7 Healthy Drinks to Help You Quit Soda
It is no secret that despite how bad it is for us, millions of Americans still drink soda.
I myself have been addicted to soda for a long time, although it does not have the same immediate effects as drug or alcohol addiction.
For those of you out there that are not happy with your soda consumption, I have created this list from my own personal experience. One of the most important parts of overcoming soda addiction is finding alternatives and integrating them into your daily routine.
Soda has a lot of effects on the body such as a sugar spike, caffeine energy spike, and as a result, the brain produces dopamine from it just like drugs.
In addition to this, someone who drinks soda will begin to crave the taste, the carbonation, and other effects. It is very easy to get addicted to this, especially if you are prone to other dependencies
When trying to replace soda, looking for healthy alternatives is the best option. However, it can be difficult to find replacements for some of the things we enjoy about soda such as the taste and the caffeine boost.
Here are the best drinks I have found to replace soda in my daily life.
For me, green tea has been one of my best helpers. One of the hardest things to replace with soda can be the caffeine and energy boost many people get from drinking it. Coffee is a good alternative a lot of people drink, but I am not as big on coffee.
Green tea is my way of combating this, and it comes in many forms. It can be bought from Wal-Mart in pill forms with caffeine and ECGC which is a green tea extract.
I prefer to drink it as opposed to taking the pills. It can be home brewed, but I prefer to buy the gallon jugs of green tea at the store. There is a zero calorie version from Arizona that tastes very good, as well as pure green tea without artificial sweeteners.
Juice is a great substitute for many reasons. For one, it provides a healthier source of sugar, which is something a soda drinker will be used to. Don't underestimate the effect of sugar on the brain's dopamine system.
In addition, fruit juices taste good, and natural juices without artificial sweeteners are very healthy. It is convenient, because it can be stored in a bottle in the fridge just like soda. All in all, having one or two fruit or vegetable juices in the fridge is a great way to cut down on soda.
I know you're thinking, I clicked all this way to read about water? The fact is that is has numerous benefits, especially for someone who has been drinking a lot of soda regularly.
Of course we all know we should be drinking water, and we all know what water is so I won't explain that. One interesting fact about soda is that it actually dehydrates you, despite being a liquid.
I can attest to this, during bad times of my addiction I drink soda 24/7, but can easily feel dehydrated no matter how much I drink. In addition, it seems to have caused me some dry mouth at times.
The more soda I drink, the less chances I have to drink water. Changing this habit is very important for a soda drinker. Our bodies prefer at least a few good sized bottles of water a day, but its best to get at least 5 or 6.
This will have many benefits for anyone, but for a soda drinker they will be even greater. For one, it is easy to get used to the refreshing feeling of drinking a cold glass of water.
Water is cheaper bottled up than soda, and for me I feel much more energized and healthy after drinking mostly water. If you can start to replace at least a couple of your soda glasses a day with water, you will already start to see benefits.
Sparkling water, or other similar carbonated drinks are a great alternative. It might not taste as good, but the carbonation from these beverages is similar to soda. When it comes to getting off of sodas, someone who enjoys them does so for a number of reasons.
For me, I enjoyed something about the sensation of carbonation, probably from some mental reaction. Either way, sparkling water can be a great alternative. There are some that come in colorful flavors and have zero calories, but it is always healthier to go for the pure stuff.
Drinking sparkling water can also have weight loss benefits from feeling fuller, but it should not be overdone.
Mio is a great example of these, although there are tons of options out there now. They are usually low calorie, and some are even designed for an energy boost. These are fairly inexpensive, so they are also a money saver. One other advantage is that these little containers are convenient, and can be added to anything.
A lot of these taste good as well, but you might have to try a few before you find one you like. Best of all you are still drinking water, which is one of the best things to drink anyways. The benefits for drinking water for a soda addict are numerous.
Iced tea has always been a great alternative for me. Unsweetened tea is preferable as we are looking for healthy alternatives, but sweet tea is ok from time to time.
It provides some small caffeine content, is refreshing, and is easy to drink. Not to mention that for weight loss, unsweetened tea is a great zero calorie alternative.
If you want to treat yourself and grab a little sugar rush, sweet tea can be a great treat with a meal.
These are just a few alternatives; my strategy is to use as many of them as possible so I don’t get tired of one thing. My go-to drinks are green tea, and sparking water, which have many benefits besides soda reduction.
If you are serious about curbing your soda addiction, exploring these replacements is the best place to start. It is not an easy task, especially for someone who has drank soda daily for years, but anybody can succeed if they follow the right strategy.
The health benefits of cutting back on soda are more than worth it, and the health risks for those who continue to indulge can be very serious.
Everyone who suffers from soda addiction has a tough battle, but you CAN succeed!
This is a good next step for those trying to get off soda, although ill start by saying the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas have their own health risks. Telling someone to use diet soda as a way to quit soda seems foolish, but I will explain why.
It can still be a great way to step down, I never enjoyed the taste of diet soda enough to drink it like regular soda, but it is still the next closest thing. Zero calorie options are similar, and I used them to help wean me off.
While I was staying off soda, I considered diet soda kind of like a cheat. It’s not really what I wanted, so I don’t consider it actual soda, but it still helped me get over cravings. On the other hand, I didn’t enjoy it enough to drink more than 1 or 2 a day.
For someone truly trying to abstain from soda, having a diet soda every few days to get over cravings could end up helping.
Anyone trying to kick soda should consider their own situation, because many people are addicted to diet sodas, or just drink tons of them thinking it is better than drinking actual soda.
The truth of the matter is that diet sodas have their own health risks, and are not an effective replacement long term, unless you simply wish to stop ingesting real sugar in such massive amounts as regular soda.
Changing Your Habits
The best way to overcome soda addiction is to switch to the healthier alternatives, even though they might not have carbonation or caffeine.
If you seriously want to change things up for the better, the best way to approach this list is to pick 2 or 3 that look interesting to you, and try to buy them next time you are at the store. Throughout the day, some of the times you would usually drink a soda, see how the alternatives work instead.
I guarantee that if you find a few you like, it can be very easy to quit soda for good. At the very least, drinking more of these drinks will be a big step toward better health.