CINCINNATI - If you’re looking to tone the tummy and slim down, the phrase “watch what you eat” resonates. But it’s not just what you’re eating that’s adding to that midsection pooch: imbibing the proper beverages plays a major role in your fitness routine.
Curious as to what you really should be drinking? Check out our list of some of the best and worst beverages for your body.
Water. it’s no secret that water is the best liquid you can put in your body. No calories, no sugar, no sodium, no artificial flavors. The numbers vary, but most researchers agree that you should be taking in at least 2 liters (or 67 oz.) a day . You can even flavor your agua by tossing in lemon wedges, cucumber or apple slices, or berries. Yum!
Green tea. if you’re a tea fanatic like me, green tea is your go-to drink. It’s full of antioxidants, helps burn fat, boosts your metabolism, and helps regulate sugar levels. Studies have shown that just one glass of green tea a day can burn up to 70 calories naturally.
Coffee. It seems we’re always getting conflicting messages about coffee. One day it’s good for you, one day it’s bad. Fitness guru Jillian Michaels allows for one 16-ounce cup of black coffee a day in the fitness and diet regimen she stresses to her clients; as long as you skip the flavored creamers or sugar, you can keep on getting your daily caffeine boost.
TIP: If you really want to add something to your java, try cinnamon . It’s an effective metabolism booster and can curb cravings.
Smoothies. For a quick and delicious way to get the vitamins and nutrients you need, smoothies are the way to go. Just don’t go overboard with your smoothie components, as many fruits and bases have high sugar content.
TIP: I add protein powder for an added boost after my workouts, and I use water or skim milk as a base to cut down on the calories.
Alcohol. Light beer? Forget about it. There's no room for alcohol if you want to tone up that middle, because your favorite drinks are packed with calories and carbs. Even if you think you’re making a healthy selection, the best way to get that toned tummy is just to avoid alcohol.
Sodas. Health experts are unanimous: there is absolutely NO health benefit to sodas whatsoever--and that includes the "lite" versions. Many diet sodas contain aspartame, which builds up in your liver, and they’re jam-packed with sodium, coloring and preservatives. A big no-no if you’re trying to whittle the waist.
Juice. You don't necessarily have to nix your favorite juices; just be aware of the sugar and calorie content. Many fruit juices appear to be healthy options, but one look at the label reveals a high sugar content and additives that aren't flat-tummy friendly.
Milk. Here’s a tricky one, because milk and dairy products are good for developing and maintaining strong bones. However, many people have noticed bloating following a heavy dairy intake. A small glass of milk a day shouldn't thwart your fitness efforts, but ease off on the dairy if you start to feel bloated and uncomfortable.
- MORE: Lose the pooch! The Best Exercises for Lower Abs (via Shape.com)
What are some of your go-to drinks when you're trying to lose weight and tone your tummy? Connect with me on Twitter @jennyfromthebak and use the hashtag #9Fitness to join the conversation!