A Few Seltzer Water Alternatives that Will Help You Wean the Unhealthy Soda Habit
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Why Soda is Bad for You
- Healthy Alternatives to Soda
Healthy alternatives to soda that anyone can make, for far less than soda, and with less sugar. Learn how to make Italian sodas and more
- The dangers of soda pop. Are we killing our children?
- Why Drinking Soda is Bad for You