This week I’ve been blogging about how to kick the soda habit – both regular and diet. Like many people I find plain H2O to be a little blah, so I do a much better job staying hydrated if I drink a sparkly beverage with some flavor. Fortunately there are options that don’t included added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
The first is seltzer. It’s simply carbonated water infused with flavor and is naturally calorie free. Flavor without sweetness may seem odd but it’s a lot like adding lemon to your water, only bubbly. And seltzer comes in a wide range of choices, including mandarin orange, cherry and raspberry. If you’re concerned with all those empty bottles or cans you can even buy a make your own machine at stores like Target or Williams-Sonoma.
Another option is to switch to brewed iced tea. Some companies are now making carbonated iced tea (which is awesome!) but you can also make a DIY version by mixing plain seltzer or sparkling water with tea. If you find tea to be too bitter add a splash of 100% fruit juice or freeze juice in ice cube trays and toss them in your glass. Green, black, oolong, white tea or herbal teas are all great options, and many are already flavor infused, from ginger and mint to passion fruit or berry.
Finally there are some brands of carbonated 100% fruit juices that look like soda. Some of these may have a similar calorie level to soda but are more nutritious because they contain naturally occurring sugar bundled with nutrients and antioxidants. Those calories still add up though, so don’t disregard them. In fact you should really think of these drinks as food. A 12 ounce bottle typically packs about 120 calories, the amount in two whole oranges.
So what’s your relationship with soda? Are you a former fanatic who eliminated it from your diet? If so please share your story. Or if you’re trying to cut back please let me know what you think of the alternatives above.