CareZone | What Can I Drink in Place of Soda?

The human body is made up of approximately 60% water, therefore hydration is important for good health and to help keep your body functioning properly. Thirst can often be confused for hunger, so drinking enough water throughout the day may help you maintain a healthy weight.

Why should I avoid drinking soda?

Soda lacks nutrients and contains cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial coloring. Even diet soda isn’t a healthier choice because it contains artificial sweeteners that have been linked to increased cravings for sweets and overeating.

Current research supports that drinking soda does not aid in weight loss, but rather weight gain, particularly in the abdominal region. Additionally, studies suggest that diet soda consumption may increase the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Along with soda, smoothies and juice aren’t always a healthy alternative because they can be loaded with sugar and calories.

Make drinking water fun with these 3 healthy alternatives to soda!

FRUIT INFUSED WATER

Fruit infused water is a great way to spice up regular drinking water. Add fresh or frozen fruit such as lemons, limes, berries, or herbs like mint, basil, or rosemary.

  • 1 sliced lemon
  • 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Mint leaves
  • 2 cups of ice
  • Fill large glass pitcher with water and refrigerate
  • Allow flavors to infuse for 30 to 60 minutes
  • Optional: add ½ jalapeno (de-seeded) for a spicy kick!

Cool off beverages and boost flavor with fruit infused ice cubes. Freeze your favorite fruit with water in an ice cube tray and add to your drinks.

SPARKLE and FIZZ

Drink plain or flavored sparkling water. Flavored with a fruity essence, sparkling water is a nice option for those who crave a carbonated fizzy feel similar to soda. Check the label and pay attention to the listed ingredients. Try to avoid carbonated drinks with added sugar or artificial sweeteners and aim for zero calories.

TEA TIME

A daily tea time ritual is a good way to stay hydrated throughout the day. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, stick with herbal teas. Herbal teas have healing and calming benefits. Peppermint, chamomile, lavender, and ginger are popular herbal tea flavors and taste great hot or cold. Make a pot of herbal tea and leave it in your refrigerator for a soothing pick-me-up. When shopping for tea, watch out for added sugar and calories.

Widely studied for its medicinal purposes, green tea contains some of the highest concentrations of antioxidants, which have been linked to anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as metabolic and cardiovascular benefits. Additionally, studies suggest that consuming green tea regularly may boost metabolism, and decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Tip for drinking green tea: Adding freshly-squeezed lemon (high in vitamin C) to green tea may increase the amount of antioxidants that your body absorbs.

Happy sipping!

Have another favorite, healthy non-soda drink you enjoy? Share below in the comments section.

CareZone Tip: Replacing soda with these healthy drinks can help reduce added sugar in your diet. If you’re a diabetic, it’s even more important to limit your daily sugar intake. In your CareZone app, easily monitor your blood sugar levels. Click to learn more about the Blood Glucose Tracker.>>

Article by Kim Denkhaus, MS, RD, a registered dietitian nutritionist with a master’s degree in nutritional science. Kim is CareZone’s contributing nutrition writer, and privately counsels clients in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California.

Posted April 04, 2017 by Therese Pope