When you were younger, you were probably told that a big glass of orange juice was packed with vitamin C and guaranteed to make you healthier. And even now, you might be trying to cram your ‘5 a day’ into one glass of fruit juice before a workout, just in case you don’t get time to eat your veggies later.
But over the years, there’s been much talk about fruit juices actually being the cause of weight gain due to their significant sugar content and therefore best enjoyed in moderation. This is, to say the least, confusing. Surely if you were presented with a fizzy soda drink and a fruit juice, you’d think that there would be less sugar in the fruit juice, right?
Not necessarily! Much research has indicated that fruit juices can contain more sugar than even the most manufactured sugary drinks, going against much of the knowledge we have about the importance of this staple drink in our diets.
So, which is it? Are fruit juices the elixir of good health? Or are they contributing to rising obesity rates and hindering your weight loss success?
Well, the answer can be found somewhere in the middle of these two theories.
- Depending on the fruit juice, you can enjoy a host of nutritional benefits that can improve your energy levels, making your workout more effective.
- The way that fruit juice is prepared is the cause of high sugar content, which, when enjoyed in excess, can hinder your weight loss progress.
Let us explain further:
Natural juices, even those that boast zero added sugar, don’t provide the same benefits as whole fruits. In fact, fresh orange juice can be known to contain more calories than some fizzy pops. When fruit is blended, the sugar within the fruit’s structure is released, whereas the fibre is diminished. When we don’t blend fruit and instead eat an apple, we are intaking both the natural sugars and the fibre as well. This mix of nutrients produces a steadier digestion movement throughout the body, helping you to feel full after eating. Drinking the juice on its own, however, skips the fibre intake and gives your body a full on sugar hit, causing your blood sugar to spike and quickly crash again, creating cravings for more sugar.
Not only that, but much of this excess sugar gets converted by the liver into fat storage, which can lead to insulin resistance and (yes you guessed it) type 2 diabetes. And then there’s the tooth decay to worry about! Too much fruit juice damages the enamel on your teeth, causing decay and creating the need for unsightly and expensive fillings.
So, the key take-home on fruit juice is simple:
For maximum nutritional benefit and minimal risk of sabotaging your diet, eat whole fruits where possible. If you are going to enjoy a fruit juice, you should do so in moderation. If you are currently following our Luxe Fitness 4, 6 or 8 week plan, we recommend you cut out fruit juice altogether or bring this consumption down to the bare minimum.
And finally, we think it’s wise to prepare your own fruit juice rather than buy fruit juices pre made. When you’re in a hurry in the supermarket you may not give much thought to checking the labels on drinks you purchase, but much of the time pre-made fruit juice has high sugar content and added ingredients that don’t really need to be there. Buying a handful of fresh oranges and juicing these yourself will at least guarantee you’re only getting the fruit juice – plus it’ll taste a lot better!
Don’t forget, you can easily add Luxe Fitness Powders to juices, water and smoothies, so browse our range and select a protein powder today.
About the Author
Emma Rowlands is a professional writer with a passion for health and science. Emma has years of experience working in the diet and lifestyle sector including for the UK celebrity diet club The Hairy Bikers Diet Club. Emma is part way through an undergraduate health science degree.
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