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A Few Seltzer Water Alternatives that Will Help You Wean the Unhealthy Soda Habit

Updated on May 27, 2012

All too often, we have a sweet tooth for liquids we love. We love our iced coffees, milkshakes, and even those so-called healthy "smoothies." Also, we can't forget the soda habit too! But all those things are making us fat for a good reason.

They all have sugar, and not just any sugar.

Some of the sodas we love to drink have high-fructose corn syrup, which can be easily dissolved. Others contain just refined sugar. But the things they have in common are empty calories. Take a 12 oz can of soda, for instance. It can have as much as 10 teaspoons of sugar, which you really know that amount is impractical to eat at one sitting.

But some of us have the chutzpah to drink more than one can a week, or a few cans here and there daily. One of them was a childhood obesity case - which involved a preteen girl who weighed a few hundred pounds. Her mother wondered why she got so portly although she did not eat much. She drank more than two sodas a day (she lost weight by switching to water and milk afterwards).

It All Adds Up!

If you drink a can of soda that measures 150 calories for a regular year, you'll gain about 16 pounds (est. to the nearest whole). But merely switching to and drinking more plain old (yet boring) water are not enough to keep you fit and healthy.
If you drink a can of soda that measures 150 calories for a regular year, you'll gain about 16 pounds (est. to the nearest whole). But merely switching to and drinking more plain old (yet boring) water are not enough to keep you fit and healthy.
Diet soda seems healthy, but it's actually fattening.
Diet soda seems healthy, but it's actually fattening.

But What About "Diet Drinks?"

Many people swear by drinking diet versions of soda, which has no calories whatsoever. Ditto for those "sugar free" drink mix sprinklings with water. But they are sabotaging their health more than they are reducing their intake of liquid calories.

Blame artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame.

So why are drinks sweetened with some no-calorie Franken-sweetener are just as worse for your health as drinking sugared pop (or some juice drink with way less than 100% fruit juice)? Well, when taken in, they stimulate the pancreas, which secretes more insulin, therefore increasing leptin levels. This leads to leptin resistance, which impels you to eat more.

It's a small wonder that a study found that people who drank one diet drink a day experienced an immense growth in their midsection.

Other dangers with artificially-sweetened beverages include risks for cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and so on. Most of you don't believe that diet soda has health risks, but think again: it's not a very good beverage to drink in lieu of the pop (or fruit ade).

Water Is good, But It's Boring!

The best thing to drink in place of sugared or artificially sweet drinks is water. It's an optimal source of hydration, which regulates appetite, kicks up your metabolism, betters cell function, and promotes weight loss.

But there's often a negative side effect to the plethora of benefits of drinking water: it has a boring flavor. It has no fizz, no sweetness, no fruitiness, and no fun.

Sodastream Fountain Jet Soda Maker Starter Kit
Sodastream Fountain Jet Soda Maker Starter Kit

This contraption is perfect when you hate making trips to the grocers to buy seltzer!

 

Where to Get Fizzy Water

If you really miss the fizz of soda, try carbonated water. It has two ingredients: water and carbon dioxide.

There are a lot of places you can find fizzy water, also known as seltzer. You can get bottles of it, and a lot of them cost less than a can of soda a pop (no pun intended). If you hate waste, there are a lot of carbonated water machines that can do the trick. A lot of them need a cylinder of carbon dioxide and a recyclable bottle to use with the machine and they just need to be operated with a few pushes of buttons.

Though I don't recommend drinking it alone, seltzer water can be flavored to your preference as long as the flavorings are all natural. Here are some ways to spice it up!

Fuss-Free Fizz-Ade

Mix a small amount of organic powdered drink mix in a small amount of water. Or, you can pour a small amount of liquid drink mix concentrate in a glass. Add seltzer and stir gently.

Mock Virgin Mojito

Muddle 5-7 mint leaves, a lime wedge, and granulated stevia (or one or two stevia leaves, if you can afford the fresh herb) with a back of a wooden spoon or pestle until bruised. If desired, you can add natural rum flavoring. Top it off with the seltzer.

Blueberry-Lemon Fizz

Muddle a few blueberries with the back of a wooden spoon or pestle until mashed. Add a squeeze of lemon juice (or a pinch of powdered lemon juice) and add any natural sweetener (like stevia, agave nectar, honey, etc.) and continue to muddle to dissolve, if desired. Top off with seltzer and stir gently.

Happiest Langka

Puree jackfruit and add a small amount of it in a glass. (If you want to, add a bit of honey and lemon juice.) Top off with seltzer.

Coconut Mint Melon Cooler

Muddle mint in a glass, add a small amount of pureed honeydew, and add a small amount of coconut juice. If desired, dissolve a teaspoon of stevia powder and add a squeeze of lime. Top with seltzer and stir gently.

Booze-Free Bellini

Pour a small amount of 100% (read: no sugar or artificial sweeteners) peach nectar or pureed peaches and add seltzer. (You can add agave syrup and lemon juice to make it more appealing.) Stir gently.

The Old Lemon/Lime Seltzer Trick

Simply squeeze a bit of lemon or lime in your glass of seltzer and enjoy!

Seltzer + Lime > Soda

If you are thinking about a cool drink on any day, whether it's a cool day or hot one, don't reach for that soda. Any kind of soda can fatten you because it either adds liquid calories to your waist or has unnatural sweeteners that can make you hungrier.

Instead, try getting to the store, picking up a few fruits, and loading the cart with seltzer. Then, mash, juice, or puree the fruits and add a small amount to the glass. Top with seltzer and stir gently. It's a flavorful complement to drinking water (make sure you do so), because you get the fizz and flavor of soda with little or no calories and side effects.

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    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 

      3 years ago

      I generally prefer straight water myself but this looks like an excellent alternative for those who are still in to the fizzy water!

      Voted up.

    • talfonso profile imageAUTHOR

      talfonso 

      6 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      Well, good luck with that! I hope my methods would help you wean you off the Frappuchino and Pepsi habit! I have lost 160 pounds due to exercising, eating healthy, and of course, drinking water!

    • Amberjewell profile image

      Amberjewell 

      6 years ago

      Nice hub. Very informative and interesting. I drink soda often. I enjoy Pepsi the most but I do realize now that my pooch is growing because of it. Frappuccino for breakfast, Pepsi for lunch, more frappuccino...I need to break the habit. I'll try some of your methods.

    • talfonso profile imageAUTHOR

      talfonso 

      6 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      Sally, most people are put off by plain seltzer because it tastes boring, despite the fizz. But thanks for the comment.

      Karen, I feel bad for that little boy - he must've gained a lot of weight in soda. I hope you share this Hub with his parents!

    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 

      6 years ago from United States

      Sodas can be pretty addictive, there's a young boy in my neighborhood who drinks several everyday and you really have to worry about his health.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 

      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      The drinks sound wonderful! I used to love blackberry brandy mixed with seltzer, and now I'm thinking some "muddled" blackberries and a bit of stevia may be something sensational. BTW, I happen to like carbonated water all by itself, or maybe with a twist of lemon or lime. Why do you not recommend drinking seltzer by itself?

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