20 Zero-Calorie Drinks

It seems natural that in recent years, as new health risks have come to light, consumers have decided to watch their weight and eat healthier. These days, kale is a national craze and more people than ever have jumped onto the juicing wagon. But the obesity epidemic seems to have taken hold of America, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that more than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7 percent) are obese. And being overweight can cost you: The estimated annual medical cost of obesity was $147 billion in 2008; and the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. To help lower the obesity count, Americans are bombarded with countless low-calorie options for food. But even with the low-cal meals at their fingertips, most people never seem to consider where most of their caloric intake is coming from — their beverages.

Click here to see 20 Zero-Calorie Drinks (Slideshow)

The Harvard School of Public Health reported that the "rising consumption of sugary drinks has been a major contributor to the obesity epidemic." Drinks high in sugar content, like Coca-Cola, Sprite, and Mountain Dew, are one of the leading causes of obesity, especially in children. "Beverage companies in the U.S. spent roughly $3.2 billion marketing carbonated beverages in 2006, with nearly a half billion dollars of that marketing aimed directly at youth ages 2 to 17," according to Harvard.

Americans can vastly lower the obesity statistics by tossing away sugary soft drinks and replacing them with alternatives that are zero-calorie, and equally delicious. Most soft-drink companies, like Coca-Cola, offer alternatives to their typically sweeter beverages that they refer to as "zeros." These are drinks like Coke Zero, Sprite Zero, and even Vitaminwater Zero, which offer similar tastes to the full-calorie drinks but help consumers to drastically lower their caloric intake, in turn aiding in the reduction of obesity across the country. We don't think necessarily suggest you complelely fill your diet with diet sodas because they aren't that healthy for you easier. The drinks we came up with have a few diet sodas but also some delicous teas, flavored waters, and sparkling waters that are great diet soda substitutes. 

We don't insist you completely toss away your 2 liters of Coke, because they sure do make a fantastic BBQ sauce, but when you head to the grocery store next week try opting for a lower-calorie beverage like Fruitwater, Poland Spring Sparkling Water, or even Sparkling ICE. All these beverages have delicious flavor options and they are far healthier than sugary soft drinks that have been linked to type 2 diabetes and other such obesity-related health problems. Check out our list of 20 zero-calorie beverages that will help make your switch to a low-calorie lifestyle that much easier!