Healthy beverages based on science

Drinks and beverages are an important part of our lives. We cannot live without them for more than about 4 days. But some drinks are healthier than others. So, the question is what are healthy beverages and which are the healthiest based on science. This article will answer this question.

Healthy beverages based on science and their nutritional benefits [1]:

  1. Water
  2. Tea, Coffee
  3. Low fat (1.5% or 1%) and skim (nonfat) milk and soy beverages
  4. Noncalorically sweetened beverages
  5. Caloric beverages with some nutrients
  6. Calorically sweetened beverages

1. Water

Water is one of the healthiest beverages. Water consumption is necessary for metabolism and for normal physiologic functions and may provide essential minerals.

2. Tea, coffee

Meta-analysis shows that daily tea intake is associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality among adults and lower risk of CVD-specific mortality in elderly populations. [2]

3. Low fat (1.5% or 1%) and skim (nonfat) milk and soy beverages

Meta-analysis of 19 studies found no evidence for a decreased or increased risk of all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease, and stroke associated with adult milk consumption. However, the possibility cannot be dismissed that risks associated with milk consumption could be underestimated because of publication bias. [3]

A few other meta-analyses show that there is no association between milk consumption and all-cause mortality. [4, 5]

The question is why drink milk that has a neutral effect on our health when we can drink tea that has a positive impact on our health and can reduce the risk of some diseases? But that’s just my opinion. The choice is yours.

4. Noncalorically sweetened beverages

Noncalorically sweetened beverages are diet sodas or other diet drinks.

5. Caloric beverages with some nutrients

These beverages include fruit juices, whole (full-fat) milk, alcoholic drinks.
Although fruit juices provide some of the nutrients of their natural source but they also lack some nutrients. That’s why it’s recommended to eat whole fruits instead of juices to get the most health benefits.

6. Calorically sweetened beverages

Meta-analysis of 15 studies shows that each serving increase in daily Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSB) consumption was associated with an 8% higher risk of all-cause mortality or CVD mortality. The associations of artificially sweetened beverage (ASB) intakes with all-cause and CVD mortality were J-shaped, and compared with nonconsumers, those who daily consumed 1.5 or 2 servings of ASBs were associated with a 4% or 8% higher risk of all-cause mortality and a 7% or 15% higher risk of CVD mortality. No significant associations were found for cancer mortality. [6]

Findings from the systematic review of 30 prospective cohort studies and intervention trials showed an overall positive association between the consumption of SSBs and indices of obesity in both children and adults. Almost all (93%) of the 30 included studies in children and adults revealed a positive association, and only one prospective cohort study in children showed no association; the RCT in adults demonstrated no effect of the intervention. [7]

Meta-analysis of 12 studies shows that the habitual consumption of SSBs was associated with a higher risk of CVD incidence and CVD mortality in a dose-response manner. Intake of Low-Calorie Sweetened Beverages (LCSBs) was also positively associated with the risk of CVD incidence and CVD mortality at high levels (>2 servings/d), but the interpretation of these findings are complicated by potential reverse causation and residual confounding. [8]


Some of the healthy beverages based on scientific research are water, tea, coffee.
Low fat (1.5% or 1%) and skim (nonfat) milk and soy beverages have neutral effects on our health.
Instead of drinking fruit juices it’s recommended to eat whole fruits to get the most health benefits.
Although excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to serious health and social problems, moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with some health benefits. Moderate consumption is defined as the daily consumption of no more than one drink for women and 2 for men.

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