Soda can be a delicious treat, but as many of us know, it’s a treat that’s loaded with sugar and calories. Like many delicious drinks, soda isn’t exactly a healthy drink. If you’re looking to cut back on your soda intake, there are plenty of other healthy alternatives that are just as delicious and will still give you that much needed boost of sugar or caffeine. Add it to inexpensive healthy foods and start improving your health.
One such alternative is flavored water. Flavored water has become popular in the past few years, but the brands you buy in the store can also be loaded with added sugar. However, flavored water is a pretty easy thing to make at home. Just cut up some fruits or vegetables and add them to a pitcher of water. Let the water soak up the strawberries, oranges, cucumbers, or lime and you’ll have a delicious, healthy drink!
Green tea is a great alternative to soda because not only does it offer you caffeine, but it’s calorie free and very high in antioxidants. Green tea is a great soda alternative because in addition to being healthy, studies have shown that it can possibly prevent health issues such as cancer or heart disease. The best thing about green tea is that you can drink it hot or iced.
Iced tea is another wonderful drink you can have instead of soda. While sweetened iced tea can be pretty high in sugar and calories, it’s still healthier than soda. Unsweetened iced tea is also an option for those who are definitely hoping to reduce their sugar intake. Of course, while there are plenty of premade iced tea mixes that you can find in the supermarket, iced tea is another healthy drink that it’s easy to make at home. All you have to do is brew some of your favorite tea, let it sit in the fridge for awhile, and then pour a glass and enjoy!
Of course, one of the easiest soda replacements is seltzer. Seltzer has the same carbonation as soda, but without as much sugar or calories. Flavored seltzers tend to be caffeine free and low calorie, but they come in a variety of flavors. The next time you’re thinking of having a soda, reach for this sweet and carbonated treat instead.
Seltzer and Fruit Juice
If you’re looking for something a little different, why not try pouring a little fruit juice into your seltzer? Of course, you’ll have to make sure you use 100% fruit juice instead of juices that are high in sugar. All you have to do is mix one part juice with three parts seltzer and you have a delicious drink! Pouring some fruit juice into your seltzer will give you a new drink that is healthy, but still sweet and carbonated like soda.
What could be more delicious than freshly squeezed juice? Bottled juices tend to be high in sugars, which means they’re also high in calories. While fruits also contain a lot of calories, the calories come from natural sugar which is infinitely better for you to consume. If you’re looking to give freshly squeezed juice a little more kick, consider added a splash of tonic or seltzer.
You might be raising an eyebrow when you see that coffee has been added to a list of healthy alternatives to soda. But coffee is a better alternative than soda. Without added sugar or cream, coffee contains no fat and only a few calories. Of course, loading it with flavored creamers and heaping tablespoons of sugar isn’t great, but taking it black or with a small pinch of cream or sugar is a great healthy alternative. Just make sure not to drink too much, since coffee is only good for you in moderation. More than three cups a day can be harmful!
You might have already seen the colorful containers of Izze “soda” on store shelves. Izze is a carbonated fruit drink that tastes like soda but that is made entirely with juice. It runs about $4 to $5 for a pack of four or six 12 oz. bottles and comes in delicious flavors like blackberry, pomegranate, pear, clementine, and blueberry.
Who doesn’t love lemonade on a hot summer day? Lemonade can be a great drink if you’re looking for something sweet and refreshing and don’t want to reach for a can of soda. There are definitely premade mixes available, but all you have to do is add some lemons and some sugar to water, stir, and enjoy!
Of course, the easiest, cheapest, and healthiest alternative to soda is water. Water isn’t a direct replacement for soda since it has none of the sweetness and none of the carbonation, but it’s more refreshing (and better for you) than soda is!
(Photo courtesy of SeveStJude)