Soda is delicious, refreshing and, unfortunately, really, really bad for you. A single can of soda contains roughly ten tablespoons of sugar, not to mention extra high fructose corn syrup, or, if you’re opting for diet soda, harmful aspartame, which has been linked to cancer in rats and is even commonly recommended that pregnant women avoid for its increased risk of birth defects or miscarriage. Soda also contains phosphoric acid, sodium, and is normally made with the lowest-quality tap water available. All these nasty ingredients greatly increase your risk of diabetes, cancer, chronic dehydration and high blood pressure, as well as tooth decay, osteoporosis and bone softening.
Unfortunately, soda, especially diet soda, can be terribly addictive. The good news is that there’s a few great alternatives to help you kick the habit-all with wonderful health benefits, that are affordable and easy to make at home! Here they are:
- Ice tea: probably the simplest on this list, ice tea is a breeze to make at home and can satisfy your desire for a cool, refreshing and tasty beverage. All you need to do is brew your tea of choice like you would normally, but with about 1/3 the hot water you would normally use. If you want to make a pitcher, throw three or four tea bags in there and brew. Then fill with cold water and ice and you’re done! Choosing a simple green or herbal tea, without added ingredients like soy lecithin or natural flavor, is the best option for a delicious and healthy alternative to soda
- Infused water: it’s very simple to make delicious and super healthy infused water at home. You can buy a special bottle or pitcher just for infusing, but you don’t have to. Infused water is essentially soaking fruits or herbs in water for a boosted nutritional content and delicious flavor. Popular options are lemon, lime, cucumber, mint, and berries. Even just a few slices of lemon in a pitcher of cold water is guaranteed to have you forgetting about soda in no time.
- Sparkling water: sparkling water, which is very popular in Europe and Latin America, is a great alternative to soda and, if it’s the carbonation you really like, will satisfy the craving very well. Just make sure to opt for brands that don’t have added artificial flavors or sweeteners-a great option is to buy plane sparking water and infuse as mentioned above
- Kombucha and water kefir: these require a bit more to get started than the other options on this list, but they’re by far the most nutritious. Naturally fermented probiotics, you can brew kombucha or water kefir right on your counter top by purchasing either a kombucha “scoby” or water kefir “grains”, which you feed a diet of black tea and/or sugar. In the cases of both these beverages, as they are brewed the kombucha or kefir organisms consume the caffeine and sugar and convert them to a healthy, fizzy, delicious probiotic drink. This is also a great option if you’d like to scale back on beer or wine as well, as they have a similar strong flavor as beer and wine but without the high alcohol content.
If you liked that, you might also like: