and minerals, you can get plenty of those from a healthy diet.

If you think you need electrolytes after a strenuous exercise, make a sports drink yourself with a few drops of mineral and electrolytes.

Some people think drinks that have no calories or very low calories like green tea, black tea, black coffee, or vegetable juices are also great for weight loss.

However, in my view, it is best to avoid these drinks if possible for the reason set out below.

Why tea should be avoided whether you are trying to lose weight or not

It is best to avoid drink tea (green tea, black tea, oolong tea, dark tea, white tea, yellow tea, etc) because while the health benefits of tea on humans are inconclusive due to the nature of epidemiological studies, antinutrients in tea such as oxalate, caffeine, tannins, and phytate are proven to be harmful. [1011121314151617]

  • Oxalate. Oxalate can bind with calcium and other minerals to form oxalate crystals, the main ingredient in kidney stones. Oxalate crystals can cause damages to the eyes, immune system, neurological system, GI tract, and connective tissues
  • Caffeine. A widely consumed psychostimulant, as mentioned above caffeine interferes with the normal healthy functioning of your brain and have an adverse impact on your health in general
  • Tannins. Tannins are a type of polyphenols that produce an astringent or bitter taste in green tea. and some other fruits. Tannins bind and precipitate proteins. They also bind with digestive enzymes and can adversely interfere with digestion and metabolism. Tannins can also obstruct the absorption of iron
  • Phytate. Why some animals can handle phytate, humans can’t. Phytate in tea can reduce the absorption of minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium from food.

Why coffee should be avoided whether you are trying to lose weight or not

You should not drink coffee whether you are trying to lose weight or not because coffee contains: [181920212223242526272829]

  1. Caffeine, a stimulant that interferes with the normal healthy functioning of your brain and have an adverse impact on your health in general,
  2. Acrylamide, a byproduct of the roasting process which is a neurotoxin and a carcinogen,
  3. Ochratoxin, a fungal mycotoxin that is a nephrotoxin, a liver toxin, an immune suppressant, a potent teratogen, and a carcinogen, and
  4. Pesticides and herbicides that can be extremely toxic and cause serious long-term health problems.

The benefits of coffee consumption in humans are based on observational studies only which only show associations and can’t prove causation. In animal studies, coffee is found to contain substances that cause serious health problems.

While herbal teas can be okay in moderation, it is impossible to do so with tea or coffee because of the highly addictive nature of caffeine.

Why vegetable juices should be avoided whether you are trying to lose weight or not

In my view vegetable juices, though can be low in calories, should be avoided for health reason due to the concentration of plant anti-nutrients.

Plants are stuck to the ground and, to protect themselves from predators, they produce toxins. Plants produce toxins to protect themselves from predators. These plant toxins can cause serious health problems in humans when consumed in significant quantities. [3031]

Vegetable juices can be okay to consume on occasions, but I don’t want you to think that because they are low in calories, you can drink them every day or a couple of times a day because they are healthy. Unfortunately, the opposite is actually true.

In a study looking at the toxicological significance of exposures to synthetic chemicals relative to naturally occurring chemicals, i.e. plant anti-nutrients or natural pesticides, Dr. Ames and his team estimated that “Americans eat about 1.5 g of natural pesticides per person per day, which is about 10,000 times more than they eat of synthetic pesticide residues”. [32]

While many people opt for organic fruits and vegetables if they can afford to avoid synthetic pesticides, many are oblivious of the significant amount of natural pesticides present in ordinary edible plant food.

Only 52 natural pesticides have been tested in high-dose animal cancer tests, and about half (27) are rodent carcinogens; these 27 are shown to be present in many common foods…

Even though only a tiny proportion of the plant toxins in our diet have been tested so far, the 27 natural pesticides that are rodent carcinogens are present in the following foods: anise, apple, apricot, banana, basil, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, caraway, carrot, cauliflower, celery, cherries, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa, coffee, collard greens, comfrey herb tea, currants, dill, eggplant, endive, fennel, grapefruit juice, grapes, guava, honey, honeydew melon, horseradish, kale, lentils, lettuce, mango, mushrooms, mustard, nutmeg, orange juice, parsley, parsnip, peach, pear, peas, black pepper, pineapple, plum, potato, radish, raspberries, rosemary, sesame seeds, tarragon, tea, tomato, and turnip.

Thus, it is probable that almost every fruit and vegetable in the supermarket contains natural plant pesticides that are rodent carcinogens. The levels of these 27 rodent carcinogens in the above plants are commonly thousands of times higher than the levels of synthetic pesticides.Ames et al (1990)

In summary, regardless of whether you are trying to lose weight or not, try to avoid or limit consumption to a glass of vegetable juice occasionally. If you are looking to boost your nutrient intake, have a small serving of beef liver two to three times a week instead.

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DisclaimerThe information in this post is for reference purposes only and is not intended to constitute or replace professional medical advice. Please consult a qualified medical professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle. Please check out our disclaimer for more detail.