Learning what to eat with PCOS is one thing, but drinks are also a part of our diet that needs atttention, because if you are eating well but drinking the wrong drinks, then you may not see results.
Firstly, water is really all that we need. The human body is between about 60 and 75% water, and about two litres (8 cups) is lost each day. This water needs to be replaced for our cells to function optimally. The body itself can actually make about a cup of water a day, and we also get some water from food, so you may not need to drink the full two litres to stay hydrated, but if you exercise you will need to increase your intake.
So drink plenty of water each day, and make sure it’s filtered water. You can also add some fresh lemon or apple cider vinegar to the water for added health benefits.
You can also enjoy some other drinks in moderation. Unless you are really struggling with your weight or insulin resistance, you can have small amounts of juice with no added sugar or preservatives. When I drink juice, I always dilute it about half an half. You can also have sparkling mineral water or soda water with a small amount of juice added for flavour. This is nice to have with a meal if you want something fizzy.
Another option is sparkling apple cider with no sugar or additives, just apple juice with bubbles! This is low GI, but will still give you a fair amount of natural fruit sugar to process, so drink in moderation. I often make up a drink with soda water and a powdered sports rehydration formula that has electrolytes and magnesium in it. Not the ones you see advertised, those ones are high in sugar. The one I use has no sugar or artificial sweeteners, and contains several beneficial nutrients within a natural lemon flavour. Great for before and after exercise too. For details of this formula, contact me.
Say goodbye to soft drinks/sodas if you want to get the best health results. These are not much more than sugar, and lots of it! plus they often have artifical additives which the body doesn’t need, and add to the body’s toxic load. Don’t think the no sugar versions are any better though, these have artifical sweeteners that may have negative health effects, and actually make you more hungry and likely to gain weight!
When it comes to alcohol, the effect on PCOS is that it can upset blood sugar balance and increase testosterone levels, so preferably avoid it or only have it occasionally and in small amounts.
Tea and coffee are best reduced, and in some cases eliminated (yes you CAN live without them!). Although there are some health benefits, there are also health consequences. Regular intake of caffeine is not good for the body, and the tannins in tea can affect nutrient absorption. Being diuretics, they can also enhance the elimination of certain nutrients. The thing with coffee in particular, is that most people add sugar or artifical sweetener, along with milk. I don’t recommend artificial sweeteners, including aspartame and splenda, but instead, use natural sweeteners such as xylitol and stevia. Xylitol can be used in the same way as sugar. Enjoy your tea and coffee in moderation rather than a daily (or 5 times daily!) occurrence.
Hot chocolate will have less caffeine, so if you are wanting to cut back on coffee, then substituting it with HC can be one way to help wean you off the caffeine. Just don’t add any extra sugar, and have a soy hot chocolate rather than a dairy milk one.
Herbal teas are also good, especially spearmint, dandelion, and chamomile.
So when it comes to drinks, think water first, then remember – No added sugar, No artificial additives, No or reduced caffeine.
Feeling thirsty yet??