Kicking the Soda Habit? 9 Healthy Replacements (Slideshow)
If you’re drinking soda to pep you up, coffee may be a better solution. According to the Mayo Clinic, a cup or two a day may ward off Parkinson’s and type 2 diabetes as well as help to improve cognitive function. Just try not to overdo it on the sugar or you may find your waistline no better off for the switch.
Many people get hooked on soda because they simply hate the taste of water. We get it: water is tasteless and basic no matter how much lemon you squeeze in. But coconut water, especially when it’s mixed with fruit flavor like pineapple, tastes like a party and is ultra-hydrating to boot. Why not reach for one instead of soda next time you’re super thirsty?
If you like soda as a once-a-day sweet treat, why not try some lemonade instead? An eight-ounce Newman’s Own Organic Lemonade has just 110 calories to Coca-Cola’s 182 and 18 fewer grams of sugar.
Naturally Sweetened Soda
If you absolutely cannot give up the taste of soda, why not switch to one that’s naturally sweetened? Unlike diet sodas sweetened with chemicals, sodas like Zevia are sweetened with a naturally growing plant extract. You can still find flavors like cola, root beer, and grape, but with no calories and no chemicals.
Maybe you drink soda because you love the bubbles. If you’d like to cut out calories and chemicals, why not try a flavored sparkling water? Brands like La Croix come in refreshing flavors like grapefruit and mango. After lightening up with these for a few days, you won’t miss the heavy taste of soda.
Do you kinda love the taste of diet soda even though you know your ten-a-day habit can’t be healthy? Brands like Sweet Leaf offer teas with no sweetener save a hint of citrus, resulting in the bittersweet flavor diet soda lovers crave.
Okay, juices get a bad rap, but if you’re trying to steer clear of soda and don’t want to be relegated to plain water, there are juices out there that are low calorie and very delicious. Just make sure that there are no added sugars and they’re not from concentrate. Fresh, organic juice is actually a pretty healthy drink if you don’t overdo it.
Homemade Flavored Water
Warning: approach flavored water with extreme caution. If you’re looking to switch soda for something healthier but find water boring, the right flavored waters can be a godsend. However, some “vitamin waters” contain more sugar than your soda ever dreamed of! The best bet is to make your own. Throw cucumber, cherries, mint, or whatever floats your boat into a pitcher of ice water to soak overnight, and voila, you’ve got a healthy, delicious soda alternative in hours.