A glass of freshly made juice feels refreshing and nutritious. Many of us have replaced our craving for cold fizzy drinks with fruit juices. In the summer, we tend to consume watermelon juice by the litre to beat the heat. At other times, we frequent roadside vendors making fresh sugarcane and mosambi juices to load up on our vitamins. But did you know that fruit juices are not always good for you? Some people tend to swap out entire meals for juices, which causes many health problems in the long run. Does that mean you should stop drinking them completely? No! You just need to pay attention to how much you consume, which fruits you choose, and when you consume them. Here are 5 instances when you should avoid fruit juices.
When To Not Drink Fruit Juices:
Immediately after waking up
We often aim to start our day in a healthy manner. You may think that swapping your caffeine-filled coffee or tea for fruit juice is a good idea. But this is actually harmful in the long run. The stomach is naturally acidic when you wake up in the morning. Therefore, you should steer clear of anything that may disrupt your digestion in the morning. According to nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta, drinking juice on an empty stomach may tax your pancreas, with the fructose causing an overload on your liver. Citrus fruit juices like orange or sweet lime may even cause acidity and other digestive issues when consumed on an empty stomach. Choose other drinks such as coconut water or coriander waterinstead.
Before you hit the gym
Another common practice is to consume juice before or after your workouts. Experts say that when you consume the juice immediately before hitting the gym, it gives you energy but does not sustain you for long periods. Furthermore, the fructose content can cause stomach cramps and gut discomfort for some people. You can drink juice about an hour before your workout. If you wish to have it after exercising, it is advised to wait around 20-30 minutes before gulping it down.
Before boarding a flight
Many of us suffer from motion sickness, which makes air travel far from enjoyable. Even those who don't have this condition often feel uncomfortable once the flight has taken off because of poor dietary choices. It is recommended to avoid fruit juices in large quantities before a flight because their high sugar content can lead to indigestion. Opt for mild drinks with zero sugar, like coconut water, to stabilise your system and stay hydrated.
The natural fructose of fruit juices affects your insulin levels, which can lead to weight gain. According to nutritionist Lovneet Batra, regularly consuming fruit juices has also been associated "with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome and obesity." Hence, if you are trying to shed a few kilos, avoid drinking it just before your bedtime. Some experts also say that it may negatively affect your sleep. Some people may also experience bloating or heartburn.
If you have diabetes
People with diabetes are generally advised to follow a high-fibre diet. While fibre is present in many fruits, it gets lost when turned into juice. Juices still retain some amount of the other nutrients, but the fructose content spells a problem for diabetics. If they consume fruit juices, they may experience rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. In the long run, they may even put on weight, which worsens their condition.
Fruit juices may be convenient, but remember that whole fruits are healthier. Furthermore, the process of chewing and digesting them also has many benefits for your body. So don't always throw them into the juicer!
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Toshita SahniToshita is fuelled by wordplay, wanderlust, wonderment and Alliteration. When she is not blissfully contemplating her next meal, she enjoys reading novels and roaming around the city.