Soda, also called a soft drink, is a beverage that contains carbonated water, a sweetener and an artificial or natural flavoring. The sweetener which is usually sugar or high-fructose corn syrup or fruit juice or a combination of these, is the primary cause of health concerns.
Consumption of large amounts of sugars leads to weight gain. Consequently obesity, hypertension, and diabetes will follow. These conditions are increasingly the main cause of disease and death in the western world. Growing concern about the ever-surging incidence and prevalence of these disease, has led people to call out soda manufacturers. Soda also causes reduced bone density and erosion of teeth. Despite being aware of the harmful effects of their products, the producers have barely changed their products or marketing strategies.
The existing knowledge on the negative effects of soda on health and wellbeing has done little to decrease consumption across the globe, especially in the United States and Latin America. Organizations that are pushing for a shift away from soda cannot compete with the massive marketing machinery of soda manufacturers. By the time most people quit drinking soda, it is too late. Often, they have already been diagnosed with hypertension or diabetes. Prevention is the best cure and more efforts need to be directed there.
If you are looking to stop drinking soda but are having trouble finding alternatives, this article is for you. Remember, almost any drink, with the exception of alcohol, is better in terms of health when compared to soda.
Infused sparkling water
Infused sparkling water is made by adding carbon dioxide to water under pressure. So long as no sugars are added, infused sparkling water is about as healthy as still water. You can also add flavoring or slices of your preferred fruits to enhance taste. The bubbliness makes it a fun drink like soda and allows you to freely add vegetables and herbs. If you have stomach issues, you would be well advised to avoid sparkling water as it can induce bloating. Overall, sparkling water is a fun and tasty alternative to soda.
Sparkling green tea
Sparkling green tea is essentially carbonated tea. If you go out shopping for sparkling green tea, you will be spoilt for choice. There are numerous products in the market and settling on one is not easy. Read the labeling carefully to make sure they are no harmful preservatives or added sugars. The final choice will come down to your instincts, price, and packaging. Sparkling green tea has the benefits of tea including boosting energy and reducing harmful oxidants in blood.
This is lightly effervescent fermented delicious probiotic green or black tea. Despite being sweetened, it is still a much healthier option than soda. Kombucha has recently come under scrutiny as its manufacturers have been accused of exaggerating its benefits. One thing is undisputed, kombucha is a delightful healthier alternative to soda.
Water with mint and cucumber
Drinking water is healthy. You should do it often unless medically advised otherwise. The reason most people end up opting for soda over water, is its neutral taste. This can be mitigated by simply adding mint or cucumber to your glass of water. This combination will not only quench your thirst but also help reduce any craving you may be having for soda.
Herbal or fruit teas
Herbal or fruit teas are perceived as the preserve of the old. Nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone will stand to gain if they consume herbal teas regularly. This is especially the case, if you are drinking it in place of soda. These are calorie-free and offer multiple health benefits including stimulating brain function and boosting the immune system. Soda has no such benefits, one’s you swallow it, it only causes harm.
Quitting drinking soda is not easy. Soda is sweet and convenient unlike the alternatives offered. Keep in mind the harmful effects of soda and you will have sufficient motivation to start a new chapter of your life, without soda. The reason you are still craving for soda is your brain’s reward system is playing tricks on you. The system promotes consumption of glucose which is essential for survival. We now know that too much sugar is harmful but our biological systems are yet to be updated. If you wish to live a long healthy life, you will drop soda today.