What is high in calories and sugar but low in satisfaction? Soda. It is surprising how soda has remained around for as long as it has. As America, and the rest of the world, dive head first into this fizzy beverage, a seemingly lifelong love affair, it makes us question why.
Soda comes with some pretty apparent, though ignored, negative health impacts:
● It has a very high amount of sugar
● It contains artificial sweeteners
● Its caramel coloring and additives make it borderline undrinkable
Meanwhile, there are some interesting facts about the beverage that, maybe, you don’t want to know about. If you want to never drink
soda again, read on as to some surprising facts:
● It is packed with unnecessary calories (think nearly 150 calories and almost 40 grams of sugar, in a single can)
● As a result of the caramel coloring in soda, many soda companies use toxic chemicals used to create it (yuck)
● Both men and women can discover lower infertility if they drink soda on a daily, or regular, basis
● Soda causes an uptick in sugar dependency, as a result of stressful cravings that make you grab a can
● All of this sugar can lead to diabetes
● Not shocking to admit, but all of these sugar and sugar cravings can add some serious inches to your waistline
● The bigger the waistline the higher your blood pressure will climb
● As this continues, you’ll crave more and more sugars and other unhealthy food items
● All of this weight gain and higher blood pressure can result in premature aging
● Which, in turn, can impact and weaken your bones
● Not shocking to hear after the other facts, but drinking too much soda can result in an increased risk of heart disease
That’s why when it comes to drinking soda the best thing to do is skip it. Instead, opt for a healthy soda substitute that will deliver you more satisfaction.
Here are four healthy soda substitutes to get you on the right track to a healthy lifestyle.
Not many are aware, but tonic is soda in clear form (yes, it has calories because it’s not club soda). However, an herbal tonic is a different type of tonic. It's plant-based which means it delivers nutritionally dense benefits to you directly (thanks to the superfoods that it is made of). There are flavor options like:
● Hibiscus, which has vitamin C and other antioxidants
● Mint, which helps with digestion and anti-inflammatory properties
● Ashwagandha is popular because it can reduce stress
● Ginger, known to fight inflammation
Each herbal tonic has a variety of benefits, and it comes with that fizzy feeling! So you’ll get the bubbly feeling of soda, and the flavor (that regular club soda doesn’t have) with healthy benefits!
Flavored water is different from infused water, especially when you go to a grocery store. While flavored water is a healthy soda substitute, infused water is an even better way to go. Flavored water still can contain artificial sweeteners or too many sugars. Meanwhile, you can make infused water right from the comfort of your home anytime. All you need to do is:
● Grab a pitcher
● Fill it with water
● Cut up your favorite fruit or vegetable (like lemons, strawberries, cucumbers, mint, rosemary, oranges, plums)
● Throw the tasty slices into the pitcher of water
● Put your pitcher into the fridge for roughly an hour, to get cold (or in the freezer for 20 minutes)
● Pour your infused water into a glass and serve!
The longer you leave your desired flavor in the water the stronger the taste will be (if you want a potent flavor, leave it in for several hours or overnight). Then, from here, if you want to add something sweet you can control the setting. Honey is a great way to naturally sweeten your infused water.
There are so many tea options these days. So, while some like it hot if you’re looking for a healthy soda substitute you should serve this one cold. Steep your tea in a cold glass or pitcher (one bag per serving, so increase the amount as necessary) and pour over ice. It’s both refreshing and healthy!
With the right juice, a club soda and juice mix can go far. Be careful to look for juices that say “100% juice” and “not from concentrate” (tip: cranberry juices are oftentimes cranberry cocktail mixers, and contain high amounts of sugar in them). Or, squeeze your fruits into your club soda. You’ll have a delicious, healthy, and sweet soda alternative.
As you reach for your next refresh, consider opting for a healthy soda substitute over the sugar-dense, nutrient-lacking, mainstream soda options out there. Herbal tonic, infused water, cold brew tea, and juice and club soda make for great alternatives. They’re healthy, have no added sugars, and will leave you feeling better about your lifestyle in general.