10 Refreshing Drinks Better Than Diet Soda

May 12, 2015 //

A study released in 2011 by academics from Bristol and Bangor suggests that the continued consumption of soda plays into an endless cycle, in which you dull your sensitivity to sweetness and thereafter crave more to no avail, and only end up consuming more sugar than if you hadn’t taken that first sip of soda to begin with.

But what about diet soda you might wonder? Well there’s a troubling and credible study that speaks to that as well; it holds that diet soda has been linked to an upsurge in the obesity of individuals 65 and older—so really, both diet and original soda are inherently unhealthy vices. Instead, seek out healthy yet equally (if not more) tasty alternatives. We’ve pulled together 10 promising candidates that’ll get the job done!

1. Naturally Flavored Water

I’ll always see this as an available option at the nice and well-kept hotels or fitness clubs. The process for creating naturally flavored water is as easy 1, 2, 3. All you do is cut up some slices of whatever fruit or veggie you might want your water to taste like and drop it in—I recommend trying out lemon and cucumber water to start!

2. Iced Green Tea

This is especially refreshing on those hotter afternoons, where you just can’t seem to escape the hot gaze of the sun. Green tea’s high in antioxidants, it’s calorie-free, and it’s been shown as a direct means to reduce the risk of several types of cancer and heart disease. A personal recommendation here: if you’re looking for some added sweetness, try out some honey; just a few drops and you’ll be amazed at the difference!

3. Iced Cranberry "Jeltzer"

Link: Chef Richard's Cranberry Jeltzer

You don’t need to pay  unreasonable amounts of money for vitamin-enhanced water. You can throw together some jeltzer (juice+seltzer water) with whatever tart-flavored juice and cheap seltzer bottle your heart desires. Most recommend trying out cranberry or grape juice to start.

4. Lemon-Lime Soda Impersonator

Link: 9 Soda Alternatives

Sometimes it’s a near impossible thing to give up that favorite soda, and if you’re someone who can’t quell the craving for lemon-lime soda, we recommend you try this out. Just a little bit of lime and lemon and a dash of stevia sweetener’s all you need. Let the good times roll.

5. Red Wine

After a long day those of us old enough to do so might want a nerve-settling drink to take the edge off. And there’s a fair amount of folks out there that seek this out through a mixed drink, which is high in calories. Instead, try out some red wine. Some health professionals and studies indicate that the good stuff burns fat and lowers your blood pressure.

6. Iced Low-Sodium Vegetable Juice

Link: V8 Low Sodium 100% Vegetable Juice

Drink those veggies! We do recognize that some folks just don’t like the taste of a V8 per say, and that’s fine. I used to be a member of such a party, until I realized I could satisfy my craving for spiciness through adding some hot sauce to an otherwise bland tasting vegetable juice creation. Try giving that a go!

7. Homemade Iced Chocolate or Vanilla Soy Milk

Link: Homemade Soy Milk or How To Make Soy Milk

The only proposed downside of this homemade beverage is it lacks the vitamins and minerals you might otherwise receive in a commercialized brand. It’s all good though; just make sure to continue consuming sufficient amounts of vegetables as part of your regular diet. Consider adding cinnamon, chocolate or vanilla to your homemade soy milk for extra flavor! As a final note, we’ll add that soy milk has a naturally lower sugar content than regular milk; cow’s milk has an average of 12 grams of sugar per cup, while soy milk has an average of 7 grams of sugar. This fact in itself plays a direct hand in aiding in weight loss!

8. Black Sun Tea

Link: How to Make Sun Tea

This one’s weather dependent, as you’ll need those warm sunny rays to help bring out the tea from the infuser, but if you pick the right day, you’re in for a treat. The gradual brewing process brought upon by the sun can help enhance the flavor, and so long as you’re sure to ice the drink down after the tea’s finished brewing; you’re in for one heck of a refreshing experience.

Recommendation: choose whatever black tea you’ve had in the past and enjoyed, and if you’re caffeine sensitive, don’t drink this beverage too close to bedtime.

9. Iced Coffee

As warmer weather sets in, consider iced coffee instead of your traditional cup of joe. People who drink coffee have shown to have a 10 to 20% lower risk at developing skin cancer. So by all means don’t cut back on the java!

10. Kombucha

Kombucha is fermented tea that's a natural appetite curb, and additionally helps aid in healthy skin and hair. Check out these four kombuchas for a good idea on where to get started!

Matt Staff

Matt’s a fiery spirited, ginormous red head with an insatiable appetite to challenge you to reassess your lifestyle choices through reading relatable prose, and adept-non-condescending advice, that almost make you feel as if you're at a pub talking life with the guy.

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