In a time where a bottle of water usually costs more than a large soda, it’s no wonder why the American population continues to fall into the bad habit of drinking soda. The average American guzzles down roughly 44 gallons of soda per year. And while I’m not the only one to admit that a fresh cold soda sure hits the spot on a hot day; the health risks involved definitely persuade me enough to keep it from becoming a habit! Studies have shown that that frequent soda intake is linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis. And if you think you've got nothing to worry about because you only drink a can or two per day, you've got things all wrong. Research has found that drinking just one serving of pop a day can increase the risk of fatal heart disease or heart attack by a whopping 35 percent. No fizzy drink is worth that risk.
While water should be your go to source for a beverage, it can be hard to go completely cold turkey if soda has been a huge part of your daily routine. So to make the transition a little less daunting, we’ve compiled a list of 5 awesome alternatives that will still satisfy your sweet tooth, but get you going on a better path!
1. Hint Kick
This tasty beverage gives you that caffeine kick (derived from all natural coffee bean), but drastically reduces the amount of chemicals you’re consuming. With 60 milligrams of caffeine, that’s more than Diet Dr. Pepper (41 mg) or Mountain Dew (54 mg). Though it isn’t carbonated- it has zero calories, 0 g carbs, 0 diet sweeteners 0 grams of sugar and is made from all non-GMO plants. It’s an excellent alternative that will leave you saying goodbye to Coke forever!
2. Zevia Soda & Energy Drinks
A personal favorite of my family! After being gone several years, I came home to find a bunch of these stocked up in my parents fridge. Confused at first, because my family doesn’t regularly drink soda, Zevia totally had me thinking it was a soft drink! The awesome part is, they come in a variety of different “classic” flavors such as: cola, grape, lemon lime, ginger ale etc. There are no artificial sweeteners or colors, instead it is sweetened with stevia, monk fruit and erythritol. Containing 0 calories, 20mg of sodium, 4 g of carbs and 1 g of sugar, it definitely gets chalked up as a better option than regular soda!
3. Vertical Maple Water
Derived from maple tree sap, companies have began pasteurizing and bottling this sweet treat! Much like maple syrup, but far less sweet and sugary, this option also adds additional health benefits. It give you up to 66% of your daily magnesium requirements- which helps fight of disease causing free radicals and reduce inflammation. If you are a maple lover, you’ll definitely fulfill your sweet tooth while cashing in on its unique health benefits!
4. WTRMLN WTR
For all those watermelon lovers out there, this one’s for you! This cold pressed flavorsome beverage will leave you not only feeling hydrated, but also satisfied. With two simple ingredients- watermelon and lemon, you don’t have to worry about all those big words on the label that no one can pronounce! With the high content of potassium and magnesium in watermelons, this drink will help you reduce post workout soreness. Those two electrolytes are responsible in aiding hydration, productive sleep and muscle restoration. This drink has 90 calories, 0mg of sodium, 22.5 g of carbs and 18 g of sugar. And though the sugar is a bit high, rest assured knowing its coming directly from natural fruits.
5. Fruit Infused Water
My personal, all time favorite (not to mention the cheapest). And yes, I do know that quality fruits cost a bit, but in the grand scheme of things I’ve saved so much money planning ahead and creating drinks that fulfill my needs. Head over to the local farmers market and select a variety of fruits, spend an afternoon chopping them up to a suitable size and freeze them in zip lock bags. The best part of this alternative is the creativity involved; you really can’t go wrong with any combination out there. A small trick that I do is add a drop or two of organic stevia to sweeten things up a bit! And for those die hard soda lovers, start of with some unsweetened sparkling water to fulfill those frothy cravings.
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